The following article is a neighbor post.
Most of us could do with a little bit of extra money in our pocket at the end of every month. Now that many of our budgets are particularly squeezed, trying to make savings, particularly when you’re also repaying your unsecured debts, is often easier said than done, and often requires a reassessment of the way we manage our finances.
Very often, you can reduce your monthly outgoings by taking a more cost-effective approach to budgeting – particularly on essential, day-to-day expenses such as utility bills, food shopping and other expenses which can quickly mount up from month to month.
Here is a guide to some frugal living tips that could help you stretch your budget that little bit further every month.
Save energy – and reduce your bills
As energy bills in the UK continue to rise, it makes more sense than ever to cut back on energy use in the home and reduce unnecessary and expensive waste. You could save a substantial amount on utility bills every month by following these easy-to-follow energy-saving tips:
- Try unplugging / switching off all your appliances at the wall before you go to bed. Many items continue to use electricity if they’re not turned off at the source.
- Tumble-drying your clothes can be expensive: think about investing in an outdoor washing line for the summer, and a drying rack for indoors when the weather is bad.
- Consider saving on heating bills in the winter by replacing expensive heating with fleece jumpers, keeping you warm at a fraction of the cost. Don’t forget that trusty hot water bottle!
Be thrifty with fashion
Think about being thriftier with your shopping habits. You could save yourself some money and even bag yourself some bargains:
- Consider shopping at second-hand stores and charity shops. You could pick up nearly new items for a fraction of the original price.
- Try checking out factory outlet stores where you could find branded and designer clothes at much cheaper prices than on the high street.
- Rather than buying brand-new clothes when they need to be repaired, you could find a friend or relative who’s good with a needle and thread to help you get the maximum wear out of them (or learn to do it yourself).
Look at how you manage your debts
If you’re currently repaying several debts, you could potentially reduce your monthly outgoings by debt consolidation, which could allow you to make one reduced payment every month, to one company.
There are several possible ways to consolidate your unsecured debts, including a debt consolidation loan or a debt management plan.
However, as with all debt solutions, it’s important to seek help with consolidating your debts from a professional adviser, who can explain the pros and cons of each approach and help you choose the most appropriate solution for your circumstances.
A debt consolidation loan, for example, wouldn’t be appropriate if you’re really struggling with your debts, while a debt management plan wouldn’t be appropriate if you had no chance of repaying your debts in full in a reasonable time.