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How to Easily Cut Down Your Spending

Many of us would like to reduce the amount that we spend. This could perhaps be so that we do not have to borrow money, so that it is easier to make ends meet or because we would like to have some money left over to save. However, it can sometimes seem like a really difficult task. There are things that you can do which might help though.

Write down what you buy
It can be a really good exercise to note down everything that you buy. This means every single thing form the charge on your overdraft and your insurance premiums to your children’s pocket money and chocolate bars form the vending machine at work. By noting down every single thing that we buy and how much it costs it can be very helpful. It is hard t imagine exactly how much we are spending and what on, but once you note it down it can be really revealing in several ways. Firstly, we might be buying certain things a lot more often than we realise We might be buying things that we do not even really need or want. We might be paying a lot more for certain things than we imagined.

It can be hard to do this as you might be afraid that it will make you feel like you have to stop buying your favourite things. This is not the point of the exercise though. You will not have to cut back on everything, it is just a case if identifying what you are buying. You may find that there are certain things which jump out at you and you know that they are not really worth buying, but you will also see things that you definitely want to keep buying. Even if you have no immediate thoughts, you still need to make sure that are aware of what the status is with your spending.

Compare prices
It can be a really good idea to look at how much you are paying for things and seeing whether you will be able to reduce that at all. There will be some items that you will be paying more for than necessary and you should take a look at the different places you can get it and compare the prices. You might find that you can make a significant saving on something like insurance or utilities if you change your provider and you will hardly notice any difference. Some items you may notice, such as if you switch your favourite brand of coffee to a cheaper one. However, you may not necessarily find that the cheaper one is not as nice. It is often assumed that ‘you get what you pay for’ but often you are just paying for the brand name and you wont necessarily get a better service. It is worth taking a closer look at what you buy and what alternatives there are so that you can work out whether you are getting really good value for money.

Stop buying things you do not need
We very often buy things that we do not really need. It can be fun to treat ourselves but we will spend more money this way. It is therefore a good idea to think about whether you really want and need to spend all of the money that you do. Going without a few things can help you to spend less and you may not even really notice that much. It all depends on what you choose to go without. If you refer back to the list that you have made, then you will be able to prioritise your spending. Think about which items you really need to buy and then see whether you have enough money for those. If you do not then you will need to think about whether you can get them cheaper or earn more money to cover them. If you can cover those, then look at what you have left over money wise and whether you can afford all of the other things that you like to buy. If you cannot then you should decide which items you would like to pay for and which you can go without. It may just mean that you have to buy some things less often or buy less of them. It is a good idea to think about what you are willing to reduce and what you really want and that should help you to choose.

It may not sound that easy, but once you start, then it gets easier and easier. If you also make sure that you spend some time reminding yourself of why you are doing it, this should help. You will be more motivated and more likely to be happy to cut back a bit.

How to Afford Eating Out

Many of us really enjoy eating out. It can be a nice treat to have food that you would not be able to cook yourself and to have a break form cooking. Some people cannot really cook and so they have to eat out to get a meal anyway. However, eating out can be expensive and so it is something that most people cannot do all of the time. There are things that you can try to do though, which will mean that you will be able to get a bit more money to pay for eating out.

Find cheap places to eat

It can help if you choose a cheaper place to eat out. Then it will not cost so much money for you. You might feel that you would rather eat out less often and pay a bit more money so that you can get something really special. That is up to you really! You could always have a budget when you are eating out, so go to a nice place but stick to a cheaper option. You could perhaps choose to drink water rather than buying a drink and skipping a starter or pudding or both. You can then still experience the luxury of eating out without having to spend so much money.

Cut down on take away food

Many of us will spend a lot of money on take away food. You may feel that this does not apply to you, but actually you may do it more than you think. When you buy a coffee when you are out, a bottle of water or can of fizzy drink. A sandwich at lunch time or a chocolate bar. All of these things cost money and there are cheaper ways to get these items without buying them like this. If you refill your own bottle, make your coffee at home, buy your fizzy drinks in the supermarket and make your own sandwiches, you will save money. This will enable you to be able to save that money and put it towards eating out. Of course, you may not want to save money this way and there will be other ways that you might be able to cut down the amount that you are spending as well.

Reduce spending on luxuries

Most of us will spend some money on luxury items. This can include all manner of things from luxury food and drink, entertainment, clothing, accessories, homeware and gifts. There will be some things that you will not be prepared to cut back on at all, but there will also be items that you might consider cutting back on so that you can free up money to eat out. It will be up to you to decide whether you feel that you are willing to sacrifice that item so that you can afford to eat out.

Earn more

Another option is to see whether you can earn more money. If you are able to do this, then you will be able to use that money to pay for eating out more often. Sometimes this can be easier than others. If you are already working as many hours as you can and have family commitments it might seem impossible. Those that do not could try to get more hours in their job or do a second job, which may not be an option for you. However, it might be possible for to do a bit of freelance work, perhaps working form home or finding an online job. These may not pay as much, perhaps even below the minimum wage, but they will be able to provide you with some more money which could be enough to allow you to afford to eat out.

Borrow Money

Another option would be to borrow the money. You might decide to cover the cost of the meal on your credit card or perhaps use your overdraft. This will mean that you will be able to enjoy the meal and not think about giving something up or earning more money to pay for it. However, you will need to be careful to make sure that you have enough money to then repay the debt. Even if you choose not to repay it all right away, you will need to do so eventually and you will need to pay the interest on the loan, even if the loan has a good, affordable rate. The addition of interest will mean that you will end up paying a lot more than if you saved up and paid with money that you had. Of course, you may just use a credit card to delay paying for the meal until the statement comes and then repay it in full then. If you do this it will not cost you anything extra but you will need to plan to make sure that you will have the money available.