There is a downside to the staggering standard of life we have in the 21st century, and that is: things are expensive and we need to work harder than ever before just to maintain the high quality lives we lead. It’s just a fact of life, one that nobody enjoys but everybody has to live by. That being said, things don’t have to be quite as expensive as we think they do. In fact, it’s more than possible to save big money with just a little bit of effort, effort that most people don’t think to put in. In no time at all, you could have grown your holiday saving pot or just have more disposable income on a day to day basis. Here’s a how to guide.
Play the Field
Brand loyalty might sound like a nice idea, and there are sometimes perks to staying with one company for a long time. However, these perks very rarely add up to the value you could save if you look at switching to other companies. Even if you don’t end up moving utility providers and the like, even thinking about it can be enough to get your current supplier to lower your rate. Remember: if you don’t ask, you don’t get. There probably a host of alternative companies you could take your business to, especially if you live in a busy urban area, so shop around – it might just be the most profitable hour you’ve spent in a while.
Cut the Non-Essentials
Take a walk around your home, do you really use all the things you pay for? For example, everyone knows that cable is expensive, but they still buy it and then never have time to actually watch it. While it might be nice to have the option to watch the latest shows and sports events, you could save big money just by cutting the cable and moving to an alternative entertainment source, such as those available online. If you don’t transfer, you’ll have some extra spending money for going out to be entertained, such as the cinema, or you can put it in the bank.
Lower Your Insurance
No one should advise you to cut your insurance; it’s not one of those things you want to save money on, as having the wrong or insufficient type of insurance can lead to much more expensive problems down the line. However, there are ways to lower your insurance costs without even changing company – you just have to show that your stuff is more secure than it once was. For example, keeping a car overnight in a garage is better than keeping it on the road in an urban area, and this will lower your car insurance money. Similarly, having a solid home security system will show insurers that you’re less likely to have problems with break ins – or if you do, you’ll be more likely to get your stuff back. A Night Owl security system review says you can watch your home while on the move, so if you see any problems you can call the police. This type of advanced security is way beyond what most homes have: implement them and you’ll save money (and gain peace of mind).
Use Less Energy
One of the most simple ways to spend less money on running your home is to…use less energy running your home. Not every aspect of modern life must be the most convenient it’s ever been. For example, instead of running the dishwasher when it’s not full, wait until it is and then put it through a cycle. Or, better yet, hand wash – it takes no time at all and is more cost effective. The same can be applied, especially driers. On a sunny day, why wouldn’t you hang them outside to dry? It’ll save you money and they’ll even smell and feel fresher! There are a number of devices available that can reduce your energy usage too, including water meters so you can see how much you’re actually using.
Shop in a Smart Way
In some ways, food and household supplies have never been cheaper, but they’re still pretty expensive. Fortunately, there are more ways than one to shop for your household items. You don’t just have to go the supermarket and fill your trolley with what you need. You can “shop smart”. This means taking advantage of any coupons that may be on offer in stores, not being loyal to one product (go for whatever is on offer/cheapest), and possibly even visiting a number of stores during one shopping trip. Also, remember that small farmer’s markets will be cheaper as there are little overheads – and they’ll also be fresher and better for the environment! It’s possible to eat healthy and well on next to no money at all, you just might need to think about it a bit more.
What are You Spending?
People spend more money than they think spend. During the next month, keep tabs of all your outgoings and you might be surprised just where your money is going. If you buy a coffee or your lunch each day then that’ll amount to a sizeable chunk of your wages each month. It’s fine if you think it’s a must have daily expense, but if it’s not – buy a flask and make your coffee and lunch at home. Keeping track might also show how much is spent on alcohol or cigarettes, or splurge spending. At the end of the month you can’t be surprised if you don’t know where your money is – you’ll have it all written down!
Letting the Joneses Get Ahead
There is one simple way to slash the cost of your spending: don’t be competitive. While it’s tempting to buy things we don’t really need, we sometimes do this just to keep up with the people around us. If we sacrifice a little bit of our ego, we could end saving big money and getting the benefit of being out of the never ending struggle to keep up.
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