It can feel really good to know that you are not spending more than necessary on things. However, it can sometimes feel like we are spending more and more money each month on things and perhaps even that you have to get a loan to manage. This can be because prices rise and therefore, we will need to pay out more, but this should not have a significant impact on what we spend. However, it can still feel like we are spending too much. There are different things that we can do though, which will help to keep the money we spend down to a lower amount.
Try different retailers/suppliers
You may find that you are paying more than necessary because the retailer or suppliers you are using are more expensive than others. You will find, for example, if you compare different electricity suppliers that they will vary in how much they will charge you and some will be cheaper than others. Therefore, if you switch to a different one then you could save money. If you look at every place you spend significant amounts of money at and swap them to cheaper ones you could make lots of savings. Each saving might be small but it will add up. For example, if you swap supermarket, insurer, lender, utility suppliers, phone supplier, TV and broadband supplier and other shops you go in to and reduce the cost for all of those you should find that you will make savings.
It is wise to compare prices on everything that you buy. This means everything from seeing whether the carrots you want are cheaper tinned, frozen, fresh, loose or wrapped to whether you can get your children’s school uniform second hand to reduce the cost. You may not want to swap everything you buy and you may have tried some cheaper alternatives anyway. However, prices change a lot and you may find that you are paying more than you realise for certain items and that it will be possible for you to swap to a different type of that item or perhaps a different brand and save money. It can seem tricky to do this but you might be able to do it online before you go out shopping to save time. There are different websites and apps where you can make this sort of comparison and they could be really handy here.
Change what you buy
It can also help to change the sorts of things that you are buying. You may find that you can substitute some things and make significant savings. For example, if you buy a lot of out of season fruit that is grown abroad then this can be expensive. It can be cheaper to swap this for fruit that is in season or grown in the UK. So, in the winter if you swap buying strawberries to buying apples you could save money. You could also save money by buying cheaper cuts of meat, cheaper types of meat or substituting some meat meals with vegetarian options. Cooking from scratch can also be cheaper as well. You can make substitutions across all areas as well as food, such as buying hankies instead of tissues, using a clothes airer rather than a tumble dryer and things like this. If you put your mind to it you will be able to think of lots of possible swaps.
Most of us buy a lot more than we need. Buying less can really help. This can apply to all sorts of things from food to clothes, from insurance to cars. It can be good to think about whether there are any areas that we can cut down. It can feel hard doing this. You may feel like you are almost punishing yourself because you are going without things. However, if it means that you are spending less this can be a really good thing for you. It can mean that it is easier for you to make ends meet and that you will be able to perhaps even put some money into a savings account or repay some loans. If you focus on the benefits then that could help.
So, if you put your mind to it, you could find ways to save significant amounts of money. It will take some working out and you may need to go without a few things or change brands. This could even help you though as you may discover that you prefer certain items that are cheaper than you were buying before. Also perhaps cutting down on take away food, eating out or excess food could mean that you get healthier too. It will take time as well, but you could tackle a few areas each month and so make a bit of a saving each month and slowly build up those savings as you swap some things and cut back what you buy in other areas. It can actually be a fun challenge and you could even try it with someone else and have a contest to see who can save the most money.