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Recurring monthly costs can add up quickly and before know it, they’re already affecting your personal finance big time. They can chip in to your income, leaving you with less to squirrel away for a rainy day!
Just by taking a look at your recurring monthly expenses and learning where to make cuts can lead to you saving a significant amount of money over the year!
Let’s start by looking at some examples of recurring costs, and ways to lower them:
- Cell/mobile phone contracts: Are you on the best tariff for your usage or are you paying for more features than you’re using? Some phone companies will offer you a review of your contract, simply call them up to check. If you’re not using all of your minutes and calls, you might be able to switch to a lower monthly package.
- Gym memberships: If you’re not getting your money’s worth at the gym, cancel your membership and start playing sports like softball for exercise. Rather than a recurring fee, you have a one time investment for equipment. There are plenty of free apps and MP3s available to help you get up and active, and you’ll save the hefty monthly gym membership fee!
- Entertainment: Do you pay for Sky, cable TV or a DVD rental service (such as Netflix, PushPlay, Blockbuster, etc?) Do you spend a lot on the Cinema, visiting the theatre or going to gigs each month? Review how much you’re spending on entertainment per month and decide if cutbacks can be made. Perhaps limit your entertainment budget and opt for cheaper activities instead.
- Eating out: Eating meals out, ordering takeaways and buying lunch on the go will take a chunk out of your monthly income. Track just how much you’re spending on food alongside your weekly grocery shop and you’ll be surprised! Certainly think about making cutbacks – it’ll be better for your health too!
- Groceries: Do you find yourself taking additional trips to the supermarket midweek to ‘top up’ your weekly shop? If so, keep track of how much you’re spending and look at ways to cut down – the easiest way is by planning meals ahead, cooking in bulk and then freezing additional meals for another week.
- Internet: Are you with the cheapest provider on the best tariff for your internet usage? It might even be worth checking out if you’re eligible for any loyalty discounts too.
- Miscellaneous subscriptions: Sift through your bank statements to check for old subscriptions you’re paying, which you’ve forgotten about! These can sneak up on the best of us! Everything from old mobile phone insurance contracts to recurring bank account charges, software subscriptions, magazine subscriptions and hobby websites we’ve joined! Check your account and cancel any payment that’s now redundant.
A few bonus tips for making savings…
- Set a monthly budget and STICK TO IT: If you’re trying to cut down on unnecessary costs, set a monthly budget and stick to it. This will stop you being tempted to splurge the money you’re setting aside for financial savings.
- Don’t be scared to borrow: If you need to take out a loan to cover an emergency payment, don’t beat yourself up about it. Think about what type of loan is best for your needs. If you only need to bridge a gap until payday and are confident you can pay the money back, a short term loan (for example, from Wonga Canada) can often be better than a more long term loan, even though the interest seems higher, you can actually end up paying less.
- Don’t get suckered in by deals: Be wary of signing up for any deal or offer because it looks too good to be true. Often it is! For example, ‘buy one get one half price’ deals mean you’ll spend extra on buying a ‘bargain’ second item, but ask yourself “do I really need it?”
- Extra reading: Learn how cutting taxes and refinancing mortgages and can help you save a great amount of money by keeping yourself informed and updated on any new reforms and tips.