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Looking for new ways to cut back? Here are a few quick tips that could help you improve your budget.
Doing all your grocery shopping in the same place may be convenient, but it could be costing you more money than necessary. Different stores tend to offer better prices on certain things. For example, you might notice that one store is cheapest for fruit and vegetables, while another might be better for toiletries such as soap and deodorant. Try to learn which stores offer the best prices for each area of your spending.
We all like to enjoy a few luxuries from time to time, but they can really eat into your income unless you're careful. So if you're really serious about improving your finances, why not aim to halve the number of non-essentials you buy? This could be a lot easier than it sounds. For example, try buying a coffee every other morning, instead of every day, or buying take-out food every two weeks instead of every Friday. You may barely notice the difference in your lifestyle, but your bank balance will thank you.
If you have a number of debts, trying to manage them all can be confusing. But by rolling them into one, you could make things much simpler - and it could even save you money each month. For example, by taking out a debt consolidation loan and using it to pay off several existing debts, you'll be left with one debt instead of many. You could also reduce your monthly repayments by extending your repayment period - but keep in mind that you'd pay more interest this way than you would over a shorter repayment period. Also remember that this isn't a suitable option for people with serious financial problems - there are other more appropriate solutions for that kind of situation. Find out how much debt consolidation could save you each month with a debt consolidation calculator.
Are you donating a large chunk of your earnings to an expensive gym membership? You could save yourself a lot of money by avoiding the treadmill and taking to the streets instead. Outdoor running allows you to enjoy the scenery while keeping fit - and apart from the cost of your workout gear, it's completely free.
How often do you tell people to 'keep the change'? Some people give away a lot more money than they realize by doing this. Instead, keep your change and start putting it into a 'piggy bank'. You're unlikely to raise a huge amount of money this way, but it does mean you have plenty of change available when you need to make a small purchase. And that means one less trip to the cash machine!