Living expenses can run high, especially if we have high expectations and too many wants that don’t exactly meet our income. Sometimes we don’t realise that we are living beyond our means and reaching a danger zone. At other times we simply want to downsize our lifestyles and be able to relax a little bit more. Either way reducing your living expenses is a good idea.
Living expenses include everything from rent or mortgage, weekly grocery shop, monthly bills like electricity, telephone and gas, as well as expenses such an Internet connection, gym membership, magazine subscriptions and other miscellaneous expenses that we commit ourselves to. Many of them can be cut immediately and as a result you will be better of with your finances. More money for things like cutting out debt, saving for that dream holiday or something completely different.
Where do you live?
Question whether your house or apartment is really the right size for you. You might discover that it’s actually too big and you could downsize a bedroom or bathroom. If you’re renting this is much easier to do than if you own your own place but either way you can reduce your monthly living expenses by a few hundred dollars if you move to a cheaper area or a smaller house or apartment.
A lot of money goes on paying for basic utilities. Check around your house to make sure that you aren’t seeping energy somewhere and paying more than you should. Turn off the hot water when you don’t need it, turn off the lights, and do the washing when you have a full load. These little things can reduce your next months bill and cut down your living expenses by a few dollars. Cut back a few dollars on all your bills and that can easily add up to a few hundred.
People spend too much money on food, especially food that is not good for us. Go over your shopping basket and see if you really need all the things in there. Chances are you can remove half the items and be fine. When shopping, choose things that are on special and stock up on fresh produce, lots of fruit and vegetables and avoid the packaged stuff. If you can buy in bulk, garner larger savings and avoid going shopping more than once a week or once a fortnight. The more times you enter the shop the more money you spend without really needing to.
Petrol is expensive and if you’re constantly in the car driving to work, picking up the kids and doing the daily shop than you’re probably filling up a lot. Petrol, insurance, registration and service costs add up. By driving less you can minimise most of them. Public transport is much cheaper and it’s better for the environment too. If you live within close proximity to school, work or the shops, you can easily opt to walk there to reduce your living expenses.
Things like a gym membership, magazine subscription and pay TV can all go. These easily add up to over one or two hundred dollars a month. That’s a lot of money going out to pay someone else. Instead of going to the gym workout at home or in the park. Most libraries are stocked with magazines; go there and read them for free and save money on that subscription. Pay TV is a waste of money. There are enough programs on normal television to keep you occupied if you really must watch television, no point in forking out extra for it.
Cutting back on living expenses is easy. It’s all about making smart choices and avoiding unnecessary expenses that can be easily avoided. Do each of the things mentioned above and you will reduce your living expenses dramatically.