At the end of the month, do you ever wish you had more money?  

You’re not alone if you feel that way, the problem is most of us spend what we earn. 

When we’re younger and we start to earn money, we think it’s so much, but as we get older, it appears less.  As we progress through our jobs and careers this usually means that we get promoted and moved into new roles.  These new roles, if we’re lucky, pay us more money and we start to think, ‘well, I used to live on a lower amount, what can I do with all this extra money?’ 

So, we buy a nicer car, bigger house, as the money we have becomes more expendable.  Soon, we find that we’re spending nearly as much as we’re earning, which means our saving pot starts to get a little depleted. 

Over the years we live to our means, a lot of the time, not having any financial safety net in place.  This is all well and good until something does not go as well as planned, like losing your job or falling ill, when you’re unable to work or bring money in.  This in turn means there’s going to be a lot of pressure on you and your family as there’s this deficit in the money coming in. 

I have been in that situation and believe me it is not a nice place to be in.  But at one point I nearly lost my house, and with the worry and stress that put me under, I was sleeping about two hours a night.  Waking up not knowing how I was going to get through it.  At that time, I was lucky, but it made me think and realise that I never wanted to be in that position again.  

We have a choice to earn more money or to try and reduce our expenses.  It’s possible to learn new skills and find a new job that pays more money, but I have found it is much quicker and easier to reduce your current expenses initially, and then work towards your dream job and pay.  

Here are five tips that can help you get on top of your expenses and improve your life.

One: Write down what you spend. It’s not until you write it down on paper, that you can actually see how much you’re spending and where it’s spent, but you can start seeing where to make savings.

Two: Sort yourself out a budget, work out how much you need to live on and try to keep to it.  This does not need to be complicated, but it’s very useful and working it alongside with how much you spend, it’s an invaluable tool.

Three: Check your subscriptions.  Look at what subscriptions you have and see if you’re able to stop any of them.  A lot of the time we take out a subscription and we can’t be bothered to unsubscribe and it’s only a small amount, but those small amounts soon add up and it’s worth asking yourself three things.  How much I use it? Do I really need it? And can I live without it?

Four: Check utility bills.  Look at how much you spend on electric, gas, and water.  Here, you can save money by reducing the amount you use, little things like turning off the lights, turning off the tap.  You can also look at utility switch schemes that help you find the best package for the price.

Five: Check your food bill. It’s amazing how quickly a food bill can rise by putting the nice things into the trolley.  Create a list and see what you need and stick to it. Remember supermarkets set out their aisles in a way to entice you to spend more money.  Another way to save is not by branding foods or even shopping at cheaper shops.There’s a slight difference, but the quality these days, there’s not much difference in it.  

If you’re able to use these tips and reduce your expenses, you’ll be able to use the money to save and build up a buffer, an emergency fund, a rainy day bank account, for the unexpected, whatever you call it, it doesn’t matter, but it will be money that you can just leave there and have to accumulate until there’s enough that if something does go wrong, you’ll be able to do without it and not have to worry about work.  

It’s good to try and get a buffer of about six months of what you need for your daily living expenses.  This will allow you to get time and to give yourself an amount time to get back on your feet.

I would love to hear the ways that you’ve reduced your outgoings and saved money. 

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Thank you.