# Where you can Cut down on Living Expenses

Don’t be a slave to your debts and don’t be content with just making a living.
To cut down on you living expenses, you need to know how much money you make, how much money you spend and where you spend it.

Here are some easy and practical tips you can use to prune those living expenses and still have a fantastic life. After all, when you are living well and not constantly worrying about money and paying bills it allows you time to be happy and have a fun filled, stress free life.

Get to know where your money goes by simply making the following list of all your expenses. Draw up a list with four columns across the top,
Column 1 Expenses, Column 2 Cost /week, Column 3 Change, Column 4 Saving

In the first column write down all your Expenses and in the second column write down the Cost per Week for that item listed. Your expenses may list some of the following items. If you have other expenses add them in so that you get a personal snap shot of your own living expenses.
Your list will have some of the following,
-big item costs like your mortgage, loan repayments and credit card payments
-the constant costs like your utility bills: insurance, electricity, phone and tuition fees
-the everyday costs like the cup of coffee just before work, car parking, lunch, drinks after work, a quick pick up meal
-your general maintenance’ cost items like gym fees, babysitting, lawn mowing, dry cleaning
-your living costs of groceries, petrol, entertainment, clothing and hobbies

In the third column, consider the expense and identify what you can change,
Y for yes, can change
N for no, cannot change
P for possible change
D for definite change
In the fourth column, consider a cost saving value to provide a dollar value of the saving.

For example, now that you know how much things are costing you:
Can you do with less babysitting? How much less? What will your saving be?
Do you need to have a coffee every morning before work? Can you cut down to one per week, what would your saving be?
Can you save on work lunches? What would your saving be?
Do you need to rely on quick pick up meals? Can you organize your meals differently? What would your saving be?
Do you need to spend as much on new clothing? What can you do without or what can you change? What would your saving be?
Do you use the gym efficiently and cost effectively? Do you need to change your membership to reflect a change in use? What would your saving be?

You can take a closer look at HOW you do things and how you can still make further savings. Make sure that your car is properly maintained and tuned. Shop around for petrol, keep your tyres correctly inflated and don’t carry unnecessary excess weight left in your boot. You may also consider if you need to use your car to drive to work each day and if you are able to use public transport, ride your bike or walk occasionally. Otherwise, consider avoiding traffic congestion by leaving earlier or later and combining errands.
The home is an easy place to become complacent, inefficient and careless.
Switch off the electrical equipment you are not using. Equipment does not need to be on standby 24 hours of each day.
Use energy efficient and water efficient appliances, fixtures and fitting.
Run your air conditioner more efficiently by providing shade to windows and providing doors and windows with seals. Also clean filters regularly.

When you know where your money is being spent you can see where you can make savings that will change the quality of your life and keep your money invested to your future financial benefit.
Good Luck!