Managing your finances can be hard at times. We have bills to pay, mouths to feed, and the lure of online shopping has never been greater. Energy costs are on the rise, children cost more than ever to look after, and advertising is everywhere, tempting us to keep buying. Maintaining control of your finances isn’t always easy. Reducing bills and outgoings where possible can provide a welcomed relief. Here are some ways to reduce your monthly outgoings.
Reduce your electricity and gas consumptions
Utility bills can be high, particularly in winter. There are several things you and the family can do to ensure that you aren’t paying more than you need to. A smart meter allows you to track where you are spending the most electricity and gas around your home, so you should consider having one installed. Make sure that lights are switched off in any rooms which aren’t occupied. Switch off any items which aren’t being used like kettles, televisions, microwaves, etc. While these only use a very small amount of energy, it can mount up. A television on standby will cost far more over a year than one which is switched off at the plug. Don’t have your heating on constantly, particularly if you are out. In the winter, it is important to make sure that your pipes don’t freeze. Keeping heating at a reasonable level should ensure that it doesn’t happen. Companies like Nest and Hive supply thermostats that can be controlled even when you are out, so even if you forget to switch the heating off, you can do so remotely.
Establish whether you can get a better mortgage deal
Mortgages for most of us are our biggest monthly outgoing. Finding out if you can get a better deal is a very wise choice. Some online mortgage brokers offer you the ability to make a comparison via their website to establish the rates and deals potentially available based on your circumstances. You may be able to reduce your mortgage substantially just by switching from fixed rates to trackers, there are many options available.
Reducing your food spend Outgoings
Another fairly large monthly spend is food. Meal planning is a great way to reduce your spending. At the beginning of each week, write down what you intend eating that week. List the ingredients needed, go through your cupboards and tick off what you already have. Online grocery shopping is another great idea. By purchasing everything online and having it delivered, you won’t be tempted to deviate when walking through the aisles and seeing what’s on offer. Batch cooking is a great money saver and can save you time too. Make large quantities of different meals and freeze them. You will have lots of options on hand for those nights when you perhaps don’t have the time or inclination to cook. Some supermarkets are far cheaper than others, so don’t always stick to one. Shopping around can make a huge difference.