Curbing unnecessary spending

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Where to start?

If you want to cut any unnecessary spending from your monthly outgoings, it is important to have an understanding of what those monthly outgoings are. Therefore, it is a good idea to begin by producing a budget plan based on your monthly income and expenditure so that you have an idea of where your money goes. By looking at the figures in black and white, you may be able to easily identify any areas where you could cut down. Are you paying for a gym membership when you haven’t been in months? Are you paying for an entertainment service you could go without?

These are easy changes to make, but what next?

Ask yourself

If you are considering buying something, ask yourself some key questions. Why am I buying it? Do I need it? Could I go without it? Will it improve my life? Will it leave me in debt?

If you do not have a good enough answer for any of these questions, then it is likely that you shouldn’t buy it. By taking the time to think about each purchase you are reducing the risk of impulsive spending, and by being more thoughtful and intentional with your money you can utilise it better elsewhere.

Sleep on it

If asking yourself the key questions does not work, then allocate some time between thinking of buying something and potentially buying it. Sleep on it.

If you still feel the same way about the purchase in the morning and you still feel it is essential, then it could well be. But chances are you will not feel the same way in the morning as you did the day before and you will end up saving money to be better used elsewhere.

Plan ahead

When looking at your budget plan, you may see a lot of small costs at supermarkets for everyday essentials. The more times you visit a shop or online store, the more possibilities there are for you to spend money.

Therefore, take the time every week, perhaps on a Sunday afternoon, to plan everything you need for the upcoming week. Plan your meals for the week and only buy the ingredients you will require for those meals, as well as any other essentials.

Bring the shopping list with you and stick to it. You can always go back to the supermarket for perishables such as bread and milk, but by planning and making a list you are reducing the impulsivity of spending money on things you may end up throwing away.

Save regularly

If you are spending too much money, thinking about saving is a step in the right direction. Why not consider setting up different savings accounts for different purposes and every time you are tempted to spend money on something you probably don’t need, put that money in a savings pot?

This way, you are seeing the benefit of curbing unnecessary spending, but you are also saving for things you will want in the future, such as holidays, a new car, or clearing any debt.

  • The information provided in this article is for guidance and educational purposes only. Police Credit Union Ltd. does not offer regulated financial advice. Please seek independent financial advice.

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