How come I always have very little left over to save despite the fact that I receive a considerably large monthly income? This may be the question going through your mind at the moment. Saving is a very important part of any person’s financial status and it determines to a great extent whether or not a person prospers financially. However, one of the strongest factors that affect savings is a person’s spending habit and patterns. This is why cutting household expenses is very important.
In an effort to reduce expenditure and save more you have to make the right considerations and moves. Spending could be done out of reflex, but to minimize expenses, specific decisions and resolutions have to be made. Apart from that one has to take into consideration and practice certain expense minimizing tips which will. This includes making use of plans and decisions that will entail creating a monthly expense sheet such as cutting household budget and other cost cutting ideas that will be discussed in the following paragraphs.
Reconsider your Spending habits
There are some little things that spending on becomes habitual and one finds it difficult to sometimes desist from those things. Subsequently they become hindrances to practicing money saving tips. The truth about some of such expenditures is that though they may seem inconsiderable when isolated, adding the money spent on such items annually will reveal just how much you could have added to your savings. Let’s take tobacco for example. The cost of smoking a stick of cigarette may be quite insignificant, but if you are an average smoker, you will be shocked to know how much money you are losing to cigarette and possibly on medical bills as a result of smoking. Consider how many bottles of bear you drink in a week and multiply that by the number of weeks in a year. Using something like a monthly expense sheet could be of help since it helps you keep spending within your household budget.
Though smoking and drinking may not pose a serious problem to saving if done with restraint, it is definitely something to worry about for those who take up a habit or are addicted to smoking and drinking. The real problem may be the fact that such items are addictive.
Learn to buy just what you need, not what you want
It common place to see people spending a lot of money on items they do not really need and which they rarely use once it is bought. One reason this trend of expenditure is common today is owing to the fact that our social lives and culture of buying are so strongly influenced by the fashion trends, apart from the fact that many people know little or nothing about money saving tips. Fashion is the single biggest reason why people spend lots of money on things they don’t need. Another aspect of the whole issue is that a person may not even realize how many irrelevant things they are spending money on until they really settle down to consider their spending patterns. It will do a lot of good to go through your monthly expenses and categorize the things you buy under relevant and irrelevant, wants and needs. Cutting household expenses requires that you learn to make a difference between needs and wants. This is actually one of the most important of all cost cutting ideas.
Another way to go about it is to see how often you use things you buy, especially things you spend a lot of money on. If you buy shoes and clothes you never wear, you could consider keeping what you do wear and letting go of what you don’t. Same goes for household items. Don’t go buying household items you have no intentions using simply because it is what every other person is using. If you have a goal to save more, you must make sure you spend less.
Replace old items wisely
Sometimes, household items become obsolete and have to be changed. A wise way to go about this, which will actually help you spend less is to try selling off whatever item you intend to replace before buying a new one if it is possible. There may be a TV set or other such appliances you want to replace, but which are not bad or which can easily be sold. Some can even easily be exchanged for a more recent version by adding a little more money. That is a far better way of minimizing expenses and saving more money and of course a wiser move than just buying a more recent version of something and adding it to the one you already have. Replacing old items in this manner is one of the most effective money saving tips and will help you stay within your household budget while you enjoy having more recent items.
Revisit Your Monthly Bills
Internet charges, cable bills and satellite TV bills could sometimes be so high. If you are paying to get the best form of entertainment, that is reasonable. But it is not a wise idea to spend a lot on these things when you barely have time to use them. How long and how often do you sit in front of the television or browse at home. Better internet speed costs more, just like classic satellite deals and they should be a point to consider when cutting household expenses. You could reduce the amount of money you spend on these things by using a monthly expense sheet to check how much you spend on them in a month especially if you do not even have the luxury of time to use them often. Look for cheaper deals and check out for promotional offers from such dealers and go with those if you must keep these services.
The other part of bill expenses which is one of the most fundamental of all money saving tips and which you will definitely be more aware of is electricity and other utilities. While there is no way you can completely avoid these, you can at least take some measure to cut down your expenses on them.
- Turn off lights and other high consumption electrical appliances when you are not using them. You will be surprised how much less you will have to pay for electricity bills by simply doing this. When no one is in a room at home, let the bulb be turned off to save power and reduce cost. Even low energy consuming bulbs still consume a considerable amount of energy that can otherwise be saved. The same thing should apply to electrical appliances like the deep freezer if you have one. Freezers, air conditioners and other such appliances take up a lot of electrical energy to function and leaving them on when you are not using them is simply a way of increasing your monthly expenses and considerably reducing the potential for saving.
- Buy low consumption appliances. Even with some of these high energy consuming appliances, others are designed to run on less energy than normal. This means that before buying new appliances, or perhaps replacing old ones, check to make sure that what you are buying will cost less to use and maintain. Buy electrical appliances smartly. You can also make energy saving changes around the house to reduce your expenses on electricity and other utility bills.
In colder seasons, instead of paying more for heating, look up ways and ask experts how you can keep your home naturally warmer so you don’t have to pay as much as you use to do for heating. Same for hotter seasons. Look for ways to allow more ventilation so that you can save more money from what should otherwise have been used to pay for the power your fan or Air conditioning system is running on. You may not have taken time to think about it, but checking your monthly bills is another very important of those cost cutting ideas.
Eat Better and at a reduced Cost
Another reason for which some people find it difficult to increase their savings is owing to their feeding habits. For those who fancy eating out, you will save a lot more money and have even better meals if you choose to eat home-made meals. It is understandable that some people simply have little or no time to cook. At least that is the excuse they will give. However, if the majority of us were truthful with ourselves, we will agree that though we claim not to have the time to make a decent meal at home, we use our time for other things which are comparably far less important. You can cut down your expenditure on food by cooking meals at home.
You can also check up the kind of food items you buy and make changes accordingly. For example, don’t buy perishables in large quantities. If you go grocery shopping, get perishables only as much as you will need in at most two days, especially if you do not have means of preserving them. This is another one of those important money saving tips.
Many times, when one visits the grocery store, it is difficult to leave without buying something that was not planned. Too many tempting things to buy. In order to have your budget under strict control, try to visit the grocery store less often. You should also ensure that you have a list of what you are going to buy. That list will guide and control your expenditure on the items you buy. Also, when it comes to fruits, you can buy those which may take some time before they are ripe so you don’t have to revisit the store in a short while for such items. When shopping for fruits and vegetables, it is preferable to visit the market instead of a supermarket. Such items are almost twice less expensive at the local market than they are in supermarkets and grocery stores. You could also buy later in the day when sellers are almost giving the items away at very low prices.
When you find that prices for some items are cheaper if bought at a larger quantity, take advantage of the sales and buy them. Even if they are perishables, you can cook larger meals with such items and freeze that which cannot be eaten immediately.
Once you have learnt how to cook (considering that you did not know how to), try to always use a meal plan. Having a meal plan will also help guide your shopping for food items. All these greatly help you cut down expenses on food and gives you the opportunity to save more.
Learn to make purchases wisely
We are in the 21st century and yeah, I get it. Everyone has to show off importance and value by keeping up with the latest of everything. Smartphones and other gadgets, dresses and shoes, cars and sometimes even houses go out of fashion and suddenly one does not understand why there seems to be such a need for a change. We often want something newer, more fashionable and also very frequently too. The temptation increases especially when there are so many friends and relatives measuring up their lives and values by the things they have.
While It is ok to desire staying trendy, it is not always necessary and at least it does not always have to come at such a high cost as will take up all your finances and make it hard for you to save anything tangible or even keep within your household budget. Moreover, cutting household expenses will be difficult when one makes fashionable trends a priority. You can make purchases wisely. Look out for promotion sales and discount prices, or get refurbished items instead of the brand new and very expensive ones. A mobile phone of the same mark and model will definitely cost much less if bought second hand than if you had to buy brand new from a store.
Use a combined insurance plan
Some insurance plans are simply more expensive than others. Insuring your house, car, and other assets separately is usually way more expensive than getting an insurance plan that involves all if these things. Take some time to compare different insurance plans and chose one which is cheaper and easier to pay.
Set a plan and goals for Savings
Saving is a technical thing to do. Like most other things, you will need to set goals and make plans to accomplish those goals. Consider your monthly income and how much of it you already spend and save. Set a goal for each month. The is important because it will act as a motivation to save more. When you have a specific amount you are looking forward to saving at the end of the month, it is easier to let go of those things you spend considerable amount of money on and which you hardly need. In the same light, you can make obtaining certain things a reward to meeting savings targets. For example, you can say, I will only buy a new phone or car or TV when I have been able to save this particular amount of money. This is a good way to keep savings in mind and pursue it passionately. Reward yourself for reaching the savings mark you set and take pride in it. Just like people take pride in buying expensive stuff, you can decide to pride yourself and take a joy in saving the money you would otherwise have been using to buy things you do not actually need.
Reduce transportation cost
If you have a car you do not use up to twice a week, it better to sell it off and use the money gotten from the sales to add to your savings or get somethings which is an asset. You could also invest the money. Cars and automobiles are hard to maintain and expensive to fuel. There is little or no need buying a car which you only drive to and from work when you can take the bus or other means of public transport to work. While buying a car is a mark of prestige, you need to remember how important it is to save more and be willing to part with the desire to have a car instead.
If you have a neighbor who works around the same place with you, goes to work and returns around the same time as you do, it is preferable that you both take turns to drop each other off and pick each other up after work. Come to think of it, your expenses on fuel for the year will be divided in to two if you can do this.
If you are married, talk with your partner
For some married people, following the principles herein could bring problems if it is something your partner is not used to doing. If you partner is a heavy spender and you both save very little, taking a step towards cutting household expenses drastically will in turn increase the amount of money you save and could be very inconvenient for your partner. Therefore, you have to talk to them about it and make plans together. Set goals together and try to achieve those objectives together. That way it will be more fun and easier to accomplish since you are both in agreement.
Frequently think about the importance of spending less and saving more
Though it is quite difficult and painful to deprive oneself from particular things, you can help yourself go through it all until you get to a place where you become very comfortable with it. There are several advantages to keeping your mind focused on the advantages of reducing your spending. For those who are already on the red financially or are facing the difficulties of bad credit, increasing savings by reducing spending is a great way to start moving towards the positive side financially. Minus that, it increases your chances of obtaining loans and grants.
Use a monthly expense sheet
If you are the type of person who loves dealing with details and taking note of every little change and expenditure you make in other to get better at savings, you may want to use a monthly expense sheet to take records of your monthly expenditures and know if your monthly expenditures are increasing or decreasing successively. It is a great way to keep in check with your progress.
This will also provide the opportunity to learn how you can create and work with a budget. Budgets may sound big and seem to be something only necessary for the state or government, but the functionality of the word itself is wonderful to consider. There is need not only to decide to what one will spend on but also how much one will spend on that particular thing. Set a budget for every major income and expenditure and try to follow that budget as closely as you can.
Look for a way to make savings automatic
Instead of always receiving your monthly income and then trying to manage spending and saving, you can make an arrangement with your back to automatically save part of the income every month to reduce the challenges of having to make that decision on your own. However, make sure that your saving goals and the amount you set aside each month is realistic and can allow you stay within your household budget. Don’t be so carried away by the desire to save a lot of money now that you set the goal too high or forget to enjoy the little things of life and have a great time with your family. Use the cost cutting ideas herein to make a difference in your financial status.