How many of you are struggling to manage your household on only one income or a very low budget? We could all do with ways and means on how to save money on household bills and have some money left over at the end of each month, to either pay off debt, save or invest, or blow on a treat for ourselves.
Before we can start to save money we need to draw up a detailed budget, listing our income and all of our our outgoings – this is key to managing your household budget. Try and be as accurate as possible and include even the smallest of items. If you are left with a minus figure then you need to dig deeper and see what areas you may be able to cut back in.
Key areas to cut back in are food, entertainment, clothing and utilities but there are other places too. How many times do you draw money from an ATM for example? Some banks waive fees on other bank´s customers drawing from their ATMs but a lot don´t. These charges can soon mount up. If you have several outstanding debts, try and consolidate them and getter a better deal on the monthly payments.
Ways to save money in the home are to turn your thermostats down a notch, turn off lights if you are not in that room, stop leaving electrical goods on standby, utilise your oven and cook several things at once, check that your loft area is fully insulated as well, take showers instead of baths.
Also limit the use of your car. Try walking to places if at all feasible. This will get you healthy as well. If you do need to use the car try and do several jobs on one journey. Try checking out some of the deals on public transport and see how they compare to the price of using your car. These are just a few money saving tips to help you manage your budget.
Try and make these practices routine in your everyday living so that you automatically start thinking all the time of cost cutting and you will start to notice that managing your budget becomes easier in a relatively short space of time.
I run my own catering business in Spain and have found my business drop off a lot due to the economical crisis the world is experiencing. I have had to adopt a frugal lifestyle simply because I do not have the same income as I used to.
With regards to shopping and eating for less I find the way that works for me is to sit down and write a list of menus for the week, including any snacks and drinks. Then write a full list of ingredients, checking against your store cupboard. Try and find menus that utilize lots of similar ingredients so you don´t have to buy specialist foods that you won´t be needing again. Then go straight to the supermarket and stick to your list. Do not, I repeat, do not stray from the list. Do not be tempted by any special offers unless they are items already on your list and can be stored or stockpiled in your store cupboard for a period of time. Remember a bargain is only a bargain if it is something you need.