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10 tips on how to reduce your WEEKLY expenses

Saving money can be difficult. However, if we do it regularly, we can make it a habit and over time it can lead to significant wealth. The last blog was focused on the bigger, monthly expenses. Today, we will have a better look at the weekly expenses.

Juraj Hrbatý | Personal finance | 8. December 2020

In the last blog "12 tips on how to save hundreds of Euros MONTHLY“ I showed you that saving can be simple. But what if there were many other smaller steps that could help you save even more money?

it’s all about consistency. If you keep making the same mistakes week after week, it’s going to be very difficult to find your way out of the vicious circle of expenses. Change your mindset, the way you spend money, and watch how your savings pile on.

You might not be able to apply all the tips in this blog. You won’t be willing to adopt some of them. However, if you face the music and try to adopt them, I guarantee that your monthly family budget situation will gradually improve.

This article is dedicated to tips for saving on a weekly basis.

1. Freeze your expenses temporarily

It often happens that you buy a thing that you hadn’t been planning on buying at the beginning of the week. Don’t buy any additional stuff that you don’t need to survive at the moment. Simply freeze your expenses.

Maybe you feel like this will be limiting but understand that you will only freeze your funds temporarily. This will help you overcome this period and the increase of cash in your wallet will make you happy and motivate you to keep going as long as possible. 

Use up all the groceries from your pantry and freezer. Only buy new clothes when you have nothing to wear (don’t get this confused with fashion trends).

Not spending money is the best way to save money.

2. Make these grocery shopping tricks a habit

Groceries are the biggest item in your household budget. If you want to save money, forget about the expensive retail chains as YEME or Billa. Consider buying cheaper groceries for example in Lidl – the fewer the options, the cheaper they are.

Does your grandma also go to three different grocery shops? She probably knows what she is doing and where and which groceries are the cheapest. I am not saying that you have to go through all the grocery shops in your area but you can always pay attention to the prices.

Don’t buy the goods at your eye level. Those are probably the most expensive. Try the lower shelves. Buy the goods labelled by the retail chain. They usually have their own brands in their own packaging, different from the well-known producer – usually it’s the same product, though.

Bring your own bags. Go shopping after you have eaten. Don’t buy stuff that will go in the freezer to be saved for a rainy day. Buy seasonal fruits and vegetables that are cheap at the moment.

Last year we began making our own sourdough starter and sourdough bread. Besides the fact that this bread is a lot healthier and tastier, we only have to go to the grocery shop once every ten days and we have less time to buy useless stuff.

PS: Don’t forget to really stick to your shopping list.

3. Buy drugstore products in bulk

Drugstore products are one of the goods you can buy in bulk. However, check the price tags, whether 8 toilet paper rolls are cheaper than 2 packs of 4. A bigger pack of washing powder will probably be cheaper as well.

However, if you find it difficult to get by on a monthly basis, try to buy quantities that will get you through the month.

Also, try to use only half of the recommended amount of washing powder or even try to make your own. Stop buying paper towels and switch to clothed and cotton tissues - like in the good old times.

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4. Be reasonable when buying medication

Does the medication in your household also pile on and then you throw it out after the expiration date? Make sure you know what medication do you still keep at home and what it is for, so you don’t have to buy multiple types of medication for the same problem.

We would spend even the last Euro on our health, however, we often buy medication only to have it at our disposal when we get sick. If you live close to the pharmacy, only buy what you really need at the moment.

5. Go to a restaurant or order takeout only once a week

Sometimes I feel like ordering pizza has become a national sport in Slovakia. For some people, going to restaurant even once a week seems extravagant. Many, however, go to restaurants on a daily basis.

Stop it! Set a limit of once a week. You will see how much money you can save by sticking to this piece of advice.

6. Order water in restaurants

Did you know that water in restaurants is usually free? Many restaurants have the highest margin on drinks. Why do you think that lemonades have recently become so popular in restaurants? It’s only water, a bit of syrup and mint that grows in any plant pot. Don’t be shy to ask for a pitcher of water.

Achieve higher returns 

Start investing tax-smart via low-cost ETFs.

7. Pay in cash.

When you pay in cash and not by card, an amazing thing happens. You feel the difference because you are letting go of your cash, from your hand – the money you have worked so hard for. When the money slips through your hands and you have less and less in your wallet, it’s more depressing than when you see the numbers in your internet banking change.

If you find it difficult to plan your expenses, assign an envelope to each of them. Label the envelopes accordingly – „groceries“, „drugstore“, and use the corresponding envelope when shopping. When the budgetting apps had not yet been available, we had used exactly this type of envelope system.

Using envelopes should be an extreme measure, if you are not able to set a budget for your expenses using digital technologies or as a monthly test. Later on, switch to paying by card so you can follow your expenses in the designated online apps.

8. Save the change.

Do you remember how you kept your change in a piggy bank when you were a kid? If you keep using cash, you will have enough change.

Don’t forget to keep saving the change and deposit it once a month in your bank savings account or in Finax.

9. Buy used stuff

It’s scandalous what kind of consummer lifestyle people lead. After the iPhone 12 came out, everyone wanted to get rid of their iPhone 11. Be smart and buy the phone for a third of the original price!

In recent years, I have been regularly buying a second-hand ski equipment for my children. People often offer stuff that’s almost new, dirt cheap.

The same goes for second-hand stores with clothes, where you can get great fashion accessories for a great price. It only takes a little bit of time and will.

Let your money make money 

Try invest tax smart with low cost ETF funds.

10. Sell the stuff you don’t use anymore

I like to keep my stuff in order. If I haven’t used something in a while, it’s clear that I don’t need it and I will get rid of it. The same goes for the kids‘ stuff that my boys have outgrown. This way, my household is free of useless junk. Take my advice, the stuff you haven’t used in the last 2 or three years is USELESS!

Selling stuff on the Facebook Marketplace is a piece of cake (by the way, any takers for ski boots Salomon XPro90 that I am currently advertising there?). Just take a couple of pictures, type in a short description and it’s done! In the last two years, since I have been selling this way, I have gotten rid of a lot of useless stuff.

And keep in mind, if you want to further your financial education and improve your financial situation, download our mobile app „Finax: Finance and investing“ today and get access to all our blogs, videos, and podcasts all in one place.

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