Topping up your savings: 10 everyday luxuries you can cut out

We’re all guilty of spending a little extra on ourselves here and there and that’s no bad thing – but when you’re on a tight budget and need to squeeze every last penny out of your pay packet in order to be able get by day-to-day and still be able to pay something into your savings account then there could well be items or activities that you take for granted that you could cut out. Here are ten ideas for cutting down on everyday expenses:

Cut out the daily newspaper or weekly/monthly magazines
It can be hard to get used to not having something to read during the day – especially if you have a long commute into work, but you can easily fill that void with books or by listening to podcasts on your mp3 player. You can always head online to get your news and entertainment fix on a daily basis and save yourself some serious cash in the process

Walk/cycle to work
Where it’s feasible, think about cutting down on petrol costs – as well as wear and tear on your car – by heading into work under your own steam whenever possible. You don’t have to do it every day; even once a week will make a big difference in the long run.

Gym membership
Paying a monthly membership at a gym can be prohibitively expensive, so try to find cheaper ways of getting exercise such as going for a morning jog or bike ride before work.

Don’t buy lunch at work
Taking a packed lunch every day rather than spending out on local cafes/restaurants or sandwich services will save you hundreds and hundreds of pounds over the year.

Takeaway meals
Shelling out for a curry or pizza is a nice treat now and again but can be very expensive compared to home cooked meals. Don’t get carried away with takeaways – they’re one of the easiest things to cut out if you need to save money.

Premium coffee
Grabbing several coffees from a premium takeaway chain is extremely popular nowadays but it’s also works out incredibly expensive over the weeks and months. You can cut down your costs whitile still getting your caffeine fix by drinking traditional cups of coffee using the office kettle instead.

Lose the satellite TV
Do you really need all those paid channels? There is a large selection of free digital television content available so either cut back on your satellite package to just receive the basic channels – or if you’re really tight for money at the moment consider cutting it off altogether.

Review your mobile phone contract
Many of us are on mobile phone contracts that provide us with ‘free’ call minutes and texts that we don’t get through during the month. If that applies to you, then look into downgrading to a cheaper contract – or even trade your phone in for a slightly more basic model if you don’t use all of the extra functionality.

Consider your broadband connection
Similarly, you may be paying for a broadband connection that more than matches your needs. If you can pay less to receive a connection that still does the job you need it to then make sure you switch.

Forget about the lottery
It’s nice to dream of hitting that big payday but statistically playing the lottery is a losing proposition. Instead of buying a ticket every week, put the pound you would have spent into your savings account -- it may not sound like much, but before you know it you’ll have a nice little pot to fall back on.

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