Reduce your monthly expenses – 8 things you can do today
There are many reasons to reduce your monthly expenses. Maybe you need to save on expenses, or does it feel like the money is disappearing way too fast every month completely unnecessarily?
You are definitely not alone.
When the account is empty long before the next salary or payment, it can feel stressful and frustrating.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to reduce your regular expenses and get more money for other things.
Getting better personal finance is not just about the big financial choices in life, like switching to a better-paid job. It is also about all the small, even very small, choices we make every day.
Many people think that they spend the most money on large expenses, such as the car, the home or the summer cottage. But the fact is that a large part of the expenditure goes to “everyday” things, such as the daily latte after lunch or when we shop without planning. Another pitfall is that you never manage to deposit money in the savings account.
Here are some simple tips on how to change your habits and save money every day.
Do you want to reduce your expenses per month and establish a repayment agreement with those you owe money to?
Here are some tips to help you get started this week.
Large piles of bills and unexpected expenses are something we all experience once in a while. If the bills are not paid on time, they can go to debt collection.
It is very common to receive a collection notice. not the first to receive a collection notice. But what does it really mean for you, and how can you get out of trouble?
Talk to those you owe money
It is unfortunately not the case that you can always afford to pay what you owe by the deadline. Fortunately, debt collection agencies have extensive experience with others in the same situation as you.
If you realize that you cannot pay on time, it is best to be honest and let them know – as early as possible. You want to get rid of your debt, and those you owe money will get paid.
Talk to the debt collection agencies so that they understand that you really want to pay. They understand your problem and will do what they can to create repayment plans that suit you.
This can mean that you get a lower interest rate, a longer payment period or that you do not have to pay the extra debt collection fees.
Call those you owe money to as early as possible, even though you may find it an uncomfortable phone call to have. Do not forget that those you owe money want to get paid in the same way you want to be debt-free. When you make contact yourself, you show that you want to sort out the situation. This is positive!
Prepare for what you want to say in the conversation and keep a cool head. There are often many emotions in the picture, and it is easy to get frustrated when talking to a company you owe money to. Keep in mind that the person you are talking to only works for the company. It’s not him/her you owe money to.
Try to get an overview of your bills and how much you think you can pay a month before you agree on something. Start with what you get paid per month and deduct all fixed expenses. We give you a realistic picture of how much you have to spend a month.
Have the necessary documentation that clearly shows your fixed income and expenses. It makes it easier for you to provide the right information and answer any questions.
Be honest with the person you are talking to. Let the person understand that you are really motivated to put in the effort needed to get paid, even though you know that it can get tight financially for some time. Remember that the person you are talking to has extensive experience finding solutions for others in the same situation.
An example of what you can say to start the conversation with is:
(You can also send this as an email to those you owe money to)
It can be difficult to know where to start. We therefore take it from the beginning. How much money is left in the account when half the month has passed? How much is left the day before salary?
Try to avoid the balance method
Many people live from salary to salary, or according to the “balance method”. Full speed ahead when the salary arrives and the account is empty at the end of the month (or even earlier). It simply means that you adjust your spending with how much is left in the salary account as if it were the car’s fuel tank.
Living according to the “balance method” is unfortunately not sustainable if you want to improve your personal finances.
This way, there will never be any money in the savings account. The solution for many is simply to arrange an automatic transfer of, for example, SEK 1,000 to a savings account on the same day as the salary arrives.
Identify the waste
Before you know where you can save, you should think about what you are spending your money on.
What feels like a waste to one person may feel like a necessity to another. Some may prioritize restaurant visits, while others prefer to spend money taking the car to work or some expensive hobbies.
If you know with yourself that you need to save money, you need to be realistic about what you actually need and what can be classified as “waste”. When you look at your spending with a realistic view, you can certainly see where your money is going.
But in addition to the obvious costs, there are several things most people can do to reduce expenses.
You may need to save money for a future purchase, or your financial circumstances have just changed, and you need to reduce your expenses to make everyday life go together. Whatever your reason for saving money
– here are 8 useful things you can do to lower your monthly expenses.
Things you can do to reduce your expenses and get more money over each month
Whether your financial circumstances have recently changed, or you just want to put some money into your savings account, it can pay to start from scratch. Therefore, you should start by looking at your buying habits.
Your buying habits are an incredibly important piece of the puzzle when it comes to lowering your monthly expenses. In fact, food purchases account for the majority of household consumption.
Many people waste an unnecessary amount of money here. If you change your shopping habits, you can hit three birds with one stone: You can reduce your costs and have more time for other things while reducing food waste.
Spend a few minutes to make a proper shopping list. When you have finished shopping, you can put up the shopping list on the refrigerator, then you have an overview of what you have at home, and you can also delete food products when they run out.
Also, set up an empty list for the next big event. When you notice something to be traded, write it up on the list immediately. Then you avoid situations in the grocery store where you think, “What exactly did I need to shop for?”
And most importantly. If you stick to the shopping list, you avoid impulse buying, and that you buy something that you already have at home.
If you plan your meals in advance, you will also avoid “support buying” dinner on weekdays.
With a weekly plan for shopping and cooking, you will be able to save a lot of money every week.
How to shop smarter:
Plan your purchases before you go to the store, or order online and pick them up in the store. Several grocery stores offer services to save shopping lists and compare prices on the store’s website. Then you avoid the stress of shopping in a store, especially if you have time pressure.
Shop less often. Try to limit it to once a week. If it gets too difficult, you can start shopping for three or four days and then expand as you go. When you shop less often, you can better understand what you are actually using and how much you need.
Follow the shopping list you have made. The most expensive food is the one you throw away. Do not buy more than you have to! It is cheaper to buy the more expensive package with two chicken fillets than a whole economy package if you still throw away half.
Note! Be patient with yourself. If you have not planned your food purchases before, it can take time to learn how much is spent in your household. Therefore, it is only natural to buy either too much or too little food the first time. This is completely normal.
Compare the kilo price. You will be amazed at how much the price per kilo can differ! One type of tomato can, for example, be sold for SEK 29.99 / kg, while another, seemingly equivalent, tomato is sold for SEK 49.99 / kg. The same applies to foods that are not sold in bulk, such as milk, rice, or bread.
Lower the requirements for everyday food. It is good to treat yourself to a really good meal sometimes. But honestly, you do not have to overperform or fill the plate with the freshest organic vegetables every meal. If you have some eggs and some bread to consume as soon as possible, toss in some tomato slices and a pinch of salt, and you get a good and nutritious lunch – without spending any money at all.
Choose a grocery store with care. Do not shop weekly at the most expensive grocery store, even though it may have a better selection. Choose a cheaper chain to shop for consumables and go to the delicatessen when it is really needed.
More savings tips that lower your monthly
Subscriptions and “good offers”
It often feels good to be able to stream movies and series for a hundred bucks a month. The problem comes when several different subscriptions and services are added together, as it becomes expensive in the long run.
Do you have problems saying no to “good” offers? Many people have unpaid bills for subscriptions and services that they do not really need. Today, there are lots of goods and services that are easy to sign up for but together contribute to high costs.
From book clubs and beauty boxes to audiobook and streaming services. Often the subscription works so that you get a very favorable offer when registering, and then you get a package every month unless you cancel.
There is nothing wrong with streaming services and children’s book clubs, but if you are a person with poor financial conditions, the probability that you will forget to cancel the package is high.
Review your bank statement and cancel any subscription services that are not absolutely necessary. Maybe you can share a Netflix account with a friend?
Small expenses in everyday life
A coffee latte every day, a newspaper at the Press Office, and a chocolate biscuit after lunch. It’s easy to shop a little, especially if there are a few coins and rattles in your pocket. But if you add up all these small (and really unnecessary) expenses, you will quickly notice that it will be a lot of money.
If you, like many others, never use cash, you can look at your bank statement instead. How many small expenses have been deducted from your debit card in the last month? These are often unnecessary and can lead to your bank account bleeding for no reason at all.
Take a look at this example: A coffee latte can cost around SEK 50. If you buy coffee from a café five days a week, instead of using the coffee machine at work, you spend SEK 250 a week or SEK 12,000 per year.
When you take out a loan, you have to pay an establishment fee that can vary from bank to bank. Here is a reason to pay attention. The banks’ own websites must provide information about the terms that apply at all times, so read this carefully
Do you need help?
Dealing with financial problems can be both despairing, frustrating, demotivating, and perceived as very difficult. Especially if you are alone in dealing with such a situation.
However, it does not have to be that way.
There are, in fact, good offers for help, with people who have long experience of helping others out of financial problems, for anyone who may need it. All you have to do is contact the resource you feel is right for you.
Is it worth it?
Sell what you do not use
You can sell your gently used clothes, shoes, and bags. But why stop there? The secondary market for all sorts of things has grown stronger in recent times. Search the attic or garage and sell sports equipment, old video games, kitchen appliances, and tools – everything you do not use.
Many small amounts quickly become a good sum!
Borrow and change
You can change clothes and hobby equipment online. You can use social media to swap things you do not need for things you do need. Children grow fast, and it can be expensive to buy new every time they have grown out of something, such as winter shoes or sports equipment.
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You are the only one who can take on your financial challenges. The sooner you get to grips with it, the sooner you can see your financial situation improve.
By taking the right steps, you can take control of your finances, manage your debt better, and have a more carefree everyday life. Although the road to the goal may seem long, you get closer with each passing day.
When the account is empty long before the next salary, it can feel both stressful and frustrating. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to reduce your regular expenses and get more money
for other things.
Start from scratch by looking at your buying habits. Then you can proceed with:
Streaming and subscriptions
Stop shopping (Note: Even online purchases)
Sell things you do not need
Borrow and exchange instead of buying a new
Rent a room, home, car, or boat
See if you can get an extra income
Collect your loans and pay debts
Make a budget
And remember, there are plenty of ways to save money and lower your monthly fees. It often takes a little creativity and patience. But you are already well on your way.
Do you need help?
Dealing with financial problems can be frustrating, unmotivating, and very difficult. Especially if you are alone in dealing with the situation.