How to Radically Reduce Your Expenses So You Can Change Your Life
Sometimes we think with our hearts and not with our heads. Making New Year’s resolutions can often be disastrous, with 80% of people failing by February or not even putting it in motion at all and regretting it instantly. I have been there, done that on several occasions. One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to cut down on spending, and although this sounds achievable, if you don’t have a fully-pledged strategy in place, the likeliness of failure spirals out of control. When I spoke about simplifying my life finances was a huge factor too. The unnecessary expenditures had to come to a halt. But it already seemed so daunting but there are several small changes you can make that can create a lot more financial freedom.
I understand that people can be victim to an unexpected expense — whether this is a home appliance breaking , a sudden death, urgent travels, making that third trip on a bus with only a return ticket. It all adds up. For that reason, I’ve made some assessments on how those extra savings can come in handy if something like that was to occur. This is such an important post and I hope you enjoy finding some solutions to some financial hurdles. So to make it easier I will be breaking it down into groups for you.
A simple disclaimer here though I know I am a South African blogger but over the last year the vast majority of my traffic has been from the US so my stats are in US$ but I can assure there is something every single one of you from all beautiful corners of the globe can learn from this post.
Start off with something small, but something that will make huge changes when it comes to your bank account. Using a megarider ticket, you will be able to travel as much as you want and can tailor your own needs to the ticket type. Whether you’re in need of a weekly bus pass for your travels, or a monthly one — you will find yourself making a huge saving in comparison to buying a ticket every day.
If you’re a driver, did you know that the average motorist in the US will spend an astonishing $188,880 over their lifetime? With efficiency growing in public transport, there is no reason for you not to consider making the bold move that could help you fulfill your resolution this year and save you a fortune.
When it comes to payments across the year, petrol costs a driver $1,552.04. Servicing a vehicle costs can add up to $641 over a twelve-month period — which can change depending on the individual’s situation. MOTs can cost up to $268.46 annually. Cost of parking is on the rise, and with more vehicles on the roads, there seems to be a higher demand. Over the year, a motorist can find themselves paying $195.80 on parking. When it comes to insurance, this can sway dramatically as younger drivers will find themselves paying a higher cost to be on the road — on average, insurance costs an experience driver $636 every year. Tax can equate to $216.35 on a yearly basis. Car supplies can cost a driver $39.61 and if you were to go abroad and wished to drive, holiday rental cars can leave you $210 out of pocket. Speeding tickets equal $35.12 for the average driver here in the USA. This would cost a driver $2,994.38 in total where commuters find themselves paying considerably less for a significant service — imagine the saving you would make with a megarider ticket!
According to research carried out by MyVoucherCode, people in the US visit coffee shops at least three times per week — although it has recently become unavoidable, as currently there are over 21,000 outlets around the country! This means that Brits visit coffee shops around 156 times a year with an average spend of $10.52 — with travel expenses, this could go up to $16.85. This creates an annual average spending of $2,900, a majority of which could be saved if you were to opt for taking your own coffee to work.
Branded coffee company, Douwe Egberts, has said that a 250g pack of ground coffee can make up to 30 cups. When looking to see how much a 1kg pack would cost, Amazon has priced the coffee at around $18, meaning that each cup of coffee would cost close to 1$. Try taking a flask to work and even purchasing an on-the-go coffee cup that will see you through your day.
If the rise in prices for cigarettes hasn’t already put you off, knowing that you could save a whopping $3,996 (if you smoke 20 a day) should be the driving mechanism for you to quit. MoneySupermarket.com has stated that non-smokers pay around $7,309 less for life insurance, which could be something worth investing in for the new year. No judgment here but I have never understood how the pro’s outweight the con’s when it comes to smoking.
An alternative that many smokers are trying to save money is vaping. 10ml bottles of liquid cost around $6 on average — saving those who turn to vaping around $2,100.
Many of us find it easier to just buy lunch on the way to work — or popping out on our lunch breaks. But what if we told you that, on average, forking out for lunch every day could cost you $1,488 according to research carried out by VoucherCloud. Evidently, you could make a huge saving by preparing your lunch at home — whether this is making a quick sandwich or taking in a tin of microwavable soup to heat up. When we looked at the total working days in 2017, there was 252 — if we went by Poundland’s price of tomato soup, which is $2, you would find yourself paying $156! A massive saving for anyone looking to cut down on costs.
We’ve all been victim to an unexpected expense, with 54% of 2,000 people asked saying that they suffered from an unexpected expense within the household. On average, these costs totalled $288.70 — showing that any saving is beneficial for occurrences like these. 47% of these issues happened in the kitchen, a room which is essential to the day-to-day running of any home, and if you don’t have the money to pull out instantly, it could cause an everyday stress. Using the savings you would have made by taking your own lunch and coffee to work, quitting smoking, and travelling smarter — you will be able to make life a whole lot easier. It was also found that 35% of people had to use a credit card to cover the costs of unexpected expenses. With 18% of them not being able to pay more than $120 on their own, 17% had to borrow from friends and family!
Thinking smarter for 2018 is a must, how will you be changing your ways to save money? Share all your tips with us in the comments below.