Guest Post by: John Hughes
In this time of financial pressure and uncertainty, many people are considering how they live, spend and earn. When the bills are piling up, and living costs are soaring, it can be easy to assume you don’t spend too much and are just a victim of a poor economy. You may be right, but that doesn’t mean you are immune to debt and financial worries. So here are 5 everyday cutbacks which may save you a serious amount of money in the longrun, help prevent you from borrowing, and bring your outgoings in line with your incomings.
1. Coffee habit?
You could be paying a lot of money each year for takeout coffees. It may seem small here and there, but if you buy a $3 latte 4 times a week, the annual cost adds up to a staggering $614 in a vear! Think about how you can change this. For example, if you know there’s free coffee as soon as you walk into the office, do you really need that extra one 15 minutes earlier? Alternatively, you could make a fresh pot at home and take it to work – that’s all of your caffeine sorted for the whole day.
2. One room at a time
We are all guilty of moving around the house of an evening, leaving radios, lights, televisions and other appliances blaring while we’re off doing something else. But it takes seconds, and saves money, to flick a switch before you leave the room. By planning your tasks and activities ahead, and using one room at a time you may find that this energy-saving attitude begins to come naturally, meaning you won’t even have to think about switch-flicking after a while!
3. New threads
Clothes-swapping is all the rage right now, with many cities even running big-scale shop and swap parties. Getting together with some friends, a bottle of wine and a few bags full of clothes you no longer want can be so much fun, and you may find some real style gems. So next time you’re bagging up a load of clothes for charity, let your friends rifle through before giving them away. One person’s rags are another person’s robes, and you don’t need to pay full price in the shops for something that a friend may have worn once…
4. Eat out, in.
More and more restaurants are offering take-out services with the same menu as their in-house dining. Although takeaways can also be expensive, you will avoid overspending on the following: service charges, tips, under-pressure ordering (choosing the most expensive thing because you panicked!), and drinks. Of course, it’s nice to eat out occasionally, so save up some cash for a special meal once a month, instead of a last-minute dash to the nearest Indian once a week. Planning the week’s meals before doing a weekly shop can help you avoid the bare-fridge empty-stomach snap decisions which we all make!
5. Walk to work
Though it is sometimes unavoidable, public transport can be very costly. However, you could save a substantial amount each week if you walk or cycle to work. People are increasingly donning the trainers and brisk-walking their way between home and work, so assess the distance and see if you can face joining them. Leaving 20 minutes early will cost you nothing and keep you fit, but you can always treat yourself to one morning on the bus if you fancy an extra 20 minutes in bed!
Saving money doesn’t have to be tough. A few simple steps can help you make the most of funds available. Shopping around to find the best savings account or investment option for your needs and can get the pennies you save earning more in terms of interest. If you’re unsure about which options may be suited to you, you may want to obtain financial advice.
Start today, save for tomorrow!
This post was written by John Hughes who is the resident blogger UK based site that provides access to financial information and advisors as well as debt advice charities for those struggling with their debts.
Photo By: Free Digital Photos