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Reducing expenses

At Debt Advice we speak to 100's of people every day who are struggling with their finances and debts. Monthly expenses are what eats away at our income and it's usually difficult to see where cuts can be made with bills, general living etc...

Reducing your outgoings

See our helpful hints and tips below on how to manage your outgoings every month. There are many ways to reducing your expenditure.

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Cars are one of the most costly expenses on your income, next to your rent or mortgage. For most individuals and families a car is an essential commodity. For some families, where both parents work, it is impossible to function without two cars. A car can be a very expensive piece of machinery to run, but there are things that can be done, to try and cut back on the running costs of a car... things such as, fuel, servicing, tax, mot etc....

Run and Maintain your car efficiently

Buy using your car properly you could save up to 15% on your fuel costs. Things such as proper tyre inflation, lighter cars, no roof racks, no air con on, no over-filling, no over-revving, gentle driving, driving in highest gear, can all cut fuel costs. You can also search around for the cheapest fuel prices and maximise this.

Compare your Car Insurance Quotes

Search around for cheaper car insurance when your renewal is due. Some companies will try to better other quotes in order to get you on board. Searching around for a better deal may be beneficial.

Car Pooling

Car Pooling can be a fantastic way to save money for families and individuals. You pair up with other families, work colleagues and friends who are taking the same journey at the same time. This can save you an absolute fortune on fuel costs.

Rent your Car Space

Working all day? Is your driveway free? Rent out your car park space. Depending on the location of your driveway you could earn over £200 per month for simply letting someone use your drive. You can read more about this on websites such as www.justpark.com. This also works both ways. For example, parking charges in the London area can be extortionate and you could save on parking costs by renting someones car park space.

Budget Shopping and Tips


One of the most expensive parts of our daily lives. We need food to eat and the cost of food is ever-increasing. We need clothes to wear and again, the cost is ever increasing. Supermarkets, stores and shopping centres are designed to consume our our wallets and purses, forcing us to buy things that we don't need. Follow our tips to help you escape the temptation of over-spending unnecessarily.

  • Don't shop when you're hungry.
  • Make a list and stick to it (Think of it as a challenge).
  • Draft up weekly meal planners.
  • Do a monthly analysis of the cupboards and use up the food in them for meals. That way, food doesn't build and clutter up and you get some meals out of products you forgot you had.
  • Ignore sweets and magazines at the till. They are there to make you spend extra.
  • Don't follow Store Layouts. They are designed to make you spend money. Go to specific points you need to.
  • Eye level goods are the money makers. Look up and down the shelves for cheaper products.
  • Special offers aren't always what they seem. Think about what you are being offered. i.e. 3for2 deals. Do you even need 2, never mind 3.
  • Not all value and cheaper brands are compensating taste . Try experimenting with different cheaper brands, see what you like and switch; You will save a lot of money on your shopping bills. If you dropped to a cheaper brand on all your shopping you could save over a third on your weekly shopping bill.
  • Don't be fooled by fancy supermarket packaging.
  • use vouchers, loyalty points cards and deals. They can really pay off.
  • compare supermarket prices.

By taking into consideration, all the above you could save a lot of money, which can go towards paying off your debts. If you are struggling with your debts, or simply want to talk to someone about your problem, contact us at Debt Advice. You can phone our free helpline on 0800 043 5133.

Minimising Luxuries

It's the little luxuries in life that keep us sane and make us happy. But these little luxuries are often big income eaters and when you are struggling with your debts, it's difficult to have them. Or we get so miserable with our debt that we spend unnecessarily to make us happy which provides a vicious circle of spending uneccessarily.

There are ways to enjoy the little luxuries and save money. Some tips are listed below.

  • Smoking: It's a very expensive and nasty habit. Once smoking gets it's claws into you, it's so difficult to escape it. Even if you love smoking and have no intention of giving up, you'll be amazed at how good you'll feel if you even cut down. The effects are amazing, both physically and financially; far outweighing the joy of smoking.
    If you are thinking of quitting, there are many aids and organisations to help you give up. You don't have to go it alone. It's not easy and normally takes someone about 7 attempts before success, but coming from experience, you will notice the benefits. If you really don't want to guit, try rolling tobacco. It's much cheaper.
  • Drinking: After smoking drinking is one of our next favourite luxuries. And not surprisingly, it too is very expensive. Doing simple things like drinking a little less, buying a cheaper brand or monitoring your intake can all save you money. If you are used to buying alcohol every week, try doing it every other week. If you drink a lot when you are out, try having a few cheaper drinks at home, and going out later. Or take a specific amount of money out and stick to your budget.
  • Take-aways: They cost more than buying food and cooking it. It is cheaper, tastier, healthier and more rewarding to buy ingredients and make your own food. If you have take aways as a treat, say once every week, try it every other week or once a month. It will be better for your pocket and your health. You will find that you appreciate it a lot more too.
  • Eating out: Restaurants, dining and nights out can be very pricey. Try having special meals in and going out a little less frequently. You will find that you can have just as much fun, if not even more.
  • Cosmetics: When it comes to luxuries like, make up, cosmetics and beauty, the market is inundated with so much stuff that women and even men get confused with the mountain of products on offer. You feel compelled to purchase the best products possible, just because of their clever marketing and packaging, even if you can't afford them. Yet tried and tested studies have shown, that a lot of benefits of these expensive products are mythical and sometimes products that are minimal in price comparison can be just as good as the more expensive brands.
  • Clothing: Another necessity that can develop into a luxury. Be vigilant with your purchases. Ask yourself: "Do I need this?" Raid your wardrobes, see what you can update, accessorise and re-invent. If there is something you love, wait for the sales; if it's meant to be it will be. There are many sales, bargains and cheap clothing stores about. It just takes a little more imagination to be more cost effective. If you like a certain brand, check it out in an ebay search. You might get some bargains.
  • Holidays: These are another luxury that most of us feel we can't live without. There are offers out there, so search around for the bargains. Sometimes it may be cheaper to book flights and accomodation separately. If you are young and single, you could have just as much fun in a hostel in europe as opposed to a package holiday in The Canaries. It's not for everyone, but some could get adventurous and plan a UK/Ireland camping or travelling holiday. Again, this can be equally as good as a package holiday away.
  • Gym membership: This is another expensive luxury. Why sign up to extortionate monthly subscription fees, when you can excercise for free! Running, walking, swimming, cycling; all methods of free exercise that can save you a fortune in Gym fees. If you like attending classes, most leisure centres do cheap classes with no subscription. You can go as and when you please.
  • You could save a lot of money by monitoring and editing the luxuries in your life, which can go to paying off your debts.

If you are struggling with your debts, or simply want to talk to someone about your problem, contact us at Debt Advice. You can phone our free helpline on 0800 043 5133.

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