Living is just so expensive. When you finally leave the grasps of your parents in desperate search for freedom, you soon realise what expensive actually means. There’s a mountain of things you have to pay for, and an even bigger pile of random payouts that will smack you in the face from time to time. But unfortunately, unless you get lucky and win the lottery, then the cost of living is always going to be a burden to you. So we’re here to try and make things a little easier for you. The older you get, the more expensive things will get. As children get older, the price of paying for them gets bigger. Plus, with the way the economy is going, it seems the price of living isn’t going to be dropping any time soon. So if you know you’re feeling the pinch, and you’re looking for ways that you can save money, check out our points below to see how you can cut the price of living costs.
Easily the most draining part of your finances. Families make the whole situation harder. The more people there are in your household, the more this is going to cost. But, there’s ways of getting them down. Firstly, you need to look at what is actually costing you the most. One we know is always extremely high for families is the water bill. Especially families with teenagers. The older they get, the longer they like to spend in the shower. It isn’t just that, little things like leaving the tap running whilst you’re brushing your teeth can easily make your water bill far more expensive that it needs to be. The first thing we’re going to propose is that you stick a time limit on the amount of minutes people are spending in the shower. As strict as it might sound, there’s only so long simply washing your hair and your body takes. The rest is filled with day dreaming and enjoying a nice hot shower. Secondly, if you have a gym membership that you use regularly, you could shower there after your workout rather than at home. So many people chose to rush home to jump in the shower when there’s no need to! Use the free water you can get from the gym. Finally, for a last ditch attempt to get your water bill down, you could look at having a smart meter installed. It allows you to track how much you’re spending each day, and will let you see when you’re spending the most. It can help a little to regulate the usage more, and give you a clearer picture of how much your end bill is going to be.
Secondly, electric bills are something we all loath. They’re close to being as expensive as the water bill. Right now, are you sitting in a room with a light on that really doesn’t need to be? Well, turn it off! Wasting electricity is one of the biggest reasons why it is so expensive. Think about the things that are plugged in and turned on at the minute that aren’t even being used. We bet you could go around your house and find many plugs in the standby position. This is raising your electricity bills more than you’d ever realise. Again, you can use a smart meter to measure the levels of electricity, but we guarantee it’ll spike when everyone is home from school and everything is plugged in and in use. One thing that some people like to do is sleep with the TV on. A TV actually on, all night, is going to get through so much electricity. If you’re one of these people, why not try watching something on your phone to fall to sleep to, or setting the TV on a timer so that it turns off halfway through the night. Finally a little tip for you is something a lot of households are now doing, but not all of them. Using energy saving light bulbs. They might take a little bit longer to get bright, but they’ll save you a lot of money, and are great for the environment. It is best to educate your children whilst they’re younger about the cost of living and bills etc. It might help them to become a little more conscious of how much things are costing you if they’re overusing things.
Again, when you have a family this is just going to go up and up. The more they eat, the more you pay. It is a cycle you just can’t escape until they eventually fly the nest. But there are ways of getting your weekly shopping expenses down. The first one, which a lot of people don’t try, is online shopping. Not for your usual grocery stores, but for individual wholesalers that could save you a fortune. There’s plenty of them dotted all over the internet that are selling the food and other household items you would usually buy for a fraction of a price. A lot of them have better deals than you would find in the stores as well! Other options available to you include shopping at discount stores in your local area for toiletries, and buying frozen fruit and veg rather than fresh. If you ever see something on offer, such as toiletries, buy two rather than one so you save money in the long run. Doing a meal plan each week and sticking to it is also going to help keep you in check with your spending. One reason why people tend to spend so much in the shops is due to randomly putting things in the trolley, hoping to piece together a meal another time. Planning makes things so much more structured.
Driving is another necessary evil that you have to do at some point or another. Well, you don’t have to, but it does make life a lot easier. Along with it does come danger. You’re more than likely going to be involved in some form of a collision in your time driving. Aside from the danger aspect, the actual cost of driving is so high. First you’ve got the initial cost of buying the car. A lot of people are now opting to go for a finance option due to the appealing offers being made. But we would advise you not to get sucked into one of these unless you have to. Saving up and buying the car is going to be so much better for you financially. Plus, there are so many nice second hand cars for sale that will get you from A-B for years. If you’re one of these that likes the flashy cars, or perhaps wants a newer one for safety, then just make sure you’re aware of all the terms and conditions of the finance option, and will be able to pay it back for the required amount of time. When it comes to taking out an insurance option, make sure you’re filling out the form correctly to give you the cheapest quotes. Calculating the miles you’re going to use, rather than just estimating, will give you a more accurate idea of how much you’re going to do. Insurers like to see it as low as possible. They also like to know the car is being kept safe during the day, and overnight. Try and not leave it on the road, this is definitely the last thing they want to see. A locked garage or a driveway is much better in their eyes, and it’ll drop your insurance premium down. Lastly, the price of fuel is just something that is going to kill your finances off completely. If people are expecting you to drive everywhere… just because you drive, you’ll soon see yourself putting litre after litre into your tank each week. Don’t be afraid to ask for fuel if you’re giving someone regular lifts. Try and save money by.. Dare we say it… walking where you can. Short walks to the shop are something you just don’t need a car for, unless of course it is raining.
Aside from the two big killers that we’ve mentioned above, there are some big smacks in the face that you’ll have to pay for. Often you won’t be prepared for them. For example, you car might break down, you might have a leak in the house, a TV might break. All these little things that can lead to you needing to pay hundreds of pounds. We suggest putting away 20% of your paycheck each month into a savings account. Overtime the money will build up and you’ll be protected against any unsuspecting costs. Any money you manage to cut back on using our tips above, we recommend you put that away as well. If you know you’re terrible for dipping into your savings for little luxuries, open up a savings ISA that only allows you to withdraw a certain amount of money each year. It is so much stricter, easier to manage, and easier to save!