When people take a step back and look at their monthly outgoings there are lots of things in this that could probably be reduced or there may be ample opportunities to make savings. Some people find money from month to month tough and this is then compounded when it comes to times like Christmas where there may be an expectation for them to spend money on the children and family members. There are lots of different simple things that people can do save cash and we have listed some suggestions below.
One of the biggest outgoing bills people have each month is their energy bill. This will include electricity and gas, depending on what energy source the household has. There are many different comparison sites that you can use for you to get quotes. If you know roughly what your energy consumption is going to be then this helps with the estimate. Don’t just jump immediately at the cheapest price you see online as there may be some small print that you need to be aware of. This can include potential set up fees or even cancellation notice periods. Once you have a quote that is acceptable, you could then make the call to the company to talk through any questions that you have. Some of these energy firms also give you a couple of dollars saving per month if you choose to go for paperless bills instead of having them sent through the post.
You could also consider going for solar panel installation which has become extremely popular in certain countries. Solar panel installation in Ontario is very popular and something that many households are having completed. There are clearly some immediate installation charges with this sort of project but if you weigh this up over the costs of your monthly payments, you will see a massive reduction. When you look at solar power in Ontario companies, they can give you rough estimates based on your current energy consumption. After installation, they also don’t just wash their hands of you, they will look to support you through any maintenance and servicing of these panels. The level of servicing and support you receive is up to you. The popularity of solar panels becomes very evident when you are taking a flight and the plane is low enough for you to see the roofs of people’s houses. There are thousands of homes now with the solar panels installed on their roofs and this is completely visible from the air. For more information on solar panels look on this site.
In 2019, there is hardly a household that does not have internet connections. People now communicate and operate very differently from how they did a decade ago and the internet connection now seems to be a necessity rather than a privilege. As a result, there are loads of different companies out there that are looking to give you a connection for your home. You will see numerous adverts online and on the television. Like energy bills, this is something you can do via a comparison site to see the different companies and what prices they are offering. There will also be details of what the maximum speeds are that are available in your area so you can ensure that the internet company will provide you with the maximum possible. A way to save on this can be to use a company that does a bundle package – this could be that you get a reduction in your internet monthly fee if you use the same company for your phone (as an example). This also helps you be a more loyal person to a company, and this can sometimes give you some perks.
If you are satisfied with your current internet provider and have been a loyal customer, then you could call them up and give them a bluff. Sometimes telling them that you want to cancel your membership as you see it cheaper elsewhere could initiate a reduction on your prices. This is common for a lot of service providers, but consumers are not brave enough to follow through on this. You would need to be stern on the phone and give them real confidence that if they do not reduce your bill, you will be disappointed as a loyal customer and go elsewhere.
A big outgoing cost to people is the cost of groceries every week. Clearly, people need to eat and what they eat and the quantity of it affects the overall groceries price. There are some simple things you can do on this to try and minimise the expenditure:
- Make a list – When people just turn up at a grocery store and start buying food, they often buy far too much. This clearly then costs a lot more money, but it also results in waste. If you make a list in advance of going to the store, then you are far more likely to comply with this and buy just what you need.
- Shop Loyalty – There are many stores that reward customers for their loyalty. If you go back, again and again, you could receive discount vouchers or money off your shops. This sort of loyalty program shouldn’t be the primary reason why you shop with one brand, however, if you are shopping in that store regularly then you should opt into any loyalty program that they have to get some of the benefits.
- Check Online – Many people decide to do their shopping online without even stepping outside. This can be dangerous as the website will no doubt be set up to give you pop-ups and prompts on the latest promotions and try to get you to add more things to your overall shopping basket. Keep an eye on the promotions (as it may be something you are interested in) but be cautious as the stores are likely to push this quite hard with the customers on the site.
- Brands – It is common for people to buy popular brands in a store and not consider the supermarkets own make. There have been many documentaries on this sort of thing and generally, you will find that the supermarket own-brand items are of similar quality levels to other popular makes. By changing your shopping completely so that for all the items you purchase, you are looking to do this only by purchasing the supermarket brands, you will likely to reduce your bill by at least 40%.
Depending on how you commute each day will determine what can be saved in terms of transport. Unfortunately, transport prices are continuing to rise constantly for most modes of transport. This include by motor vehicle, train and plane.
- Motor Vehicle – Travelling by car is usually seen as the most convenient way to get from A to B but it can also be quite costly in terms of fuel needed for the car. The price of fuel fluctuates significantly depending on the price of oil and any taxes that are added by the local government. Garages that are selling fuel in isolated areas are normally the ones that charge the most money. It would, therefore, be an idea to top up your fuel at garages out-with small towns where there can be a lower price paid. If you use your motor vehicle for short distances (maybe travelling to work), you could also consider dumping the car and walking or cycling. Many states in the US are making their roads far more friendly for bikes making this a far more attractive option. In addition to this, many workplaces are initiating bike “Cycle to Work” schemes to try and encourage others to drive this way.
- Train – The price of train tickets is something that is contentious as these fluctuate significantly and depending on the day/time you are looking to travel, there are massive differences. You will find that tickets are far cheaper at off-peak times. Have a look at the times you are travelling and see if there are any opportunities for you to reduce what you are paying out by changing the times.
- Flights – If you are someone that needs to travel from time to time – may be to get to work or to visit family, one of the best ways to get cheaper tickets is to book these well in advance. Many years ago, it used to the other way about where people would wait till the last minute when booking a flight as if the aircraft was not popular in terms of bookings, airlines would lower the price significantly. This is generally not the case now, therefore, booking this well in advance is the way to potentially save some cash.
It is a sad fact that over 40% of people that are members of a gym are not active members. People initiate these sorts of memberships with the right intent but not many people then use them as they should on a regular basis. The problem some people then have is that to exit a gym, they may be tied into a contract over a certain term (sometimes over a year) and to try and leave they may need to write letters or similar. This can be seen as an inconvenience and difficult to execute, however, if you are not actively using the gym then this should be followed through to reduce your monthly payments. Alternatively, if you are an active member of a gym but maybe only use cardio machines, you may be far more cost-effective to purchase these items of equipment for your home. Purchasing them brand new may cost a lot of money however you could purchase these second hand from sites such as eBay. Another option would be to use the great outdoors to go a run and not rely on going to a gym using a treadmill.
People like the finer things in life and even if the money is tight, it is still important to let your hair down from time to time and maybe got to a restaurant occasionally. This does not need to be an expensive outgoing and by planning this effectively you could get a bit of a bargain. The first thing you should do is jump online and see the type of restaurant it is you are looking for and the reviews of them (to ensure that it isn’t flooded with negative feedback). You should then look at the website to see if the restaurant offers any special promotions or offers. This could be things such as 2 for 1 offer on a Monday to Thursday or if you book in advance you could get a certain discount. When making a booking you should always do this by phone and ask them if they offer any other discounts. You may find that if you work for a certain company then the restaurant may then want to give you further discounts if you can prove your employment with them. Some restaurants websites may ask you for your email details so that they can also send you their promotions and offers from time to time. Just keep an eye on your spam inbox to make sure that they do not filter their way into that box.
You can also do searches online for “voucher codes” when you have decided what restaurant it is you are looking to go to. These are common and will offer discounts on the overall bill or do things such as add a bottle of wine for free. Clearly tipping is also conventional in restaurants but read the cheque carefully. Sometimes the service charge is already included in the overall bill which would then mean you do not need to add any more (you can if you want though). Many people get caught out on this where they add another 15% or more to the bill when the tip was already included.
Make sure to try out these things to save some cash in a simple way.