How to cut unnecessary expenses

Small changes lead to big riches

This year the UK has faced (and is facing) the perfect storm of increasing prices, fundamentally created by higher inflation and low wages, leading to many households being worse off.

Therefore, it’s never been more important to start making small changes that will help you make the most of your money.

Our top 10 money saving tips

Below are 10 tips that you can do right now to save you some money:

Review your bank statements

Review your bank statements. This may seem like a logical first step, but when did you last do this?

Get a pen and paper, sit down and write out all your direct debits, all your standing orders and then all your miscellaneous expenses, and analyse them out.

If you would like a spreadsheet as guidance to help you do this, then please contact us and we will send you one.

I can guarantee you will be surprised at how much you are spending on things such as takeaways or increased Netflix subscriptions that you can live without or even downgrade.

Get on a finance diet

Get on a finance diet. Now you know what your fixed overheads are (the direct debits and standing orders) you can set yourself a target of how much you want to reduce this by and within an achievable date.

Then, start a budget on the other things you spend your money on, eg eating out.

Be strict, don’t talk yourself into it just because you’ve had a hard week or are worried about missing out.

Plan your food shop

The food shop! You either love it or hate it, but how you approach the task should be your main consideration.

At Quay Accountants we believe that the best thing to do is to write a weekly meal plan. Start by listing all the ingredients you need for the meals you want to make and then check your cupboards and freezers to tick off anything you already have at home.

Another top tip is to make sure that you have eaten before hitting the shops and stick to the list. This is a hard one if you take kids to the shop too, as they are very persistent, so stay strong!

Better still organise for a supermarket delivery so you can all avoid the trolley temptations as you stroll around the aisles.

Technology traps

Stop being a technophile! Everyone loves a good gadget now and then, but stop upgrading your phone at every new release. You do not NEED the newest iPhone, Samsung etc.

It is a want, and gone are the days when the newest phone was a £100 Nokia 3310, with the latest mobile phones averaging around £1,000/time!

Even on a monthly contract, that is still a ridiculous amount of money and a big  cash outlay. Unless your phone is broken, have a serious think about sticking with the latest trend.

Alternatives to satellite TV

Say bye bye to satellite TV. Gone are the days when you could only choose between channels 1-5 or having Sky or Cable & Wireless (now known as Virgin media, yes, I am that old).

The majority of what you get on these platforms can now be accessed on Freeview tv, so it is an unnecessary cost which can be cut out of your life.

Or if you are like me, and only really watch Netflix, you could save yourself the cost of your TV licence too.

Find new broadband deals

Shop around for your broadband. Once your initial contract is up (that usually has had savings applied to it), the cost goes up significantly.

If you are out of contract, you may be surprised what you can save from switching providers, which at most may take a day out of your time to arrange.

Cashback

Use cashback apps. I rave on about it all the time to anyone I meet, and I will put a disclaimer here that myself or Quay Accountants are not endorsed by this company, I just think its great.

If you shop online, get yourself signed up to topcashback.co.uk. You just go on to the web, type in what it is you are searching for, eg broadband deals, select the deal and then continue as normal.

The cashback is tracked and you’ve earnt yourself some spends for nothing. I’ve had this for a few years and so far I’ve earnt just short of £2,000.

This just goes to show that when you look after the pennies, the pounds will look after themselves!

Want vs need

Know the difference between a want and a need. I recently did an exercise in a wealth mastery course where we drew out 4 boxes labelled “Need”, “Want”, “Like” and “Love” and under each heading wrote down what is a need (food, shelter), a want (a bigger house) a like (a Gucci handbag) and love (family holidays making memories).

It was an eye-opening exercise followed by the advice of, no one is more impressed by your personal possessions than you (credit James Burke – action coach).

How true is that!

So when you are convinced you need that latest apple watch, just take a minute to decide if you actually do.

Pack your own lunch

Take your lunch to work with you. An easy switch that everyone can do. I’d say on average it costs around £8/day to buy your lunch, which adds up to roughly £1,920/year alone.

By preparing this at home with an average cost of £3/day you are saving £1,200/year.

At home efficiency

Get savvy in the home. Make sure lights are off when you are not in a room, turn appliances off at the plugs, fill kettles to the level of water you need, opt for using an air fryer instead of an oven and adjust your thermostat by one degree lower.

My biggest toxic trait is leaving washing in the washer then having to re-do it, which is such a waste of money and time.

I hope you have found this practical and useful. For more advice on money saving techniques, in either a business capacity or to help with your long term future goals, then contact us at Quay Accountants.

Picture of Liz Ridley

Liz Ridley

Liz is the managing director at Quay Accountants. She set up this firm of certified chartered accountants in Greater Manchester, believing that clients deserve the highest level of service.