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How to Train Yourself to Spend Less Money

A young man making notes on how to spend less money.

There are many reasons you might want to spend less each month but if you’re in a position where your outgoings outweigh your incomings then it’s necessary you cut down on spending. But with bills increasing and prices going up, where can you start?

Number one:

Be honest with yourself

When money is tight, it’s easy to push it under the rug and hope for the best. Staring our financial problems in the face can be scary but it’s important to do this so things don’t escalate.

Write down a realistic list of all your outgoings including:

Rent or mortgage

Council tax


Subscriptions such as Netflix, Hello Fresh, Amazon Prime

Monthly contracts such as your mobile phone contract or any other items you’ve bought on credit

An estimate on groceries, toiletries, and household items

Any other money you spend on food e.g., office lunches or meals out

Money you may spend on leisure activities including gym membership, cinema trips or any social events even if it’s just a few drinks at your local

Travel/commute expenses

Any credit or debts you’re repaying

Once you know your outgoings, you can compare that against your incomings and see how large the discrepancy is.

If you’re only spending a bit more than your incomings, around £100 or less. It might be possible to just cut down on a few things and get back on track.

Number two:

Be strict but fair

It can be difficult to give up those extra expenses. You work hard and deserve some treats every now and then. Unfortunately, sometimes we must make sacrifices for a better future.

We’re not telling you to stop spending money, full stop. But to see where you can cut back.

Cutting out your monthly Pret subscription or free Amazon delivery could stop you from maxing your credit every month or going into your overdraft. The small things add up, and once you’re on a better footing financially, you can start treating yourself again.

Remember not to go too hard on yourself though, mental health always comes first and there’s a balance between being frugal and depriving yourself.

Always prioritise food and water; and products or activities that help your mental health even if you cut down on them. For example, drinks with friends at the pub can be drinks at one of your places; grab a face mask from Boots instead of going for a facial or try running in the park instead of the gym. Think about how you can still have a healthy mix of social, hard work, and self-care in your life without overspending.

Number three:

Look for deals and discounts

You might already be looking for discounts but there are lots of different companies out there that offer discounted prices or deals to help you save money.

  • Try websites like vouchercodes and groupon to find deals on days out, food delivery, and even on household items like toilet roll
  • Sign up to be a Mystery Shopper – go shopping or out for a meal and get it reimbursed as a mystery shopper/diner, you just need to fill in some forms about your experience
  • Check out trial subscriptions. Many companies offer up one weeks’ worth of their product for free, or very cheap, when you sign up. Get discounts on Hello Fresh, Gousto, and Green Chef when you sign up. But make sure you cancel your subscription before they charge you full price!
  • See what offers your local grocery store has. Many supermarkets offer things like a Tesco Club Card where you collect points to earn discounts and it entitles you to cheaper options in-store. This can be a great way to money saving trick for groceries and household items and it's always fun seeing the price jump down when you tap your card.

Typically, if you’re spending more than £100 per month over your incomings, and don’t see a near-future where you’ll receive a pay rise, you might need to take serious action.

Number four:

Take action

“What if I spend more than £100?”

The larger the discrepancy, the harder you’ll have to work to get your finances back on track.

If you spend a lot more than your incomings, you may have already resorted to more extreme measures such as taking out a money transfer or balance transfer card, a credit card or even a payday loan. If properly managed these could help your financial situation in the long term. However, with high-interest rates and fees especially on short-term loans like payday loans, you could end up with even higher outgoings.

Once you’re in a situation where you owe money to several creditors, you might think there’s no way out. But there are debt solutions available to you.

One option you might want to consider is a Debt Management Plan (DMP). This is a way to turn several payments to several creditors into one affordable monthly payment.

Like in this article, they’ll work with you to make a realistic budget that you can stick to and see how much you can pay back each month. It could be a good way to get back on top of your finances if you’re struggling.

Let’s look at Debt Management Plan pros and cons:


It’s flexible – that means you can amend how much you’re paying if your circum-stances change.

It’s more private than other debt solutions as you won’t be added to the Insolvency Register.

Your Debt Management company will negotiate with creditors to try to get interest and charges stopped, and reduce the creditor contact considerably.


It will affect your credit rating in the short, medium, and long-term.

It only includes non-priority debts such as credit cards, payday loans, and catalogue debts.

It is not legally binding, meaning your creditors don’t have to accept it.

How you manage your debts, or overspending, is your choice but ignoring them will always make things worse.

We’re always here for friendly, confidential advice. We understand what it’s like to worry about money every day, the stress of it can take over your life. Speak to a financial assessor to see what your options are to repay your debts.

Cutting down on outgoings can be a great way to train yourself to spend less and save money. But we understand that sometimes it’s not always possible to cut back any further. If you’re interested in seeing if a debt management plan could help your situation, contact us for more information. Or fill in our online application to see how we could help.

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