Running your own household is an expensive thing to do. It feels like you constantly have new bills you need to manage and things you want to save for. If you don’t have a huge monthly income, it sometimes seems like you’re always one step behind on paying for the things you need.
The good news is that there are things you can do to minimise your cost of living. For the most part, you’ll learn new tricks and trips for saving money as you continue to run your house. However, the following tips will help to get you started.
Avoid the “little extras”
One of the biggest reasons that people hate budgeting and looking after their money is that they assume they’ll have to give up everything that they enjoy. The truth is that living within your means does mean that you need to make some compromises, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to have any fun.
To improve your chances of a successful saving strategy, simply start by cutting as many unnecessary extras out of your monthly spend as you can. For instance, take a thermos of coffee into work, rather than picking a latte up on the way to the office. Taking a packed lunch to work is another great way to save on those small but significant everyday expenses.
Manage what you owe
Sometimes it’s not the money you spend that holds you back as much as the money you owe. If you’ve taken out loans in the past, or you have a history with debt, then you’ll know first-hand just how annoying interest payments can be. The good news is that you can begin to manage what you owe by choosing the right loan, to begin with. Before you borrow anything, take the time to compare the market via sites like Readies.co.uk and make sure that you’re getting the best deal on your APR.
The less you have to spend on paying back your loan, the more money you’ll have to funnel into your savings accounts.
Always shop the sales
Impatience is one of the biggest issues that most people face when they’re trying to cut back on their dangerous spending habits. A great way to ensure that you have more control over your cash is to learn when the most significant sales in your favourite stores happen each year. Make a note on your calendar and write down anything you desperately want to buy so you can come back to it when the prices are likely to drop.
Waiting for the sales will mean that you need to be patient with your purchases, but you’ll save a lot of cash in the process, and you might learn a thing or two about delayed gratification as well.
Wise up with your energy costs
Energy costs make up a lot of the money that we spend monthly. The chances are that when you sit down with your bank statements to start budgeting, you often feel a little overwhelmed by the sheer size of the bills you pay for gas and electricity. One of the ways that you can reduce your energy costs is to simply switch providers. Get online and check whether you might be able to get a different deal from another company.
If you can’t find a better deal elsewhere, then you can always work on reducing the amount of energy you use. Installing a smart thermostat will help you to set your home to use less energy while you’re at work. It’s also worth keeping an eye on how much power you’re using with a smart metre.
Enjoy more cheap thrills
When you’re finished working through all the expenses associated with things like energy, food, and other essentials in your home, it’ll be time to look at the ways you can cut costs elsewhere. For most of us, this means focusing on our entertainment budget and thinking about how we can reduce expenses on things like weekend meals out, and drinks with friends.
The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to spend a lot of money just to have fun. Examining your entertainment spending will help you to see whether you could potentially afford to switch your weekly trip to the cinema for a weekly movie night at home instead. You’d be surprised how much you could save – even if you decide to start paying for a streaming service like Netflix to help fill the gap.