I have so many things and projects that I’m currently saving for at the moment, so I had to take a little look again at my spending habits. I’ve tried to cut down where possible so thought I’d share some more tips with you all!
1 Cut your utilities down
There are different ways of saving money on utility bills, despite the general consensus being that they are continuing to creep up.
Water: Get a water meter installed. I’m not sure of the initial cost but if you rent, you could ask your landlord to install one. This way you only pay for what you use and therefore, if you’re frugal with your water use, it will bring your bill way down!
Until we started working from home, our water bill was £4 a month. Oh yes. (It’s now crept up to £22 but we are literally working from home 6 days a week and have customers using the toilet etc so it’s still pretty low considering the circumstances).
Electric: Install a Smart meter. This is completely free and allows you to see how much electric you’re using. You can work out what is affecting your bill and cut it out as much as possible.
We’re trying to use the oven less and turning off plugs at every opportunity.
Gas: You’re all good now as it’s almost summer time (yay!) but try to be frugal with the heating. Wrap up in jumpers, snuggle up under blankets or make use of your real life fireplace if you have one!
2 Log your food spending
This is the only thing I wasn’t logging and shocker, it’s where I was overspending!
Allow yourself an eating out budget (if that’s your thing) and try to shop around in regards to home meals.
I’ve found that buying treats and various other things (tofu, I’m looking at you) is expensive and doesn’t go far. Whereas beans on toast and bean chilli with rice are two easy meals that are also tasty for my bank account.
The tricky part is the health/affordability ratio but that’s down to you to decide. If I need to hardcore save for a month or two, I think it would be worth the extra bread intake.
3 Shop around properly
I mentioned this in my previous budgeting post but I’ve taken it to a whole new level.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, CHECK CHARITY SHOPS!
While planning a wedding and a new business venture, I have found a ton of stuff from charity shops for about a tenth of the price I would have paid somewhere else. This being said, car boot season hasn’t even started yet and I reckon there are even more bargains to be had there. So if you need ANYTHING, check these outlets first.
For cleaning products, toiletries and pet supplies, try Wilkinson, Savers or pound shops. I’ve found branded items from these places for half the price. You can also limit the need for as many products, as I mentioned over here.
4 Look into creating passive income
My aim within the next couple of years is to live cheap and cover my expenses with passive income. This is income that doesn’t require you to swap your time for money.
For example, I wrote an eBook which is now available on Amazon and although it was a lot of work to get it finished and online, now it can be purchased as many times as possible without me putting any extra time in. If different outlets of passive income can be built up, it takes so much pressure off and means you can get stuck into other projects, purely for intrinsic satisfaction.
Read Rich Dad Poor Dad for a deeper look into passive income.
5 Keep your expenses low
Don’t feel you have to or CAN spend as much as you earn. I think that the key is to live as cheaply as possible in order to allow yourself to eventually become financially stable (ie, passive income). If you keep getting promotions, but increase your spending, you’re not really progressing, you’re just buying more stuff.
Decide whether you really need that stuff or whether your hard earned cash could go to better use elsewhere. And whatever you do, don’t caught in the trap of ‘keeping up with the Jones’s’.
6 Don’t waste
Sometimes I go to peoples’ houses and see about 8 different bottles of shampoo, all with a little bit in. This, to me, is madness. Use every little bit of everything you buy!
Buy carefully, use sparingly and go without when you can. If there’s some food in your fridge that’s almost hit its sell by date, use it up!
This goes for utilities as well; turn things off when they’re not being used, don’t leave the water running etc. It’s amazing how much these little things add up.
These are all things I’m working at at the moment, so COME AT ME, MONEY! Hope you found them helpful.
What’s your best budgeting tip?