If your wallet is feeling a bit emptier these days, you may be wondering, how can I save a bit more money on my everyday expenses? Learn our 5 different steps you can implement right now to save $50-$200 in your current budget that you can use to improve your lifestyle, pay down debt, or use to invest.
The key thing to note here, in order to implement these 5 steps, is to have a budget or a spending plan. The difference between the two is that a budget looks backwards, whereas a spending plan looks forward. If you don’t have either of these, you can download our spending plan here.
Watch Instead: How can I save more money?
1. Find your five largest expenses in your budget or spending plan
First, find your five largest expenses within your monthly budget as this is what you’re going to attack first.
2. For each expense, decide whether you’re going to reduce, eliminate or switch
Reducing spending means that you’re not going to actually change a provider or going to completely eliminate it. I’m just going to reduce the cost. Usually this method is good for discretionary types of spending i.e. entertainment and shopping for clothes, toys, homeware etc.
Eliminating spending means you completely stop buying things or spending money on things. This method is great for subscriptions you no longer use. Go through every single subscription and paid app you have on your phone/computer and ask yourself if you’re using it regularly enough. The elimination method can also be great for beauty upkeep which you could DIY – there are so many nail kits, brow kits etc. Which you could use yourself (if you trust yourself doing them) and save a tonne of money on those monthly appointments.
The third and final method is to switch providers. This is where huge savings can happen on things like your mortgage, WiFi, phone bills and electricity. There are so many providers currently offering very enticing packages if you switch over to them. There are also a number of great free online tools you can use to find out how much you can save like Powerswitch.
3. Sell items keeping you in debt
The third step is to look into your budget or spending plan and see what things you’ve still got debt on. Perhaps it’s time to sell these things. For example, if you have a car that has a lot of debt on it, you can sell it and then buy another car with the leftover cash. Depending on what it is that you are selling, you might be able to get a reduction in your expenses right away. It might hurt a little bit, but you definitely can save money in that are and this ensures your monthly expenses stay down.
4. Consolidate your short-term debt
Consolidating debt means bringing all of your short-term debts together by either a mortgage top up or personal loan (we suggest a mortgage top up as the interest rates are less) to get a lower interest rate on all of your short-term debt. This means your monthly repayments can be made smaller right away. A word of caution – debt consolidation should be used for an extreme situation where you’re not in a position to use either a debt snowball or debt avalanche approach. Definitely talk to a mortgage advisor before implementing this step.
5. Use cash for your everyday spending
Go to an ATM or your bank and get out some cash out for your daily spending. Using cash makes you spend less! You feel it a lot more when that cash leaves your hand as opposed to using a card. Cash makes you think twice before spending your hard-earned money; you’ll think, “do I really need this?” and “I’ve now only got X amount left for the week” forcing you to budget on the spot. Use this method for your discretionary expenses, your petrol, your groceries etc. As it could save you lots.
If you read this article and think you need a bit more help or have questions on paying off short-term debt or debt consolidation, book a 15 minute chat with us so we can look over your situation and give you a plan for how you can be able to get some extra cash to either live the lifestyle that you want, pay down extra debt, or invest in property.
Keep in mind this article is providing general information and not individual financial advice.