Saving on Household Expenses

Is your household budget spiraling out of control? Do your outgoings exceed your income? Or are you struggling to keep on top of things? Do you find yourself eagerly awaiting payday every month only to find that once your household bills are paid and you’ve done a big food shop, there is very little left for the next few weeks? Or, do you find yourself unable to cope when an unexpected bill, perhaps a repair, comes in? Well, you aren’t alone!

 

The cost of living has risen enormously in the last 20 years. Much faster than minimum wage. The average 4-person household is spending up to a third of their income on rent or mortgage repayments, another third on food and the rest on other household bills. A massive amount of us have nothing left to cover other costs, to socialize or to have fun with our families, let alone things like vacations and treats. It’s no way to live. There are some things, like the rate of inflation, that you have absolutely no control over. But, there are other things that you can change. Things that you can do to reduce your household expenses, enabling you to start building a rainy-day fund or just feel more financially stable.

 

Food

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Food might be one of our busiest household expenses, but it’s also one of the best places to save money as well as one of the easiest. You just need to take a little more time to plan, instead of just buying on a whim.

 

Every week sit down and write a meal plan for the coming days. Think about everything, breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Then, take a good look through your cupboards and fridge to see what you need before writing your shopping list so that you are only buying what you need. Then, stick to it. Some people find online shopping helps as it’s not as easy to be tempted by other things.

 

Meal planning like this gives you a great chance to save money as well as reducing your food waste massively. Other places to save money on food include:

 

  •    Buying cheaper ingredients
  •    Freezing leftovers
  •    Cooking in bulk and freezing extras
  •    Eating smaller portions
  •    Including filling, cheap ingredients like beans and lentils in your cooking
  •    Not eating out or on the go

 

Utilities

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Next, there’s utilities. Like food, heating, water and electric is much more expensive than it used to be. But, again there are easy places to save. Enter your details into a comparison site to make sure you are getting the best deal. Don’t waste money by sticking with your supplier out of loyalty. If you are unable to switch, or your current supplier is the best, you could still save money by switching to a tariff that better suits your needs.

 

Some people find that a smart meter helps them to monitor their usage and save money, speak to your supplier about having one installed. Then, make some simple changes like turning lights off when you leave rooms and lowering your thermostat a few degrees.

 

Appliances

 

Household appliances can be very expensive. Modern smart appliances can save you money in the long-term but can be expensive to replace if they break. So, instead, look after them, get them repaired using an Appliance repair service, keep them clean and make sure you read the manual and use them correctly. So that they last longer and cost you less.

 

Stop Paying for What You Don’t Use

 

An awful lot of us are spending a fortune on things that we either don’t use, don’t need or don’t want. This is nothing short of a complete waste of money. Look at those things that you are paying for that you don’t use. Do you go to the gym often enough to make your membership fee worth it? Could you take up running or workout at home instead? Do you need all of the minutes and data on your mobile phone contract or could you cut back? Do you need high speed internet? If you just use it to browse or for the odd download you might not even notice the difference. Write a list of everything that you spend money on and ask yourself if you need it at all, or if you could make some cutbacks?

 

Consolidate Your Debts

Most of us are in debt. A lot of us have more than one debt in the form of overdrafts, credit cards and store cards. The interest and repayments on these can be crippling. To save yourself money, apply for a consolidation loan to put all your debt in one place. This will mean you pay less interest and give you a chance to clear your debts much faster.

Are You Ready To Make The Most Of Your Summer Nights?

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At this time of year, we’re all excited to spend more time outside and with the people that we love the most. But a lot of the time, the season can creep up on you. Before you know it, the sun is shining and you’re not ready to get out there and enjoy it. So right now, while spring is wrapping up, you’re going to want to make sure you’re prepared for a fun summer. Because when you’ve had a long day at work or you’ve been taking care of the house and kids all day, you want to know that you can just kick back and relax in the evenings. The best way to do that is to prepare in advance so that you’re good to go. So let’s walk through some of the preparations you should put in place.

 

Scrub The Deck

 

First of all, you’re going to want to make sure that your patio area is looking great. When you can switch your schedule around, you’re going to want to slot in a space to get out there and clean everything up. Make sure that your decking or patio is nice and clean, and that you’ve cleared away any overgrown plants, trees, or flowers. Just look to give the space a nice tidy up, so it’s looking its best for when you entertain.

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Update Your Furniture

 

From here, you’re then going to want to make sure that you have all of the furniture you need. So take a look at different outdoor furniture options online. Think about what pieces you need and go from there. If you are entertaining, then you might find that a great daybed set is going to be relaxing for the family and gives you extra seats too.

 

Create Some Atmosphere

 

Next, you need to make sure that your outside living space has the right feel about it too. Because you want to be able to relax out there, so it’s great to know that you have the right atmospheric touches in place. Bring in some candles and lights, think about a fire fit, maybe even some surround some. Then add in cushions and blankets so that you can wrap up when it gets cold too.

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Source Your Recipes

 

You’ll also want to make sure that you have some simple but delicious go-to summer recipes ready too. If you know that you have guests coming over, or you just want to be able to enjoy your evenings with less fuss, these recipes will help. Also think of some quick and crowd-pleasing cocktails too and keep the ingredients to have.

 

Pick The Perfect Look

 

Finally, you’re then going to want to make sure you have some great outfits ready to go too. Because you also want to know that you can pull out different looks at a moments notice to entertain or just feel great. Put together some simple but sophisticated looks ahead of time so you know that options you have when you have a last minute occasion to host.

 

Fun Ideas For The Whole Family This Summer

Summer is a time to make the most of the sun and get an impressive tan. For your children, it’s simply a chance to eat ice cream and have water fights, but the point is that there’s something for everyone to enjoy during this wonderful time of year. Everything’s colorful under the bright glow of the sun, and a bit of warmth doesn’t hurt after having to endure a few cold months during winter. This is an opportunity to spend some quality time with your family. Summer is the perfect season to book some time off work. Here are some fun ideas for the whole family.

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Have a few beach days.

If you really want to enjoy summer then you need to spend a few days on the beach. Nothing beats sandcastles, swimming in the ocean, and eating delicious iced treats in a picturesque location. A beach trip is the perfect family day out over summer, so you should take as many trips to the coast as you can whilst it’s warm outside. Of course, you’ll have to make sure that your kids are protected from the sun if you want to ensure that they continue to have fun (sunburn is a health risk, but it’s also not a fun way to end a nice day on the beach). You should click here to learn more if you’re wondering how to keep your kids safe in the sun. Sunscreen is always a good place to start, but they should also avoid exposing your skin to the sun for extended periods of time. In fact, that’s good advice for the adults too.

 

Head to your local park.

If you’re worried that treating the family to heaps of adventures over summer is going to bankrupt you then you should opt for activities that don’t cost a thing. For example, you could take your family to the local park. A simple walk through nature is one of the best ways to enjoy summer. And if your kids aren’t fascinated by the sight of blossoming trees or flowers then they can occupy themselves by playing frisbee or running around until they run out of energy. Going to the park is the kind of summer activity that suits the whole family, so it’s a great idea for a day out.

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Go on a road trip.

A really fun idea for a day out is a classic family road trip. This is a great idea for any time of year, but there’s nothing like heading along the open road with the windows down and good music blaring on a warm summer’s day. You could combine your road trip with other suggestions in this article; you could stop off at the local park or the beach on your adventure. It’s the perfect adventure for this time of year. There are so many things to see and do during summer, so you could make a list and do them all on a road trip.

5 Thoughts To Have Before Buying A House

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Once upon a time, joining the property market was a bit ‘meh’. It was a part of that natural progression we call life. You were born, you got semi-educated, you got a career, you bought a house, and so on. But all that has changed.

 

These days, getting onto the property ladder is about as exciting as anything can possibly be because the odds are completely stacked against you. Why? Because houses are stupidly expensive now – stupidly expensive – which means your excitement will be somewhat marred by stress and worry. Basically, you need to have a plan of attack before you even think about stepping into the ring.

 

So, without further ado, here is a list of tips that will help you out big time:

 

  1. Be Realistic

Yes, we would all love to by a house in Downtown Manhattan, but that’s probably not going to be possible. The best thing you can do is speak to an independent financial advisor about your situation, find out exactly what you can afford, what sort of mortgage will be best and what other factors-slash-fees could crop up.

 

  1. Sort Yourself Out

Before you knock on any lenders door, you need to get your financials under control and your credit file looking snazzy. If you’ve got loads of credit card debts, it’s probably worth speaking to https://debtconsolidation.loans/credit-card-consolidation/ to make this look less drastic than it is. If you have missed payments on your file, an accompanying note to explain everything is all good will go a long way, getting yourself on the electoral poll too – all these sorts of things will go a long way in making you more appropriate to lend to.

 

  1. Research Everything

To make the right decision, you need to have all the information you can at your fingertips. That means knowing what your ideal location is, what compromises you are happy to make, what the schools are like, the tax band, the commuting distance from work, transport links, crime rates etc. But don’t stop there. Another thing that is crucial is you view any property more than once and at different times of the day. It’s easy to jump the gun and put an offer in as soon as you’ve seen a property. But don’t.

 

  1. Picture The Dream

This has to be the most enjoyable part of the process – the dreaming. Think about how many bedrooms you want or need, how many bathrooms you would like, which way the garden would be facing, off-street parking, semi-detached or detached, apartment or house. We all have our own list of criteria when it comes to the actual property, so have your wants listed out, and then circle those you won’t compromise on.

 

  1. Get A Good Agent

When you are looking for a home, you need to know the agent is on your side and knows exactly what you are looking for. That means going into the office and having face-to-face conversations with them, discussing everything in detail, and being friendly with them. Trust us, if they know and like you, they will be more likely to think of you when a property comes onto the market.

Are You Guilty Of These 3 Money Wasting Habits?

You’d say you were pretty good with money, right? You don’t waste money on things that you don’t need and you’ve got a good budget that only covers the essentials. A lot of people think that, but often, they’re wrong. Even if you think that you’re being incredibly sensible with your money, you could be wasting cash without even realizing it. If you can identify this hidden waste and do something about it, you’ll have far more disposable income to enjoy at the end of every month. These are just some of the ways that you’re wasting money without even knowing it.

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Credit Card Interest

 

Paying back credit card debt is obviously a necessity. If you don’t make those repayments, you’ll end up in serious financial trouble. But when you’ve got a couple of different credit cards and you’re paying interest on them all, you’re wasting money that you don’t need to be. Credit card consolidation loans can easily solve that problem for you; by rolling all of those repayments into one, you’re only paying interest on a single debt, rather than paying it on multiple credit cards. That saves you a lot of money and makes it much easier to clear the debt faster.

 

Expensive Food

 

Food is one of the biggest areas for wasted money. Firstly, eating out all the time is going to cost you a lot of money but that doesn’t mean you have to stop. Just make sure that you’re going to places that offer better value when you’re picking up food on the go. People also waste a lot of money on their weekly grocery shop in the supermarket. Overbuying is a big problem when it comes to fresh ingredients because people often buy a load of fruit and vegetables that go off before they have the chance to eat it. You might as well cut out the middleman and throw the money straight in the bin. When it comes to fresh ingredients, doing two smaller trips during the week instead of one big shop can help you reduce that waste and save a lot of money.

 

Unused Subscriptions

 

That gym membership you’ve got isn’t a waste of money, you can’t put a price on good health. That’s true if you actually use it. If you’re paying for a gym membership but you only go once a month, you’re wasting money. You should only be paying for subscriptions like that if you’re actually getting good use out of it. TV subscriptions are another one that people waste cash on. If you’re paying for a full cable package but you only watch a couple of channels, do you really need it? Things like Netflix and Amazon Prime are worth looking at as well. A lot of people are paying for both when one would do just fine. Most of these subscriptions go unnoticed because, on their own, they aren’t that expensive. But when you’ve got a few unused subscriptions, that adds up to quite a bit of money that you don’t really need to be spending.

 

Cut out this waste and you’ll soon find that you’ve got a lot more money than you thought you did.

 

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