This is a guest post from Moneysupermarket.com.
In these times of economic downturn, everyone is looking to save and every nickel and dime counts and many people try to cut back on the big expenses, such as cutting down on their living costs. Using a mortgage repayment calculator can help you to work out if you can make savings on your mortgage, but there is a lot more you can do.
Some ways of reducing costs are more obvious, such as turning down the thermostat and cutting out take-outs and meals in restaurants. Luxury items are out of the question and even necessities are being squeezed.
There are, however, more unusual and imaginative methods and here are some ideas to try out. You’ll also have fun with them.
Take a pair of sharp scissors and lay out all your credit cards and store cards on the table. Five minutes of cutting them up and throwing them in the trash is therapeutic.
If you don’t have them, you can’t use them and paying with cash doesn’t carry interest.
The family that shares together is a fun family and they save money too. Share clothes or swap coupons and even share a shower with your significant other!
The cost of heating drains money away and many people, especially the elderly, live in one room for most of the time and just heat that one room.
The kitchen is the most convenient room because you can cook and eat there. But you can also put a couple of chairs in and a TV set and radio or even a sofa bed, so you can sleep there too.
The rest of the house will be cold but you’ll have a warm, cozy room to retreat to and your energy bill will plummet.
Kids need entertainment but it needn’t cost too much if you get them interested in hobbies that were popular for previous generations. Our parents and grandparents didn’t have electronic gadgets to pass the time, after all.
Drag them away from their overpriced computer games and build a soapbox together. It’s fun and you can get materials from things that friends and neighbors are throwing away.
Simple pleasures, such as jigsaws or yo-yos, are to be found at yard sales. You can also devise treasure hunts for little treats like candy.
You can get the whole neighborhood involved in the hunt with each house donating a small prize. Instead of taking the kids on vacation, have a huge neighborhood picnic in the local park.
The rising price of gas is a worry for many. It’s not always possible to car pool or use public transport to get to work.
At least, you can leave the car in the garage on weekends. If you have an errand to run locally or you want to visit someone, why not walk or cycle? You’re never too old to learn how to roller blade! There are also second hand unicycles for sale but perhaps that’s going too far?
The kids can follow behind on their soapbox. Even better, invest in a second hand tandem for you and your partner. You may get some strange looks but it’s an enjoyable way of getting around for little cost.