It’s something most of us strive to do – save money. But, as with many things in life, it’s easier said than done. Those bills keep on coming in, and those unexpected expenses keep on arising – on top of all your monthly, essential commitments. However, there is hope! There are changes you can make in your financial habits to save dollars, you just have to focus on them and be strict. Here are some ideas to get you thinking.

Do you budget?

If you’re serious about lowering your regular spending, you’ll first need to take a long, hard look at how much is coming in and out of your bank account each month. Are you the kind of person who keeps track of all your payments? Or do you spend and hope for the best? To reduce your costs, you need to keep a close eye on all of this. Drawing up a monthly budget planner will help you achieve that. It needs to set out your core income and outgoings along with a contingency, and you need to keep it up to date.

If you’re not very good with figures, there are loads of apps and online budget planners out there that you can download and use. They can do all the calculations for you. And you can access it on the go.

Once you have a budget in place, you need to be hard with yourself and stick to it. There’s no point having one if you just ignore it and carry on spending without any thinking. That’s a recipe for financial disaster.

Overspending on essentials

If you’re the kind of person that likes the best in life, then you may be spending more than you need to on essential items. Do you shop around for groceries and other goods? Or do you go for the nearest and easiest option? That could be a costly mistake.

And how about things like your car? Do you always have to spend thousands on a brand new, top of the range model? Maybe you could buy a second-hand vehicle instead, which will still get you from A to B. Check out what’s selling privately or consider buying cars at auction for a cheaper price.

Wasting cash each month?

When you draw up a monthly budget, you’ll have everything in front of you. Now is the time to go through all those regular outgoing payments to see if there are any you can lose. How about that expensive gym membership? If you’re only working out once or twice a month, what’s the point of paying for it? And how about all those cable TV payments? Do you need all those channels?

You should also review how much cash you’re spending on your social life. If you’re going out every weekend and spending loads on drinking and eating, you need to moderate this. Maybe you could invite some friends around your home instead? You don’t have to cut the fun out of your life, you may just need to find some cheaper options!

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