Too Much Month at the End of Your Money? Here's Where You're Probably Overspending!

woman with shopping bags after a spending spree

Too much month at the end of your money? Most of us find ourselves in this position- at least some of the time. We can find ourselves wishing for higher paid jobs or more cash, but actually, it's our spending rather than earning that's the main issue. If you account for every penny you spend in the month, you'll find that a scary amount gets wasted. Here are five areas that most of us are guilty of squandering money on!

Food and drink
First on the list, and for good reason- this is something that just about everyone overspends on! From takeaways to coffee shops, buying big brands in supermarkets and not planning effectively, it can all add up in a big way. One of the very best ways you can save money on food is by being organised. Every weekend, sit down and write a menu of the meals you plan on cooking the following week, and then create a shopping list based on this. I've been doing this for over a year now and it's not only saved me money but hassle too... there's no more getting to 5pm and realising I have none of the ingredients I need to cook anything! Meal prep your lunches for work ahead of time so you can grab them out of the fridge in the morning with no hassle, and aren't tempted to go through the drive thru. Things like pasta dishes work well, they can be made in bulk, easily last five days in the fridge and you can throw in whatever meat, vegetables or sauce you fancy that week. On top of this, it can be eaten hot or cold so you have choices each day. Check out Pinterest as it's full of meal prep recipe ideas. Plan interesting meals that you can cook for the family at the weekend instead of just resorting to a takeaway, you really can make dishes that are as tasty as anything you can order- but save yourself on money and calories. Another habit to get into is taking your own coffee to work. Insulated flasks these days boast that they can keep drinks hot for twelve hours, so make it before you leave and whatever time in the day you like to have a cup it will still be good to drink. No more £3.50 lattes at Costa or Starbucks!

Unfortunately, we all have to pay bills. There's no escaping them, things like water rates, gas and electric and tv licensing for example just isn't avoidable. However, you shouldn't be paying over the odds for your bills, and if you haven't switched to a new company recently for certain bills then you probably are. If you're not in contract, scour around for new customer deals. Another thing you could do is reduce the size of the packages you're currently getting. If you're paying too much for your mobile for example, could you switch to another brand or even a sim-only deal once your contract is finished? Sites like Half Cooked have everything in one place, making it easy to find the right deal for your budget. If you pay for tv channels with services like Sky or Virgin Media, could you downgrade your package- or even switch over to freeview? Have a think, and work out if you're getting the most out of the packages you currently pay for. If you don't then switching is an easy way to save you on some cash. 

Days out
There's nothing I love more than going on a day out, and over the last two years me and my boyfriend have travelled all over the UK, visiting new places and attractions. The only problem is that it can really add up, especially if you're out and about often and paying full price. Get the most for your money by finding good deals- Groupon and Wowcher are fantastic for this and can give you ideas for  cheap and fun things to do that you probably wouldn't have ever thought of yourself (everything from alpaca walking to chocolate making to go karting!) Memberships are also a way to save money, if you like visiting National Trust parks for example then it works out much cheaper to buy a year's annual pass rather than for every individual location you go to. Look out for cheap and free activities too; museums and galleries are often free to walk around and so are many farms, parks and beaches. If you take your own picnic you're only really paying for the price of fuel. 

Your Car
Speaking of fuel, your car is another area that you may well be overspending on in your budget. Keep fuel costs lower by driving economically, and if you drive a lot of miles it could be worth switching to a more fuel efficient car. If you do purchase a new vehicle, be sure to look into the tax and insurance costs too, go with something that has running and repair costs that you know you can afford. My advice if you drive is that it's always worth having breakdown cover, even if your car is newer or particularly reliable. You just never know if something could break down, and without breakdown cover it can cost £100 or more just for recovery. We have cover with the AA, it costs around £7 a month and that covers me and my partner as either a driver or a passenger in any car. Well worth it, especially when we've had to call them out three times in the past eighteen months. One of the times we were stranded at the top of a mountain in Wales! It took hours to recover us and required two vehicles in the end but cost us nothing as we were covered with them. 

Digital subscriptions
Finally, digital subscriptions can really add up if you go through them all. Spotify, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Audible, online magazine subscriptions and more can all give us access to incredible content. However, if you're not using your subscription to it's full potential then you're just wasting money. Consider scaling it back, cancel what you're not using that often. If you find that you really do miss it, you can always just re-subscribe.

Where are you guilty of wasting money?

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