Sometimes it feels like all your money goes on bills and everyday essentials, doesn’t it? Although all necessary expenses, it does seem to leave less and less money for you to spend on the things you enjoy!
But what if there were a way to cut back on your monthly expenses – so you could start saving some money towards your dream holiday or first home, perhaps?
Start by looking at this money saver tool from the Money Advice Service which enables you to enter what you are spending your money on, how much you are spending on it and how often. You can then see what this costs you weekly, monthly and yearly – helping you to work out where you need to cut back and how you can save.
It might only seem like a small saving here and there but it will quickly add up to much more than you might expect.
Running a car is not cheap and petrol is a large, ongoing part of that expense. So, each time you get in the car, just think – do I really need to drive? If it is close enough could you walk or get on your bike, instead? Once you take parking as well as petrol into account, would it be cheaper to take the bus or get the train?
If you need to drive could you car share? Perhaps if you live near someone who does the same route as you on a daily basis? You will quickly see your monthly costs go down if you can cut back on the amount of petrol you use.
We often stay with the same bank, mobile phone network or utilities provider, not necessarily out of loyalty but because it is easy. Most of us think the deals are pretty much the same and can’t be bothered with the hassle that comes with change. However, switching providers could save consumers hundreds of pounds. Take the time to look around – it will definitely be worth it.
If you don’t plan to switch or you can’t find a better deal it is still worth reviewing your policies because you could find that there are changes that could save you money. Take your gym membership, for example. If you have full membership but only make it once a week, see if they offer the option to scale down your membership – limiting what and when you can use it, but saving you money.
We are all guilty of going shopping with the intention of just picking up bread and milk – then leaving an hour later with a trolley full of shopping that left you little change from £100. Food shopping can cost you a lot of money each month but it doesn’t have to. Make a list of what you really need and stick to it. Likewise, switching to own-brand products will save you a huge amount of money.
We spend so much money on food, drink and snacks because it is easier to buy it from the shop as and when we want it. But if you stop buying that coffee on the way into work and instead fill up a travel mug before you leave the house, make a sandwich instead of buying a packet one from the supermarket and cook dinner instead of getting another takeaway, you will quickly save a significant amount of money.