Wednesday, 30 May 2018

5 Quick Ways to Cut Your Monthly Costs

A flowery piggy bank with a hand dropping in a coin. Sometimes, the key to reaching your financial goals is taking a lot of little steps. Most of us can't afford to pay for big things straight away, like a new car or a family holiday. However, when you commit yourself to saving a little bit out of each wage slip, you can reach your goals faster than you might think. This is particularly true when you know how to cut down your outgoing expenses too. While cutting your monthly costs will mean making some compromises, it's important to remember why you're budgeting in the first place. Whether you're hoping that you'll soon be able to afford that next big purchase, or you simply want to stop living from pay-check to pay-check, these tips might help.

This guest post is written in collaboration with 

1. Shop with a List to Avoid Unnecessary Spending

There are some things that you're going to have to spend money on each month - whether you like it or not. Your mortgage, your rent, food, and even petrol are all essentials. However, if you take the time to go through your bank statements and add up how much "extra" you spend each month on little things, you'll find that a lot of your problems come from impulse spending.

Going to each shop with a list in hand so you know exactly what you're going to buy is a great way to stop yourself from spending too much time simply browsing through the aisles. You could even do your shopping online and make sure that that your shopping basket fits your list before you go to the checkout.

2. Only Pay with Cash

While paying with a credit or debit card is a convenient way to get the things you need in a hurry (particularly when you haven't been to an ATM yet), that convenience can cost you more in the long run. That's because studies show us that we're more likely to overspend when we're using plastic instead of cash.

When you have a handful of cash to last you all week, you're much more cautious about each note and coin you use. On the other hand, when all of your money is coming in and out of your life digitally, it's easier to forget about the stress of overspending. Withdraw the exact amount you need to live on each week and leave cards as an option for emergencies only.

A close up of the corners of three different credit cards, fanned out.

3. Keep a Record of Your Spend

Tracking every coffee you buy and every newspaper you pick up on the way home from work might not sound like much fun - but it's an important way to make sure that you have an accurate insight into your budget. The only way you can start really cutting down on your costs is to figure out how much you're spending right now.

Sit down with the whole family and take a look at your prior bank statements from the last few months, then decide together where you want to cut down. Once you've made a budget plan, make sure that you're sticking to it by writing down everything you spend for the next 30 days.

4. Get the Right Loan

Sometimes, you simply don't have the time to save up for something you need to buy as urgently as possible. For instance, if you need a home for your family to live in, or a new car to get you to and from work, then you can't risk spending years saving up money for that purchase. The best option is to get a loan.

However, before you invest in a loan, it's important to make sure that you're not overspending on a deal that isn't right for you. There are various loan products out there, all the way from specific loans for cars, to personal loans and more. Comparing the options available to you will help to ensure that you're getting the right support, and you're not over-spending on interest.

Piles of coins with a pink piggy bank in the background

5. Pay Your Bills Online

Finally, if you're still not paying most of your household bills by direct debit online, it might be time to start looking at your options more closely. Some companies, including many gas and electricity providers, now offer a cheaper rate to people who are willing to get all of their bill details online, rather than through the post.

If you don't mind skipping the physical mail coming through your letterbox, then you could save some serious cash by paying all your bills online instead.


1 comment

  1. These are some really great tips, I always try and write a list before I go to the supermarket, it helps you stick to your budget. Also paying with cash keeps you mindful of how much you spend


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