I know I can cut back on my household expenses, some will go unnoticed and not make much of a change, others will be missed for a bit, but we will soon forget! You might find yourself thinking: I do not want to give up all these things, I love my car, gym membership, my lunches out… Yes, we all love them, but how much do you love them? It is a reason we want to cut back on our outgoings, and these are easy expenses to cut. None of these changes are earthshattering, none of them requires a degree in economics to figure them out. But if you are aware of them and cut back where you can, you will save yourself a lot of money!
Consider subscriptions like Netflix, Spotify , papers and magazines. Cut what you see fit to be cut. I might like them, but do I need them, can I live happily without?
Consider your deal with the TV company, can you get a better deal? Do you need Netflix, HBO and Amazon Prime? How much time are you going to spend in front of a TV?
Check your phone deals. Do you have both a landline and a mobile phone? Do you need both?
Check your broadband deal. Check what other options there are.
Stop any gym membership. Go running on your own instead. You can exercise at home, there is no need to go to the gym. Personally I love hill walking and walking in general. It is basically free; you just need to do it!
Turn the temperature in the house down 2 degrees, nobody are going to die from that, put on a jumper if it is cold.
You do not need to heat the whole house all day. It is ok to have cooler bedrooms, the kitchen and living room can be warmer than the bedrooms.
Use slippers. Listen to your Gran and look out your slippers and warm socks; if you have cold feet you feel a lot colder!
Put a note next to the shower that says: max 7 minutes in the shower, not 20! You will get used to being quick.
Forget about that you have a tumble drier; it takes a lot of electricity. I have a tumble drier, it is nothing wrong with it, but I see the sad link between when I have used it and the increase in the electricity bills we get afterwards. It is not pretty! In the summertime it is easy to hang clothes outside, in the winter time or if you live a place where it is not suitable to hang clothes outside, find a space in your house with enough warmth and hang them up on a clothes rack, like in your bathroom or in front of a radiator, they dry quickly.
When you put on your washes, please fill the machine up! Or at least use a very short program if it is just one item. I think it is also perfectly possible to use your pants for more than a couple of hours, just hang them up nicely before reusing them!
Always switch off the lights when you leave the room.
Use the clothes you already have, do not buy new ones. Personally I have all the clothes I need, I do always maybe want a little bit more, but I am fine! If I really need to get something, I will try to get it secondhand or on sale.
If you have kids, get them clothes when they really need it, not when they fancy something new. They will hopefully remember this later in life, that there is a difference between wants and needs. I strongly believe that you do not do your kids any favours by spoiling them, but it is ever so easy to do it!
Let your kids inherit clothes, either from each other or others. There has been research that says the world could go for 10 years just reusing clothes before we started running out of clothes. I am not sure how it is possible to do such research, but I think it sums up how much extra we have in our consumer society.
No more lovely coffees at the café, I have found a perfect cheap way to make it myself, easy as anything and my friends love it!
Fix up your old furniture. When the sofa that is perfectly comfortable to sit in looks too tatty, put on a new cover. Look at YouTube for instructions. Same with old chairs and tables, why fill up the landfills and empty your wallet? Most of us are aware of that we are filling up the landfills. I know this sounds a bit boring, but it is true and as far as I am concerned, it is sickening. So why are we going past the dump with things that are not too bad or halfway ok on the way to the shop to but new things? Can we at least have the decency to try and sell it? It is better for both the environment and your wallet.
If you are setting up a house, do not be too fussy. Your parents, in-laws or grandparents might have a lot more than they need, and want! Not all of it might be entirely to your taste, but it might be ok! Fact is that you might get it at some point anyway! If you mix and match, it might be perfectly fine, and it will save you a lot of money!
Explain to friends and family that you are cutting back on presents. Explain that you are very fond of them, but that you are cutting back on money spent on presents. Personally I there are better ways of showing my love for people than giving presents. I love my family. I love my kids, husband, parents, brothers, aunts and uncles, sister and brother- in laws, even my parents-in-laws, though they can prove hard work at times. I am ever so fond of my friends, I appreciate them immensely. But I cannot get away from the fact that this love can be quite expensive at times. It does cost a lot with presents for birthdays and Christmas. It is not that I do not want to give anything, it just feels a bit wrong to 1)give a present I do not really think they want, as they already have plenty 2) pay for that present. So my advice is: give a present that does not cost money! Offer to babysit your brother’s kids for a weekend or sort your mum’s garden out. Invite your in-laws for dinner and have a nice time! Your love for somebody should not be measured in money.
Make homemade presents for Christmas. Cakes and preservatives are great gifts, providing you are a halfway decent cook, or a child!!
If you can fix something yourself, do it! Make do and mend!!
Do your own housecleaning, gardening, dog walking
Grow a garden. If you have any size of garden, use it for something! It is a fun project and it will give you free food! Decide what you want to grow; herbs can be on a veranda or in a windowsill, no need for a garden. Herbs tend to be expensive to buy and supermarket herbs die rather quickly in my hands. Even when I part them and put them into bigger containers, they are not happy in my kitchen.
Always pay your bills on time, otherwise you pay extra…
Get rid of expensive hobbies. A hobby is meant to be an activity that you like, and therefore does you good. Does it do you any good if you spend too much money on it? So there are some alternatives: a) stop spending money on it, use what you have. Like fishing, use your equipment but do not buy anything new. Fish locally and in the sea if you can, it is for free and you might even catch fish, read money. b) put your expensive hobby on ice until you can afford it c) find a new hobby that you like but does not cost much, if anything
But on sale. If your summer shoes have seen better days and will not do you next year, buy on end of season sale in late summer. Buy Christmas presents all through the year, it spreads the costs and saves you money in the respect it is on sale. Buy for birthday parties your kids are going to, if you have several kids presents for birthday parties soon ad up.
Only buy something on sale if you had planned to buy it anyway. It is no point to buy something you do not need just because it is on sale.
Get a library card. There are lots of books in the world, most of them you will only read once, so why buy a book if you can read it for free? Library books does not clutter your house either as you have to give them back. You might also find a lot of interesting info about your local community in the library apart from books.
Get a razor for hair and a pair of hairdresser scissor, cut your husband`s and son`s hair; it soon grows out if it turns out you need more practice! And just to annoy a lot of hairdressers: I am pretty sure most of us can tidy up other haircuts as well. I was pretty nervous when my 13 year old daughter got to put the scissors into my long hair. She was carefully taking off 1 cm, after having parted it and looked at instructions on YouTube, and I looked fine! I cannot say it was much different from what my hairdresser does, could be that it says more about the hairdresser than my daughter, but I am happy anyway!
Consider if you need your car. This can be a big sacrifice, but one to take into consideration as it might save you a lot of money.