With money tight for so many of us right now, we take a look at things to cut from your budget. There are things you can do right now without affecting your quality of life.
I will admit I have not been perfect on this score. As the recent pandemic took hold, i stopped some credit card payments, and whilst i thought i had applied for the relevant payment holidays that lenders offered, a couple were clearly not processed in time. I thus received a couple of late payment fees. This has once more hit my credit score.
There is no need to miss these payments, which are huge earners for credit card companies and banks alike. Like many, I fell foul of a lack of planning and organisation. Sometimes people genuinely struggle to meet a repayment requirement, but they should always get in touch with the lender. They will listen and try to come to an arrangement. And if you don’t have a direct debit set up on repayments, do so now.
Not much of an issue right now, admittedly. But how much have you missed eating out? I’m not suggesting we should never do it, and they will need our business when they reopen, in order to survive. But if you need to cut your monthly outgoings, eating in more is an obvious starting point. And when you eat out, look out for offers or eat earlier, when menus are often cheaper.
The closure of gyms during the pandemic has seen millions improvise and adapt to new exercise regimes. Will they all go back once gyms reopen? Possibly not. It is personal preference of course, but there are many ways to exercise for free. Fees for gyms add up, and are often paid by people who start with good intentions then barely use their membership. If that is you, cancel your fees as soon as possible.
There is little need to pay for water, especially water that comes in nasty plastic bottles. With forward planning and organisation you can take your water at home with you without having to buy any in. Use long-lasting bottles and filters if you do not like the taste of tap water. It will still save you a lot of money in the long run. Chill the water too, as it always tastes better when cold. If you must buy water, look out for recyclable packaging.
There is so much choice out there right now it is ridiculous. In The UK, there have never been more subscription options than in 2020. From Sky to BT, to Amazon Prime, Disney+, Britbox, Netflix and more! It would cost a fortune to subscribe to them all, and who really needs that much TV anyway? Decide what is important to you and decide if you can cut your costs in this respect.
Many of us are stuck in our ways, and buy the same items time after time, even though it is not the best option. And there is no greater example of that than buying brand names. Often these items are twice the price of supermarket own brand items that taste the same and are even made in the same factory sometimes! Look for value, and do not assume that the more something costs, the better it is. Buy food loose where you can for better value and to help the environment.