Need to cut back on your spending fast? Here’s a list of five easy ways to cut costs and save money fast.
5 EASY WAYS TO SAVE MONEY
Do you need to cut back on your spending urgently, but the mere thought of it has given you brain-freeze and you don’t know how or where to start? I’ve been there, I know it can be a bit of a shocker. So I’ve put together a list of five easy ways you can start saving money. Use them to get your money-saving strategy up and running so you can start breathing easy again.
Taking the time to look at where you can cut back on spending is a great step towards managing your money better, being more mindful about your spending and can help you on your way to financial freedom.
YOU NEED TO SAVE MONEY FAST!
It’s very simple. If your outgoings are exceeding your incomings you need to start cutting back on your spending. But it can be super hard to figure out where especially if you’re in a bit of a panic about it.
The best thing to do is to divide and conquer. Break your spending down into the big categories that are likely to be eating up most of your funds and then look at how you can make savings in each.
5 EASY WAYS TO SAVE BIG MONEY NOW
1. FOOD AND DRINK
Eating out, takeouts, drinks with friends, entertaining at home, drinks to wind down at home in the evenings, ready-meals. I know, I know, all the fun stuff and the stuff that makes life easier too.
But it’s also the stuff that can add up to a big old chunk of expense at the end of each month. On the upside, finding out how much you’re spending might shock you so much it puts you off your appetite so you will automatically start to spend less 😉
First up, break your food and drink spending down into sub-categories:
A. GROCERY SHOPPING
Problem: Look at how much you spend on ready-meals and how much you’re spending on alcohol to drink at home each month.
Solution: Start meal-planning so you can plan your grocery shopping in advance, buy just the right ingredients you need to make simple home-cooked food. Better for your health, better for your bank balance.
Problem: It’s so easy to click or dial and have food turn up, especially when you’re tired and there’s no food in the house.
Solution: Combine meal prepping with meal-planning to make sure that you always have enough food for the week. Meal prep in advance or simply bulk-cook every time you make something and put the extra portion in the freezer. It’s like having your own takeout restaurant in your freezer.
C. SOCIAL EATING AND DRINKING
Problem: Eating and drinking with friends is often a big part of our social lives, but even eating out a few times per month at cheap local restaurants can add up.
Solution: If you’re really broke you just need to stop for a while, take a rain check on invites and hole up at home. Alternatively, come up with other things to do with friends that don’t cost as much money as going to a restaurant or a bar.
Going for a daytime walk rather than out for coffee is a great way to cut costs and get some exercise all at once. Suggest having potluck gatherings with friends where everyone contributes a dish, it’s a lovely way to get together without the entire cost of hosting falling on one household.
2. CAR PAYMENTS
Problem: Cars are one of those areas in life where the push and pull of need versus want is huge. The reality is that cars are for getting around in, they aren’t status symbols. Plus the more expensive the car, the bigger the engine, the more expensive the running and maintenance costs.
Solution: If you really are up against it with debt mounting, look at how soon you can end your car payment plan or consider selling your car and downsizing to something more manageable.
Clearly it wouldn’t be wise to trade in a smooth running beast of a car for an old jalopy that is unreliable and ends up costing you a fortune in repairs. So think smart and buy something sensible that meets your needs. Do not, I repeat, do not set up a lease hire agreement, buy the best car within your means.
If that thought makes you shudder, just juxtapose it with the thought of your car getting reposed because you are in too much debt and you can’t meet the repayments. There, that’s made it more palatable already!
Problem: Your energy and water bills are going through the roof.
Solution: Switch to energy-efficient lightbulbs, the upfront cost is more, but they last a lot longer and cost less to run. Seal up drafts in windows, buy or make door snakes for drafts under doors, switch off and unplug appliances and chargers when you aren’t using them, go analogue and read a book rather than watch endless TV!
Oh and contact your utility companies to ask for a better deal of look at price comparison sites to see if you could get a better deal.
Problem: The majority of us don’t even wear a fraction of the clothes we own and yet we still keep buying more. Fast fashion and the rise of the influencer has a lot to answer for. The thing is, continuous buying of clothes isn’t just killing our bank balances it is also killing the planet.
Solution: Shop your wardrobe, get to know the clothes you already have and make better use of them. Simply stop buying new clothes for a while. Avoid clothes sales like the plague, they lure us into seemingly making big savings, but the biggest saving of all is not spending any money in the first place.
5. SUBSCRIPTIONS AND MEMBERSHIPS
Problem: I bet you have at least one membership or subscription that you either rarely use or have completely forgotten about. It’s easily done, especially at the cheaper end of the scale, but even $5 per month adds up to $60 per year.
Solution: Take an inventory of all your memberships and subscriptions and sanity check each. Get rid of any that you either don’t use or aren’t essential to your life. Read more about avoiding subscriptions and memberships draining your finances in my post on 13 Bad Money Habits To Fix.