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Life seems to get more and more expensive every year, so much so that saving isn’t an option for most people due to the ongoing costs of their busy lifestyles. However impossible it may seem, there are simple things we can do to cut unnecessary spending and retain a little more cash at the end of each month. In this article, we’ll look at some small lifestyle changes that will help you to save money.
Control Your Cash
It can be a little painful, but it’s a good idea to keep an honest record of your income and expenditure every month to work out where costs can be cut. Over time, you’ll work out what you can do without and what is necessary. Typical needless expenses include ordering takeaway or using taxis for short distances. This is fine every once in a while, but try to keep it to a minimum if you want to be frugal. Check whether you are paying for things you could get for free. Are you on the right phone contract? Does your insurance cover more than is required? Could you cancel your gym membership and work out at home instead?
Take into account absolutely all of your living costs, including rent, bills and the repayment of student loans (if you’re not on a fixed wage, remember that some months you may earn enough to make a repayment and others you may not). Try and identify where you can cut costs and make the necessary changes. If you’re out of college and you’re struggling financially, would you benefit from refinancing a student loan? Do the math to determine how much extra cash will add up with lower monthly payments. Remember, it’s all about controlling your cash and knowing what your income and expenses are.
Seek Out Alternative Leisure Options
Heading out to bars, restaurants and the cinema is a fun, sociable but expensive thing to do in the evenings or at weekends. And while you don’t need to cut these experiences out altogether, it is a good idea to think of cheaper ways to entertain yourself every so often. If the weather is good, why not go for a hike or a picnic? Hold movie nights or board game parties and have all your friends bring food to share. These are far cheaper alternatives to going out, and may even prove better for your health in the long run!
Cook from Scratch
Creating homemade dishes with supermarket fruit and veg can really help you to save money. Even pre-made sauces tend to be more expensive than their homemade alternatives and are rarely as good for you. You can make large batches of food and freeze some for use at a later date, or prepare your lunches at home to save you from having to buy them every day. Don’t forget that off-brand foods are often just as good as branded products, so why not try some out and find your favorites? It’s also a good idea to brew a thermos of coffee or tea at home and take it with you rather than opting for overpriced drinks from a barista chain.