How to reduce monthly expenses

Economic downturn has left everyone feeling the pinch. However, there are a few easy ways you can reduce your monthly expenses and save a bit of extra cash for a rainy day or just to cut costs and spend your money on the things you prefer. Here are 6 easy steps to help reduce costs.

6 Steps to reduce expenses

Firstly, find out where you money is being spent. You should have a list of all your expenditures throughout the month; if you don't know where your money is going, it's likely you're spending too much on other costs you can cut out. Take one month to determine where you spend all your money and keep a record.

Cut out unnecessary spending, especially for routine purchases. For example, spending £2 on a coffee each morning before work adds up to £56 a month; while it may not seem like much on the day, spending like this can dramatically reduce your monthly expenses. Anything you could reduce on, cut out.

When you're away or not at home, keep an eye on your energy usage.Set a thermostat in your home so your heating isn't on when you're at work. Unplug anything not in use and switch household items such as TVs and computers off at the wall socket to save a few more pennies on electricity.

Take a look at entertainment expenditure to reduce monthly expenses. Do you have a contract phone with unlimited texts that you rarely use? Opt for a cheaper deal. Do you regularly visit the theatre and watch movies? Opt for an option with your cable provider to watch movies at home, or sign-up for online streaming sites (Netflix or Lovefilm are good examples).

If you're looking to save money on food, opt for own-brand groceries rather than expensive brand-only products. The difference between an Asda own brand can of soup at £0.40p and Heinz at almost £1.50 is only the extra £1.10 you pay for the label and the 'satisfaction' of knowing you've paid more; there's nothing undignified about being smart with your food and opting for the cheapest instead of trying to save face. These costs could significantly reduce your monthly expenditure.

If you own a car, think of the old World War II slogan when fuel was rationed; is this trip really necessary?You can save a lot on your monthly expenses by reducing your outgoings on petrol simply by walking short distances.

Further cost reducation

If you want to reduce more of your monthly expenses look into switching providers for your insurance, gas and electrical bills, cable provider, landline or anything else you have a contract which. You could find yourself missing out on a lot of deals, especially if you've been with one provider for a long time, and could probably find a better deal elsewhere via price comparison websites.

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