When your wallet is feeling the pinch, you not only need to review your finances but your lifestyle too. With increasing utility bills, growing children and with no pay rise looming on the horizon to meet your needs, you must take a good long look at where you can save money. While your income may not change, changing your expenditure is the only route you have to be more financially stable. Here are five ways to achieve financial stability.
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1. Look at your outgoings
Unless you sit down and look at your outgoings, you will be unable to see where you can save money. You need to devote an hour a month to going through your bank statements and cash receipts to see where you can cut some corners. Do this for a 3-month period, and you will be able to identify where you are hemorrhaging your hard-earned dollars. Make a simple budget spreadsheet so that you can clearly see what areas you are spending money: housing, groceries, entertainment, dining out, clothing, etc.
Are you paying out regularly for services such as electricity or medical insurance from the first provider you saw? It’s time to assess your regular pre-authorized payments. Consider reviewing the rates with other suppliers and shopping around. It can be easy to stick to one supplier out of complacency when you could be getting a better deal elsewhere.
3. Shopping habits
Do you have champagne tastes but beer money? You may go to certain stores out of convenience, but if there is a cheaper store on the other side of town, take the time out of your schedule to shop there. Yes, you may have to pay extra fuel costs to get there, but if you plan your meals and make use of your freezer, you can learn to feed your family more efficiently and for a better price.
Do you have two vehicles? Could your partner swap the work truck for a Cummins Diesel Lifted Truck that has a crew cab, so you only need one vehicle for the family? Or perhaps you could encourage your family to use public transport, bike or walk more to reduce your transport costs. Now that the weather is getting warmer, take advantage and be more active outside – you’ll save money and get healthier too.
5. Make do and mend
We live in a throwaway society and have got into the habit of replacing things when all you need to do is repair them. Feel like you need some new clothes? How about upcycling the clothes in your closet and customizing them? You can create a unique garment inexpensively. Don’t forget too, that there is a wealth of tutorials online on sites such as YouTube that can show you how to perform DIY tasks that you may previously have paid a contractor to perform.
Saving money is not an impossible task, you only need to approach life slightly differently. Keep a journal of the money that you save each month so that you can compare them to the average figures of the outgoings of the three-month period that you used at the beginning of your saving journey. You will be amazed at how quickly the savings accumulate, and it will motivate you to save more!