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As soon as you take those first nervous steps into adulthood, the costs seem to start piling up. Who knew it, that as soon as you turned 21 you’d have a list of bills to pay that was longer than your arm, and you had all of the stress of working all of this out to come with it, too? No matter how old you are, your monthly outgoings never stop being daunting. Whether you’re one to sit around surrounded by receipts, or you’d prefer to avoid looking at your bank balance and work this out, there are some ways to dramatically cut your monthly outgoings, and we’ve noted them down here.

Challenge yourself

A great way to save yourself a bit of cash each month is set yourself little money-related challenges. OK, we get it, this seems ridiculous, but stay with us. Why not set yourself a budget of, say, $30 of spending for a week, and see whether you can stick to it? Instead of going out for food you’ll have to be creative with what you have in your cupboards and the ingredients that you can buy from the store, so see what you can do when it comes to challenging yourself. You don’t have to live on a really low budget for the rest of your life, but doing the odd cheap week here and there will really help you to cut back on your outgoings.

Buy second-hand

So many of us are guilty of this, and we all know why we do it. We like to have things that are brand new, that only we have owned, and we know that there are no problems with the new items that we’re purchasing. However, shopping second-hand has a bad name for itself, and we can’t really work out why. It’s cheap, you can get some really good deals this way, and you also don’t have to beat yourself up about the repercussions for the environment as a result. Fast fashion brands are increasingly coming under pressure to clean up their acts, so it can make you feel like you’re doing a pretty wholesome job by rejecting this in favor of the pre-loved garments.

Don’t buy at all

When you look through all of your monthly purchases, ask yourself this: did I actually need all of these things? The best way to kick excessive spending to the curb is to ensure that you’re only buying something if you really need it, or if it brings you some kind of joy, as Marie Kondo would say. Sure, this rule only works to some extent (that Burberry handbag would probably bring us all joy, but our bank accounts would say otherwise) but you get the gist. Ask yourself before you get your wallet out whether you will use this thing on a regular basis, and whether it is worth investing in. If you’re not too sure, put it back on the shelf, and save yourself the cash.

Look for companies that can save you money

We’re living in a time now where everybody is coming up with new ideas, and they are all competing to get the top spot in their field. For a consumer, this is brilliant news, as there are many ways that you can use this type of competition to grab yourself a bargain. Always be on the lookout for good deals from companies, and you’ll find things that you didn’t even know existed. From a cheap jail calling service to money off your phone and internet contracts, you’ll be glad that you had a little look around and snapped up something that has saved you a bit of cash. There are plenty of blogs that post deals, but a simple Google search will help you, too.

Budget well

Nobody ever succeeded at cutting the costs without having a well thought out budget, so if you’re one of those people who has never tried to allocate their money to the various costs in their lives, you should definitely think of giving this a go. There are plenty of budgeting apps out there, so you don’t need to sit down and plan it all out, and they will divide your income into what you can afford to spend on each thing during the month (such as meals out, bills, etc.) and it can also account for any savings that you want to have. This will give you the financial clarity to cut down your monthly outgoings, so look into how you can make a realistic budget.

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Get a banking app

A few of us out there will happily admit that we avoid looking at our bank accounts at all costs. Whether this is because a) it is a traumatic experience, or b) because we don’t really care much about finances, there are many people who just don’t want to look their outgoings (or income) in the face at all. However, doing so could help you to see where you’re spending most, so getting a banking app would be a good idea here. Not only do most of these apps give you advice about where you’re spending most, but they also allow you to check your account with ease every day, and it is a lot easier than other forms of banking in most cases. Try it out!

Look at things that you can do for free

When the weekend comes around, your friends will be messaging you (or your kids will be pestering you) about going out to all of these fun – but super expensive – places. From bowling to a meal at that new restaurant in town, it can seem as though your friends have the highest disposable incomes ever, and it is easy to get sucked into all of this. However, why not throw a spanner in the works, and suggest that you go out somewhere that is free? From museums and art galleries to a picnic in the park, there are many ways that you can all get together, without it having a massive impact upon your bank account, so check these things out.

Have less data and minutes on your phone bill

Aah, phones. In the modern age, there are few people who are walking around without one of these things in their hands, but it could ultimately be what is sucking up most of your money. Instead of going for the highest costing package, with unlimited data, calls and texts, why not downgrade a little bit, and pay less due to this cut? The truth is that data only really serves to distract us from the things that we should be doing, and if you only have a little, you will save it for those emails that you know you have to read, and the research that you need to do sometimes (read: when you can’t remember that piece of information that is really annoying you).

Stop eating out as much

We don’t know about you, but we’re in the guilty party when it comes to eating out way too much each month, and it can be difficult to say no to this when your friends ask you out for a meal (or alternatively, when you’re just hungry). However, each time you go out you spend a lot of cash, especially if you’re getting drinks too, so try your best to keep meals out to something that you pay out for as a little treat to yourself. It can be tempting to go against this, but you really will notice a difference if you cook at home a little more, and this can also help you to try out different (and healthier) foods more often. Say goodbye to Five Guys, and cook at home.

Cut your shower time down

Another massive cost each month is how much you shower (or how many baths that you have) and of course, we’re not telling you to go outside without showering. We are telling you, however, that singing or acting out an entire rendition of The Titanic in the shower – dramatic effects and all – will not bode well for your water or heating bills, so try to cut it down to the final scene instead, you know? You can get shower timers if you want to know how long you’ve spent in there, or you can just make sure that you’re only going in the shower to do what you need to do. You’ll see the difference in your bills from doing so, so try this out to save yourself some cash.

So, if you’re looking to dramatically cut your monthly outgoings, why not try some of these simple tips? From looking out for companies that can help you to cut the costs, to eating out less and cooking more at home, there are plenty of ways to say goodbye to those expensive outgoings (and to ensure that you can actually face looking at them again). Within no time, you’ll have saved up enough cash to so something that you’ve always wanted to do, so enjoy your new-found cash!

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