How To Spend Less
If you’re looking to address your finances and save money, then spending less is a good place to begin. There are numerous ways to spend less and with some research and careful planning, you will find you can save quite substantial amounts on areas which you may not have thought of. There are fixed prices on many necessary outgoings such as water and TV licence, which cannot be altered. However, there is a number of other essential items which can be changed so that you spend less.
Ways To Spend Less
Looking at your household budget will give you a realistic view of where you can spend less money on certain costs. The current economic climate has forced the UK to spend less as a whole and society is looking for various ways to spend less money. Other areas, such as transport, entertainment and small incidentals are quite often the places where the most money can be frittered away. Look at these areas and see where you can reduce spending.
Check Your Council Tax Bill
Don’t assume the council always get it right. If you’re living alone, make sure you receive the 25% single occupancy discount and check your bill has the correct banding. Pay it by direct debit too. There are no penalties to pay for paying this way.
Cut Household Bills
Check utility and phone bills and do your research on other companies to ensure you are getting the best deals. Gas and electricity prices have hiked up this year and you can miss out on huge savings by remaining with your current supplier. Your tariff needs looking at and you can negotiate with utility companies. Pay monthly and always submit meter readings. Don’t run on estimates, you could end up with large bills at the end of the year.
If you’re an employee. Get to know your tax code, ensure it is correct. You may be entitled to a tax rebate if you have returned to work after a spell out, for say looking after children. If you are self-employed, then make sure you are off-setting all you can against your tax to cut your tax bill and submit returns on time to avoid late-payment penalties.
Food prices are shooting up as a result of bad weather last year. However, it is still possible to spend less on food with some research and some fine-tuning of your food shopping habits. Don’t buy everything from a supermarket. They may be convenient, but bulk shopping does not always mean economical shopping. There are not many of them left, but green-grocers do still exist and buying fresh vegetables and fruit can save you money.
Buying loose items will always be cheaper than pre-packaged items and don’t be tempted to buy more than necessary. Don’t be fooled by ‘BOGOF’ either. If you would not normally buy the item, then you don’t need two of them. Shop at tea-time. There are some great bargains on food that is running close to its sell-by date. Check you can freeze the item, if you’re not planning to use it on the day. Plan your week’s menus, this will help with shopping. Always do a shopping list and use where you can, the supermarket’s own brand of items like tinned tomatoes, which are used as a cooking ingredient more than anything.
Try staying in. If you’re one for a night out once a week with friends, then invite them round and cook a meal. It is much cheaper and you will save money. No taxi fares to find. No expensive restaurant and wine bills, cook it yourself and buy your wine from the local off-licence where you can find great deals.