Expert Advice: 7 Ways to reduce your spending

by - July 18, 2016

Life gets expensive, and sometimes everyday costs can add up to a lot of money. Still, spending money is both a necessity and a pleasure. The problem is that regularly spending too much can lead to big debt in the long run. If you are finding that you have little or no money left at the end of the month you will need to find ways to reduce your spending or increase your income. To help your make changes to your personal finance, I spoke with Danelle van Heerden  head: Advice Processes and Tools at Sanlam Personal Finance. She shares 7 ideas to help you reduce your spending.

- Make a lifestyle change. You have to change your mindset before setting out to cut expenses or budgeting. This requires a new mindset and habits that become a part of one's everyday life. Material stuff and keeping up with the Jones won't produce happiness. But making a little changes to your lifestyle can save you a lot of money.

- Stick to your budget. Don't just spend for the sake of spending, make sure that you do something meaningful with your money. If you’re constantly buying a bunch of low-cost items, then you’re probably spending meaninglessly. Make sure that at the end of the month you know what your spend your money on.

- Experiences make people happier than possessions. Making purchasing an experience . i.e buy something on a special occasion or on vacation because they deliver a more-lasting happiness than things. And sometimes, there are so many things we can do to create joy that cost little or nothing.

- Save on your cellphone data bill. Updating apps on Wi-Fi can help lower your mobile data usage, and make a big impact on overall bandwidth savings. So plan your day around free Wi-fi spots to be able to update your phone. This website, shows you were you can find your free Wi-fi spots.

Cut down meat and eat a little healthier.  This means making dishes heavy on veggies, rather than animal protein. You don't have to go cold turkey. Try meatless meals once or twice a week. Reducing or eliminating meat consumption entirely could help you save money. Yes, veggies can be expensive too, but not as expensive and unhealthy as most meats. There are many cheap, healthy high protein foods that can replace meat in any diet. This saves you a lot of money.

Give your children pocket money when you go shopping. If your kids want to spend more than their allowance, advise them to be more frugal and more patient. Educate them on sensible spending and explain the priorities when shopping.

- Plan a fun birthday party for your kids at home. Kids parties have become notoriously competitive but ultimately you’re only goal should be making your child happy and creating memories to last a lifetime. . Your kids can still have a fun birthday party for your kids without paying hundreds of rands at a popular kids’ restaurant or entertainment venue. And kids can entertain themselves quite well without all the extra fluff. It’s the experience that matters!

Saving money doesn’t have to be hard, it just requires a little thought and doing what’s best for you and your family.  At the end of the month you will be pleased that you have managed your finances better. You’ll also  realise that you don’t have to overspend to enjoy yourself.

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