If your family is currently feeling the financial pressures caused by the cost of living crisis, you are far from alone. While times are tough, though, it is possible to keep your finances afloat by implementing simple yet effective strategies.
However, knowing which money saving tactics are actually worthwhile is a challenge in itself. Here are some of the most effective options at your disposal. While you probably won’t use them all, the one that you do will have a telling impact.
#1. Plan For The Expensive Moments
Keeping your finances on track isn’t only about your week-to-week expenses. All families will encounter periods where expenses suddenly shoot through the roof. Planning ahead so that you are ready for those situations is crucial. Otherwise, your good work could be undone as soon as those moments arise.
The festive period is a particularly expensive time. Park Christmas Savings offers a tried and tested method for spreading the costs. Without falling into the trap of store cards and interest accounts. Better still, you can set your saving goals to align with your goals and realistic capabilities.
A month filled with birthdays, the summer holidays, and the back to school season must be accounted for too.
#2. Utilise Financial Tools
Money tools can be used to help you regain control of your situation, even if it’s simply to buy you more time. This is particularly useful when you are in debt as the right tactics will reduce your interest payments and allow you to clear the debts far sooner. It ultimately costs you less too.
Perhaps one of the most effective tools is a balance transfer card. This allows you to transfer your debt from one credit account to another. By avoiding interest for the next 12 or 18 months, you will have time to bring the balance down with greater results. Consolidation loans at a lower interest rate are also ideal.
Any tool that can help you build a better credit rating is another worthwhile feature. The indirect benefits can go unnoticed by you, but they are there.
#3. Opt For Repairs Over Replacements
Life has a nasty habit of serving up nasty surprises at the worst times. Having the right insurance coverage can be a great way to save yourself from a financial disaster. Moreover, it will reduce any anxiety you may have felt over the threat of a major expense. Still, things will go wrong from time to time.
Where possible, choosing repairs over replacements can bring the expenses down to a far more manageable level. Knowing how to save money on home appliance repairs is a particularly wise starting point. You may also find that repairing ripped clothes or broken home furniture is useful too.
There are times when replacements are the better option. Especially when dealing with outdated products. For the most part, though repairs will save money.
#4. Address Your Food Waste
Habitual changes are often necessary to address inferior financial situations. Perhaps the biggest issue relates to food waste. Depending on which research you look at, anywhere between one-quarter and two-thirds of food is wasted. If your family is guilty of wasting food, it’s also wasting money. Now is the time to act.
Keeping a food diary will open your eyes to the severity of the issues by analysing your grocery purchases against what you actually eat. As well as adjusting the volume of food you purchase, you can make savings by switching brands and looking for deals. Growing fruit and veg is another option.
You can also use this as an opportunity to start batch cooking or making better use of your leftovers.
#5. Cut Out Unnecessary Expenses
Most households are guilty of persisting with unnecessary expenses. After all, it is very easy to let them go unnoticed when you have automated payments leaving your account. When you take the time to review your outgoings, though, the need for improvements will become clear.
No two families are the same, so you will need to conduct your own investigations. Some of the most common culprits include mobile phone bills and home entertainment packages. If your internet speed isn’t as advertised or your TV package includes channels you don’t watch, money can be saved.
Unused subscriptions to streaming services are another possible source of wasted monthly expenses. Remove them to see a noticeable change.
#6. Downgrade Some Assets
In addition to losing some of your unused services, you may find that downgrading some of your assets is a great way to restore financial stability. Downsizing your property is one option, but is a potentially drastic measure. Unless your kids have flown the nest and left you with empty rooms, other routes are better.
Selling your car and buying a cheaper, used model is a wise choice. For the best results, opting for a smaller engine size that is still practical for your needs is ideal. Meanwhile, selling unwanted goods either online or at a boot sale can work wonders. Not least because it will free up valuable space.
On a similar note, opting for a camping adventure rather than a luxury vacation could save you a lot of money.
#7. Get Healthy
Many people wrongly assume that healthy living costs a fortune. When handled correctly, though, it is far more affordable than you think. Crucially, it will help you make savings in other aspects of your life. Not least because you will dedicate less money to medications and treating issues caused by poor lifestyle habits.
Adopting a healthy diet can help you save money by not buying takeaways. A weekly 5-a-side game is more affordable than a night out on the town. Using a PT app like MyFitnessPal is more affordable than spending money on cigarettes and alcohol. And going for walks is better than wasting money on other entertainment.
While the financial elements should not be the main incentive for living a healthy life, they often keep users on track.
#8. Stop Lending Money
It is often difficult to say no to friends and relatives that ask to borrow money. However, the harsh reality is that this could be costing you dearly. Their late payments are affecting your cash flow and overall financial health. Why the borrowers may not have intended to do this, you can’t afford to keep ignoring it.
The fact of the matter is that learning to say “no” can be tough. Not least when dealing with loved ones. However, they will understand the situation. And if they do not, maybe they aren’t as close as you previously thought. After a few times of consciously resisting the temptation to cave in, things will fall into place.
If nothing else, this will make it far easier for you to predict the future and keep your finances moving in the right direction.
#9. Go Green
Right now, the desire to protect the planet is greater than ever. However, it’s not only companies that need to take note. We can all make improvements to build a better future. The great news is that many of the tasks will bring financial savings in the long run. Not least at home.
Switching to LED lights and other energy-saving features for the home will reduce your monthly energy bills. Likewise, adopting greener driving habits will work wonders. Not least if you drive in areas like London where the emission costs can be extortionate. Of course, you will gain a huge sense of self-satisfaction too.
Even if you make incremental updates, now is the time to start. Over time your finances will begin to look brighter. Not least because the benefits will last a lifetime.
#10. Be Consistent
Finally, whatever steps are implemented, they must deliver consistency. Otherwise, making poor decisions in 10% of your life could undo the good work from the other 90%. Remember that consistency is king and you won’t go far wrong.
Disclosure: This is a featured post.