Ways to reduce spending, essential money skills

Cutting back on spending if finance after divorce is tight does not mean that you will starve or have to walk around dressed like a bag lady or a tramp but does mean that you must stick to a carefully thought out budget. 

Here are some top tips to help you reduce spending:

Plan your meals
If you plan for a week at a time that will help you buy the right amount of food and not waste any.

punnets of fresh fruit Fresh food is always a good way to stay healthy
This is often cheaper at markets and local shops who will let you buy in amounts that suit you and not them.  Buy fruit and vegetables in season, avoid expensive imported items and do not be tempted by the pre-washed, pre-packed, bags and packets of stuff.  They are always more expensive.  Life after divorce can be healthier as well as happier. 

If you have a garden, you could consider growing some of your own food.  This can be hard work as the weeds think that it's their right to grow anywhere and everywhere despite your best efforts at destroying them.

What to do in the supermarket
To save money in the supermarket the sure fire tactic is buy as many deals and offers as you can.  However, only buy stuff you really need and can store (usually in the freezer) for as long as necessary.  Don't just buy it because it's a great offer.  It's not a great offer if some of it gets thrown away.  

Lunch in a box
Take a packed lunch to work, you will save pounds on buying third rate (or designer) sandwiches and bijou snacks.  A DIY midday meal of freshly prepared food will give new meaning to the term 'lunch box.'   

A bit of haggling can often produce a better price 
This tactic will only work in independent stores.  However, it's always worth a try especially when buying more expensive items.  A shop will often prefer to lose a small percentage of profit rather than risk losing a big ticket sale altogether.  Keep an eye out for discounts on goods that are being discontinued.  \"\"

Car boot sales and charity shops These are good hunting grounds for second hand stuff too and don’t forget online second hand stores. Not only are these fantastic places to buy the things you need but you can raise cash by selling your own unwanted clothes, collectables, household goods etc.  Charity shops are fabulous things and are now offering a much better range and quality of goods for a fraction of what they would cost new.  You will also feel justly virtuous knowing that you are helping someone in need.  

Shopping on line can give you a better price
Big name retailers will often have special offers online that are not available in their bricks and mortar shops and they sometimes start their sale periods a few days earlier to customers buying on the internet.  Even if you have to pay postage and packing you will save on travel and parking costs.

google_used-cars-for-sale.jpgDon't buy a new car
Buying a car at two years old and selling it at five years old is the most economical way of owning a car and purchasing from a reputable dealer is the best way to ensure you aren’t sold a pig in a poke.  Make sure you have a guarantee for both parts and labour.

Getting those utility bills under control
These seem to rise and rise in a never ending spiral.  The online price comparison sites are all a bit of a nightmare.  Treat them with caution as the comparisons are often not strictly and totally unbiased. 

You can also make savings on gas and electric bills by changing from one company to another but what appears to be a good deal right now may not be in a few month's time.  To help save energy The Energy Saving Trust which is a not for profit organisation gives free and impartial advice about saving energy in the home.  If you can't buy it for less then using less of it will reduce your bills.

Eating out
This is an expensive luxury that should be an occasional treat for those on a tight budget.  It can be a challenge looking for ways to cut down on spending. Set a goal and get the family involved and motivated with the promise of a day out or a special treat once you have achieved it.  Life after divorce can be fun too.

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