How to decrease the cost of your lifestyle

If there’s a downturn in your personal economy, you may find that your wages are not large enough to cover your current lifestyle.

If this sounds like you then you may have  to start making lifestyle changes and adjust the way you spend your money.To help with those changes, here are a few tips to help you downsize your lifestyle:

1.  Start with an accurate account of your monthly spending. Make a list of what you spend your money on. Most of us think we know where our money is spent, but be prepared to be shocked when you see what we’ve spent on non-essential items.

2.  Review your food and beverage expenses. Eating out costs add up quickly. If you dine out once a week, at a restaurant, you’re more than likely spending at least $100-150 per month on this activity. Stopping at a fast food drive-thru 2-3 times a week can equal $100 or more by the end of the month.

3.  Do you buy snacks, chocolate bars or soft drinks when you stop to fuel your car? You’d be surprised at how quickly these items can add up. Instead, invest in a small cooler and water bottle. Get into the habit of planning ahead and taking drinks and snacks (or lunch) from home.

4.  Have a look in your wardrobe. Now is a good time to go through your clothes, shoes and accessories. Remove items that have not been worn in a year (excluding special occasion items). You’d be surprised at how many items have either never been worn, or haven’t been worn in a long time. Donating to a local charity is a good idea but doesn’t mean you can refill the cupboard once you’ve had a clean out. Consider this – if you liked the items well enough to buy them – perhaps you could wear them!

5.  Review your entertainment expenses. How much money do you spend  every week / month  going to the movies, buying new DVDs, video games, or CDs; going to clubs and pubs, or perhaps on crafts / hobbies? Consider some stay-at-home options. There’s a good chance that the people you usually go out with need to downsize their budgets too.

Perhaps host a movie or game night at home. Ask each person / family to bring one snack or beverage item. This is a lot of fun and can drastically reduce your monthly entertainment expenses. Taking turns with different families to host these events is a great idea.

6. Check your phone and internet service plans. Also, have a look at your pay-tv options.  If you don’t have a basic or “no-frills” plans, it’s likely there are a few add-ons you can do without. This will help to lower your monthly bills.

 

 

©  Carmel McCartin – Budget Bitch

And don’t forget – (The views expressed in this blog are the personal opinions of the author. Don’t rely on them to make financial decisions; you have to make up your own mind. If you don’t like the content – then either stop reading or send me an email)

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