With the holidays fast-approaching, it’s easy to see our spending shoot up without realising! However, in the current economic climate, it’s more important than ever that we keep on top of our finances. For some, this means keeping a tight grip on your wallet and remaining as frugal as possible. But there are steps you can take to be more economical, without having to scrimp and save. Giving up small habits in your daily consumption is easier than it might seem and can be very effective in helping you save money. Whether it’s quitting smoking, switching media providers or cooking at home, there are plenty of small changes you can make. In this guide from Pheabs, we list five ways you can cut down costs on your everyday spending.
1. Media Providers
Subscriptions to media providers may seem like a small amount of money each month but soon adds up. Streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Spotify and Disney+ all add quietly to your monthly outgoings, particularly if you are subscribed to more than one. The cost of streaming has also nearly doubled in the last ten years. Try questioning whether you need as many media providers as you subscribe to – or any at all! Most subscriptions operate on rolling contracts allowing you to cancel and restart at any time. This means you could consider only giving them up for a couple of months, or until the release of the next season of your favourite series. You may even find you can manage without them entirely. Reducing or removing media streaming subscriptions can be a great source of extra cash that can be put aside and saved.
2. The Gym
Going to the gym is an excellent way of staying fit and healthy; however, they can also be an expensive addition to our monthly spendings. Even a relatively low-cost gym membership could cost around $15 a month, that’s $180 per year. It could be reasonable for you to think about a more cost-effective way to stay fit. You could start working out at home, with friends or using youtube workout videos. There are video tutorials for pretty much everything, without the high charge of a personal trainer. You may also be inspired to start running outdoors or using cycling as a form of transport. If you are set on keeping a gym membership, you should always look to see if you can get a cheaper one which still fulfils your needs. Gyms can be competitive in the new year, so January may be a good time to grab a more affordable offer.
3. Eating In Restaurants and Take-Out
If you love eating in restaurants, you are sure to see a massive chunk of your monthly outgoing go to various food establishments. Check your bank statement to see how much you’re really spending on eating out; you may be surprised at how it all adds up – especially for families! If you don’t want to stop going to your favourite pizza place, or going out for Taco Tuesday, look at budgeting. Give yourself a spending limit on restaurants or reduce how often you go out. However, you should also be aware of Take-Out costs from having your favourite foods delivered. Cooking at home will always cheaper than ordering in. Trying to make healthy meals for yourself more often will save you a lot of money, and you may even find you enjoy cooking more than you think!
4. Unnecessary Transport
To save money on transport, you can try walking or cycling as much as possible. If you’re noticing a lot of your money goes towards petrol or paying for public transport, making time to walk, or cycle places can make a difference. If you don’t have a bike, see if your city offers a shared biking service – they’re sometimes even free for short journeys! If it’s too far to walk or cycle, you should also check if you are using the most affordable means of transport. Sometimes taking the bus to work instead of the train could save significant amounts of money over time – and may only add 15 minutes to your journey. Depending on where you live, you may be able to part of your trip on a free city bus or bicycle.
Alcohol is expensive, and reducing your drinking could save you a surprising amount of money. If you frequently drink at home or any kind of premises cutting down could release a large pot of money to be put towards other expenses. If you go to the bar once a week and spend an average of $30, that’s $1560 per year. The same goes if you are a smoker. Giving up or reducing the amount you smoke will drop your costs significantly. Better yet, you’ll gain substantial health benefits.