Tightening The Belt: Cutting Back on Luxuries For Better Saving

The little luxuries in life are what make it worth living. A weekend away, a delicious meal out at a restaurant or some new clothes for example can make life that bit nicer, and can make the long hours and hard work we put in all seem worth it. But at times, tightening the belt is needed. Maybe you’ve been hit with an unexpected expense and need to free up some extra cash, or perhaps you want to get out of debt once and for all. Maybe you want to save up for a deposit for a house as you’re sick of wasting money on rent each month. Either way, you might be looking for ways to cut back your outgoings so that you have some extra money. Here’s how you can go about it!

Chris Lawton

Think About Your Car

Cars can be expensive to run, and depending on your situation you might be better off giving it up entirely at least for a while. Without the cost of insurance, road tax, petrol and repairs you can free up money that can be used elsewhere. If you only ever do short journeys, consider walking or biking, it’s kinder to the environment as well as your pocket. Of course not everyone is in a position to give up their car, and if you need one to get by there are still things you can do. Upgrading to a better car might seem counterproductive when you’re trying to save money, but can actually save you money. A hybrid or electric vehicle for example will save on fuel costs as well as road tax, but any newer car is likely to have better fuel economy and will be more reliable. You could even lease one of these if you don’t have the budget to buy a new car. You won’t own the vehicle, but you get to drive a good quality car for one monthly payment, and most are covered by warranty so no big repair costs if anything goes wrong.

 

Find New Ways to Socialise

Nights out with the family or friends can take a significant chunk of your budget. From day trips to evenings in the pub, the cinema and restaurants, if you add up all of the money you spend socialising you’ll probably find it’s more than you think. You don’t need to stop socialising with friends, instead come up with new ways to go about it. You could host a barbecue and ask everyone to bring some meat and a bottle. You could host a potluck party, or you could throw an afternoon tea. Some sandwiches, homemade cakes and lots of tea needn’t cost much, but it’s an elegant way to spend time with friends in the garden when the weather is nice.

 

Get Creative In The Kitchen

Food is another significant expense, but most of us spend too much on it. From forking out on expensive takeaways regularly to wasting food there’s plenty we can do to bring down costs. Make eating out a special occasion, and limit takeaways to once every few weeks. Instead of buying lunch at work, pack some sandwiches, salad or homemade pasta instead. There are plenty of ways you can make it interesting so you don’t need to feel like you’re going without.

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