There can’t be many of us at the moment who have the luxury of not needing to keep tabs on how much we are spending each month.
As inflation continues to eat away at our salaries and handsome pay rises become a thing of the past, it can be a challenge to keep within the monthly budget.
If you are looking at how to save money the good news is that there are lots of things you can do to reduce your outgoings.
Take time one evening to go over all your utility bills. Use a price comparison site to work out if you can get cheaper deals for your gas, electricity, home phone and broadband. Don’t be afraid of the hassle involved in making the move to cheaper providers if switching can shave pounds off your bills. If you are paying for any TV channels you can save money simply by cancelling.
Keep a note of what you spend over the course of a month, then use that information to take a good hard look at where you can cut spending and save money. Without realising it you may be spending a lot of money every month on takeaway coffees, drinks and lunches. Yes, they are convenient, but they are also expensive.
Cut out the daily caffeine fix, or take a flask to work instead. Don’t buy bottles of juices or water but take the free stuff from the tap at home. If you’re buying sandwiches every day, try to take in your own packed lunch at least a few times a week and always take your own supply of fruit and snacks, which can be expensive to buy individually.
Examine your supermarket spending closely. Do you really need brand-name products? All the stores stock their own label ranges and other budget names so see where you can swap to cheaper products. You may still want to buy good-quality meat, chicken and fish, but the chances are that your tinned tomatoes don’t need to be premium.
Keep an eye out for buy-one-get-one-free offers on things you normally use and try visiting discount and pound stores as they often stock well-known brands at knock-down prices.
If you’re a smoker, improve your physical and financial health by giving up and save yourself a packet at the same time. A glass of wine every night at dinner will also add pounds to your shopping bill, so cut back.
If you are still looking for ways to save then other changes may be required. Going out less will have a positive impact on your budget, as will axing a barely used gym membership.
Rent a DVD from your local library instead of going on costly cinema trips and if it’s practical why not walk to work to save on transport costs?
When it comes to buying new items of clothing think carefully if it’s something you really need. Stock up on things you do need at the sales.