How to Save Money on Your Household SpendingFriday, April 26, 2013 Mary Anne Velasco
Come the end of the month, many of us feel the pinch of running low on spending money – either being forced to dip into savings, or struggling with simple tasks like buying groceries. This nagging anxiety can be stressful and detrimental to our day to day lives, so lets look at a few simple ways that we can look to economise and make our budget go that little bit further.
❤ A clear picture
If it has been a while since you took a full and frank inventory of your personal finances, you may harbouring a false impression about how things stack up. Many banks now offer simple online calculator tools to help you work out your outgoings, with bigger and more obvious monthly obligations like rent or mortgage payments sitting alongside smaller, more incremental spending. You may also be surprised to learn the total monthly cost of those small daily treats like a mid-morning latte or the glass (or two) of wine with workmates. These small costs really do add up over time so equip yourself with good clear information in order to make some informed decisions.
❤ Time for a re-think
Many of us use spending in order to make ourselves feel better about our life-styles, or give us a quick one of boost when feeling low. It's an easy trap to fall into in today's hyper-consumerist culture, but take a moment to ask yourself whether or not you are receiving any real benefits. Could that costly gym membership be downgraded if you are struggling to make it along for a workout week after week? Or perhaps you would get the same benefits [along with some fresh air and reduced travel costs] by taking up jogging or biking to work instead. Will the new pair of shoes that you purchased online during a stressful period at work be worn at all, or will they just sit in the cupboard? It's not about denying yourself the fruits of your labours – just getting a little bit smarter about how this spending works for you.
❤ Find the best deal
Some monthly out-goings are essential to our safety and peace of mind, and cannot be compromised or cut back. In these cases, we just need to be sure that we have shopped around and are not paying over the odds. Try getting a new house insurance quote if you feel like your provider isn't giving you the value that you deserve, and do the same for any motor or health policies. You may also find that you can save money by combining these different policies into one new deal with a competitive supplier. Some companies [such as AXA Insurance] offer multi-faceted combination policies that can be tailor made to your needs. This can not only reduce paper-work and hassle, it could also leave you with more money in your pocket each month for those all important luxuries.