The thing that might surprise you is how little you seem to have and can’t quite understand what you have done with the rest. It could take you keeping a diary to see just where your money goes, and often once this has been done you will be shocked at what is wasted and where you are spending more than you wish you were.
The Little Things
This will cover a lot of things and often they will cost less than £2. It can be a magazine, a coffee or a bar of chocolate. Once a month this is fine but when it is almost every day, and in some cases more than once a day, you can be looking at around £60 to £70 a month equating to around £800 a year. Playing the lottery is £2 a time and then there can be a couple of £s put in a collection in work.
The Middle Range Things
These are items that are a little more expensive and therefore will give you even more of a shock. Buying lunch in work can cost up to £5 a day and if you get a couple of takeaways when you are too tired to cook, you can be looking at a spend of around £200 a month. Just by being a little more organized and preparing food at home can easily save £150, leaving you with the option of a lunchtime treat once a week and an occasional takeaway. If you smoke and really can’t give up, then try to at least cut down by a few a day, and then roll your own. The same goes for a night out-don’t be the last person to leave the bar, but go while you still have some cash in your pocket. You don’t have to give up on a social life but just enjoy the night and know when to leave.
Food shopping can fit in somewhere between the middle and the large range depending on where you shop to begin with. Dropping a brand will hardly make any difference to the food you buy and how much you enjoy it, but will make a big difference to your purse. If you can drop more than one brand and still be satisfied with what you are buying, then that will be even better.
The Big Things
It won’t hurt you not to have the latest thing as soon as it hits the shops. You don’t need to have the latest style shoes and in a variety of colors, and you don’t need to have every kitchen gadget that is released. If you wait 6 months the price is bound to come down, plus you have more time to decide if it is something that you really want. Even bigger savings will be made if you keep your car for a little longer, and manage to survive with a 42”TV rather than going for over 50”. Considering items can cost between £100 and £400 you are wasting a lot on things you don’t need each year.