Congratulations! You made it through January with bills paid, rent done, mortgage repayment handed over. That’s the good news. That bad news is, you have to struggle through another month and, chances are, you and your wallet probably haven’t recovered from the gluttony and overspending that is the festive period. Presents plus food plus drink plus activities plus holiday plus New Year equals expensive. Like really expensive. But don’t despair, because this could be the month you start becoming a little more money-savvy and start learning where you can make real savings on your monthly outgoings. It’s a simple formula; fewer outgoings means less stress.
It starts with food
It is a well-known fact that eating at home can save you money. How? Well, eating out is expensive, whether that is a delicious three-course meal at that restaurant that just opened up on Main Street in town or a quick bite to eat at lunch from, let’s say, Subway. So eat dinner at home and taking a packed lunch to work with you are pretty good places to start. However, buying food (groceries) can be expensive too. That’s where we can help. Rule one: don’t go to the supermarket on an empty stomach, it is an absolute recipe for disaster. Rule two: don’t go to the supermarket without a list and then don’t deviate from that list. The best way to make a list is to plan some of that week’s meals in advance, and plan to make a huge batch of something that will feed you for days; leftovers are a fantastic packed lunch filler. Alternatively, grow your veg.
Bills, bills, bills
We’ve all had to pay bills for years and years, yet somehow they still shock us. And what’s more, we still can’t be bothered to shop around and see what better deals are out there simply because of the amount of time it takes. Of course, this means finding ways to save on heating bills, but it includes a bunch of other things too: cell phone, cable TV, cheaper childcare and luxury outgoings that are made every month, such as retail therapy and grooming.
Debt shouldn’t be ignored
Yup, if you’ve got debts, start paying them off in a way that is affordable. If you can pay a little more of your mortgage off each month, then do. Same goes for your student loan. This will save you money in the long run when you take interest rates into consideration. Another good rule to follow is only having one credit card in your family. This credit card should also be locked inside a safe that is locked inside a safe, that way it will only be used for emergencies, which is wise.
This is quite an open heading, but what it means is, don’t drive a gas-guzzling car that costs you a fortune to run, repair and insure. It just isn’t logical. Get something reliable that only costs $30 to insure with Insurance Panda. And if you can get by in a smaller house, then live in a smaller house. It will save you money and mean that your mortgage is probably paid off before your retirement. Ace.