How to Reduce Spending Year Round

The New Year is often a time for reflection and goal setting, and many people will make the resolution to reduce their spending. But figuring out how to cut back without making yourself miserable isn’t always easy. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help reduce your spending throughout the year without feeling like you can’t spend at all. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Reevaluate Memberships and Subscription Plans – Like Cell Phones
Whether you are stuck in a contract or free to roam, take the time to really look closely at your cell phone bill. Then, shop around to see if you really have the best plan to meet your needs. You may find that you don’t need the amount of data you are paying for or that a pay-as-you-go provider can offer the same services for less. Either way, your cell phone will still do everything you need it to do; it will just do it for less.

Whilst it can seem tedious or draining, annually checking different memberships of subscription plans can either save you money or improve the service your receiving at the same costs providing you greater value.

Shop with a List
Before heading to any store, make a shopping list. Then only buy items on that list.

Many people are prone to impulse shopping, especially since stores are designed to make you want to buy. So, instead of relying on willpower to make it through, dedicate yourself to only shopping from lists. Before heading out the door, look at everything you currently have available, determine what is actually needed, and only buy those items.

If you want to stretch your shopping budgets further, use sales flyers and coupons to guide what does and doesn’t make it onto your list in the first place. Then, not only can you avoid impulse buys, but you can ensure that what you do buy is for a good price.

Turn savings into a game or challenge for yourself, you will see that it becomes great fun and provides a bit of satisfaction – who doesn’t like a great deal to brag about!

Keep Up with Maintenance
Whether you own a home, a car, or both, keeping up with maintenance requirements should be a priority. Why? Because maintenance is often cheaper than the costs of major repairs.

When people try to save money, it isn’t uncommon to let maintenance fall by the wayside. However, failing to maintain the things you have can result in more damage over time. And that means you’ll be buying a replacement sooner, or be faced with larger repair bills. Either way, if you want to control your spending during the year, make maintenance a habit.

Having an emergency fund is vital for unexpected expenses such as broken down household items.

Remove Temptation
If your email inbox is flooded with sales flyers for all of your favorite stores, now is the time to unsubscribe. These emails are designed to entice you into shopping even when you don’t need anything being advertised. Remember, you aren’t saving money when you buy a sale item if you could get by without buying it at all.

However, you do want to make certain exceptions. For example, weekly sales flyers for your local grocery store can be valuable. Additionally, businesses related to the maintenance of your vehicle (such as the shop that manages your oil changes) should also be considered an exception.

Otherwise, do your best to cut out the emails from any other store. That way, you can limit your incidental exposure to tempting sales ads that might not lead to much savings in the end.

Be a Strategic Shopper
General every day or weekly shops are pretty much set and don’t have much change to them outside of occasional sales and as long as you use a shopping list, you should see great savings. There are then other types of shopping such as holidays, clothes, items for the house, etc. These are items that should be planned for if possible and take advantage of seasonal sales – the savings will be huge.

Another way to save is to avoid certain financial traps that most families fall into, learn from others mistakes and steer clear from these financially crippling habits.

The tips listed above can generally be implemented without having a major impact on your lifestyle, so you don’t have to give up everything in the name of reducing your spending. Just make sure you plan properly, maintain what you have, and set yourself up for success. You may be surprised how little you spend when you give yourself some boundaries and remove many of the temptations.