Week 14 – Total Money Makeover: How To Lower Your Monthly Expenses And Save Money
Taking some time to review and cut your expenses could save individuals £100s if not £1,000s over the year. I advise systematically working through your budget regularly to ensure you are not overspending in any category.
Here is an example of how someone could save money by going through their budget with a fine-tooth comb:
The budget below belongs to Sarah. She is 24 years-old and lives at home with her mother and father. She has a pet cat called Marmite and she drives her own car. Sarah is currently trying to save £1,000 in her Emergency Fund whilst paying-off her £1,500 credit card debt.
How to lower Sarah’s monthly expenses
Apps and websites such as myAutomate: Fuel and Charging and Confused.com could help Sarah find the cheapest fuel prices in her local area. Sarah may only save a few pennies or pounds per month, however it all adds up in the end!
Sarah could take it in turns to carpool to work or events with friends and family to reduce her monthly fuel consumption. She may decide to walk or cycle to nearby destinations instead of driving her car to also save money on fuel.
Sarah is currently paying £9.99 a month for a Netflix subscription. This type of account enables users to watch on two devices at the same time. Sarah could share her Netflix account with her parents and half the cost to £4.99 a month.
Family members living under one roof can enjoy up to 6 Premium Spotify accounts for £14.99 a month or two premium accounts for couples under one roof for £12.99 a month. Sarah could either pay £4.99 a month if she shared a family account with her mother and father or £6.50 a month if she only shared with one parent.
Sarah has two more payments until she has finished paying her phone contract. She has an IPhone 8 which works perfectly fine and she is in no rush to upgrade. Once Sarah’s contract has finished she may switch to a sim-only contract and could pay as little as £10 a month for her phone. She should also ring her phone provider and discuss other services and deals.
Sinking Funds are an efficient way to plan ahead for annual expenses throughout the year. Sarah already has some Sinking Funds set-up however if she included Birthday Gifts into her Sinking Funds she wouldn’t have to budget for them every time a birthday month comes around.
Sarah takes her cat Marmite to the vet every month for treatments, check-ups and grooming. It may be a good idea for Sarah to ask her veterinary practice if they offer any monthly subscriptions e.g. Pet Health Club. Sarah would pay a fixed monthly subscription and all of her visits for the month would be covered.
TOP TIP: To check if service would be suitable for Sarah she should add up how much she spends on vet visits per quarter and then compare it against the price of the subscription per quarter. If Sarah notices that she could be saving money by signing up for the monthly subscription then she should sign-up.
Personal Allowances/Fun Money/Pocket Money is completely personal to every individual. How much money Sarah gives herself a month to spend on anything she likes is her decision, and it doesn’t have to be the same amount every month. She can change the amount she gives herself from month to month e.g. she has a larger personal allowance in the summer compared to the winter because she wants to go out for dinner and drinks more often with her friends or she wants to buy new outfits more often.
Once Sarah has fully paid her credit card statement she will be able to put more money into her Emergency Fund in order to reach her £1,000 Emergency Fund goal quicker. However, Sarah should also put steps in place to reduce the risk of using her credit card and falling in to debt once again e.g. removing her credit card information from her favourite shopping websites or temporarily increasing her Personal Allowance amount slightly so she does not run out of fun money each month and use her credit card.
This post is a part of a #weeklywins series hosted by @Lottiebudgets and @CharlotteMusha (Follow us on Instagram) For more tips visit CharlotteMusha.co.uk.