Money matters, whether we like it or not, and the more of it you can save the better you’ll be.
But no matter how hard you work, or how many extra hours you put in, sometimes it can seem impossible to keep up with high living expenses. Running a home isn’t cheap, especially not in situations where you have a large family, or use a lot of energy and appliances to run a business from home.
Whether you are looking to cut down on your expenses to make your monthly budget more manageable, or you have a lot of debts and are looking to find ways to start saving money in order to pay them off, here are some simple ways you can look into cutting down the costs of your monthly expenditures.
Use public transport
It may be slightly more inconvenient than driving yourself from A to B, but using public transport can sometimes be a lot more affordable than driving, depending on how often you use your car and how far you need to travel. For example, if you only use your car for short journeys, this can be detrimental to the health of your car, meaning that you may end up spending more money on car maintenance.
Plus, multiple shorter journeys will use up fuel quicker than fewer longer journeys, meaning that your fuels costs may also end up being greater. So, if you’re able to leave the car behind every now and then, or even give it up all together, over time you should start to notice the difference in your expenses.
Consolidate your debts
The quicker you can pay off your debts, the less you will feel like every penny you earn leaves your bank account as soon as it arrives. Of course, paying off debts, especially large debts, is not something that happens overnight, but there are some things you can do to make them seem a little more manageable.
For example, you could consider consolidating your debts into one lump sum owed to a single lender, or put on a balance transfer card; this can make a debt seem much more manageable, as you will only have one single debt to think about rather than juggling several. Some balance transfer cards also offer perks such as 0% APR for the first year or so, meaning you can save yourself a lot of money on interest over those first few months, which could give you a good head start on reducing your total amount of debt.
Reduce wasted home emissions
Even if you are smart with your energy usage, some wasted energy can’t be avoided. Hot air will always rise and escape the house through conduction, convection and radiation. However, the effects of these processes can be reduced by making sure your home is properly insulated. For example, heat loss can be minimised by replacing your old single pane windows and frames with new ones. There are pros and cons to both sides of the Double vs Triple Glazing debate, but both will reduce the amount of heat lost through your windows. You can also make a difference to the amount of heat lost through your walls and ceilings by ensuring you have good cavity wall insulation and loft insulation, and by using curtains or draught excluders on all of your windows around the home.
Choose inexpensive entertainment options
Not every single penny of your money needs to be saved or spent on utilities and bills, as it is perfectly okay to want to spend some money on entertainment and little luxuries every now and then. However, the more money you can save while still enjoying your hobbies, interests and entertainment options, the better! There are plenty of ways you can go about this, such as cancelling old memberships or loyalty cards to companies and groups which you don’t attend on a regular basis.
You could also try taking part in more free activities, such as attending local community events like fairs and festivals, checking out museums and art galleries, going to the library, spending more time outdoors or just simply visiting friends and family.
Eat out less and cook in bulk
Eating out or ordering takeaways is a nice treat for the whole family every now and then, but the money spent on these dining options soon begins to add up, becoming expensive if made into a regular habit. Therefore, the more you can stay in and cook homemade foods, the better for your budget.
However, it is also important to note that unused and uneaten food is one of the ways many households end up wasting money and valuable resources. You can avoid having to chuck out foods by making simple changes such as cooking in bulk, and only serving your family small portions at any one time. This will stop you from having to throw away half eaten food, and allows the family to regulate their own portions by deciding if they’d like more once they’ve finished their first helping.