Seven things you can cut down on to save the family money

Since I went freelance, I’ve managed to make enough money to cover the bills every month, but have to admit that we haven’t saved much. With that in mind, we’ve been looking at things we can cut down on. There’s much that can be done to boost the bank balance. Here are seven things you can cut down on to save money…

Alcohol and treats

Okay, so this one hurts at first but can help you make big savings! When I was in my well paid but highly stressful job, we *probably* spent more than we should on wine and chocolate. We only buy a bottle or two a week now and only buy chocolate if it’s on offer. This saves us hundreds of pounds over the course of a year.

Energy bills

There’s a good chance that you’re paying more for your gas and electricity than you need to be, so it’s definitely worth visiting a comparison site to see if you can get a better deal. Similarly, having a smart meter installed will help you keep track of how much you’re spending and inform your thinking on what you’re using and whether you need to.

Food shopping

If you’re not already doing your food shopping online, now is the time to start. We used to spend way over the odds due to falling into the trap of shopping while hungry! As well as eliminating impulse buys, it gives you a running tally of how much you’ve spent. It saves on petrol too – not to mention cutting out trolley rage!

Old baby stuff

Hands up who else is guilty of keeping hold of old baby clothes and toys ‘just in case’? It turns out that we were right to keep hold of ours, but as soon as Amelie outgrows any of it, it’s being sold! Pitapat is a new app that helps you buy and sell pre-loved items with ease. As well as being a good way of offloading items locally – thus eliminating postage costs – you can use it to get bargains on things that you do need.

Phone

Until about a year ago, I was spending well over £30 a month on my phone. This was completely unnecessary. I moved over to a no-contract provider and only top up when I need to. On average, I spend about a fiver a month now. Another tip here, of course, is to disable mobile data whenever possible and use WiFi instead

TV

Watching TV can be an expensive business, particularly if you like sport and films. Depending on your provider, you may be able to negotiate a better deal – particularly if you bundle line rental and broadband with them. In addition, employing some strong willpower helps too – I was sorely tempted to get BT Sport in addition to Sky this season, but managed to resist!

Coffee

I’ve left this one to last as it’ll be controversial among parents! I’m not talking about cutting it out completely – I shudder at the mere thought – but if you’re in the habit of buying coffee on your way to work, try and cut down. I was spending at least a tenner a week and that’s horrendous. Get a decent flask and take some coffee from home. It’s worth the extra few minutes’ work in the morning!

Disclosure: this is a collaborative post.

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