Another two-part piece for you guys this week. Whilst pursuing my goal of putting 50% of my income towards my dreams I found so many ways that I wasted money! Here I have pulled together 20 ways to reduce your monthly costs and put more towards your goals. Whether it be saving for a deposit on your first house or travelling around the world, putting some of these steps into action could help you on your way.
Look for up and coming areas to live in
Whether you rent or own your home this is one of the biggest costs you will have each month. Rent/Property prices in less established areas will generally be cheaper. If I look back on my London days I always lived in areas that were relatively unknown. They were not too far from the so-called “trendy” areas, usually only a short bus journey away, however the difference in rent was approximately £150-200 per month. Fast forward a couple of years and these areas have now become sought after as people seek affordability.
A good position would be to spend roughly a third of your monthly income on rent/mortgage. However, this is becoming increasingly difficult in some areas of the UK where rents can easily be 50% of income (or more).
Shop around on utility bills
Gone are the days of being locked in to one provider for gas, electricity, phone lines, etc. We have choice and a multitude of suppliers, which means competition. Each of these suppliers is vying for your custom – use that to your advantage to see if it could result in lower bills.
Thankfully there are a number of sites available to help us in this process:
- Money Saving Expert’s Cheaper Energy Club – You can determine how much of a saving is worthwhile to you. If you only want to know about possible savings of £50 or more you can select that option.
- USwitch – In addition to comparing supplier costs USwitch can also help with the process of switching.
- Which? – has a comparison and switching service but there are also customer reviews and ratings for the suppliers/tariffs.
Cut the Cable/Satellite subscription
How much TV do you watch? Are you using all of the channels in your package? Is there an alternative online streaming service you could use for a much lower price? Do you like your money being tied up in 12-18 month contracts? I know I don’t.
With satellite and cable packages in the region of £50 per month – that’s £600 per year you could save.
If you can’t do away with the cable/satellite check out the switching services above to see if it’s possible to get a better deal.
Entertain more at home
Invite friends and family round for drinks or a meal. It’ll work out much cheaper than heading out to a bar or restaurant. Guests can always bring a bottle or a dish. Save the restaurant for special occasions and your pocket will thank you.
Ever been out for a meal and thought “I could have made that”…. Truth is you probably could have. With the range of cooking shows on TV there’s plenty of inspiration. Ready-meals may be convenient, but are nowhere near as nice as a home cooked meal. Remember you pay a premium for convenience.
Bring your own lunch/snacks to work
I find making extra food at dinner is the easiest way to do this. Then all you need to do is set aside your lunch portion and go! If you’re not a fan of leftovers pick up lunch items as part of your big shop – you can often get snack multi-packs for a little as a £1. They last all week and cost less than picking up individual items during your lunch hour each day.
Say no to the coffee shop
With almost £8bn spent in coffee shops last year and over 20,000 stores throughout the UK, it’s fair to say we LOVE our coffee shops. However at £3.50 each they quickly add up, a daily coffee at that price would be £70 for the month.
Rather than buying that cup on the way into work, make the most of the free coffee (and tea) facilities. If there is a particular brand that you must have, buy it from the supermarket!
Walk/Cycle short distances
Petrol prices may have fallen in recent times, but they seem to be increasing again. You can reduce fuel costs by walking/cycling short distances. The biggest savings will be made where you can put this into practice on daily journeys such as your commute/school runs. This is where living close to work can really pay off.
Use car journeys to run multiple errands
Now this will take some organising on your part but thinking about efficiency making multiple journeys pays off with lower fuel consumption. Why? Warm engines consume less fuel than cold engines.
Stop buying branded everything
Now I appreciate that for some items buying cheap often means paying twice. This I especially believe to be true for electrical goods. However does everything have to be a brand? From clothing to food – replacing some branded items with the stores own line can save £££s without a reduction in quality.
So there you have the first 10 ways, start putting them into action! Drop me an email or comment to let me know how you get on.
For more ways to save check out part 2.
PIN IT FOR LATER