If you’re keen to keep track of your spending and to improve your finances in 2020, some magazines will advise you to ruthlessly cut back on costs and try to avoid shopping altogether. However, when you’re dealing with essentials, such as grocery shopping, rather than treats, the best plan could be to make sure you’re getting the best value, rather than setting an unrealistic goal to completely slash your costs.
Change your grocery shopping habits
If, like most of us, you occasionally find yourself shopping when hungry and loading up your basket or trolley with all the sweet treats you crave at the time, it may be worth changing the way you do your grocery shopping. According to The Money Advice Service, the average weekly food shopping bill for a family comes in at £60.60. To make your money go further, it could be worth sitting and thinking about the things you buy regularly that have a long shelf-life (such as tea bags or tins of soup) and stocking up when they’re on sale or are on a multi-buy offer. Also, if you find yourself getting tempted by items on display, why not try online grocery shopping to see whether it keeps you more focused and helps you to save money? And finally, it may sound old fashioned, but His & Hers still finds it really helpful to take a shopping list with you to keep you on track (and ensure that you don’t forget anything).
Consider shopping online
Sometimes we need to budget for an emergency or the death of a loved one and it can be particularly difficult to keep track of your finances at these times. If you find yourself needing to plan a funeral and don’t know where to start, it could be worth searching online first, where you’ll find everything from inspiration for making the day memorable to cheap caskets and practical advice on getting through such a difficult time. Also, if you’re finding it hard to recover from the death of a loved one, there are a number of websites that focus on grief (just google grief or grieving) and the NHS offers a guide to dealing with grief after bereavement or loss.
Take stock of what you spend your money on
We’ve all experienced the frustration of waiting for payday only to discover that our wages flow out of our account surprisingly quickly! If you ever find yourself wondering what your money’s being spent on, it could be worth taking stock of your wardrobe, and your kitchen cupboards, and even thinking back over the past few times you’ve gone out. Ask yourself what you’ve spent money on that you’ve really appreciated and what you regret buying. You may find that you have a few expensive clothing or grocery related shopping habits that you could quite happily ditch without really noticing. And you may find that there are some things that you really appreciate spending money on (such as travel or treating your loved ones) where you’d like to invest more. The more you know about where your money’s going, the more efficiently you’ll be able to budget when shopping.
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