This global economy has caused everything that we enjoy to become more expensive. We are all scrambling as we search for ways to save money in order to keep our expenses from spiraling out of control. Those on a low income will feel the pinch magnified as costs go up and income stays fixed. Simple changes in our lifestyle like cooking meals at home, making our own coffee and toast with eggs instead of heading to the breakfast place enroute to work can significantly reduce our monthly living expenses. Here are some additional tips for reducing spending.
Stop eating out:
You would be surprised at how much of a difference this simple step can make. Many people don’t realize the difference cooking and dining in can make to their monthly budget instead of dining out or ordering in all the time. When you are busy, it makes your life easier to buy your food than to bother spending time on buying groceries, preparing your meals and cleaning up later.
Cook your own meals:
If you consider the cost of buying your meals when compared to buying the ingredients and cooking them yourself, it’s a no-brainer. You will also be healthier as you will be avoiding mass-produced and stored food. You will be eating freshly cooked food with fresh fruits and vegetables. You will be able to control your portions better and you won’t be paying for more than you can eat, as might happen when eating out. Make your own coffee and breakfast in the mornings.
Combine your chores and carpool:
When you have errands to run, talk to some friends and find out if you can combine your shopping, dry cleaning, groceries and other errands and go as a group. You can even hunt around for bargains and split the spoils. Carpooling cuts down your gas bill by half or one-third in one fell swoop. You will also have company and can make it a girls’ day out.
Avoid debt by…
One way to reduce spending and avoid plunging into debt is to work off of a personal budget. In conjunction with your budget, try to avoid using credit such as credit cards, store cards and personal loans – use cash instead.
Check for coupons:
In this economic climate, it makes sense to look for bargains, discounts and utilize any coupons you might receive in the mail or with your paper. It is just basic common sense to do so. You can get movie tickets free for Coke or Pepsi coupons; many banks offer discounts on movie tickets or free tickets when you use their debit or credit cards to buy tickets. You would be surprised by how many freebies people waste because they aren’t looking for them.
Do your own laundry:
As simple as it sounds, doing their own laundry is something people have stopped. They find it easier to go to the dry cleaners, as they get the suits, coats and dresses all cleaned and pressed and as good as brand new. This convenience masks the fact that the dry cleaner can literally take you to the cleaners. You will also be saving on water and power when you wash your clothes yourself.
This list is in no way exhaustive; other areas you can save money and cut down on your spending is in commuting to work, hang out with friends in public spaces that are free instead of going to the bars or restaurants. This will give you the feeling of having had a fun evening out, without the prohibitive expenditure that a date or movie night might involve. We must all cut back in order to provide for the things we need and enjoy some of the things we want.