It’s okay, you’re not imagining it – the cost of living is increasing, whereas it’s likely that your salary is not! This can be entirely frustrating when you have a family at home depending on your income, but it just doesn’t stretch as much as it used to. It seems like everything from food to energy bills have increased in price, and companies always have a few well-rehearsed reasons for this such as poor weather, exchange rate or sourcing issues.
Whilst we accept these as consumers, it doesn’t exactly help everyday life. I’m in the same boat as you, which is why I’ve been trimming down my weekly spend over the past year – I’ve managed to save quite a bit of money so I thought I’d pass on my tips to you. Here are a few of my favorites.
Change your mode of transportation
With rocketing prices at the petrol pump, it can make for a pretty rubbish feeling when you can feel your wallet emptying when you’re filling up your car. Sometimes a car is the only way to get from point A to B, but you could do some research into carpools to see whether you can share with anyone else. As a nation, it would be fair to say that we rely on our cars quite a lot though, and sometimes we may not actually need to use them. A walk to the shops or to the school gates can be a cheaper and healthier alternative. It might also be worth seeing whether you can join a tax free cycle-to-work scheme with your employer.
Cut out luxury services
You can also make some pretty big savings elsewhere too. Think about all of the direct debits you have coming out of your account each month. For many people these services will include things like gym memberships and satellite television subscriptions. Is it possible to quit your gym contract and make use of free exercise activities such as walking, jogging or cycling? You could use free view instead of Sky or Virgin for the meantime until you can properly afford to use a more premium service again. Also consider your mobile phone usage as a family too; you may be able to make a cost reduction by joining a bundle contract instead.
Analyze your weekly shop
Next, you could think about your weekly grocery shop – specifically in terms of where and what. You might occasionally get flyers through your door for special supermarket offers, and these are often worthwhile taking up if these products are on your shopping list anyway. However, some of us simply end up buying items that we don’t use, and all of this waste will cost you. Another supermarket may well end up producing a cheaper overall trolley price than where you normally shop, so it is worthwhile doing some comparisons in this area. If you’re currently doing your entire weekly shop in a premium supermarket, it is highly likely that you’ll be able to make some significant savings.