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Saturday, 8 July 2017

Six Ways I've Managed To Reduce My Monthly Outgoings

The last few months have been tough.
It may look glamorous to work from home, own your own business, be your own boss and live on the internet - but it's not easy. (no I'm not a full-time blogger.... if only haha!)

Taking knocks left, right and centre at one point really hit me hard and I kind of thought... what have I done to deserve this? I've worked my ass off since I was 15 and I'm really trying, but there is no use feeling this way - it could always be worse, I know that.

So over these months I've learnt to tightened those purse strings every so slightly and have learnt to live an adult life (aka not living a home with the 'rents) on a serious budget.
I thought maybe this post could help a few of you, maybe are in a similar position, want to pay off some debt or just looking to save some money each month!

Debt Managed - Going Interest Free!
When it comes to 'debt' I'm not in a terrible hole. I had one credit card, an overdraft, a store account, a phone contract - you know the usual. But I wanted a way to be able to save the money I was having to fork out each month to pay them off...... so I applied for a balance transfer interest free credit card. 
Surprisingly to me, I was accepted and I managed to move over the majority of my credit card sum to the new card which has 18 months 0% interest... saving me a lot of money for the next year and a half! Plus I have also paid off my store/online account too which is yet another weight off my shoulders!
If you're paying the minimum payment on your credit card and seeing near enough the same amount go on in interest each month look into the options available to you - I found Money Saving Expert really helpful for this and I use ClearScore to check my credit rating monthly which I highly recommend you do too!

Planning My Food Shops & Meals
Instead of heading to the shops 4 or 5 times a week and picking up bits and bobs I have been striving to go on a main grocery shop just once a week. I like to use my weekly planner (pictured) to breakdown what I'm going to have each day and therefore work out what I need to buy! Being boring old me I do tend to eat a lot of the same things which doesn't make shopping too difficult.... it's just a pain that eating healthy tends to cost slightly more.

Use It Up 
This kind of links to the above point. I try and look through my cupboards, fridge and freezer before planning my meals and writing any shopping lists to ensure I've using up as much as I already have as possible. 
Have you ever come home from a shop gone to put, say, a bag of pasta away only to be greeted by the exact same bag already in the cupboard? THAT is what I'm trying to avoid! 
This isn't just for food either. Beauty products have always been my downfall and I got into the routine of "it's on offer, I'll buy it", even if it was shampoo and even if I already had three open bottles half used in the shower. So it's now - "there's none left, I need to buy more." before I invest!

Bye Bye Unnecessary Direct Debits
When I get paid, before I buy anything for myself, I pay every single bill I have, minus my direct debits which go out throughout the month.
Over the last few months though I have completely cut down the amount of DD's I have flying out of my account including NowTV, Audible and annoyingly... my gym membership - these were payments that, unfortunately, weren't essential to my life and I knew I could live without them. (Netflix you were lucky.... I NEEDED PLL.... now you're on thin ice!)

The Monthly List
At the start of each month I have been writing a list of things I will, without a doubt, have to splash out on. Things like boat fares (yes I live on an island), birthday cards/presents for loved ones, if my shower gel is running low.... you get the picture! I then try get everything bought asap so I can evaluate how much money I have left for the remainder of the month!

The Money Diary
I've tried these before and given up very quickly.... but what I have going on now seems to be working - I actually remember to add to it! Each payment I make I write down, at the end of each month I can then see what purchases weren't necessary and I can avoid it the next month. I do like to try and withdraw cash to use each week though as I feel like it makes spending a lot harder, you think a lot more if you have to work out if you have enough pennies in your purse!

Got any tips? Send them my way!

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3 comments

  1. I definitely find that having a meal plan helps so much in budgeting. Danielle || Miss Danielle

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm moving out at the end of the month so I'll be trying to use your tips to help me keep my expenses down when I do

    Jess x
    http://www.acornlifefitness.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love the last two points, definitely things I'm going to try!

    Sophie | www.astoldby-sophie.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete

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