5 simple ways you can cut down on your monthly expenses

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Keeping your monthly expenses under control means that you've got more money to put away into your savings, or spend on fun things such as; vacations, clothes and socialising with friends. Here are five easy ways to cut your monthly expenses:

Reduce your debt and interest payments

Credit cards charge very high interest rates because they offer what are, in effect, unsecured loans. Pay off your credit card debt as soon as you can or at least look for 0% balance transfers to other cards. Short-term loans are also likely to be expensive so pay these off as quickly as you can. On this occassion, short-term pain usually always brings brings long-term gain.

If you've got multiple debts, and you're not sure which to pay off first then try our article on prioritising your debt.

Cut your gas, electricity and water bills

First, it sounds obvious but make sure that you switch off as many appliances as you can at night and when you go out. Then look around for utility suppliers offering better deals – switching services such as MoneySuperMarket can help here. Click here for more cost-cutting tips when it comes to your household bills.

Next time you're buying a fridge, cooker or other appliance, have a look at the energy consumption rating. Reduce the temperature on your water heater and avoid using the highest heat setting on your washing machine.

Have a look at your broadband bill

This is a very competitive market and suppliers are usually desperate to keep you as a customer. Haggling or threatening to move to another company will usually get you a better deal. Arm yourself with these tips and you could save yourself over £100s a year.

The same is true of mobile phone bills. According to comparison site Finder you could save up to £300 a year by switching your phone provider, assuming that you own the handset. It's also often cheaper to buy it outright.

Think about how much you're spending on food

Look at your fridge – are you really eating everything that you buy? Shopping little and often rather than doing one big grocery shop will help you to match supply to demand. Choose generic brands and look out for discounted items that are at their sell-buy dates.

Making your lunch rather than buying it at work only takes a few minutes in the morning or the night before and will also cut your monthly food bill. Loyalty cards such as Sainsbury's Nectar and Tesco Clubcard can produce regular savings. Bringing a reusable mug to your favourite coffee shop can save you a few dollars a week – enough for a free coffee every Friday.

Get a better deal on your home and car insurance

These are also competitive markets and comparison sites such as MoneySuperMarketshow you the best offers on one screen and make changing provider quick and easy.

Opting for a combined buildings and contents policy will often earn you a discount from a insurer. Also, be wary of add-ons such as home emergency and legal expenses cover – these are unnecessary for most people.

As for car insurance, we've got 12 ways for you to save money. You can often reduce your car insurance by opting for a black box or telematics policy. This is technology that monitors your driving and rewards you for being careful.