As inflation rages on, good budget habits can help reduce overspending and keep regular costs to a minimum. Asking these questions at the end of each month can uncover hidden ways to save. 

With the cost of living on the rise, many of us are looking for new ways to reduce our monthly budget. But when you’ve already curtailed the low-hanging fruit, it can be difficult to find new and creative ways of cutting back. Asking the following questions at the end of each month may help.

Am I paying too much in fees or fines?

When you have a busy life, it’s not difficult to attract fees or fines for a variety of different things, from overdue library books to holding a monthly transaction account. These charges are often avoidable. In some cases, they can be removed after a bit of negotiation. If you’re being charged too many banking fees, it could be worth contacting your bank or finding another institution.

Am I using those memberships?

From gyms to professional associations, many of us are members of several organisations at once.

If you’re using the membership, it may represent good value for money; however, if it’s something you barely notice or remember, consider scrapping it. And for memberships you keep, negotiation may again be worthwhile. Some businesses will be willing to give you a better rate to keep you as a customer.

How do I get from A to B?

Transport can be a major cost, particularly if it involves a car. Reviewing the monthly cost of getting around can be a good way to work out if you’re spending more than you’d like – especially with petrol costs as high as they are now. If you are spending a fair bit, it could be worth considering alternatives like public transport, cycling or walking.

Can I cut back on food and drink expenses?

We all need to eat, which means some food costs are fixed. But that doesn’t apply to eating out and home delivery, which can contribute to a monthly budget blow out. One way to curb that could be to set a strict limit on how much can be spent on non-grocery food, to be reviewed at the end of each month.

What’s one thing that doesn’t need to be there?

There may be certain transactions on your banking statement that can easily be avoided. Often, these costs fall into the lifestyle category, such as frequent hair and beauty appointments, cleaning costs, and clothes and shoes – depending on whether they are ‘wants’ or ‘needs’.  

Each month, look for one cost that could be avoided the next month and set a goal either to remove or reduce it. Even though it’s only one thing, that cost could add up over the course of a year.



This article was sourced from COBA (Customer Owned Banking Association)

13 October 2022