We’re halfway through 2018 now, and some of us are still struggling with our new year’s resolutions to spend less and save more. It’s no surprise, the economy is in an awkward situation with the impending uncertainty of Brexit, and everyone is feeling the pinch – but that doesn’t mean you should give up on budgeting.
With Mrs P being out of work, we needed to take positive actions to take control of spending and reduce the amount of money wasted each month and hoping the following tips could help you to accomplish more.
1. Set Goals for Yourself
You don’t have to wait for New Year to set resolutions for yourself. Any time can be a good time to start thinking about the goals you want to achieve with your spending and savings habits. Before you start looking at your budget again and deciding what you need to change about your money habits, ask yourself what you want to accomplish by the end of the year. For instance, do you want to go on a family holiday, change something about your home, or have money to splash on Christmas gifts?
Write your financial goals down and place them somewhere that you’ll be able to see them often, this will help to motivate you when you’re struggling to stick to your budget.
2. Compare Prices
One of the easiest ways to reduce your spending on everyday things like utilities, mortgages, and even your loans, is to compare prices and make sure that you’re getting the best deals. Plenty of people simply assume that they’re getting the best offer from their vendors or suppliers, but the truth is that there are lots of different options out there to explore.
This could be from what you buy to the services you use. I recently choose a cheaper airline to give me more value but that’s not the only way.
Just look at loans, for instance, there are different financial products for almost every situation, depending on what you want to accomplish with the money you borrow. Comparing prices will help you to slash your excess spending on things like interest rates and APR.
3. Get Rid of Expenses you Don’t Need
Another great way to spend less money every month without abandoning all the things you enjoy is to get rid of the expenses that you don’t necessarily need to pay for. For instance, if you’re signing up for a gym membership and you never use it, then stop paying for it each month! Even if you do use your gym membership, you should think about switching out your strategy. Simply spending more time outdoors could help to keep you fit while cutting costs.
This goes to family days out too so consider doing something like a local fayre or charity event. It’s easy to spend less and actually have more fun!
4. Try Different Brands
Plenty of families convince themselves that they absolutely have to have a certain brand to enjoy the food they eat each week. However, the truth is that we often pay for the labels that we see on the supermarket shelves. Try challenging yourself to try a different, less expensive brand for at least one item of food every time you go shopping. If you really hate the flavour, then you can switch back. However, there’s a good chance that you won’t even notice the difference on most items.
Brand homemade is high up there and if you like cakes, learn how to make them. Turn a saving experiment into a family activity!
5. Grow your Own Food
Want a way to slash your spending and find a new hobby at the same time? Try clearing out some space in your garden and growing your own vegetables instead of buying them from the store. You’d be surprised how much you can save by doing a little bit of gardening with the kids. What’s more, this is a great way to keep your youngsters entertained without having to pay for trips to the cinema or new toys.
We planted these raspberries years ago and left them. We now have a weekly supply that is more tastier than store bought and there’s the fun with picking them too.
6. Take Advantage of Deals
Finally, never pay full price for an item unless you have to. There are plenty of ways that you can save money on your purchases today, from checking for discount and voucher codes online to joining retailer loyalty programs. Make sure that you check for details everywhere, from forums to social media before you agree to paying full price for an item. This way, you can ensure you’re always getting the best deal.