It’s easy to save money. All you have to do is not go out, buy cheaper food, turn the heating down and sit in the dark. The trouble is you will lose all your friends, be bored, become hungry and freeze to death. The key is to save money but still maintain a decent quality of life. Let’s have a look at how you can do that.
Set a Lifestyle Budget
First of all make a list of all the things that might be classed as non-essentials. Meals out, DVDs, subscriptions to magazines, TV and music streaming, days out and spur of the moment treats. Take all of those out of the equation and you’ll find they add up to a substantial amount of money. The trouble is your life might be pretty dull without them and deciding which to keep is an impossible task.
So, the trick is to set a budget for lifestyle items. This needs to be less than the amount you came up with above but enough that you can permit yourself the odd treat without turning into a hermit. You can balance out your treats so, such as instead of going to a movie and having a meal out each week, do them in alternate weeks. This way you can save a bit of money but still stay sane.
Don’t Get a Man In
If your house needs repainting or you need some gardening done rediscover the art of DIY. You’ll save money and it’ll help you stay fit into the bargain. Sack the cleaner too, set aside a day or half a day a week to get all the household chores done, you can rope other family members in to help too. This has an added benefit that you – and the kids – will learn practical life skills so in terms of saving money it’s a gift that keeps on giving. And if you have a home you can be proud of as a result then that in itself will enhance your sense of well-being.
Find Cheaper Entertainment
We all like to go out to the cinema or the theatre now and again but the expense can mount up. So the trick is to save money but still have the odd treat. When it comes to live performances see if you can get tickets to a dress rehearsal, the performance might have a few rough edges but should still be enjoyable. You could also look out for local amateur productions. When it comes to days out at museums or theme parks look out for days when they offer reduced price admission or collect coupons to get a discount on entry.
Turn it down
Okay, so at the start we poked fun at the idea of turning the heating down. But dropping the thermostat by a degree or two won’t make too much difference to how your house feels and you’ll be surprised at the difference it makes to the bill. If your energy provider is offering free insulation then sign up, the savings may be small but they all mount up.
Get into the habit of turning stuff off when you’re not using it too. For example, if you’re not watching the TV, then why leave it on standby? Turn off the light when you leave the room too. Not only will you cut your electricity bill you’ll be helping to save the cute polar bears.
You really can save money without harming your lifestyle too much. You might have to put a bit of work in here and there but that’s rewarded by the sense of satisfaction you get. What’s more, you might have to space out your treats but that means you’ll enjoy them even more when you do have them.
Stuart Edge is a blogger whose speciality is writing about financial issues. If you want to enhance your house with some DIY then Secured Homeowner Loans can help pay for it without harming your lifestyle.