I have been thinking about this question over the past few months.
How can you find enough money if you want to increase your savings? The answer is simple. Stop spending money. Cut your monthly expenses.
Let’s backup for a moment!
If you stop and think about your future; where will you be in ten years’ time?
Do you picture yourself on the beach, or somewhere warm, maybe you have retired early?
Is this a dream? Or will it happen? Please, don’t say – “If I win the lotto”.
It’s probably a dream. But it shouldn’t be a dream. It should be in the plan! But, even if increasing your savings is not your goal, you will find these tips helpful in cutting your monthly expenses.
You must have the correct mindset to stop spending money
When it comes to reducing your expenses it’s all about mindset. But how do you get to this mindset?
I have been researching this a good deal, in addition to just thinking about it and they key is to plan everything out. The experts say to make very penny count. And this includes having fun. You can’t schedule fun, but you can have funds ready for that holiday or night out or whatever.
I agree it is very hard to find information that is not conflicting in some way or other. I have found much of the information out there is applicable to the US and the UK and difficult to apply in Ireland. There are plenty of financial advisors however if you are willing to pay. But the average person may not go down this route. Let’s keep it simple. Use the baby steps method. This is what this post is about. Let’s look at the little things that we can do today that can cut our expenses for tomorrow.
This brings me back to the title of this post, apologies for the detour!
Here are effective ways to reduce your monthly expenditure.
Ask yourself; why do you want to cut your monthly expenses?
If you have a reason for cutting your monthly expenses, then you will work harder to achieve this goal!
You might think that these small expenses don’t really matter. But as you will see these all add up and over a month could be costing you much more than you ever imagined.
Cut out the take away coffees
Takeaway coffees are great in the morning on the way to work or to run errands. But how much is your morning cup of java actually costing you?
Take Dublin city, for example, there are many coffee shops that have a five euro deal, a coffee and pastry or morning yoghurt for only 5 euro. But if you do this every morning – That works out at 25 euro a week!
In the UK the coffee shop industry is worth more than £4bn. And you can see why!
You could be spending over 1,00 euro or more a year on coffee. Why not buy some decent coffee in the supermarket and bring it with you?
That could work out at least half the price than buying in your favourite coffee shop.
Check for Forgotten App Subscriptions
Last December I decided to do a complete review of my outgoings. I started with the smallest expenses. I have an Apple iPhone with a number of subscriptions to various services, such as language learning apps, that I have not used in over a month. I removed all of those, it’s a few euro, but start small, right?
If you have an iPhone, to check this, all you have to do is:
- Open the App Store
- Select the little avatar that represents you on the top right
- and choose ‘subscriptions’
- You can then navigate through the list of active subscriptions.
- Note some apps will allow you access to the subscription after you cancel the agreement up to a certain date, other apps will disable your access to the subscription once you hit that button.
It’s not uncommon to sign up to a free trial only to be hit with a monthly or even worse a yearly fee. I suspect many app providers hope you will forget to cancel after the trial period.
Cut down some Streaming Services
Netflix! Everyone has Netflix or some kind of streaming service these days, I have it, my family has it.
So do we all need to pay for it or can you use different profiles? It depends on the provider.
Most would probably argue that your subscription is valid for the same household but offer different user profiles for that the same household. You may need to check with the terms of service etc. (I don’t want to get you in trouble here). But my brother was happy for me to have a profile on his particular streaming service if I ever need to watch anything.
I was paying over 17 euro a month. That’s over 200 a year saving.
Disney Plus – I had this mainly for Star Wars. All watched. Cancelled. 6.99 saved. 84 euro a year saving
Reduce Mobile Phone Plan
My mobile phone plan was €65 euro. This is about the average price if you buy a mobile phone and plan together. Having paid off the cost of the mobile the plan itself works out at about €25 a month.
However, if you do your research online you will find much cheaper plans. Particularly if you are out of the contract. For instance in Ireland, there is a plan with a mobile network called 48. Currently, 48 have an offer of €7.99 for unlimited texts and calls and 100 GB of data. That is an amazing value. The network is owned by Three Mobile who also provides the infrastructure, so the coverage is pretty good and comes with 4G. Make sure your phone is not network locked before you port to another network!
Check Utilities for a cheaper plan
The next option I would recommend is checking all utilities.
There are savings to be made by switching to a different electric and or gas provider. I was able to move to another electric provider and save €200 over the year at the same time.
Just remember before moving providers to make sure you are not in a contract as there may be additional charges.
The same goes for broadband usually broadband contracts last one year and many people do not want the hassle of switching providers. However, there are some savings to be made here also.
You can save up to €20 a month on your monthly plan. Sometimes you can bundle your television and broadband together for even more savings.
Check the supermarkets
When you are making your food purchases, one tip that has never let me down is this. When doing your grocery shopping don’t just look at products at your eye level. Often branded products pay more to the supermarket to be placed at the consumer eye level, however, the products at the bottom or top of the shelves are often cheaper but of the same quality.
And a bonus top. Don’t just watch the price, check the cost per weight or per item. Sometimes what seems like a barging is not and you may be paying more for less of the item.
Use your Clubcard
Many stores such as Boots chemists, Tesco, and SuperValu, as well I’m sure, the stores in your country offer Clubcard’s that you can scan at checkout for a discount or money off voucher.
Some stores, such as Tesco I find are a little limited on the discounts they offer, however, Boots and SuperValu offer great points or money off vouchers for your next visit. Well worth the few seconds it takes to scan the barcode.
You can also load these barcodes to your phone, in case you forget the card next visit!
Please feel free to share any tips you may have when it comes to stop spending money and reducing your monthly expenses in the comments section below.