Too much month at the end of your money? Constantly struggling to make ends meet, and sick of working just to pay bills? There is a way out. Chances are you’re overspending, even if you consider yourself to be a frugal person. Here are five places in your budget to evaluate.
Being in debt is expensive. Not only do you owe the initial amount that you borrowed to your creditors, but each month that you carry a balance, you’re also accumulating interest. This means that it’s not uncommon for people in long term debt to be paying back many times the cost of what they initially borrowed. If you’re struggling with debt, don’t keep trying to tread water with it. Seek professional help, you could enter a debt management plan or an IVA where you pay a set amount each month and interest is frozen or massively reduced. In other cases, you could look into debt consolidation help. Consolidating debts can save you lots of money, as instead of paying many different interest rates you’re just paying the one. Ideally, one that’s much lower than all of the others.
Food is one area where most of us overspend. We go into the supermarket without a list and grab what’s good. By the second or third day, we have to go back and buy more ingredients just to make meals, and half of the fresh things we’ve purchased end up in the bin. You can save so much money on food just by planning, write out a menu for the week and buy items that are on the list. Stock up your pantry with long life items so you can always make tasty, emergency meals if you ever run out of fresh foods. No need to resort to an expensive and unhealthy takeaway.
It’s important to take the time to meet and spend time with friends, but going out can be really costly. A few rounds at a bar, a meal at a restaurant, even a few coffees in a coffee shop aren’t particularly cheap. Find ways to socialise on a budget, invite friends over and throw a potluck party where everyone brings a dish. Arrange a picnic or barbeque where again, everyone coming each brings and item. That way there’s no major cost on one person.
You might think your utilities are pretty fixed, but there are ways to save money. Use comparison sites to run quotes through for everything you’re paying, if you find cheaper prices then switch to another company. It’s something you could do in one morning, and save yourself a good chunk of cash over the space of the year. Rather the money in your pocket than in that of big companies, why overspend if you don’t need to?
Digital subscriptions can be really handy. For a few pounds a month you can get access to massive libraries of music, movies, books or magazines. If you do a lot of shopping, services like Amazon Prime are handy and can give you good deals as well as quicker delivery. However, you might not be using these services as much as you’d think. If you’re watching a series on Netflix, chances are you can find it on a catch up site somewhere for free. You can listen to music on Youtube, or even using a free Spotify account if you don’t mind sitting through an ad every half an hour. Amazon Prime is only really useful if you’re placing orders every single month- chances are, you’re not. Evaluate what you’re actually using, and get rid of what you’re not.
*This is a collaborative post.
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