Tips to help you control spending

The cost-of-living crisis is causing many of us to  struggle to pay the bills and keep food on the table.

There’s never been a more important time in recent years to take stock of your spending and find ways to cut back on the outgoings.

Without doubt, the best way to plan for finances is by drawing up a budget.

Just by listing your income and expenditure every month helps gives you an idea of how you can afford to live – and where cuts can be made.

Firstly, list all necessary bills, rent, mortgage, food and clothing.
It’s always advisable to pay off any existing debts by prioritising which one has the highest interest rate.

Here are our top 10 tips to help you reduce your spending:

  1. Sleep on it
    If you really want something, sleep on it for a night. You may find it doesn’t seem as attractive the next day.
  2.  What does it cost in work time?
    If you’re tempted by an impulse buy, work out how long it would take you to earn that money in hours worked.
  3. Focus on your debts and savings
    Work out how much longer it will take you to pay off your debt or increase your savings.
  4. Check your unused subscriptions
    Do you have costly subscriptions for gyms, magazines or television channels which you never use? Ask yourself if you really need it and if you do, then look for a cheaper alternative.
  5. Plan your food
    Set a budget, write a list and take a calculator with you when you go food shopping. By going to the supermarket just once a month you’ll be less likely to buy on impulse and for convenience. Remember to never go food shopping when you’re hungry!
  6. Choose the Cheaper Option
    Try dropping one brand level on everything you buy. Then see if you can tell the difference. If not, stick with the cheaper one.
  7. Try online grocery shopping
    If you can’t stick to a shopping list, try ordering your shopping online. It’s easier to stick to a budget as you get a running total, plus you won’t be tempted by the sights and sounds in the shop.
  8. Pay yourself first
    Don’t forget the old adage to “pay yourself first” which means that when you get the chance, put something away into a savings account. Set up another account for bills and use this to make sure all your bills are paid. With the money left over you can pay yourself a set amount which is yours to spend as you like.
  9. Take the ‘No-Spend Day’ challenge
    Have at least one day per week where you spend nothing other than budgeted-for things.
  10. Don’t Go Shopping!
    It’s as easy as that. Avoid the temptation and do something else, whether its cleaning the house and selling unwanted items online, bulk cooking and freezing meals for the week. There are plenty of money-saving ideas out there!

To find out how you can save or borrow responsibly, contact your nearest credit union.

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