32 WAYS TO CUT YOUR LIVING EXPENSES
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 eartshattering, 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 Viaplay, 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.
- Fuel up when the fuel is cheap.
- Walk or cycle instead of driving when possible.
Do not go to the shopping unless needed!
More or less every time I go to a shop that is halfway interesting, I feel a need for something new. I am not a shopaholic, I am very far away, I am perfectly fine as long as I do not go to the shops I like. Then I see all these new things that I know would look great in, or something that would look fantastic in my house…I have learned my lesson, this strong feeling of need I get will pass. When I get home, I will look around me and be fine with what I have, if I look in my closet a day when I feel ok, I will be pleased with what I have, and feel that I look ok in most of it.
I do not always feel great, but I know that as long as my clothes are ok, the feeling is more from within than anything to do with my clothes. If I wash my hair and go out for a walk, I will feel a lot better about myself..
As for my house, as long as it is fairly tidy, I am not to unhappy about it. There will always be things I would like to change, but that is the story of everything. I cannot change everything I want all the time, I will be broke! I like some expensive things, but I am also very fond of memories. I am fond of the things I have been given as presents, I am fond of things I have inherited. But I am not fond of mess!
So every time I feel the need to do something that involves money around the house, I clean and organize things. Most times the need disappears, other times it is actually needed, and we all need things from time to time, it is simply the frequency of our needs..
I love having everything in a system, it makes me feel so much calmer and happier about things. It makes me feel I have a lot as well, and it looks so much nicer when it is properly organized.
There are some great systems you can buy, but you can also use a lot of what you have to store things in. remember to through things you know for a fact you will never use again, like scarp paper and old magazines. If there is something in a magazine you want to keep, make a folder and stick it in there, you do not need the whole magazine, it clutters up your house.
So if you have to go to the shop, go home and have a think before you buy. Consider if what you want is something you need or want, how strong is your need and can you possibly live without it? You know for a fact things do not come for free, can you actually afford it? If you can`t, you should definitely not buy it. If you can afford it that month, you should ask yourself, is this how I want to spend my money? Is there a better way to spend them? And the choice is yoursJ Be happy about what you have, once you thought it looked nice in the shops and you bought it, just like the new thing you fancy now! There is no better way of spending money than going to the shops, or internettshopping:-)
Know what you have and be content!
When you move into a new place you tend to get a lot of new things. But as I said before, try to get hand me downs from your family and friends and secondhand instead of buying it all new, you do not need to spend a fortune if you are a bit creative. You do not even need to be terribly handy, you will come a long way with some buckets of paint and paintbrushes. I you add a stapler and some new fabrics in there you might find yourself with at a new sofa at a fraction of the prize a new one would have cost you. Look at YouTube for tutorials on how to do up furniture.
But you can potentially spend a lot of money on interior and a variety of other little bits and pieces after you have stayed in a place for some time as well.. It is always room for improvement…
As stupid as it sounds, I think I save money by tidying and organize your house!
I am simply a human being, and even with a deep love of systems, a tidy house and the best of intentions, I do slip up and make mistakes. I make a mess, often because I am in a hurry and “shall tidy up later”, but then something else took over..
And it is normally when the house is a mess, and I am entering certain shops I love, I feel the need to buy something new for the house or maybe to do up a room.. Well, let us face it, I do not need it!! the facts, my basement is full, so with the attic. Never mind that I made a bit more attic space last year, which is halfway on the way to full as well. I do not need anything new what so ever! When I clean the house, wash the windows and sort my drawers, I find myself a lot happier with what I have!!
By the time I have finished, I have had time to calm my shopping need down a bit and I have made the best of what I have, and it looks fine!
Frankly, no messy house looks great. Apart from the fact that it does not look great, it makes my head feel messy. Surveys show I am not the only one getting that feeling.
A tidy house makes you feel more relaxed, frees up time as you do not need t search for things you will find things you had forgotten about, and make you hesitate to buy new things. Both because the moment passes and because it will actually make you happier with your house and you do not see the need to buy anything new. As for my house, as long as it is fairly tidy, I am not too unhappy about it. There will always be things I would like to change, but that is the story of everything. I cannot change everything I want all the time, I will be broke! I like some expensive things, but I am also very fond of memories. I am fond of the things I have been given as presents; I am fond of things I have inherited. But I am not fond of mess! There are some great systems you can buy to store and organize things, but you can also use a lot of what you have to store things in. Remember to through things you know for a fact you will never use again, like scarp paper and old magazines. If there is something in a magazine you want to keep, make a folder and stick it in there.
So start sorting your house out, reorganize your drawers, and find that you have a lot! If you do not, consider yourself fairly lucky, you will have less to tidy up! Joking aside, if you really need something, look for secondhand things. Try your charity shop or one of the many pages on internet that sells secondhand items. You are very likely to find something that is just as good as new to the fraction of the price. The fact that I can buy something secondhand at a fraction of the prize it would have cost to buy it new, is one of the reasons I am not that keen on selling off things I might possibly need in the future, I will simply not get a lot back.
I do realize that is what a lot of proper hoarders say, and end up with a house full of junk. But I do think you should use your common sense, like your kids toys, they tend to take up a lot of space will give you only a little bit of money, and most of them are made out of plastic. Plastic loses its colour and breaks easily after a couple of years, on top of that, they go out of fashion! So in my view, sell as soon as possible. Then you do not feel too nostalgic either! But if you have some good items made from wood or simply hold a lot of fond memories, maybe you want to keep them?
And then there are things like well-meaning presents that you never liked in the first place, or things that looked great in the shop, but not when you came home.. Get rid of them! Sell them on Ebay or whatever works best for you! If you want to avoid sending items, organize a garage sale with a friend and see what happens, you will get a tidier house and some more money in your pocket.
From time to time we do want to do more than cleaning and tidying our place. As I said above, look to see if you can do up some of the furniture you already have and look for secondhand things. Can your sofa be ok with a new cover, what about polishing or painting your dining room furniture?
But if you are going to buy something new, go home and have a think before you buy. Consider if this is an item you need or want, how strong is your need and can you possibly live without it? You know for a fact things do not come for free, can you actually afford it? If you can`t, you should definitely not buy it. If you can afford it that month, you should ask yourself, is this how I really want to spend my money? Is there a better way to spend them? And the choice is yoursJ Be happy about what you already have, once you thought it looked nice enough in the shops to buy it, just like the new thing you fancy now!
Remember to be content with what you have, do not look to your neighbours and friends and compare yourself to them all the time. Make the best out of what you already have and set the standard in your house according to what you can afford and think is worth spending money on, and be happy and content with what you have:-)