If you feel that you need more money, perhaps to reduce your debt, to add to your savings or to spend on certain items, you will need to cut down on the things that you are buying in order to free up that money. It is not always easy to know where you can cut down though, but below are a few ideas.
- Pay less for what you buy – if you do not want to buy less but you want to spend less then the only way that you will be able to achieve this is if you spend less on the items that you buy. This means that you will need to look for cheaper items to buy. It can be worth looking at every item that you buy and seeing whether you can get it cheaper. It is worth doing this in a methodical way by going through your bank and credit card statements and looking at each item you bought. Then you can consider whether you can get those items anywhere for less. It is fairly easy to compare prices online these days and so you will not have the inconvenience of visiting several stores to see what the prices are like. It may be that you feel you are already getting the best value for money and so you do not want to buy an alternative. You do have to be careful as if you buy poor quality items for less money then you could end up having to replace them more quickly or find that they are just not as good. It could therefore be better to pay a bit more for them. This is fine for a few items, especially if you have tried switching brands in the past and feel like the ones you use are the best. However, if you think this with every item then you could end up with not being able to save any money at all on the things that you are buying. It could therefore mean that you will have to buy less instead.
- Buy less luxuries – if you cannot find any ways to spend less on the items that you buy then the only way to save money is to buy less things. Even if you do find ways to spend less, you may find that you want to buy less as well so that you can save even more money. Cutting back on buying certain items can help. You will need to keep paying for your essentials, covering your loan repayments, rent or mortgage, utilities, food, travel and things like that, but it could be that you are buying items that you do not really need. It is good to assess the items that you buy and think about whether there are things that you can go without. Of course, anything that is not a necessity does not need to be bought, but there are some things which will be much easier for us to give up than others. It is a very personal decision but it might be that you will be willing to buy certain things less often, give up some things altogether but you might want to continue buying certain things as well. It is worth thinking through, while you are looking at whether you can pay less, using the method described above, whether you even want to buy those items at all. It may be that you buy things out of habit and therefore need to think about whether it is really necessary for you to buy them or not. There will be some things that you will be happier giving up that others and that will be an individual decision.
It will be necessary to make a lot of decisions about whether you should buy certain items or not and whether you should try to pay less. It can be tricky, but some people might find it fun. It can be a great feeling when you can see that you are spending less money and that you are managing to use that towards other things. It is worth focussing on the positives to help you through and hopefully you can start to enjoy finding bargains or deciding not to buy things so that you can be rewarded with having extra money.
Deciding on which individual items you stop buying can be very much a personal decision. It will all depend on exactly what you do buy, how much you pay for those items and how much you like them. It could be that you will be able to make do without certain items but others you still really want. You will need to think hard and prioritise what you are buying so that you are able to save the most money that you can.