The vast majority of us would like to have a little more money left over at the end of the month. It’s not always possible to boost your earnings, but often, there are ways of increasing the size of the gap between your income and outgoings by reducing spending. If you’re looking to make savings, here are 7 savvy ways to decrease your monthly outgoings.
1. Food shopping online
Are you one of those people who always gets to the till and lets out an inner cry of disbelief when the total pops up on the display? If so, you’re not alone. Many of us tend to get carried away when we go to the supermarket. If you’re guilty of snapping up offers on items that you don’t need or you struggle to keep track of how much you’ve spent, shopping online could be the solution. You’ll have a running total at all times, you can’t just grab things that take your fancy at the end of the aisle, and there are no alluring displays to distract you from your list. This way of grocery shopping is also quick and simple.
2. Saving energy
Do you dread the moment the energy bill sails through the letterbox? For many households, electricity and gas account for a substantial portion of the monthly budget. To decrease spending, swap old bulbs and appliances for energy-efficient alternatives, don’t leave lights on or taps running, switch TVs, kettles, and microwaves off at the socket, and try and improve insulation to reduce heat loss.
3. Shopping around for insurance
Do you tend to automatically renew insurance policies? If so, you could be paying a lot more for insurance than you need to. Instead of rolling over your plans, take a moment to compare policies and prices online. You can tailor your search to look for specific types of insurance, and filter the results to find a plan that is perfect for you. If you have pet, car, health, home, and contents insurance, savings on every individual policy could add up to a small fortune over the course of a year. By shopping online or using a comparison site you can often save money on broker fees by going direct.
4. Going green on your commute
How much money do you spend on petrol, or a bus or train pass every month? If you’re looking to save money, have you thought about going green on your commute? If you walk or cycle to work, or you share lifts with colleagues, you could save cash and do your bit for the environment.
5. Lunching for less
Be honest. Are you one of those people who stop for a coffee on the way to work every morning, or do you pop out and grab a sandwich or a salad from the local deli at lunchtime? We all need to eat, but often, it’s possible to lunch for less. You could be spending hundreds of pounds a month on eating at your desk if you rely on coffee shops, takeaways, and cafes. If this is the case, why not try and cut your monthly expenses by making your own lunch and taking it with you. You can rustle up sandwiches, salads, wraps, soups, and pasta dishes at home, and make use of the office kettle to enjoy a hot drink without a hefty price tag.
6. Switch energy, broadband, and TV providers
If you’ve been with the same energy, TV or broadband company for years, it may be worth going online, and seeing if you’re getting the best deal. These industries are incredibly competitive, and providers often save their best incentives for new customers. By courting other businesses, you may find yourself paying less but getting more.
7. Reducing credit card spending
If you have a credit card, there’s a good chance that you’re paying interest on your balance. If you are, it’s well worth seeing if you can switch to a card with 0% interest on balance transfers. On a balance of £1,600, you could save almost £700 in interest over the course of a year when switching to a 0% card from a card with an average interest rate of around 17%. If you spend too much on your credit card, it’s also wise to start drawing up a monthly budget to allow you to work out how much you can afford to spend and enable you to manage your finances more effectively.
8. Consolidate your debts
If you have a lot of credit committments that you are struggling with, then you may wish to consider consolidating these loans into one lower monthly repayment. Often a consolidation loan can reduce your monthly outgoings and make credit payments easier to manage and maintain.
Do you wish you had more disposable income, are you struggling to make ends meet, or do you feel like you’re spending a lot and not getting much in return? If so, why not take these seven suggestions on board to reduce spending, increase your balance and get more for your money.