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Managing money can be tough, regardless of what we earn most of us can feel the pinch now and again. ‘Too much month at the end of your money’ is common, and special occasions like Christmas and summer holidays can leave us catching up for weeks or months after. It’s important to be smart with your money, instead of overspending or carelessly spending everything you earn should be put to its best use. That could be saving or simply spending it on more important things. There are three areas that most of us tend to overspend on, here’s how you can make cutbacks.
Food and Groceries
Most of us are guilty of spending way too much on food. Much of it comes about due to convenience, instead of packing a lunch for work we’ll spend a couple of pounds in a cafe or sandwich shop. After a long day when we don’t want to cook, we’ll fork out for an expensive takeaway. Planning meals, and having some quick and easy recipes in your repertoire can be really useful. Batch cook a few meals and pop them in the freezer in individual containers. That way you always have something easy and nice to eat even if you don’t want to cook or are all out of fresh ingredients. Another way most of us waste money when it comes to food is by throwing things away. We let food go bad, or we make too much and it doesn’t get eaten. Again, planning is so beneficial here. Plan what meals you will have each week and then buy the ingredients you need for them. Instead of throwing away leftovers, pop them in containers and have them for a lunch instead of your usual sandwich.
Chances are your vehicle takes up a significant amount of your budget. Fuel, tax, insurance, repairs and servicing to name a few doesn’t come cheap. While running a car is always going to come with costs, there are ways you can get these down. Consider switching your car for a smaller model with a smaller engine which is cheaper to run and insure. Use sites like GoCompare to check insurance prices before you buy. Plan journeys to avoid wasting fuel, and maintain your car well by doing regular checks and topping up fluids to avoid breakdowns.
Having a good friendship group is so important in life, but to maintain close bonds you need to see each other. The problem is, socialising can be expensive. Drinks in a pub or a meal in a restaurant will set you back significantly. One thing you could do is socialise at home, it doesn’t have to be boring! Invite friends over for a ‘potluck’ party where you each bring a bottle of something and a dish you’ve cooked- not only is it fun but you save on food and drink costs. Host a barbeque and ask guests to bring something along to pop on the grill, or host an afternoon tea. Some tea and homemade cakes wouldn’t cost much but it makes for a nice afternoon sat in the garden on a sunny day.