We all know how easy it is to see our hard earned money wither away just days after payday. For the most of us, having at least some kind of budget in place is essential to maintain a good quality of life all month round. Living for payday really isn’t the way to be, especially when that means that having your last week of the month living almost in poverty. Given the average UK wage, it is more than possible to live a comfortable life, but we tend to waste an unreal amount of money on things we really don’t need, nor do we really want that much: it just happens in the spur of the moment. Following this guide you’ll be able to reduce your average monthly expenditure without seeing any drastic changes to the way you actually live.
- Reduce transport/commuting costs
The way that you travel to work or to university will really depend on where you live in relation to your destination; however, there is usually always an alternative. If you currently get the bus for 20 minutes, you could certainly switch that into a steady bikeride. If you drive for 30 minutes and your workplace is not too far away from a train station, you could take the train and probably be there quicker whilst saving yourself some money along the way. The key to saving money when commuting is by not being lazy – Save money; save the environment; be healthier.
- Focus on energy effeciency
Energy bills are recurring expenses which could fluctuate based on how you use electricity and heating. While it may not be too expensive, it is in your best interest to optimise energy usage at minimal costs. For starters, you could consider having solar panels attached to your roof so that you can save up on electricity which could double up as a water heater if you make the necessary arrangements. Solar panels could be very economical, long-term speaking. Besides, you can easily purchase and have them installed with the help of professionals that you can contact at https://www.projects4roofing.co.uk/, as well as other similar online portals.
Then, you should turn off lights, and appliances when unused to prevent wastage of electricity. Another noteworthy thing to do is have regular repairs and inspections for your home HVAC system. It could prevent you from overusing your thermostat and air conditioner to regulate indoor temperature which could help utilize your gas supply better.
You could also switch your gas and electricity tariffs. Using a comparison tool such as Money Supermarket or Selectra can let you easily see the cheaper tariffs available to you in an easy to understand manner. Make sure you enter your postcode details first, as prices will differ depending on where you live in the country. In order to be accurate, you need to see prices that are relevant to where your property is located, meaning, for example, that British Gas prices may be cheaper in Northern Scotland than in Merseyside.
Switching your energy tariff has proved to be a huge money saver and is becoming an increasingly commonplace practice. If you have never switched before, you could be saving yourself up to 500 per year, which is a huge saving for absolutely no change in your lifestyle. The same could be applied to the water bills. You may want to find out more about switching your water supplier as it is considered a good way to reduce your water bills, which could help you save big time in the long run.
- Switch to LED lightbulbs
If you live in an older house it is likely that you will still have older light bulbs in your house. Older, incandescent bulbs are being completely phased out worldwide, as they are extremely inefficient in comparison to the lighting technology that we have today. Switching your bulbs to LED or CFLs can reduce your lighting costs by up to 75%. Bearing in mind that the average household electricity bill is made up of around 15% lighting, this is quite the reduction. If you’re working on a tight budget, just switch the lightbulbs in the rooms that you use the most, such as the kitchen, bathroom and the living room.
- Downgrade your gym membership
If you currently have a gym membership, you may want to think about reevaluating your commitment to it. If you are only running or only doing cardio, you probably don’t need the expensive club-style membership that you may have. If you live in a large city, you will have access to a large variety of gym facilities, which means that you can shop around a bit. Most big gym chains such as David Lloyd and Bannatyne’s will cost you upwards of 50 per month, but if you switch to a basic gym, such as ‘The Gym’ or ‘Pure Gym’ which will have just as good facilities for what you want, you could be paying as little as 10 per month, an instant saving of 40 per month.
- Consider sharing paid entertainment services
If you know somebody who has a Netflix account or whatever service you would like to use, why not ask them if you could pay them to add your name to the account, expanding the user size, and making it cheaper for you both? If you both have a separate Netflix account for 9.99 per month, which allows two screens, why not upgrade to a ‘Premium’ account, which allows 4 screens and costs 11.99. You can also invest in Chrome Firestick, which can provide you access to all streaming platforms. However, you may need to also get the best vpn for firestick to encrypt and secure your data.
- Buy fresh produce
Buying fresh, healthier food might sound like it would cost more, as the quality of the food is generally better, but this is certainly not true. Buying ready meals and processed foods that are available in most UK supermarket chains can end up costing you some serious cash and you never really get the portion size you’d like. Buying fresh produce from a market or even the same supermarket and cooking for yourself could save you serious amounts of money over a large space of time.
- Cut down on bottled drinks
Buying bottles and cans of your favourite soft drinks can really add up. The average single can of coke has gone up to around 1 in the UK, which is more than a 100% increase in the last 10 years. Instead of drinking so many fizzy drinks, which are generally extremely bad for your health, bring a water bottle to work with you and just drink water all day. This doesn’t mean that you have to only drink water, but just try to replace a sizeable portion of your daily soft drink intake with water. You’ll notice both financial savings and an increase in your general health.
- Cook food in large batches
When you are cooking for yourself, instead of making just enough for your evening meal, cook enough for multiple meals. By doubling or tripling the amount that you were going to make, you’ll save time in cooking and money by utilizing the already apparent ingredients. This way, you can have your lunch prepared for the following two days or however you want make it work for you.