Every now and again I like to share a bit of a reminder on some of the ways that you can make sure that your monthly budget is as healthy as possible in the face of the rising prices all around us.
It’s a scary fact that that prices of many day to day items are increasing virtually on a much too regular basis making it even more important for everyone to keep an even closer eye on their finances and cut costs wherever they can.
The good news is that reducing your monthly outgoings is easier than you might think and a lot of it is simply common sense. Let’s face it, there are things that we all know we should be doing but rarely do and things that we used to do regularly but have now gotten out of the habit of doing.
I’ll hold my hands up today and say that when I went shopping at the weekend I bought some all natural surface spray for the kitchen which smells amazing – orange citrus I think it is – and wasn’t particularly cheap. But then, and this is the worst part, I bought another cleaner from the same range for the bathrooms because it smelled all minty and fresh.
Really!!! They both do exactly the same thing as the other one and even worse, I know full well that my own homemade cleaner does just as good a job!
I’m hanging my head in shame. 😉
So, because I’ve fallen off the wagon with my cleaning products boycott I thought I’d share a few other obvious ways things that you should be doing to save money.
(For a full list, here’s my fifty ways to save money)
Review your monthly budget
No cost-saving drive should start without a good old budget review. You can find my guide to writing a budget here along with my free budget planner printable. Next you need to to go through your bank statement and make sure that everything coming out of your bank account is as it should be. If there are Direct Debits you no longer need or charges you don’t recognise then get them sorted – the first time I did this I discovered loads of things that needed sorting but these days I do it fairly often so there’s no nasty surprises when I check. Finally on the budget planning side of things, you can start to go through all of your monthly payments and see where you can save some money.
Cut your transport costs
My biggest transport cost each month is the cost of my journey to work which is a 24 mile round trip! I’ve found that the simplest way to cut my transport costs is ride sharing but it isn’t always possible as I need to find a colleague or someone working in the same area, who is also working the same hours as me on any given day who wants to take turns to drive to work- easier said than done for me. Hopefully you’ll have better look that me or alternatively if you’re in cycling distance of your work then buy a bike (new or secondhand) and get free travel, fresh air and exercise all at the same time. You may even be able to get a reduction on the cost of your bike with one of the many bike to work schemes out there.
You will be surprised how much you can save on your monthly shopping bill by keeping track of special deals offered by major supermarkets. Use every discount coupon you can get your hands on, buy bulk wherever you can, and replace expensive branded items with supermarket brands.
Another great tool to help you save money is a good comparisons site – I tend to stick to one or two but my favourite two changes regularly for some reason. There are comparison sites for just about everything from insurance to energy and from your food shopping to your wine shopping. Yes, there are are even sites out there that will save you money on your favourite wines by comparing wine offers from all the major retailers!
Also, don’t forget to use cashback sites wherever you can!
Electricity, TV and Internet
Reduce electricity costs by fitting energy-efficient bulbs, installing a programmable thermostat to control heating and cooling, and switching off all appliances (and lights) that are not in use.
If you have an unlimited data Internet plan, seriously ask yourself whether you really need the most expensive cable TV package out there. With video sites such as Netflix and Hulu you can watch more shows than you will ever have time for at a fraction of the cost.
These are just a few of the ways you can save some money and even though I know you’ll already be fully aware of most of them, I hope you’ve appreciated the reminder!
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