A lot of us are looking for ways to lower our running costs. Whether it’s a bad spending pattern we’ve slipped into, or simply a desire to save a bit of extra cash, finding a way to reduce our spending is an ever-present need for the frugally minded. Here are 5 ways, some orthodox, some less traditional, to reduce your spending.
The Daily Earth Hour
A nice suggestion from Robikon on Hub Pages. Instead of waiting for the annual Earth Hour, why not think about living without electricity for one hour a day? You could make it dinnertime; once everything is cooked, sit down with some candles, a bottle of red and your meal and have a chat. Or you could use the hour to catch up on your current book, read the papers, meditate. It’s not just great for the environment, it’ll shave some dollars off your electricity bill and maybe help you feel nice and relaxed as well.
Cut $50 From Your Grocery Budget
Right this second. Just take $50 out of the allocated budget for your groceries this week. It’s only for a week, so you’ll be able to make do. You’ll be amazed at how easily you can acquire all the basics, even at the lower cost. Often, we spend money because we’re used to spending money. You’ll save $50 immediately, and might be convinced to try a lower groceries budget on a permanent basis.
We all have different ideas about what a necessity is (try telling me central heating isn’t a necessity when you live on top of a mountain, and see how far you get). That said, it’s important to look at our own lives and see what items we regard as essential, which are in fact just unconscious spending. Bought water, for instance. With the highest standard of drinking water worldwide, Australians could probably let that slide. The same is true of single-purpose cleaning agents, a variety of skin care products and our addiction to pay TV.
Switch To Cash
But only for problem areas. An ingenious suggestion from Money For 20 Somethings, why not look at which areas of spending are a problem for you. Clothes? Groceries? Utilities? Entertainment? Are you relatively frugal at the supermarket, and then burn your plastic as soon as you see a shoe store? Maybe you never buy clothes, but leave you heating on all day and all night, even when you spend 8 hours at work everyday. Switch to cash for those areas, and you’ll find your approach to them changes and your spending on them decreases. If switching to cash wholesale isn’t for you, this is a great and easy way to reduce spending.
Don’t Double Up
If you’ve got a mobile, do you really need a landline as well? If you’re going for long walks around your town, do you really need a gym membership? If you constantly download movies, how much do you use your pay TV subscription. All these things are fine as long as they’re being used effectively. Look at where your money is going, and what changes could be made to reduce spending without detracting from how you live your life. Double-ups should be the first thing on the cutting block.