5 Ways to Cut Costs Today

5 Ways to Cut Costs Today

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I know I sound like your mum or dad, but it’s always important to be aware of all your personal costs. Never more so than now, with all of the increases taking place. Reviewing all your costs is a good exercise to undertake at any time. Believe me!

It’s only when you know what you are spending each day that you can start to think about how to reduce how much is coming out of your bank account.

Can you make any changes to cut costs?  I know it seems very early to be thinking about the festive season, but it’s always good to have a plan!  And why stop at planning for Christmas? Perhaps you’ve just come back from holiday and you can’t wait to go again. You need something to look forward to over winter. Why not work towards a holiday pot?

Good spending habits on a day to day basis can make life so much easier. Think of all the things you could do if you were saving money each week. What would be on your bucket list once you have the money put aside because you have been able to cut costs?

Follow these 5 steps and you will soon see the difference in how much money is in your account; money that can be spent on what you really want.

1. Take Control Of Spending

So, where do you start? You start to cut costs by knowing how much you are spending. Simple. In essence, there are four stages:

  • Be aware of all of your costs – put everything down!
  • Calculate your total income
  • Prepare a budget
  • Stick to the budget
Example costs - 5 ways to cut costs today

Make a list of all your costs and then consider how you can bring these down. You are likely to have a mixture of long-term and short-term actions. Choose some actions which come to fruition quickly to keep your motivation up, as well as some that may be bigger savings but may take longer to implement.

To get you started, download my free Action Plan.

And that is how it all starts. Now you will need to implement your ideas and reduce your spending. The next 4 steps are some ideas on quick wins which will motivate you to keep up the good work and cut costs.

2. Take Out A Set Amount Of Money Each Week

It’s easy to overspend without thinking if you tend to pay for everything using debit or credit cards, especially if you’re using contactless payments, as is often the case at present. Being able to pay with things by using your phone hasn’t helped either. Then, there’s the added ‘invisible spend’ online – why did you order that kayak on eBay again?

If you’re using your card regularly, I would write down how much you’ve spent and where you’ve spent it so that you’re aware.  It can help to take a set amount of money out for the week, taking into account your travel expenses, food budget, bills and general spending money.

If, like the Queen, you don’t carry cash, maybe think about setting a spending limit on your card. Most banks offer this option.

Also write down everything you spend money on each day – even small items like a chocolate bar can add up over the course of a week. Taking note of everything you’re buying can help you keep track of where your money is going, allowing you to know where you can easily cut costs.

Always ask for the receipt when offered, even if it is in an email. You may not be able to note it down there and then, but say ‘yes’ to the receipt and keep them safe until you get home then keep a log of your spending. Maybe the thought of having to write it all down when you get home may be enough of an incentive not to buy in the first place!

3. Walk More to cut costs

Cut petrol costs by walking whenever you can. Even more important now with the cost of fuel! Not only will you cut costs but it will improve your health too! You could also look for opportunities to car share when possible.

And if you can’t avoid driving, there are ways to make your car more fuel efficient – which will save you money in the long-run. Keeping your tyres inflated, decluttering the car and keeping the air-con to a minimum can all help, as can accelerating more gradually and changing up a gear sooner.

4. Cut costs on Your Food Shopping

Having everything you need written down and sticking to a list can make a difference. Without one you are more likely to put things in the basket you don’t need. Also, there are certain times of the day when supermarkets reduce the food to a fraction of their price. Worth watching out for! But don’t buy things you are not going to use in time, just because they are reduced. That’s a false economy.

And while online shopping may seem easier and may stop you from making impulse buys, this isn’t always the case. So, as more of us are using online shopping, make sure you really want that special offer before you confirm your shopping list!

Finally, be wary of that infamous ‘middle aisle’ at certain supermarkets. Do you really need that leaf blower and cocktail shaker with your weekly shop?

5. Use a Budgeting App to cut costs

This will help you to keep track of your daily expenditure.  Apps include Mint or Quicken but find one that suits you. Most bank’s apps also offer a range of options nowadays to help you control your spending. Have a look and see what yours can do.

As you go about your daily tasks both at home and at work, think about any expenditure you can cut back on. Perhaps thinking about what you can be putting that money towards will help you look towards a brighter future. Making your own sandwich for lunch rather than popping out to buy one is a small sacrifice to make when you know it is getting you one step closer to your next holiday on the beach!

Good luck!