Many of us feel that we spend too much money each month. Perhaps we struggle to make ends meet, end up going overdrawn or would like to save some more money at the end of each month, then we might hope to reduce what we spend. It may seem tricky though as we may feel that there is nowhere we can cut down. It is worth doing some detailed examinations though as it can be possible for most people to cut down their spending.
Compare prices – it can be good to start comparing prices on everything that you buy. It is easy to assume that as we shop carefully in well chosen places that we pay out as little as possible but this may not be the case. Firstly, we often forget to compare prices on those expensive items such as insurance or utilities. Switching suppliers can make a significant difference. Then we may assume that because we shop in budget shops that we are automatically paying less. This may not be the case though as not every item will be cheaper. It may be that the items are cheaper but they are smaller or lower quality and will not last as long as well, so that is something to bear in mind as well.
Buy alternatives – Consider buying slightly different things which are cheaper – for example if you are looking to buy some peas, then compare the costs of fresh peas, sugar snaps or mange tout with frozen ones with tinned and dried and see which is cheaper. If you do this with every item you buy then you will have a better idea of prices and whether you are paying more than necessary. Obviously, you may not be able to buy alternative products for everything but it is worth thinking about the items that you spend most money on or the things that you are most prepared to change.
Buy less – a big way to cut down is just to buy less. Most of us buy more than we need, whether that is food and drink or buying luxuries like clothing or craft supplies. If we cut back on some of our luxury spending then we can save a significant amount of money. It can be good to ask yourself whether you really need the item that you are buying and ask it every time you are buying something or each time you put an item in your trolley or basket at the supermarket. It might seem a bit annoying but once you get used to it, it becomes an automatic habit.
Set a budget – it can be a good idea to set yourself a budget. If you have to stick to only spending a specific amount on certain items, then you will not spend as much. For example, if you like to buy yourself some luxury items each month, perhaps some craft items for a hobby, for example, then set a budget. Then you can still treat yourself but you will not overspend. If you want something that is dearer than your budget, then buy nothing for a few months and put the money by until you have accumulated enough to buy the item that you want. It can actually be really satisfying if you spend some time saving for an item or waiting to buy it – it is much more special that way.
You could choose just one of these things to try, but if you do all of them then you will end up finding it a lot easier to manage your money and you will spend significantly less each month.