Looking to quickly cut your spending to save some money? Consider these three areas of your budget.
When times are tough, we often default to tightening in the reigns on our spending. It may seem simple to cut spending, but without a plan in place that details why and how you are going to do so; our attention can quickly be swayed and our good intentions derailed.
Here are three simple, yet super effective ways to cut spending:
Groceries: aim to buy the cheapest possible brand for one week only
The grocery budget is often one of the larger items in the household budget and is also the easiest one to reduce if you need to find some savings in a hurry.
Start by changing every food item you buy regularly to the cheapest version available in the supermarket – generic or home branded products are usually the cheapest. If this doesn’t result in a decent saving you can take this one step further by changing what you eat to be more affordable.
So many people I talk to are afraid to buy a different brand name. I explain to them that these days, the quality of products on our shelves are second to none; irrespective of the brand.
Don’t let a huge companies marketing prowess cause you financial strain. Many years ago I was no different; I refused to not buy the brands that I ‘loved’, my partner convinced me to try it for one week and you know what I now love? Saving $120 a week on my groceries.
On a sort of related side note;
I am about to undertake a charity event entitled “living below the line” which restricts participants to feed themselves for under $10 over five days ($2 per day).
My menu will consist of potato, rice, eggs and generic frozen vegetable dishes, and whilst it’s a form of hardship I hope I never have to endure permanently, my grocery bill will only be $10 this week and I see it as a great opportunity to educate the kids on the importance of appreciating what we have and giving back to those who need it most.
No spend weeks: stop buying things
Don’t lock away your wallet right away, the idea behind this concept is to have one week on, one week off from spending on certain items.
- You could aim to not spend any money on groceries and instead use up pantry leftovers.
- You could go a week without buying milk and bread.
- You could go a week without buying any type of convenience food (eg only eat what you’ve made at home).
- You could aim to leave the car at home for 50% of the week to use less petrol.
- You could leave your credit card at home to ensure you physically cannot spend a dollar during the day.
The goal here is to find a week on/week off plan for a few little expenses.
Doing this for a full year will see that particular expense be reduced by a whopping 50%.
Overhaul your transport costs (public and private)
Getting from A to B can be expensive (particularly if it’s in your own car). Even public transport can add up over the course of a full working months.
- Private transport to work can incur the costs of tolls, petrol, car parking and more.
- Public transport to work accumulate quickly with the costs of buses, trains and ferries quickly adding up.
Consider once a week (or more) walking to a destination you would normally drive, it doesn’t even need to be to work (as if you’re like me I’d get to work three weeks late) it could just be down to a friend’s place or local shops to pick up milk etc.
If you have a like minded money saver at work (or someone who works nearby you), consider carpooling and sharing the costs.
On your regular public transport routes, you could also consider hopping off a little bit earlier to reduce the cost of travel and instead walk the remaining stops (while getting your step count up).