How to Cut Down Your Monthly Spending

Many of us would like to reduce our spending for a number of reasons. It might be that we want to repay loans, save up for a deposit or a holiday or just make it easier to manage. In order to have more money we basically have to either earn more or spend less. For many people spending less is an easier option as they may not have the time to work more hours or just may not want to do any more work. There are lots of ways that you can cut down what you are spending.

Compare prices

It is really useful to start by comparing prices on everything that buy. This does not just mean when you are at the shop, but before you go and for all things that you buy. Some comparing prices on utilities, broadband, phones, insurance, financial products as well as food and clothing and things like that. By looking at every item that we buy and considering whether we can buy it elsewhere at a cheaper price a considerable amount of money can be saved. It is important though to make sure that you are getting good value for money as the cheapest items are not always the best. It can be good to try cheaper items and see how you get on, but if you are signing up to a year subscription or paying out a significant chunk of money, then it is wise to make sure that you read some reviews and make sure that you are confident in the item before you buy it.

Check where the money is going

It is good to take a look at where you normally spend your money. Taking a look at your bank statement will help with this as you will be able to see more detail. Even knowing where the money is going should help you to decide whether you want to continue to spend that money or not. You will be aware of how much you are spending on certain things and whether you feel you want to cut down that spending. It can be easy to buy things and take no notice of the cost and have no idea how much you are spending on certain items. Once you realise you might decide that you would like to cut down.

Eat in and cook from scratch

An area that many of us overspend in is food. We all need to eat and therefore can often justify spending lots of money on food for this reason. However, it can be so easy to spend more than necessary. Probably the biggest areas that we overspend are on eating out and ready-made meals. Eating out and buying take away food is significantly dearer than making the same food for yourself. Things like coffees, cakes and sandwiches for lunch can really add up. If you start to add up the cost of this you will begin to understand where some of your money is going. Then if you buy ready made meals for your main meals or get take away food then this will be an additional expense as well. If you cook the same food yourself it can be so much cheaper. Often you will find that once you learn some recipes you can have fun cooking things for yourself and you can even cook large batches and freeze food so that it is easier to manage when you are short on time.

Set a budget for luxuries

It can be worth sorting out the things that you buy into essentials and luxury items. There will be things that you have to buy and pay for such as your direct debits, bills, rent or mortgage, loan repayments and food, but there will be items that are less important. These items are where you might be able to cut down your spending, especially if you have compared prices on everything else and are spending the least possible. It could be wise to have a budget for spending on non-essentials each month and if you stick to that you will make sure that you do not spend too much.

If you do all of these things then you should be able to start spending less. This means that you will have money available to spend on things such as loan repayments or topping up your savings account. It can actually be quite easy to make some if the changes, such as switching to a cheaper electric supplier and you will notice no difference to your lifestyle. Cutting down spending or cooking for scratch will need more of a change but they can be very rewarding and you can ease yourself in gently by slowly making the changes. If you get all of the household on board to work with you, that will make things a lot easier.

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Tips for Saving up for a Holiday

If you want to go on holiday then you will be aware that you will need to pay for it. Holidays are not cheap and some can be a lot more expensive than others. Even one that is very cheap may still be beyond your budget. It is wise to make sure that you do plan a holiday that fits your budget but it may be that you cannot afford any holiday without getting a loan or saving up. It is cheaper to save up, but you need to be sure that you will be able to save up enough before your holiday is due.

Start saving early

It is really wise to make sure that you start saving up as soon as possible. So as soon as you decide that you want to take a holiday then you should start saving up. Having longer to save will mean that you will be able to save smaller amounts over a longer time which will make it a lot easier to save or will mean that you will be able to save up more. It is important to make sure that you allow money for everything that you need for your holiday. It can be easy to concentrate on the cost of the lodgings, travel and forget about the food, gifts, eating out, activities and any new things you will need to buy before you go.

Set up a separate savings account

It can be a good idea to set up a separate savings account so that you can put aside the money that you are saving towards your holiday. It is worth doing this as it will mean that you will not accidently spend the money, which could happen if you leave it in your current account. You will also be able to see it growing which can be a good incentive to save more in the future.

Transfer some money in regularly

It can be a really good idea to transfer money in regularly. Setting up a direct debit to transfer some money across into the savings account every time you get paid will help it to grow. Doing this means that you will not be tempted to spend the money because it will never appear in your current account. Choosing how much to transfer across can be tricky. Make sure that it is a decent amount but not so much that you will really struggle to manage without it. It could be wise to take a look at what you normally spend and earn so that you can calculate how much you will have left over to save.

Cut down spending as much as you can

You might need to reduce the amount that you are spending so that you will be able to save even more money. It can be wise to just spend money on the necessary things and not on luxury items. This means making sure that you pay your rent or mortgage, loan repayments, bills, contracts, travel to work, food and things like this but cut down on things such as alcohol, eating out, mp3s, subscriptions, hobbies, accessories etc. We all have different priorities with what we spend our money on but it is wise to think about what is important to you. It is good to think about whether you really need the item before you buy it and whether you can wait. You will only need to cut down for a limited amount of time, until you have saved enough for your holiday. So, you might be able to wait to make certain purchases after you have paid for the holiday or even until after you have had it.

Look for ways to earn money

It can also be wise to look for ways to make extra money. If you can earn a bit more, perhaps in your job or by doing extra work or even by selling things, it could really help you. It can be easier than you think to make a little extra and while you are doing that extra work, you will not be able to be spending money and so you could help yourself in two ways! It is worth asking if there are extra hours available at work or seeing if you can do some temp work elsewhere to get a bit extra. You might be able to find some work online that you can do as well. If you look through your possessions it is likely that you have some things that you no longer need and you can make them available for sale. There are plenty of places online where you can sell things and it is worth investigating these so that you can choose which will be the best for you. Look at auction websites and local social media sites and see what sorts of things people are selling on there and you will be able to select the best site for you.

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