There are lots of opportunities to save money on household costs- you just have to find them. The best thing you can do to save money at home is to look at your overall expenditure, and identify areas of spending that you would like to reduce.
That starts with tracking your expenses, and then drilling down further to discover where you could save hundreds each year…
Track Your Expenses
If you feel as though you’re spending more money than you’d like to be, it’s time to track your expenses. You can do this with a pen and paper on download an app like Monzo to give you a helping hand in tracking every transaction you make.
Track your expenses for a month, to see how much you are spending on bills, groceries, meals out and entertainment. Categorise all of your expenses and then see how they shape up compared to your income. Is there areas you’d like to cut back on?
Set A Budget
After tracking your expenses, it’s time to set a budget. There are many different budgeting methods, a popular one is zero based budgeting, where you allocate every penny of your income to different spending categories (including savings and debt payments).
Think about how much you would like to realistically spend within each category, and then write it down. You can track your progress against your budget in Excel or even pen and paper- whichever way works best for you.
Your budget might take a couple of months to get it exactly right, and you can make tweaks to your budget plan every month to ensure it is in line with the events and expenditure you have lined up that particular month.
The best way to spend less money is to use a budget plan to ensure you don’t overspend in areas that you would prefer to cut back on.
Review Your Bills
Take a look at all of your direct debits- could you cut any of them out? Or maybe you could switch to a different provider?
Review your utility, broadband and phone bills and use a price comparison site to see if you could make a saving by switching to a different supplier. Many people have saved hundreds by switching their energy provider.
Make Money Saving Food Swaps
Swap fancy brands for the supermarket for the budget options- it’s pretty much exactly the same food item- you’re just paying less because there is no brand name or fancy packaging.
You could also consider swapping to a low cost supermarket like Lidl or Aldi. Not everyone will have a value supermarket on their doorstep, but if you have one nearby it’s worth doing at least some of your food shopping there to save an incredible amount of money. You could also head to stores like Home Bargains or B&M to get super cheap cleaning products, foods and toiletries.
If you don’t already eat vegetarian meals in your family, you could consider going veggie one or two nights a week to save some serious money. Meat is very expensive compared to vegetable alternatives, and you could save lots of money (and the environment!) over time.