Cutting costs is a topic that many people prefer not to think about, but they often have to deal with anyway. Anyone whose income is declining and has to cut back on monthly expenses is faced with the challenge of taking a good look at their spending pattern. As long as there is enough money to make ends meet, the monthly money is often spent accordingly. Returning to income is a lot more difficult, but not impossible. Everyone has a few items that could be cut back on. A lot of money is often spent unnoticed on energy and water, for example, but especially on the little things of everyday life. Writing everything down is then the start of the reorganization. That seems difficult, but in practice it is not so bad. It gives you a good overview of your finances.
Cutting costs starts with a good overview of your expenses
Keep records of income and expenses. In particular, expenses made with a credit or debit card are quickly forgotten. At the end of the month you lose the overview and the settlement often comes as an unpleasant surprise.
Record all expenses
Prevent this by always accurately recording all expenses, whether in cash, via bank card, Visa card or other cards. This way, there is always a chance that something small can slip through the cracks, but you know what to expect at the end of the month. If you make careful notes, you can also see at the end of the month where you can (or should) make cuts.
Loans do not help, but even limit the possibility of making cuts
Pay off current loans as quickly as possible. Every loan costs money. Only the mortgage is a necessary loan, because almost no one can buy their house with their own resources. Loans are never solutions, but often the start of budget problems. Every loan and repayment puts pressure on the monthly budget and must be removed as quickly as possible.
Cut back on subscriptions
Take a good look at your subscriptions. Perhaps there are subscriptions that are of no use to you or where you never view the information at all. The television guide is not really necessary if you have the newspaper, which contains the channels’ programs every day. You can even miss the newspaper if you look at different news sites on the computer every day and follow the news on TV.
It takes some getting used to
It takes a bit of a change, but after a while you won’t know any different. Newspapers will often make you a new subscription offer a few weeks or months after cancellation, which is usually considerably lower than your current subscription.
Save on electricity by using LED lamps
Cutting back on electricity is not difficult. Do not leave lights on in places where no one is there. Take LED lamps, especially in places where you spend the evening. LED lamps come in different shapes and sizes. They are very good and give a pleasant light. LED lamps are also ideal for outdoor use. They are economical to use and therefore great for securing the outside of your home.
Be frugal with electricity
Be frugal with the energy consumption of electrical appliances and only purchase appliances with an A label, which use as little power as possible. Don’t leave computers and laptops on all day if you’re not doing anything with them. For example, the TV and stereo system should also be turned off completely if you do not have time for them. All standby circuits cost you money per year.
Cut back on gas
If you cook on gas, do not leave the food standing longer than necessary. That not only costs more gas, but is also not good for the vitamins and minerals in the food. If you like to stew and make your own soup, try a pressure cooker. This allows you to stew and make soup better in a shorter time. If you cook electrically or on induction, pay close attention to the cooking times. Not only out of economy, but also because of the preservation of the vitamins.
Always adjust the heating properly
Also adjust the heating properly and do not set the night temperature too low, because then the heating has to work too hard in the morning to get the house up to temperature again. Fourteen or fifteen degrees is low enough. If necessary, insulate the walls behind the heating with insulation plates, close any cracks in the doors and windows and do not forget to mask off the keyhole of outside doors (often back doors or garden doors) that have a normal keyhole and which remain closed all winter long.
Cut back on water
We need water, but you can save quite a bit here and there. Anyone who takes a nice bath every day enjoys it, but also consumes a lot. A person also becomes clean with a short shower or washing from a sink with water. That’s how our parents used to do it and there was nothing wrong with that. It is not everyone’s choice, but for those who have to cut back, it is an option to enjoy that bath occasionally and otherwise do it with a slightly shorter wash and with less water consumption.
Cleaning can often also be more economical
You can also take water use into account when cleaning. Wash the car with a bucket of water, instead of the water hose and brush. Do not spray the sidewalk with the hose, but sweep it clean with a broom and attack the green on the tiles with a spray can filled with water and vinegar. This is just as effective, but saves a lot of water.
Saving on gasoline is also often possible
Petrol is expensive and also unfriendly to the environment. Do not drive more than necessary and look ahead so that you do not drive twice on the road. Combine errands and visits in the same direction. Fuel up across the border if it is cheaper there and you live close by. If you have to buy a new car, also consider electric driving.
Don’t forget the costs of driving back and forth
Add up the number of kilometers traveled back and forth and calculate whether it will benefit you. Drive calmly and steadily and let the car coast at a red traffic light. Make sure you use the correct gear within built-up areas. Accelerating to a higher gear too often costs fuel.
Also cut back on insurance where it is wise
Also take a good look at your insurance policies. Sometimes insurance simply continues, even though the subject you had insured is no longer there for a long time. Sometimes you still have a small amount of insurance for your previous iPhone, computer or laptop, even though it has long been replaced by another one, for which you took out new insurance at the same time as the purchase.
Take a good look at your entire insurance package
Pay close attention to the conditions and the comments and adjustments in the “small print”. Compare your insurance policies with those offered on the internet, but keep a close eye on the conditions. Also pay attention to package offers. You often receive a package discount if you insure three (necessary) insurance policies with a company.
Choose quality when purchasing clothing
Shopping is a favorite activity of many people. However, only go shopping if you really need something. People who go shopping often take home more than they intended. You will always find something that you needed anyway, but the question is whether it could have waited a few weeks.
Use the sale to buy good clothes
If clothing and footwear are really needed, go during the sale time and first look in your wardrobe to see what is worn out and needs to be replaced. Do not take more than that with you and search specifically for those parts in the offers. The better clothing stores sometimes also have really good offers at that time. You will then have good clothes, not too fashion-conscious, and which will last you a long time.
Do this once a week, with a shopping list made at home and only when you are not hungry. This way you save time and money and you don’t take home more than necessary. At most, go for fresh fruit and vegetables once in a while. You can often freeze meat on sale and only use it when you need it. Be sure to put the date on it so that it doesn’t get old in the freezer.
Cutting back does not necessarily have to affect the quality of life
Eat carefully and throw away as little as possible. If you have a lot of sandwich meat, make a nice dish of it for dinner, together with sliced tomatoes, one or two sliced boiled eggs, some cucumber, a sliced shallot and whatever else you have in stock. Then you don’t have to roast meat.
Cut the bottom of an “empty” tube
In addition, do not throw away tubes and jars of toothpaste or cream that still contain some. Most tubes that look really empty have about two weeks of content left in them. This is advantageous for the manufacturer, because it means you can purchase a new tube more quickly. This applies not only to toothpaste, but especially to make-up tubes, tubes of day and night cream and tubes of ointment.
Watch the waste
Also try to produce as little waste as possible. Eat fresh seasonal vegetables and look for good offers in the supermarkets.
Maintaining quality of life is important
Cutting back does not always have to mean a decline in the quality of life. With some imagination you can make something of it. It’s about maintaining the quality of your family’s life without sacrificing it.