You work hard for your money, but at the end of the month and before that paycheck hits your bank account, you feel squeezed. It can be a monthly hard-hitting reality that the money coming in isn’t enough to add to your savings.
The first thing you need to do is understand exactly where your money is going. For three months, you need to journal what you are spending. Keep supermarket receipts and go through them. Categorize your expenditure like you would do if you were doing business accounts: fruit and vegetables, meat, sundries, cleaning products, etc.
You need to understand what you are spending on so that you can see where changes to your spending habit can be made. Notice the word ‘changes’. You are not going to be deprived of anything, the only thing that is going to be cut out is unnecessary spending. Here are 3 areas that can be addressed to help you save money.
Take advantage of special offers from the supermarket. Try and only buy special offer products. This is not only a way of saving money, but it will change the menu for your family. Some new recipes will work, and some won’t, but it’s a good way to try new dishes. Collect coupons and subscribe to loyalty reward schemes. Batch cook meals and make extra portions to freeze. Prepare individual portions so that you can take them to work to eat, rather than buying food on the go. Similarly, buy a travel mug for your coffee, rather than spending at a coffee shop on your way to work. This will save you money and time!
Do not become complacent and fail to compare the rates that you pay for your utility bills with other providers. It is easy to let contracts roll over, but by undertaking some cursory research, you may just find a better rate. Forewarn your current provider that you are going to leave; you may be able to negotiate to a rate match or an even better. If you don’t ask, you don’t get
Remember to keep an eye out for the cheapest fuel options in your area. You can shave off several dollars each time you fill up just by being savvy about where you get your petrol or diesel from. If your car is reaching the age where it’s not going to be economically viable to keep it on the road, research which car you will get next. Choose a car that is efficient by choosing one that has a high mpg, or consider an electric one to be even greener. If you have your heart set on a particular model but are limited by your budget, contact a company such as Silverback Automotive who will source you your car, and for the right price. Using a professional auto broking firm allows you to take advantage of their industry contacts; again, saving you stress, time and money.
You do not want to feel that your money is controlling you. You need to control your money. Curtailing day-to-day spending can obviously help you save dollars, but by ignoring the monthly expenditures of your food, utilities, and transport, you can turn a trickle of savings into a river.