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Simple ways to reduce your spending

Simple ways to reduce your spending

Category: Money

Updated: 14/09/2015
First Published: 09/09/2015

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

It can be easy to overspend sometimes. Bills can increase unexpectedly and all those small purchases throughout the month can soon add up, often without you even realising, which could mean you struggle to make it through to the next pay day. So, we thought we'd outline a few simple ways that you can cut costs and reduce your spending, and you never know, you may even be able to save a bit more as a result…

  • Keep a diary. It may sound strange, but keeping a diary of absolutely everything you spend can be a great way to keep an eye on things – and you'll probably find areas you can cut back on in the process. Actually seeing how much you spend on those morning coffees (for example) could be all it takes to encourage you to kick the habit, and because you know you'll be making a note of it later, you may think twice before you make that impulse purchase.
  • Cut transport costs. No matter how you get around, it isn't exactly cheap, so you'll want to be savvy with your transport spending. Do you travel by car? Then hunt out the garage that offers the cheapest fuel prices rather than opting for the one that's on your commute. Train travellers can snap up discounts by buying season tickets (and there's the chance they could save even more by buying those tickets through a cashback site), and the same can be achieved for those who travel by bus, with things like weekly and monthly tickets often being available.
  • Say "no" to travel treats. Research from American Express has revealed that the average commuter spends £1,045 a year – or £94.97 a month – on treats for their journey to and from work, with drinks (£16.93/month), snacks (£16.49) and breakfast (£13.44) being key culprits. Foregoing those treats could be a great way to have more cash in your pocket, and again, this is where making a note of everything you spend can come into its own.
  • Make your own lunches. How much do you spend on lunches every day? If you nip out of the office to hunt down a sandwich, crisps and drink combo, it could be a lot (look at your spending diary to see just how much). Why not save yourself a small fortune and make your lunches instead? A loaf of bread and a few fillings will be far cheaper than anything you could buy ready-made, and stocking up on multipacks of crisps and drinks can provide another savings boost.
  • Brand swap. When you're at the supermarket, trade down from your usual brand. Opt for supermarket-brand ketchup instead of Heinz, for example, and even swapping your Taste the Difference-style products for the mainstream counterpart can make a huge amount of difference.
  • Use discounts and voucher codes. Don't spend ANYTHING until you've looked for discounts! You can find voucher codes for just about anything these days, whether you're spending online or on the high street, and if you shop through cashback sites you could save even more – you may not get money off as such, but a few pounds and pence in cashback could easily add up over the year for a nice little payout when you need it.
  • Compare energy tariffs. Here we get into the slightly more practical realm of bills, and given that the cost of gas and electricity seems to only ever be on the rise, this is a great place to start. Now's a great time to compare tariffs, too, giving you the chance to switch to a better deal before winter sets in and your energy usage skyrockets, and given that some households could save up to £533 a year by switching (according to, it could be well worth it.
  • Get a better broadband deal. Nights curled up in front of the TV are a staple part of any autumn/winter season, so make sure you've got the package that works for you. Different providers are always able to offer different prices depending on what you're looking for, so check out our search tool to see if you can find a cheaper phone, TV and broadband deal.
  • Don't renew your insurance policies without comparing the options. Can't be bothered to compare insurance quotes when it's time to renew? You could be spending far more than you need to! Spending a few minutes looking at the alternatives could be all it takes to lower your premiums dramatically, offering a quick and simple way to reduce your outgoings for the whole year.

These are just a few ideas we've come up with, and if you combine several of them, you could well end up with more cash at the end of the month. Got any more cost-cutting ideas to add into the mix? Then let us know! Like our Facebook page and send us a comment or Tweet us with your suggestions.

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.