When my husband and I sat down to do our first real budget, the first thing I did was look for areas of savings. In order to do this you first need to know how much you’re currently spending. The only way to do this is to track your spending for a month at very minimum to see where you are overspending and where you can cut back. Once you know about how much you’re currently spending look for ways to cut back on spending!
Cutting Back on Food
This is often pretty easy for us to save on because we usually spend too much! Most people overspend on food, I know we were. Initially, I didn’t shop with a concrete plan and would shop for random items (everything from kale to potato chips). I’d get home and not know how or what to prepare which would usually result in me spending more money to make up for ingredient shortfalls or money wasted because food would spoil. Once I stated meal planning we really started seeing savings. Our fridge is near bare by the end of the week but we now have very little spoilage.
As for eating out we try and limit it to one meal out per week. Usually Friday after a long week I’ll plan on not cooking dinner and we’ll grab something.
Cutting Those Bank Fees
We were paying a ton in bank fees because we had multiple accounts. We closed the accounts we didn’t need with our bank and opened accounts at a ‘’free’’ bank since we still wanted multiple account but wasn’t interested in paying for them!
For Canadians, a really good option is to bank with Tangerine. They have free chequing accounts and the highest interest savings accounts. My orange key is 35611511S1. If you open a free chequing account with Tangerine, using my orange key will earn you $25!
Saving on Pet Food
We were paying a TON (almost $110 per month) on prescription cat food. I got sick of it pretty quick and called around to a few places. After a consult with her vet and switching to different food we bought at a different location we saved over $50 per month.
Cutting Back on the Cost of Clothes
I always look at second-hand stores before buying new (except for obvious stuff like underwear). Only if I can’t find what I want or need second hand will I buy new and it’s almost always on sale. This is especially true for kid’s clothes since she grows so fast but women’s clothes are pretty good too. I find women go up and down in weight with dieting so much you can find really decent stuff at the second-hand stores for much cheaper than new.
Save on Utilities
Shop around! For our cell phone plans I’m always keep an eye out for new promos we can jump on though I’m convinced our plans are as cheap as I can get them. Save on electricity by being conscious about what you’re consuming in terms of energy. Buy energy efficient appliances when possible. I was shocked at how much less energy our new washer and dryer used compared to our old ones.
Honestly, the hardest part about trying to save money is figuring out how much you’re currently spending. Once you get it tracked you might be surprised at how much you can make up in savings each month!
What area are you constantly trying to cut back your spending and save on?