you are looking to cut back on your spending, the best place to start is at
home. There are plenty of lists out there telling you how to cut costs in your
household budget. Some of the most frequently cited tips can be apt for the
majority of eventualities, yet in some cases an alternative approach may prove
just as useful.
Here we look at three very commonly offered pieces of advice on reducing household costs, and some alternative ideas which are also worth bearing in mind.
Tip: cut out big spending
Alternative tip: small, habitual purchases make a much bigger dent in your budget
When it’s time to reduce spending, people tend to aim big. They check through their monthly expenditure and zero in on the instances where they’ve handed over a large amount of cash in a single go. So, for example, if a family eats in a restaurant or gets a takeaway once a month, they might decide this is the thing that must be cut out in order to tighten the belt.
Yet, it is often the smaller, regular purchases that really do the most damage. If, say, you pick up a coffee every morning on the way to work or grab a couple of cans of cola from the vending machine, these small, habitual purchases add up to far greater costs than that one dinner out. Plus, they probably give you and your family far less satisfaction.
Tip: always bulk buy
Alternative tip: buying in bulk is quite often not worth it
Popular wisdom will tell you that bulk buying products is always the sensible thing to do. If you can get a cheaper price on a large number of the same item, then you are always getting a better deal, right? Well, not always.
From three-for-two offers in the supermarket to huge crates of paper towels at the cash and carry, bulk deals can be a good way to reduce spending. Yet, sometimes, we will purchase a larger number of a product even though we only need one, simply because it is available at a reduced price. So ask yourself before you bulk buy – am I really going to use all of this?
Tip: look after your own budget
Alternative tip: get involved in your community
One of the reasons that household costs in the UK have escalated so much in recent years is down to the fact that people now feel less connected to the communities they live in. This withdrawal from the people around them has led to fewer people trading old goods with or borrowing items from neighbours. Also, things like childcare responsibilities can be shared in a trusting community.
When it comes to household costs, don’t believe everything you read. Consider these three alternative cost cutting tips if you are looking to reduce your spending.
Warning: Late repayment can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to moneyadviceservice.org.uk