We are probably all a little guilty of overspending here and there and obviously, a little overindulgence from time to time is definitely needed. However, if you’re struggling to make it to the end of the month after all the bills are paid, the rent or mortgage has left your account and you’ve filled up the fridge, you should maybe start thinking about how you could change a few spending habits to mean your pay cheque stretches that little bit further. Of course, finding ways to do this can prove challenging and the thought of gathering together some savings can actually be a little overwhelming, when there is so much temptation to spend, so I’ve put together a few pointers to give you a little help.

Reassess your bills
Believe it or not, a lot of us are paying well over the odds when it comes to our bills, which could be reduced by a few simple phone calls and a bit of sweet talking. A lot of bills are calculated by estimations, and ensuring that you submit readings regularly means you will receive an accurate charge, rather than a charge that has been estimated by the company. A lot of people found that they saved a significant amount on their bills, just by doing that. Other ways to save money on your monthly outgoings is to watch your usage a little more closely. I’m not talking never take a relaxing hot bath or flush the loo but perhaps your morning shower could be a little shorter, you could throw on a jumper instead of the heating and turn the TV off when you’re not really watching it. We are also all guilty of leaving the lights on from time to time which, when using regular halogen light bulbs can cause your bills to rocket due to the amount of energy they burn when illuminated. Switching your light bulbs to an eco-friendly LED alternative will save you hundreds in the long run as they use a lot less energy and are still just as powerful in terms of brightness! Another perk is that they last for around 30, 000 hours, meaning no more life risking chair stunts to change your bulbs!
Prep your meals
If there’s one thing we are all guilty of spending too much money on, it’s our food bill. We might be good and stick to a listed weekly shop but then dash out on our lunch for a meal deal or even eat out at a coffee shop or restaurant/pub. Whilst all of this is completely fine once in a while, making a habit of buying your lunch and dinner as and when can definitely be a pricey decision – not to mention an unhealthy one if you shop when hungry! The meal prep trend is on the rise, and all for good reason; you can have a nutritious meal ready and waiting for when you feel hungry. The best way to ensure your meals are prepped is to make them at the beginning of the week. It might take an hour or so but will definitely be worth it. Easy meal prep ideas are big chicken stir fry’s divided into portions, roasted veggies, tinned tomatoes and quinoa and even things like tuna and brown pasta. Swapping your meal deal sandwich for a delicious, homemade meal? I’ll take that.
Some of the things that we dash out to the supermarket for can be homemade quickly and easily if we know how. Supermarket items, such as cleaning products and skincare essentials often contain a lot of unnecessary ingredients and we can make cheaper, safer versions of them ourselves at home. An example of this would be homemade ‘spray cleaner’ which is simply white vinegar and water. Lemons are also a natural disinfectant. These switches will not only save you money, they are also eco-friendly and won’t cause any environmental damage. You can’t go wrong.
Bargain Hunt!
Are you guilty of simply throwing things into your shopping trolley or online ‘basket’ without even really thinking twice about how much it costs? Supermarkets will often put the products that they want you to buy (aka their most expensive ones) at eye level, so it’s the first thing you see. The best way to avoid paying more than you have to is to have a good old bargain hunt! Yes it might take an extra five minutes, but I can guarantee that by doing so, you will find some great deals. It also helps to be wary of big brands. We all fall into the trap of buying the branded option, when in fact the Supermarket own brand option is exactly the same, if not nicer. If you think you can make a few brand swaps – it will definitely be worth your while! Lastly, when shopping online, be sure to use good old Google and search for discount codes before you complete the transaction! You never know what is lurking out there so having a quick look before paying full price is always a wise idea!
Will you be trying any of these ideas?

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