We have all found ourselves in situations where money is tight. Our income isn’t quite enough for our expenses, and we suddenly experience the need to roll back and curb our spending habits. Exercising great self-discipline when it comes to spending can be difficult but there are many ways you can cut back without feeling like you’re missing out
If you find your wallet is feeling tighter than usual, here are 10 ways to reduce spending. You’ll be saving a lot of money in no time!
1. Cut Back on Phone Data
These days, we simply cannot do without our smartphones and tablets. We feel the need to be connected to the internet at all times and voice calling apps have made it even more attractive to stay connected.
However, your internet service provider charges you according to the data plan you have chosen. The more data you choose, the higher your monthly mobile phone bill will be. If you’re looking to cut back on dollars, choose a cheaper plan that offers a smaller amount of data and take advantage of free wifi connections at home, work, or at restaurants whenever possible.
2. Try Public Transportation
Depending on which city you are based in, public transportation can be a huge cost-saver when it comes to your daily work commute, not to mention all the stress you won’t experience from sitting in traffic during rush hour!
Save on paying for parking and fuel (and possibly tolls if you have a long commute) when your money is tight. You’ll be surprised at how much you can save every month when you take public transportation. Walking or cycling to work can also be another great cost-saver, not to mention a great way to get your daily exercise!
3. Cook at Home
The benefits of cooking your own meals at home can never be overstated. Apart from the obvious health benefits, cooking at home can also be great for your bank account. Spend some time planning your meals in advance and limit yourself to eating out once a week.
Another great tip is to cook large dinners so that you can pack your leftovers for work the next day. Bringing your lunch to work can easily save you $10-15 every day. Multiply that by five days, and think about how much money you can save! You can save a lot of money with proper planning and commitment to your food budget. If you want to really budget your money, look for ways to save on groceries.
4. Adjust Your Social Calendar
Whilst we all enjoy socialising with our friends and relatives over dinner and drinks or a weekend brunch, all of those catch-ups can quickly add up. When money is tight, try minimising those catch-ups to once a month or even suggest hosting a potluck dinner at your house.
You can still enjoy a great meal and a glass of wine while catching up with friends in the comfort of your own home. There’s nothing like the old classic: dinner and a movie.
5. Brew Your Own Coffee
Do you love your morning caffeine? If so, you don’t need to give it up to save cash, but you do need to shift how you get it. Coffees are getting more expensive, especially at upscale coffee shops that brew specialty lattes.
Instead, learn how to make some amazing coffee at home. You might not be a barista, but you can still master the perfect brew at home at a fraction of the cost.
6. Check Out Your Electric Bill
Your quarterly electricity bills can put a big dent in your bank account each time they come around. Lower your power consumption by switching off fans and lights when you leave a room and you can make a difference in your electricity bill.
You can also set your refrigerator to a lower setting so that it consumes less power or unplug all of your electronic equipment from the power outlet when you aren’t using it. Use the air conditioner if and when required and set it to a slightly higher temperature so that it consumes less power. Taking a look at your electric bill shows major ways to save.
7. Skip the Exotic Holiday
Big trips to Europe or the U.S. can be extremely expensive, especially during the peak travel seasons. Yet, this doesn’t mean you have to skip your next holiday altogether. Travelling on a budget without incurring thousands of dollars in debt is possible.
If you’re looking to cut back on spending when your money is tight but still need to plan a getaway, try planning a long weekend away instead of a two-week vacation overseas. Airfares can be the most expensive cost when planning a vacation, so choosing a weekend destination will give you the respite you need as well as your back pocket. Look for cool places to explore that are closer to home. You never know what you might find.
8. Use TV Streaming Services
Paying for hundreds of channels on TV can also be quite expensive. Many of the companies lure you in by offering lots of channels at once, but maybe it’s time to really consider – do you really need 100 channels?
Websites like Netflix and Stan are great alternatives to Foxtel and Austar. You can sign up for a cheap monthly subscription (as little as $8 per month) and stream all of the latest movies and television programs without a high fee.
9. Shop Your Closet
If you’re tempted to rush out to the shops when you need something to wear to an event, think again. When money is tight, it’s best to shop in your own closet. You might not even realize some of the clothing you’ve got stashed away.
If your own closet is starting to no longer fit your style, try shopping a friend’s closet. This is like accessing a completely new wardrobe without the cost!
10. Switch to Cash
Do you know how much money you really spend on a daily basis? What about weekly? Monthly? By switching to only cash, you’re forced to see just how much you’re parting with regularly.
Suddenly, that quick breakfast out seems a lot more expensive than when you handed over your bank card. Try budgeting specific amounts of cash for different categories to boost your savings.
11. Look for Coupons
Though it takes a bit of work upfront, there are so many coupons and discounts available today. There are even specific websites that help you find the best coupons on a daily basis.
Take a bit of time each week to find the right coupons for your needs. You could save big on your next grocery trip or even cut costs with a major life purchase. Every little bit counts, so don’t overlook “free” money in the form of coupons.
12. Do Free Activities
While it’s fun to go out and do the latest-and-greatest things in your local city, there are also a ton of free activities you can do without spending anything. Instead of a trip to the movies or a shopping centre, do something free like local parks, events, or free days at zoos or museums.
Once you start doing free activities, you’ll never want to stop. They’re a great way to fill your weekends without running out of funds.
Squeeze Your Budget When Money Is Tight
Remember, you’re in total control on how you spend your money. When you are facing hard times, you can use your creativity to come up with novel ways to spend and save your money. Even when you find yourself back to where you were financially, you might find that you don’t miss the things you once loved spending money on.
If you’re pinching every dollar and still find that money is tight, speak with an expert, We’re here to help! Speak with one of our friendly and knowledgeable debt consultants by calling us now on 1300 368 322, or you can fill in the contact form below to let us know when to reach you.