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.
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.