Just going about your daily business can entrench a number of subtle, but very bad habits which perpetuate what can add up to a serious money-leak. I didn’t realise just how much money we were actually wasting each week until I took a closer look at the finer details of exactly what we spend money on. Some important lessons were learnt, which can be distilled down to 10 ways to trim your outgoings.
Do Some Basic Accounting
Well actually you should get as detailed as you can about it, but yeah if you can keep track of every penny you spend, you’ll be very surprised at just how much unnecessary wastage goes on. The accounting itself can be as basic as a two-column ledger of income and expenditure, but try to track everything you spend.
Create a Budget
Once you know how much you spend and what you spend it on, creating a much more efficient budget will be easier. It’ll also give you a clear indication of exactly which areas you can save more on.
Buy in Bulk
But only where possible of course. A sizeable number of the mums I attend a bi-weekly book club with in my neighbourhood regularly buy exactly the same brand of yoghurt, baked beans, and cooking oil, so we pool all our money together and buy those items in bulk and straight from their factories. This adds up to some nice savings at the end of each year.
Pacify Your Hunt for Discounts and Specials
When you impulsively seek to take advantage of special promotions and discounts, you usually end up spending more than what you needed to spend or more than what you intended. Discount deals and special promos should only be taken advantage of if they are perfectly timed with your usual shopping, otherwise stick to your normal budget.
Reviewing Your Banking Services
Can help you in two ways, one; you may realise that you’re paying bank charges for banking services you don’t need, in which case you can change your service plan, and two; you realise the importance of factoring-in your banking fees when doing your accounting and when creating your detailed budget.
In the long-run going green could save you some money spent on escalating necessities such as your power.
Groceries and other goods which are in-season are cheaper than those which have to be sourced further away or even imported due to being out of season. It’s also healthier and will contribute to saving you on potential medical bills.
Buying local saves you money in the same way that buying in-season does. Locally sourced goods (and services) are cheaper because they don’t have transportation overheads attached to their retail price.
It’s amazing just how much money one can save by just taking the time to plan properly, covering the simplest of things such as when you choose to drive somewhere to avoid wasting fuel while idling somewhere in rush-hour traffic.
Downgrade Where Possible
Since both my boys now go to school via lift club, I saw no further need for the petrol guzzling SUV we definitely needed much more a few years ago. A much smaller car saves a lot on both maintenance and petrol, but there are so many other areas of one’s life where they can downgrade to something which eases up expenditure.
A redundant pay-tv subscription perhaps, or maybe even a premium internet package with more features than what’s clearly necessary?