In order to have a better approach to money, you need to make sure that you are aware of the kind of changes that you can make for that to happen. One of the best places to start is always going to be with the monthly expenses that you have to pay out, as that is going to mean that you are going to save money every month and that is going to add up before you know it. By saving money on these monthly expenses, you are likely going to be in a much better position in no time, and you will be able to ensure that things are looking up. So what are the things that you can look into here, and how can you make sure that you are saving some money? Let’s take a look in some detail.
You can’t go without eating, and for that reason your food bill is always going to be a major monthly expense. Whether or not you consider it to be a particularly important thing, whether you are a foodie or not, it is still going to be an expense, although to larger or lesser degrees depending on where you stand with your relationship to food. At the very least, you are going to have to find a way to keep your weekly grocery shopping down to a minimum, and that is not something that comes easily in many cases.
One of the best things you can do here is to plan your meals out as fully as possible in advance. A lot of people try to do this, but come unstuck in forgetting to actually plan all the meals of the day – in other words, even the breakfast and lunch. But if you can plan it all out, as well as any snacks that you might want, then you will find that your food shopping is much more direct and that you are not overspending on impulse purchases.
Beyond that, think about what kind of alternatives you might be able to find to some of the pricier products that you might generally be attracted to. If you can change those things, you are going to be in a much better position with regard to your money in no time. You can also save money at the supermarket by switching up which supermarket you go to, of course. And take a look at their delivery options – depending on your distance from your local supermarket, it might be that delivery is cheaper than the fuel you would use to go to the store – and it is certainly going to be a lot easier to get it delivered too.
It’s not just your grocery shopping where you can save money on food. If, like many people, you have something of a taste for eating out, then you might want to think about what you can do to save money there. Reducing the amount you do it is the main thing, but also look into voucher and coupon schemes, which exist for many of your favorite restaurants. You might find you can save a lot of money this way if you really try.
The utilities in the home, such as the electricity, gas and water, are all going to be a major monthly expense for most people too. Fortunately, it is not too much of an issue to keep these things as low as possible, but you might struggle at first to make sure that you are doing what you need to do here. The primary thing is to make sure that you are always on the lowest possible tariff for these services, at the cheapest providers. There is no use paying more for a different company to provide you with the same service. You can check your current provider and whether there are any cheaper ones in your area online, and you should absolutely do so if you are keen to save money. Check it regularly, at least every three months or so, in order to ensure that you are keeping on top of it.
At the same time, be aware of any clauses in the current contract that you have that might dictate you have to pay an exit fee, or that you might otherwise be charged for switching to another supplier. In some cases, it will be cheaper to simply wait until your current contract comes to an end, in which case you will want to consider that instead.
It’s not merely a case of having the best, cheapest supplier, however. You should also focus on doing whatever is in your power to keep your usage as low as possible. Not only is this going to help keep your bills down, it will also ensure that you are going to help the planet too, so it is really important for a number of reasons. There are many ways to make sure that you are keeping your usage down. When it comes to your water, you can do this by simply paying attention when you use it. Stick to five-minute showers, and try to make sure that you are not over-watering the yard, but instead that you are mostly collecting rainwater and cycling that through most of the time. You will save a lot of water this way.
Similarly, you can save a lot of electricity and gas by being mindful of your use of it. You don’t have to go overboard in trying to keep it down to a minimum, but just pay attention to when you might be wasting energy at some time or another. For instance, if you find that you are frequently leaving lights on when you are not in the room, then you might want to turn them off instead. And if you often have items on standby for long periods of time, you will probably want to think about not doing that in future too. Keep on top of all of this, and you are going to save a lot of money in the long run.
Other Monthly Costs
It’s not just the food and utilities, of course: any household is going to have a huge range of other costs which you will want to try and be aware of and keep down as low as possible. No matter which of these you are focusing on, they are all going to be a good idea and they will all make a difference, so make sure that you are thinking about this and that you keep them as low as possible.
For instance, if you have any technological items in your home, very often there will be some kind of monthly subscription that you are paying for there, and in those cases you will need to make sure that you are aware of these and whether they are as low as possible. If you have a phone, going for a network like smarty mobile who are more likely to keep your costs down could be a good way of going about doing this. Likewise, you probably have a monthly internet payment that you have to pay. If you need really fast internet at all times, then you might want to keep it on a high tariff one, but many people don’t really need that. You might even have just been oversold an internet package which you don’t really need. It’s a good idea to be aware of this, and to try and keep it to its bare minimum.
Then there are all of those little things that seem to just add up over time. For instance, you might have a gym membership, and you should ask yourself whether you are really using it or whether you could do away with it. Or you might ask the same of your Netflix account, or your Amazon Prime account. It’s valuable to always be aware of these little ways that your money is eking out, as they really do add up month after month to make a huge difference.
One of the biggest ways that you might be losing money each month is through debt. If you have an overdraft, then you are paying interest on that which you could probably do without having to pay, so paying it off is going to be very helpful indeed. Likewise for any credit cards you might have, and any other debt that you have that you can think of. It is very easy to get in debt, and very difficult to get out of it, but always possible as long as you approach it in the right way. Be sensible and pay off your debts in the quickest way possible, and you should find that you are able to do it much easier than you thought. Then you will at least not be throwing money away in that way any longer.
Follow these tips, and you should find that you are saving money every month without too much trouble.