Living expenses can be defined as expenses for living, and maintaining a certain standard of life. These include necessities like food, accommodation, transport, communication, electricity, water, home supplies, clothing, medical facilities, education, and entertainment. Living expenses depend upon the lifestyle, geographic location, and purchasing power of an individual. Lifestyle and living standard is something not everyone can easily change, as they are long developed habits, and styles. In present times, because of world economic recession, the inflation has reached high peaks, so the living expenses are also increasing. There is an increase in the income and salaries of people with growing inflation, but it is not in the same ratio. With increasing cost of living, it is becoming harder for people to maintain their lifestyle, and standard of living.
Some people use their past savings to maintain their standards, or do overtime work. Some even quit their leisure habits in order to cut down their living expenses. However, even after doing so, many people are still facing the problem of living expenses more than the income. One should set a budget limit for each category of living expenses. One should divide the budget according to priority, and needs, so that the spending is balanced and as per the priorities. Some ways and tips can be followed in order to reduce living expenses, which are as follows.
1. Minimise the use of power supplies. One can cut down the use of electricity, and gas in winter. One can lower the thermostat a few degrees, and use sweaters and warm clothes more, in order to stay comfortable. Plastic storm doors can be used to prevent the cold from coming in. Maximise the use of daylight, and spend some time in the sun. Opening blinds in the day time will keep the rooms warm. Similarly, in summer, one should keep the blinds closed at daytime. Do not waste water. Instead of using bathtubs, use showers for bathing.
2. Instead of placing the electronics on standby mode, shut them down completely. Use less power consuming appliances, and electronics like fluorescent bulbs. Buying energy efficient equipments can cut down on living-expenses greatly.
3. One should plan menus. Do not cook food that will go wasted. Buy basic ingredients instead of ready to make packages. Prefer more do-it-yourself products. Avoid eating out a lot. Try growing your own fresh fruits, and vegetables. One can also cut down living-expenses by decreasing alcohol intake and smoking.
4. Only buy the clothes that you really wish to wear. Search for discount offers at different stores. Buy different clothing items, and mix and match to make different outfits. Utilise the old clothes in any way possible. Go for quality when buying clothes, and do not take brand name as necessary. Buying from the company outlet is also more cost effective.
5. Use public transport more when travelling. Regularly check, and maintain your vehicle. Use public libraries more instead of buying expensive books. One should attend the free community events.
To reduce living-expenses, buying the cheapest products and services is not the key, instead long lasting, and durable quality products and services are the key. If one follows the above stated guidelines, then one can surely reduce living-expenses.
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