There are plenty of great ways to save money every month – but it takes work. Although it would be nice to be able to afford everything you want and need without having to think about the state of your bank account, the truth is that most of us have to push to make ends meet – particularly as the cost of living gets higher, and wages fall lower.
Unfortunately, there’s no shortcut around the fact that if you want to save money, you’re going to need to make some sacrifices. However, learning how to handle your finances carefully can come with a lot of benefits – including less stress, and a healthier lifestyle. Here are just five ways that you can cut down on your mad monthly bills, without losing your mind.
Get Rid of Unnecessary Expenses
Want to cut down on your monthly spending without giving up on the things you enjoy? The easiest solution is to look at your budget and figure out where you’re spending money on things that you don’t really want or need. For instance, if you signed up for a gym membership back in January, but you’ve never set foot on a treadmill, then it might be time to give up. Don’t worry, you can still get fit in other ways, like walking or cycling to work instead of driving. That will save you some extra cash on petrol too!
Another thing that’s becoming increasingly unnecessarily in the modern world is the television and phone bundle. If you do most of your calling on your smartphone, and you watch television on Netflix, then you simply don’t need those services. Cut them out, and you could save some serious cash.
Watch What You’re Eating
Food is more of an expense than it should be today. We often find ourselves over-spending on fast food and takeaway, simply because we don’t have a plan of what we should eat after a long day at work. When you’re tired, you don’t want to have to worry about going to the shop to pick up some veg before you can settle in for the night.
However, if you can commit to a regular plan for your meals, and stick by it when you go shopping each month or week, then you could save a lot of money. Write a list at the beginning of each week that outlines what you want to eat over the next seven days, then make sure that you have the ingredients you need in to cover that food.
Don’t Take Loans Lightly
Loans have become an essential part of the financial experience for many of us. These days, most people will end up in at least one kind of debt before they’re thirty. Whether that’s a student loan that you use to get you through college or your first mortgage – there are plenty of times when we need a little help with money.
There’s nothing wrong with turning to a loan when you need help affording something important. However, you should be making sure that you’re only signing on the dotted line for the loans that are best suited to your circumstances. Make sure that you compare rates and APR before you jump into anything.
Cut Down on Energy Usage
Unless you plan on getting back to your routes and living in a forest somewhere, there’s a good chance you need to pay for energy – and often. If you have your own family, then the amount of energy you use can quickly skyrocket. However, while using electricity might not be optional, you can choose how much energy you waste each day. For instance, switching to energy efficient light bulbs can be a great way to reduce your expense.
Since your heating uses energy too, you can also consider switching to a smart thermostat that automatically turns your heating down when your home reaches a certain temperature or turns it off when you’re not around to enjoy the extra comfort.
Go One Weekend a Month Without Spending
Finally, as strange as it sounds, this simple tip could save you serious amounts of cash. Try to go both an entire Saturday and a full Sunday without spending any money at all. Eat what you already have in the refrigerator and find ways to entertain yourself without spending cash on anything – including petrol. While it might be tough to do this at first, if you try and turn it into a game with the whole family, you’ll soon find that the process becomes a lot simpler.