It’s the start of a new year. That’s pretty momentous! And what better time to start making the little changes now that will add up to big changes for the rest of your life. You’ve likely already made some promises to yourself this year. Perhaps you’ve decided to make more of an effort to improve your health and fitness. Maybe you’ve joined the masses trying veganuary this year or at the very least vowed to eat more plants and less of everything else. Maybe you’ve vowed to be kinder or do more for charity. Or perhaps this is the year when you ditch the job and take your first steps down the path of entrepreneurship.

Everyone has different goals and the start of a new decade is a great time to set about achieving them with gusto. However, there’s one area in which, no matter what your goals, everyone could stand to improve… and that’s cutting down on wasteful spending. You don’t have to lead a lavish lifestyle to fall into wasteful spending habits. In fact, the costs that tend to spiral out of control are the ones that seem so small and so inconsequential that they go unnoticed… but they all add up. 

As we all embark on a new chapter together, here are some ways in which you can say goodbye to wasteful spending this year…

Curb car spending

Most of us need a car to get around in the 21st century whether we’re commuting to work, taking the kids to school or enjoying our time off with a trip to a local attraction or even a family road trip

While cycling to work, carpooling and finding other ways to be less reliant on your vehicle can all prove valuable when it comes to reducing household costs, there are multiple ways in which the savvy can reduce their car running costs. For example;

  • Insurance is essential. But don’t make the mistake of assuming that your insurance company will reward your loyalty. In fact, letting your policy roll over every year can lead to massive over spending on insurance. When your policy comes close to renewal, it’s worth doing your homework to see what other providers can offer. Check out this Metromile review for a good example. Take a look around and you may be surprised by how much you can save.
  • Use apps to find the cheapest gas. Sometimes going a little out of your way can result in huge fuel savings.
  • Keep a close eye on your tires. When your tire pressures fall below your manufacturer’s recommended levels you could find yourself burning excessive fuel. 
  • Avoid keeping too much junk in the trunk. Over time the weight of your accumulated possessions can add up and the excess weight will also gradually increase your fuel spending over time.

Cut out the takeout

Here’s an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone, reducing your reliance on expensive take out foods while also making it easier to achieve your health and weight loss goals. In the age of Uber Eats, Foodora, Deliveroo and the like it’s easier than ever to get restaurant quality food delivered straight to your door. And that’s a prospect that can be extremely appealing when you arrive home from work too exhausted to cook. But our national love of take out food is costing us a fortune. Just take a look at what’s been spent on takeout in these major cities in 2019.

Families that have become conditioned to overspend on takeout need to fall back in love with cooking again. The good news is that you can make astonishingly similar facsimiles of your favorite takeout food from the comfort of your own kitchen at a fraction of the cost of take out. 

Get to know your refrigerator and combat food waste

Even families that cook regularly and curb their appetite for restaurant dining and takeout can still find themselves overspending on food. A poorly organized and overstuffed refrigerator can be a huge source of food waste, and cause us to waste money on food that gets forgotten in the fridge and needs to be thrown out. Using organization and rotation techniques can help you to keep your fridge under control and help to combat the national problem of food waste. 

Take little steps that will drive down energy costs

Another area in which we’re prone to overspending is our utilities. As with car insurance, don’t make the mistake of assuming that your provider will reward your loyalty. In fact, they’ll almost always give their best deals to new customers while assuming that their old customers will stay with them. Keep checking energy price comparison sites throughout the year. Many will not only do you a great deal, they’ll also pay your current provider’s exit fees. 

No matter who’s providing your energy, however, you can take little steps to drive down energy consumption like;

  • Equipping doors with draft excluders to reduce heating costs
  • Checking your attic insulation to make sure you’re not leaking heat through the roof
  • Unplugging “energy vampires” overnight
  • Installing energy saving bulbs throughout the house
  • Installing a smart meter

Do you really need all of those subscription services?

There are many of us who cut the cord a while back, getting rid of our cable TV channels because there are so many subscription services out there armed to the teeth with a plethora of content to keep us entertained all year round. But with so many new kids on the block and in the pipeline for 2020 many consumers are facing the very real prospect of spending as much on the proliferate subscription services as they once paid for their cable. 

Maybe it’s time we were all a little more realistic with ourselves and asked ourselves if we really need all of those subscription services and can say with our hands on our hearts that we get enough value for money out of them. Cutting them down to one or two can still ensure that you never need to go without entertainment. Do good research first and search online to all the cable providers in my area to find the best one to keep or subscribe to. 

So, whatever promises you make to yourself this year, give yourself and your family the gift of disposable income by reducing wasteful spending.

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