Do you spend too much? Does your spending get in the way of your saving and investment goals? Here is a simple list of financial and lifestyle changes you can consider to help cut the spending.
1.Buy in Bulk
Think about those staple products you buy every week or month. The same size and the same brand. Excluding foods that have short sell-by dates, begin buying products in as large quantities as possible thus reducing the cost per unit. When you see special offers this is a great time to stock up. You may feel a little silly buying 100 rolls of toilet paper, but it will be worth it.
2. Make a Budget
Budgeting is something all financial advisors will [should] suggest. It’s a great way to visualise all your finances. Drawing out everything you receive and spend and understanding where your income is coming and going will soon identify where you can reduce spending.
Exercise is free or at least cheap. Even at the most expensive gym, it’s only going to cost a few fancy dinners worth for a month’s membership. Filling your time up exercising will not only keep you away from eating out in restaurants and guzzling beer and wine in your local pub but it will also make you less likely to abuse food and drink as it will be ruining your hard work.
4. Start Having Dinner Parties
That being said, socialising is of course something that humans require for a balanced life. All too often we spend more than anticipated in a restaurant. We are all guilty of those extra puddings or glasses of wine. Putting the effort in to recreating a restaurant atmosphere at home and breaking out the best recipes not only has a far more personal touch to a social event but also is significantly cheaper.
5. Check your Banking Fees
Banking fees can be very expensive when calculated over a year. Especially when living as an expat and constantly sending and withdrawing money across countries and currencies. It’s worth investing a bit of time to check what fees you are currently paying and what you could save by switching banks and other money services.
6. Packed Lunch
Yes it’s a bit dull and yes it is nice to get out the office for an hour however, if you add up all those sandwiches, pastas, fried rice, noodles and cappuccinos you consume in a month and then compare it to the cost raw ingredients for batch cooking and making packed lunches every day you’ll be surprised just how much you can save.
7. If you’re married, talk to your partner about where you want to be in five years.
This won’t directly save you money but having clear and quantifiable goals in your household can have great impact on savings or at least your attitude towards savings.
8. Avoid Impulse Purchases
Yes, it’s tough. Marketers in all industries spend a lot of money to try and persuade you to purchase items with a minimal thought process. When you are facing an impulse purchase, try to sleep on it. Unless it’s an emergency it’s very likely it can wait 24 hours so give it that time to have a think before splurging the money. This will hopefully train your brain to start only purchasing things you need and less of the things you just want.
9. Maintenance Run.
What’s that? A maintenance run is a strategic investment of time. A simple monthly check, oil, clean and tighten of all your home appliances and even cars and other vehicles. By giving everything a good service, however small, you can help these appliances last longer and reduce the cost of replacement and repair.
10. Save Before You Spend
Quote from a very wealthy fellow; “Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving”. Mr Buffett hits the nail on the head by suggesting prioritising your saving goals before spending your money. This eliminates the scenario where you have spent too much one month and not contributed to your savings.