Many people spend unnecessary amounts of money on day to day living expenses. There are many ways to cut back and while these tips may not suit everyone, some of them are bound to be useful. In times of difficulty, it is better to be wise and careful than end up in a situation where income is exceeded by expenses.
Saving Money around the House
It costs money to keep a house clean but there are ways of cutting back on the expense. Many of these suggestions are easy to implement:
· Be careful not to use too much washing powder, household cleaner and shampoo. Manufacturers normally recommend using a larger amount than is necessary · Stand bottles on their heads or mix a little water into the contents. This works with sauces, some canned goods, shampoo, cleaners and other bottled products. · Soap is reputed to last longer if it is left to harden first. Unwrap cakes of soap and let them stand in a warm dry place before using. · Substances such as ammonia, baking soda, kerosene and methylated spirits are good household cleaners and cheaper than scented branded products. · Use potpourri to keep the home smelling fresh. A dab of scented oil on a light bulb will fill a room with fragrance.
Saving Money on Clothes for the Family
There are many way to save money on clothing. Here are some suggestions to consider:
· Watch for end-of-season sales. Stores often mark stock down to make space for new ranges. · Buy clothing from factory shops and outlet stores as well as bulk retailers. Basic items such as plain shirts and pants can be dressed up with accessories and made to look fashionable and trendy. · Buy clothing that can be layered and accessorised to make it look different. Neutral colours such as black, white, grey and cream are good choices for a basic wardrobe. · Don’t look at clothing unless needing a specific item. Browsing often leads to impulse buying. · Accept hand-me-downs – especially for children. Baby clothes in particular get very little wear and it makes sense to pass them on.
Entertainment and Special Occasions on a Tight Budget
Everyone needs to relax and have fun and this is even more important when there are children in the home. Here are some cost-cutting ideas for entertainment and fun:
· Take up reading and borrow books from the local library. Children like to keep books and reread them so buy some cheaply at school fairs and second hand shops. · Pull out the board games and have a family night playing old favourites. · Hang a rope or swing or build a tree house to give children hours of imaginative fun. · Bought cards are expensive and it is fun to make personalized ones for friends and family. Look for sales at scrapbooking stores and keep scraps of pretty paper, card and ribbons to use in card making. · Take up walking as a family and go on nature and discovery walks. · Instead of entertaining with expensive dinners, host a soup and bread night or organise a potluck dinner or barbecue. · Make gifts instead of buying them. Most people are delighted to receive a batch of homemade cookies or a bottle of ginger beer.
The recession has affected people’s incomes and lifestyles but with some creativity, it is still possible to dress well, keep the house clean and fresh and enjoy fun and entertainment with family and friends. Many small changes can add up to big savings and it is worth considering ideas of how to save money.