Ways to reduce your monthly expenses
Many millions of consumers admit to struggling financially from one month to the next. Whether this be as a result of over-spending, increasing household bills or general unknown spending, the reality is, many consumers simply do not know how to better manage your finances. In fact, a large percentage of consumers readily admit to not knowing what is going out of their bank at any given moment. More often than not the root of the issue is over-spending on a day to day basic. This can be broken down further to say that over spending occurs in areas of financial concern which are not correctly accounted for. Many of us make such purchases each and every day with very little or no attention being paid to the total monthly cost. The end result is that we regularly face the negative impacts of over spending, such as overdraft fees, the transferral of money back from our savings accounts or even borrowing. Today then let’s get to grips with the costs which are pushing up our monthly expenses and in doing so reducing our ability to manage our monthly costs in a effective manner.
For those of you who have not yet gathered, the costs being discussed here today are not your priority bills and basic living costs. Whilst there is often opportunity to reduce these areas of expenditure, it is by no means being suggested that these types of costs can be done away with entirely. Sadly, our household bills, whether that be rent costs, insurance policies or costs associated to daily travel, it will likely always be these expenses which take prominence in our monthly expenditure. Effectively managing these costs is important and will without fail help to reduce our annual bills, so paying attention to them and being aware of alternative providers and their prices is always smart. That being said, these costs are not the main point of discussion here today. Instead then, let’s look at some examples of the type of costs which could easily be reduced, once we take responsibility for the impact they are truly having on our spending.
A great example of often unaccounted spending is that of our daily lunch during the working week. Whether you take a walk to a local supermarket for a meal deal or use your local sandwich shop, the reality is, you are probably spending more on your daily lunch than you actually realise. A Tesco Meal Deal will set you back £3.00 and includes something along the lines of a sandwich, a drink and either fruit or chocolate. This spending, when on a daily basis, amounts to a likely £60.00 extra spend each and every month; that’s £720.00 a year. This of course does not take into account any other purchases you feel inspired to make whilst in the supermarket; whether that be a magazine or new CD to name a few of the classic examples. To save this £720.00 each year why not consider taking a packed lunch to work? Whilst it could be argued this would push up your monthly food costs, the reality is shopping savvy as far as your food shop is concerned could easily avoid this.
Another great example of spending which we often simply do not account for is grooming. Whilst we would all like to believe this is not a large cost, the reality for many of us is that it really is. Whether its shampoo, make-up, perfume or any other form of lotion and potion which you use regularly, it is likely the total monthly cost is higher than you are accounting for. This is especially true when it comes to where you do your shopping for such items. Take for example Superdrug and Boots who specialise in these products. They will often have 3 for 2 deals or even ‘buy one get one free’ deals which can lead to additional spending on top of the goods we really need. Whether it turns out you are spending £30.00 or even £50.00 on these types of goods each month; cutting down your spending and being aware of buying when only necessary to do so will make a massive difference on a monthly and yearly basis.
Today we have only scratched the surface in terms of how unaccounted spending is increasing our overall monthly spend. There are many other areas of concern which could be considered and examples of which have been excellently listed on The Simple Dollar website. Why not take a look through your last month’s bank statement and get started on saving money from today!
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Author: Internal Customer Services Agent