Introduction The cost of living is increasing day by day. The individual earnings are not increasing in accordance with the increase in expenses. Due to this situation, now in almost every house both the husband and wife are forced to work. We all need to learn to spend according to our income. There is no point comparing our lifestyle with our neighbor; he might be earning more than us. Our success lies in limiting our expenses within our budget and efficiently saving some portion of it for tomorrow. There are certain costs which are not under our control at the same time there are some other costs which can be controlled by us. By concentrating on such costs, we can cut down on our total household cost. This article explains the simple steps which have to be taken, in order to reduce our monthly expenditures.
List down your needs and wants We should be able to understand our needs and distinguish it from our wants. Needs are a must hence we need to spend on those. Wants arise from our desire, hence we can control it if required. Unnecessary spending and shopping add to our monthly expenses. The best thing to do is to save first, keeping aside some money for your needs. Limit your spending within the available amount of money. Buying everything we see is not going to help us save better. Unnecessary and unrequired expenses are eating away a huge portion of our income. We need to understand that and act wisely. Have a budget and follow the action plans. Learn to save first, and not saving the leftovers. Have a goal and work towards achieving it. This will help you to avoid unnecessary spending. Try to reduce your wants and stop yourself from going behind your desires. Before buying anything think yourself whether you actually require it or can you survive without it. Follow what your mind says. Learn the importance of Financial Planning and accordingly plan your personal finance as well.
Limit your Grocery Shopping Some people have the habit of shopping as and when required. That is not a good thing to do. Whenever we enter a shop to get something, we might find something else interesting and might end up purchasing that as well. Therefore, it is advisable not to visit the shops more often. Make a list of things, you need for a week, and accordingly, purchase stuff so that you will not miss out on anything. When we miss something, we will have to go again during the week and end up purchasing other things as well. Try to avoid such situations. Have an idea of what all to prepare for that week and accordingly purchase your grocery. This gives you an idea of how much money is required for a week and accordingly plan for a month. Buying too much is also not a good idea as certain food items are perishable and you might end up wasting your money. How about having a small garden? If you have space, go for it. You can cultivate at least few vegetables there. Even though it will not have a remarkable impact on your monthly expenditure, at least you can have freshly cultivated veggies.
Limit dining out Today, we all have the habit of eating from outside. Is it good for our health and wallet? Think before we go behind our temptations. By cutting down on that unhealthy habit of ours, we are saving on our money. The amount that you spend once at a hotel or restaurant can help you buy grocery for a week. I am not saying, we should completely stop eating from outside, but should cut down on the frequency of it. Who wouldn't want to have a different taste once in a while? Do not go to those restaurants that provide a nice ambiance and not so great food. They will charge you for the ambiance, and that will have a great impact on your wallet. Roughly calculate the amount you spend on outside food for a month. You will realize how much portion of your income is been eaten up. When you are facing financial difficulties, make sure to cook at home as that portion of your salary which you spend on unhealthy food might help you meet any small challenges.
Limit the usage of Electricity and Water There was a time when people lived without electricity and water. Just because we get it in abundance now, does not mean that we have the right to waste it. Electricity bills give us a shock at times, especially during summer seasons. The best way to fight this is to install solar panels. It will just incur you a one time cost. You need not pay electricity bill to Sun for the use of solar energy. Try to use electrical machines during non-peak hours. Make sure to switch off the light when you leave the room. Construct houses in a way sunlight can enter and keep the rooms dark free at least during day times. This helps you cut down on your monthly costs. Use power saving lamps like CFL or LED and get rid of old high electricity consuming appliances. Unplug the electronic equipment when you are not using it. When buying electronic items, look for the five-star ones as they are energy saving ones. If possible, charge your mobile phones from your workplace. These days charging mobile phones itself consumes a lot of electricity as a house will have at least minimum of 2 mobile phones.
Water is very precious, and we need to conserve every drop of it. There are many people around us, who do not even get water for meeting their day to day needs. Blessed, are we! Do not keep the tap open unnecessarily. Some people have the habit of keeping the tap open until they finish brushing. Remind you are wasting your hard earned money. Utility bills are to be paid and cannot be postponed. Make sure to switch off the motor before the water overflows. Try to reuse water whenever possible. Use laundry water in your garden, use 1-2 buckets of water to wash your car instead of using the hose. Fix the tap leakage immediately. These make a difference not only to you but to the environment too. These small things can bring a smile on your face when you get your utility bill.
Limit your Entertainments We all need some kind of entertainments. Especially during a weekend after a long weeks work. Choose free entertainments instead of paid ones. Be it music concerts, shows, camping etc we need to learn to control our desires and temptations only then we can cut down on our costs. Stop that habit of going to theaters every weekend. Cut down it to once a month or twice. Now with the advent of modern gadgets, you get to watch the latest movies online within a short span of time from its release. Also, people have well-equipped systems at home like a big flat screen TV, home theatre set etc. With the help of these, watching movies from home also is interesting these days. You are anyways paying for your cable bill. Along with it movie tickets, popcorn, transportation makes the expenditure worse. Don't sit at home and spoil your weekends, arrange a family get-together, meet your friends or take your kids to the nearby park. Opt for those parks which do not charge you an entrance fee. Avoid visiting malls too often as you end up purchasing unwanted and unnecessary things.
Limit the expenses incurred on transportation Both the husband and wife are working these days, hence transportation cost is a major factor for which we have to keep aside some money every month. When the petrol prices are increasing, stop taking your car and take the public transport. You might need to wake up a bit early as the public transport does not wait for us. However, it will definitely help you cut down on your monthly expenses. If both husband and wife are working nearby, it is better to take your car. Rather than spending on transportation for two people you can fill petrol in your car. Carpooling is another wise idea to save on petrol cost. Fill full tank petrol in your car always as the car runs more economically when it is on a full tank. Having company transportation is a blessing when petrol rates are increasing. Also during weekends, do not plan long trips or travel to a place where there might be a lot of traffic. The petrol/diesel in your car will easily get over and you will have to spend again. Try to go to nearby places for shopping, dining etc. It is better if you can walk, as it not only saves your money but helps you to stay healthy.
Conclusion Learn to live within your income. It gives you much pleasure as a life without any debts is an amazing one. You will have no tensions and will be able to manage your income and save a bit for the future too. Doesn't that sound interesting? Then why don't you try making it practical? Try the above steps, and you will definitely be able to cut down on your monthly costs. Save that money for your bright future. Look for offers and deals and try online shopping if it is cheaper. Expenses will be increasing, and we can't expect our income to increase in accordance with it. The only thing we can do form our end is to learn the art of cutting down on our daily costs. That does not mean we need to live an isolated life with no fun and entertainment or starve to death. Find happiness, entertainment within our limited budget. There are many things we can do to make our leisure times fruitful and happy. Finding those is left to us.
A good article wherein the various areas where we can bring down our expenses to make both ends meet. Both the partners have to work these days to have a comfortable life. The first point that will come to my mind after reading this article is the point my father used to tell me always. If you are earning 100 rupees, plan an expenditure up to 90 rupees only. Keep ten rupees always as a saving. This will come in handy when there is an exigency. True, for this a good analysis of our income, expenditure is very much required. Please think where we can control our expenditure and where we can have a better alternative than what we are having now. These days this planning is not there for many people.
Our expenses should be in line with our earnings. We should not get influenced by the neighbours or relatives who are having more income than us. By keeping these points in mind if we plan our expenses it will have a positive impact.
An apt article at a time when the purchasing power of the rupee has gone down and the cost of living is steadily rising. At the time, it becomes a challenge to stretch the month's salary for family expenses.If one cannot increase the earnings legally, then the next best option is to restrict expenditure so that some savings can be done and the monthly expenses can be met.
Having a list of mandatory needs, allocating money for it and then sorting out the non-essential purchases and expenses is a simple but effective plan.
With regards to shopping, people visit supermarkets with the idea of saving on the cost but end up buying many items that they never intended to in the first place. We buy groceries at the weekly market later in the evening just after the rush hour is gone and the sellers are winding up, you get good bargains but stick to regular vendors for good quality and measures.
Eating out, parties, visits to popular places all have their own expenses that can hurt our pockets especially when we are on a budget. Many clothes ranges for kids and adults can be bought at a genuine sale that can always be found around 2-3 times a year. This is a good chance to buy quality merchandise and an affordable price. Some people are gadget freaks and then keep changing their mobiles, vehicles, furniture pieces often just because they like the latest ones. Such habit needs a lot of spare money and often people take extra loans to fund a lifestyle beyond their earning capacity.