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It is no secret that running a house is an expensive thing, but over time the costs just keep adding up. The addition of children, a bigger house, going from renting to mortgage or the ever-increasing rental costs, cars, holidays…
It is a lot.
The first thing you should do that isn’t on this list is to set up your budget. Here are some links to help you with setting up your budget:
Budgeting Tips: The Budget: What Is It And Why Should I Even Bother With One?
Family Budget: Family Budget: How To Manage Your Household Expenses
Netflix subscriptions, Amazon prime, software subscriptions, food delivery subscriptions, gym memberships, magazine subscriptions. There is an endless list of possible subscriptions that people have, and most of the time, they don’t make the most of them.
Go through your bank account for the last few months, and find all of the subscription costs - then look at how often you have used them. If you aren’t using them more than once a month, ask yourself, is it worth the cost?
If you have more than one TV subscription, then you will need to choose one.
Most of us need a mobile phone, but do we need all that data, free texts, and calls? Often we don’t even come close to using what we pay for. Switching to a smaller package can be one of the most significant savings we can make. It will also mean you become more conscious of what you are using.
Take some time to find all of the particulars for your contract, and start calling other companies to see what they can offer you for less. Often they are willing to provide a great deal, but it might have a sting in the tail - so watch out for that.
Moreover, remember that canceling your contract before it is up can come with some hefty fees.
Home and contents insurance, car insurance, motorcycle insurance, business insurance, life insurance - this is another list that just goes on forever.
Insurance is a significant expense, but you need to have - the whole point is the what-if.
Yet, you can shop around to see if there is a better offer for the same level of coverage that you already have. Don't be tempted to lower your coverage for a lower price, though - this can be disastrous if something does happen.
We live in a society that is quick to throw things away and replace them, and not only is that bad for the environment, but it is also terrible for the bank balance. Often clothing and electrics can be mended with some effort.
Large electric appliances may need a professional call-out - but you can then decide if the repair cost is worth it - or if you should be replacing it. For newer models, check the warranty and see if the warranty or your insurance can cover the repair or replacement.
It is worth saving up as much as possible to get an energy-efficient option when you need to upgrade.
Keep your house well maintained by regularly cleaning the appliances. Follow the user manual, so everything is kept in tiptop condition.
No matter the item, there is a discount code somewhere to be found and used. You no longer need to cut coupons out of the magazines; mobile phone applications can stack your coupons up.
It is important not to get enticed into buying things you don’t need because you find a good coupon. Only search and use vouchers and coupons for the things you were already buying.
A well-known tactic of supermarkets and other stores is to release vouchers to entice buyers for products they might not usually use.
Cashback cards and online cashback websites can also help you get better offers but earn money on some of your spendings. Usually, the more significant ticket items like appliances offer the best cashback - so make sure you check everything before buying anything.
Some credit cards will just get you deeper into a debt hole that is difficult to get out of. While others, with minimal use, can offer some rewards. Overspending on credit cards is one of the quickest ways to find your budget is blown and your repayments not making a dent in the interest.
Only choose cards that have little to no interest and that offer good cashback.
Most of the time, a product will have an incremental rise, and then a ‘sale,’ the sale price isn't a sale price - it is the original price.
Some sales, however, are actual sales, but unless you are tracking the item's historical price, you won’t be able to tell the difference.
If you have a list of larger items you need, some websites track prices for you - Camelcamelcamel is one of those websites. They track amazon prices to make sure you are getting the very best deal.
You will get a simple email alert when the price drops.
When people pay in cash, they are more likely to feel and see the impact of the spend. Handing over a card for a hundred-dollar purchase might not feel like much. Giving the cashier the same amount in notes will make it feel a lot more expensive.
There are some popular ways to create a cash envelope budgeting system, and this stops overspending. However, not many companies will accept cash payments, and many things are done through automatic bank payments.
Impulse buying and buying when we feel a little blue is a common thing. Get into the habit of asking yourself - do you need it, or do you just want it? If it falls into the second category, there is nothing wrong with buying things you want - but make yourself wait for it.
Wait at least 30 days for it. After the initial excitement of seeing the product is over, you might find that you don’t want it that much.
Cutting costs can be done so long as you remain focused on the final goal and are willing to say goodbye to things you have but don’t use or need.
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