If you are spending more than your income, you need to reduce your spending. Here are some ideas .
Don’t buy things you don’t need
Many people of course buy things they don’t really need, but if you’re regularly overspending you should think carefully before buying anything. Think:
- how much pleasure that thing will really give you, and whether it’s worth the money you’re planning to spend.
- whether you’re tempted to buy just because the item is at a reduced or ‘special’ price. There will always be reductions and special prices.
- whether you’ve been swayed by advertising – companies spend a lot of money trying to convince you that you need to have something in order to be happy but you know better.
- whether you already have something similar – lots of people are instinctively drawn to the same sort of things, especially in clothes, over and over again, but you only need a few of them.
- whether you could you borrow the item from a friend or someone in your family.
You’ll be happier if you only have treats occasionally; you can look forward to them, and appreciate them all the more because they are not part of your daily life. Balancing spending with not spending will help your overall happiness as well as your bank balance.
Don’t spend more than you need to
- It’s very easy to ‘shop around’ on the internet – to look for the best deals available on clothes, food, electrical items, phone deals, holidays and more.
- Don’t think that you have to be loyal to a particular brand or company that you or your family have used before. Many companies cleverly market themselves as your best friend or someone who really cares about you; but companies exist to make money.
- It’s easier to compare prices on specific branded goods (such as a particular model of laptop) than on something generic like black trousers, where the quality might vary. You will have to choose the right balance for you between quality and price.
- If you find a particular item at different prices from a number of online shops, check whether postage and packaging costs are included in the price.
- If you’re looking for a service, compare all the different elements of the service that are important to you.
- If you’re looking for a phone contract, check the small print very carefully and see what is and isn’t included.
Don’t spend too much on going out
- Eat at home beforehand if you’re going out to the cinema or a club
- Don’t buy expensive drinks or snacks in cinemas. As well as saving money, it will be better for your health and more enjoyable for those around you if you don’t eat throughout the film
- Drinks are often the most expensive part of a meal out. Tap water is free, and good for you
Dont waste money by being disorganised
Being organised will save you money:
- Organise your budget so you don’t need expensive overdrafts or loans or additional charges for paying with a credit card
- Organise your possessions so you can see what you actually need to buy
- Organise your time so you don’t pay fines for lateness, buy more expensive presents to make up for lack of thought, or pay extra charges for first class or express delivery
As well as all the pages linked to above, you might also be interested in the other pages in our money section: