Struggling to repay your debts? Here are some ways in which you could save money and reduce outgoings.
Saving money can become rather difficult, indeed, especially if you were accustomed to afford pretty much anything you needed and now you feel bad for having to give up on something you like or think of as essential. However, by being organized and following some simple steps, the process can be made much easier and efficient.
Firstly, set up saving goals. Decide upon the amount of money and what you want or need to save for.
Then, you need to keep a record of your expenses:
How much you pay for food, transport, bills, leisure and so on. This will enable you to see if you’re overspending money for something or if there are certain items or services that you do not need. If you figured out which these are, you can manage to trim your expenses, or, as others say, become more minimalistic. We all tend to pay for things we don’t really need.
Next, make a budget. Analyse your income and expenditure and see what you have left. That is what you could virtually put aside every month. Keeping that in mind, make a budget and don’t stray from it. Also, decide upon a fixed sum you want to save, considering the goal and a reasonable time period in which you can achieve it.
It is advisable not to keep your savings at home, in cash – you will be tempted to use the money. However, by opening an interest-bearing savings account, you will not only escape the temptation of “breaking the piggy bank”, but also, receive some extra money that will add up to your savings.
Lastly – and this is really important- if you really want to save, then don’t just say you’ll put aside whatever money you have left at the end of the month. The best is to deposit money into your savings account first. In this way, you won’t be put in the position of having nothing left to save at the end of the month.
The most important aspect of saving money is reducing outgoings. Following the tips below, you might find yourself with a bit of extra money at the end of the month.
One of the unexpected money consumers that could cost you less is insurances :
Health, car, house insurance and so on. Have you ever thought that too much of your money go away on insurances or rather, that you have too many of them? Not all insurances are an absolute necessity. For example, if you start eating healthily and exercise, you will be less likely to need a health insurance as the chance of you getting ill is a lot smaller. Also, you could rethink auto car insurance. Reexamine your auto insurance policy yearly in order to check for saving opportunities. One of them could be lowering your deductible, thus lowering premiums. Moreover, if your car is rather old, think again if your collision coverage is really necessary.
Cable, internet and phone services are also huge money consumers. You could be surprised to find out that paying them separately is more damaging to your budget than paying for all these three services together. The major providers for this services usually offer discounts when you bundle all of them together, plus, there is the convenience of a single bill.
Let’s have a look at phone services. For most of us, a phone is vital even if it costs us a great deal of money every month. However, there are some ways of reducing your phone bills that will really make a difference. If you have both a mobile phone and a landline, you could start by giving up on the latter one. When it comes to mobile phones, there is always the option of switching to a less expensive plan or even go prepaid. While this last option is not suited for everyone, on the long run, it could save you a small fortune.
At the foundation of money consuming lies shopping and most of all, careless, impulse shopping. That is why it is important to bear some of these tips in mind while shopping. First of all, try to restrict yourself to the necessities and don’t buy only because there is a sale.
Also, don’t use credit cards – you will tend to spend more if you don’t actually see the money you are giving away.
- Make a list and stick to it.
- Don’t shop when you’re hungry.
- Watch out for special offers – they might be misleading.
- Don’t be fooled by fancy packaging and try giving the other not so known, cheaper brands a chance, maybe you’ll find something you like.
- Use vouchers, loyalty points and deals. They can really pay off.
- Don’t shop on impulse. If you want to invest on something big, take a period of cooling off and see if you really want it.
Regarding clothes shopping, you might find that the best deals can be found if you buy clothing out of the season.
Transportation matters need to be taken into consideration also. If you want to save, it is advisable to take your bicycle to work or take public transportation. Car pooling is also a great idea to save the money you would normally pay for gas.
Taking a second look at your monthly food expenses might also be the key to successful saving. If you’re used to eating out frequently, you could restrict your restaurant meals to special occasions only and make your own food at home. Not only you will be healthier, but also, you might find it fun and pleasurable. Another idea would be to pack your lunch for work. Also, rethink the amount of money spent on certain unnecessary foods. Do you really need all those snacks and chocolate?
Finally, you might find that giving up some costly habits might make a major impact on your financial situation.
Smoking – it’s bad for your health and deadly for your budget, especially since the price of cigarettes is fastly growing. Why not try to quit? Even if it seems very hard, you will find it very rewarding.
Drinking is another money- consuming habit. If you’re used to drinking out frequently, try to reduce the occasions on which you drink, switch for cheaper alcohol or leave home with a fix sum of money so you won’t spend more than you can afford.
Lastly, there is the issue of buying expensive cosmetic products when it comes to women.
Don’t let yourself be fooled by the commercial and what the claimed efficiency of the product. You’ll often end up with a dozen products you don’t really need and which you don’t really use. If you really want to invest in one expensive product, then do your homework – read about it on the internet or ask for a sample to see if it really suits your needs and does what it promises.