Do you ever get the feeling that you have been left with too much month at the end of your money? You may have brought too many treats just after payday or had some unexpected bills. This can lead to you not having much money in the bank the week before payday. There are ways around this. The credit card takes another hammering, or you put off paying for things you want for a few days. Then you get paid, and it starts all over again. To help you break out of this cycle, here are six ways to reduce your monthly expenses and hopefully have some money left at the end of the month rather than the other way around.
Set a Budget
Setting a budget is a good place to start. Write down how much money you have coming in every month and then subtract the money that needs to go out on bills, mortgage, and other essentials. Hopefully, you will still have money left once you have paid for the essentials. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that this surplus money is all theirs to spend. Then an unexpected bill comes in and they are back in the red. Rather than living at the edge of your means every month, plan to save at least 10% of your take-home salary.
Financial experts recommend that you have an instant access account with at least 3 months’ wages in it so that you can pay for any of life’s emergencies. That way you can use this money if you need to, and your unexpected bill won’t push you into the red and attract a high rate of interest, which will cost you even more money. It may take a while to save this money up, but it will never happen if you don’t start.
Entertain On a Budget
If you are used to spending a lot of money every month on entertainment, the idea of trying to entertain on a budget may not excite you. However, it can be a lot more fun than you think. It is amazing how much fun you can have without spending a huge amount. Rather than going out for an expensive dinner with friends, why not invite them over and ask everyone to bring food? That way, you all get to share food you might not have eaten otherwise; you can enjoy some wine and great company and you haven’t had to spend a fortune on it. If you do this a couple of times per month you could save yourself a substantial amount.
Plan Your Menu
If you are guilty of going around the supermarket and flinging things into your trolly and then being surprised when you get to the till, you are not alone. Supermarkets invest a fortune making sure that their stores are laid in such a way as to make you buy more expensive items or things you don’t need. For example, they put the most expensive items at eye level and pipe the smell of freshly baked bread around the store.
To save money on food shopping, plan a menu for the week and write a list of all the things you will need to create that food. That way, you will have enough food for the week, but you will only buy what you need. You can then add the non-edibles such as toilet paper and washing powder to your list.
Now for the hard part: sticking to the list when you go to the shop. Compare prices to make sure you have the best deals and don’t be tempted by deals on anything you won’t be able to use by their sell-by date. Those three for the price of two packs of yoghurt might look great but it will cost you money if you end up throwing half of them away.
One exception to this rule is bulk buying on non-perishables or products with a long sell-by date. Special offers on things like dried pasta or shampoo can be a good bargain because you will be able to use them. However, you should consider whether you have the storage space for your bulk buys before you purchase them.
If you think you might deviate from your shopping list if you have to go into a physical store, then why not make use of online shopping instead? That way, you will not see the so-called bargains and it will be easier to stick to your list. You can still compare prices to make sure you are getting the best deals.
Many stores will do the shopping for you and then let you use their click and collect service free of charge if you spend over a certain amount. This is great because you will not have to go into the store or spend any money on getting your shopping delivered.
A delivery will cost you a few pounds, but they usually charge a different amount depending on the time of day they deliver. Avoid peak times and you can save yourself about half the cost. Once you take into consideration the petrol you would spend getting to the store and the time it would take to do so, a delivery could be well worth your while.
As much as you want to save, there comes a point when you desperately need a new car. Perhaps your lifestyle has changed or maybe you have got to the point where your car needs a lot of work done and this will cost more than the price of the car.
Whatever the reason, an electric car could save you money every month. They may cost more to purchase but electric car leasing is a good option. You could sell your old car and put the money towards your rainy-day fund. An EV lease means that you would get a brand-new car for a fraction of the purchase cost which could save you a fortune.
A great reason to consider electric car lease deals is that you won’t have to pay for petrol. Depending on how much this currently costs you, this could cover the cost of some of the ev lease deals on offer or at least pay a substantial chunk towards them. ElectriX can give you all the information you need to help you make the best choice. They have a fantastic reputation in the industry for providing people with up-to-date recommendations.
Once you have started to save some money every month, you might be tempted to spend it. This is a bad plan because it means that although you have made changes in your life, you are right back to where you started.
Use any excess money to pay down your debt and you will find that you are even better off. This is because you will pay interest on an outstanding balance such as a loan or credit card. This means that you owe more money than you borrowed. The longer you have the debt, the more interest you will pay on it so paying down your debts as quickly as you can with your surplus money makes a lot of sense.
Follow these six ways to reduce your monthly expenses and you will be surprised how quickly you can get back in the black and stay there all month round.