Ways To Cut Down On Spending And Keep Costs Down

Ways To Cut Down On Spending And Keep Costs Down

For a lot of people - myself included - cutting down on costs and saving money is a major goal. Yet, it's a lot of goals that a lot of us don't succeed in achieving, but if you don't have a fully-fledged strategy in place then you are more likely to fail. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
It's so easy to fall prey to temptation, whether it's buying a new pair of shoes or buying a red lipstick when you have loads already, but it's also possible to resist temptation.

Also, it's so easy to get caught up with an unexpected expense, such as having to pay for a new laptop because the one you have has just broken down (this happened to me last year and it was a nightmare) or making that third trip on a bus with only a return ticket (I don't have to worry about this because as I live in London and I use my Oyster card, I receive an unlimited Hopper fare.)

Unexpected expenses add up and that's frustrating, so I've come up with some pretty clever ways to cut down on spending and reduce costs so that you can have more money to save.

Commuting costs are the bane of most people's lives. The thing with this is that as well as travelling costs adding up, they're almost unavoidable so you (kind of) have to put up with them. I work from home so I don't have to pay for commuting costs but I do travel a lot around London so that costs do add up.

To cut down on costs, start off with something small, but something that will make significant changes when it comes to your bank account.

If you live in London or you live near the city and always commute into it, get an Oyster Card. You can get a weekly bus pass or a monthly bus pass on your Oyster but remember that there is a daily cut off point so if you constantly touch in your Oyster Card in a day, you won't pay over a certain amount. If you're under 25, get a Young Person's Railcard, take the card and your Oyster to your local tube station and ask the London Underground member of staff to apply the discount for you. You'll get a third off travel in London. If you take the bus often in London, then remember that if you take multiple bus trips in London then you'll only pay for one!

If you live outside of London, then consider getting a Megarider ticket. With this, you'll be able to travel as much as you want and you can tailor your travel needs to the ticket type. If you get a weekly bus pass or a monthly one, then you will find yourself making a huge saving in comparison to buying a ticket every day, making the Megarider ticket great value for money.

While we are on the topic of commuting, you'll save money if you use public transport instead of driving a car, so if you can and it's possible, switch to taking the bus or train. I can't drive but as I live in London and I travel into central London quite often, driving would be pointless and a waste of money. Plus, I'd have to deal with the major headache of paying the congestion charge, finding a place to park and paying for a parking spot. I once watched a documentary that claimed that London is one of the most expensive places in the world to park! I was shocked. Most of my friends can drive but most of them don't have their own cars. For the ones who have cars, they don't bother driving to work because it's not feasible.

So yeah, take public transport. You could save yourself a fortune instead of having to pay for things like MOT, parking, petrol, insurance, car supplies and general maintenance.

Right, I'm pretty sure most of us will admit to popping into to Starbucks/Nero/Costa Coffee/Nero/Pret on a regular basis. Unless I'm on the go or working from a coffee shop, I hardly pop out to buy a hot beverage (I don't like coffee). I work from home and there's plenty of tea, herbal tea, coffee and hot chocolate to go round, and I tend to drink hot water with lemon. If you often buy coffee on the go then the costs do add up, which could easily amount to a couple of grand per year. Think of what you could do with that money?

Save your money by taking a reusable coffee to work. Most workplaces will have hot beverages available. Also, another tip I learned was to take the money that you'd normally spend on coffee and put it into a jar. Any time you get the urge to go to Starbucks, think of what you'd buy and put that money into a jar. Keep on doing this see how much the money adds up! Then, put that money into a savings account.

It seems easier to just buy lunch on the way to work or pop out for lunch during the break, but forking out for lunch every day adds up and could easily cost over a grand per year. I work from home so I tend to prepare lunch at home, but no matter what your work setup is, you could make a huge saving by preparing your lunch at home. Plus, it's a lot healthier than popping out to buy a sandwich or ready meal.

Thinking smarter and saving this year is a must, so how will you be changing your ways to save money? Let me know in the comments below.

*This post is in collaboration with Stagecoach.

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