Life is getting more expensive and we are all looking for ways to cut costs. While we can ask friends and family for tips and tricks, and look for ideas online, one of the best sources of advice on this is from a financial expert.
Financial experts, or money experts as they are sometimes called, know the psychology behind people’s spending habits and behaviors and where people go wrong when it comes to spending and saving. They can see the big picture and know from experience that the small changes people make now can have a huge impact on their future.
We thought it would be helpful to tap into three of these valuable resources and ask them how to combat the cost of living. What are these financial experts themselves doing to drastically reduce the cost of living and, at the same time, increase their savings? Here is what they said.
Related: A financial expert’s top tips for paying off that looming debt
Related: This personality trait could be costing you money
Natasha Janssens, Money Coach and founder of Women with Cents
My tip for saving money fast is to:
- Shop all my major bills – mortgage, insurance, phone, energy, etc. It may seem like a time-consuming exercise, but most companies save their best discounts to attract new customers, so it definitely pays to shop around.
- Shop for cheaper groceries – whether that’s switching to Aldi or changing the brands you buy at your regular supermarket.
- Use cashback sites when shopping online.
In addition to diversifying your investments and looking to invest for the long term, letting the power of compound interest work its magic, I would suggest these ways to combat the cost of living – which I do myself.
Create an emergency fund
Before COVID, we didn’t really talk about emergency funds or buffer accounts. When COVID hit, they were suddenly super sexy. Indeed, having a cash reserve for emergencies means that when life hits, like unexpected repairs or illness, you don’t have to dip into the credit card. And no, going to Europe for the summer is not an emergency.
Live within your means
This one seems so obvious, but it’s the secret sauce to having great finances. Too many people try to follow not just their peers, but with internet influencers who don’t even buy the products, they multiply. My advice? Unsubscribe, unsubscribe, and unsubscribe and start thinking about what’s important to you, instead of being influenced to think or buy in a particular way. It also means swapping, pausing, and canceling spending in order to plug that leaky bucket of unnecessary spending.
Find extra income
Too often we go straight to tightening our belts on our spending, which is important, but we don’t think about finding more income. Whether it’s a second job, a side hustle, becoming a delivery driver, doing online surveys, renting out your stuff or even filling out your tax return – finding more income can be a great way to supplement the rising cost of income and means you’re not solely dependent on your salary.
If you have a mortgage, one of the best ways to find more income is to ask your bank for a rate reduction. I found that the average rate reduction received was 0.50% and the biggest savings was $15,000.
Gerry Incollingochartered accountant and Managing Partner of LCI Partners
Do your research
My best advice would be to do your research and compare necessary expenses that are rarely loyal to their customers. This goes for your energy bill, any insurance including health, insurance, car insurance, etc. Often, these services will offer great offers to people who come to them, but they won’t offer the same offer to their existing customers. Shop around and see if you can get a better deal because you can save hundreds.
Bundle your insurance
On that note, bundling your insurance with the same company can often come with a discount. For example, if your health insurance and your pet insurance are with the same company, they will often offer you a better rate. Also, many insurance companies offer discounts from various companies. For example, you might be able to get 7% off movie tickets or a discount on fuel or groceries. Be sure to research the benefits before paying anything as there may be a code you can use.
Use rewards programs
There are so many rewards programs out there, be sure to use them. Flybuys, Daily Rewards, Myers One and Cashrewards. If you have a credit card, there are plenty of point cards these days that will get you discounts on all sorts of things, from flights to gas, groceries, and even free credit vouchers. . Be sure to earn your points when shopping and be sure to check them out to claim the reward. Getting into this habit can honestly save you hundreds of dollars every year.
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