With the cost of living ever-increasing, households see the number of outgoings soar from utilities to food bills. Most people could save a significant amount of money each month just by thinking about where their money is going and cutting down on unnecessary spending. Make sure you have a budget that is working for you. With this in mind, here are some handy tips for cutting down on your monthly outgoings by tweaking your budget.
First, draw up 2 lists, one for fixed expenses and the other for variable expenses.
Fixed expenses are the things that you pay the same price for every single month. This may include your rent, mortgage, some utilities, student loan payments, or a car payment
Variable expenses are the ones where the monetary amounts might change from month to month, and these are usually the areas that are easy to cut back on if you are trying to save money.
If you are worried about debt, there are places to get advice. debtconsolidation.com have resources, tools and programs to help manage your debt.
Stepchange is also a UK based charity to help get your finances back on track.
Review your insurance policies
Make sure all policies like car, travel, life and home insurance are checked using reputable price comparison sites. Look out for multi-policy offers and shop around. The savings can be considerable, and your coverage and rates can change based on your life stage. Ensure you are covered for your needs and not paying excessive premiums.
Cut your grocery spending
One of the best areas to budget is can you shop at cheaper supermarkets, buy own-brand goods, and take advantage of loyalty points and coupons. Go shopping with a plan of what meals you need to prepare. Please stick to the list and not be tempted with too many treats. Never go shopping on an empty stomach, it’s a recipe for disaster. If you have the garden space, try growing your fruit and vegetables. There is also the Too Good To Go app, where you can buy packages of food at heavily discounted prices as it hasn’t sold in time. There are cafes, restaurants. hotels and shops that are signed up to this throughout the UK to reduce food waste.
Revisit your mobile plans
You may not use as much of your service plan as you think. Do you have extra minutes left over each month? Do you use your mobile data or just use the internet when you are connected to wifi at home? Consider cutting back on parts of your service that you don’t need but are still being charged for. You’re paying too much if you can spend half the money for half the data usage and not notice a difference. You can also look into other carriers that allow customers to pay for only what they use.
Unused memberships are one of the biggest culprits for over spending each month. Gym memberships are the most common, with people telling themselves that they’ll start going next week, but sadly, next week never comes. Unless you’re going to the gym regularly, you should cancel your membership immediately.
Of course, it’s not just gym memberships that go unused. Online streaming services such as Netflix, Spotify and iTunes can also make a big dent in your wallet when you add up the total cost. Cancelling these services is very simple and can make a big difference in your monthly outlay.
Cut down on energy bills and consumption.
Energy bills make up a significant amount of your monthly spending, but you can reduce them considerably by being more conscious of your energy consumption. Small changes like turning off lights in rooms that aren’t being used, turning off unused appliances such as TVs and games systems, and cutting down on the amount of hot water you use can all go a long way to cutting down the cost of energy bills. Households in Britain could save an average of £147 on their annual electricity bills by turning off devices instead of leaving them on standby. Many water providers also offer free accessories to save water.
Experts have recommended that homeowners invest in smart plugs to ensure everything is turned off via their mobile phone or connecting devices to an extension lead that can be switched off overnight.