In Tuesday’s post we talked about spending money on the the things you love and not simply to cut expenditure and live like a monk. Because that’s not sustainable.

From time to time you need to buy stuff. Big stuff. Cutting the costs on the big stuff has a much more significant impact than cutting out lattes or your morning newspaper.

Now Big Stuff has a nasty habit of masquerading as small stuff. And what I mean by this subscriptions for magazines you no longer need (gym membership, video/DVD rental subscriptions, too large a house).

If you could save 10% on the Big Stuff, then the impact that the small thing is on small thingsis negligible in comparison. So what can we do about it?

Well the first step to cutting back on the Big Stuff is to understand where you’re spending the money. If you’ve not been keeping a track of your expenses, you can catch up here.

How I earn’t £19.20 a minute today

As I’ve been writing about cutting back on expenses this week, it seems only fair that I should review my expenses, just the same as I’m recommending you to do.

I have a subscription to a satelite TV company and I’ve noticed that over the last few months the bill has been increasing. I called them today and in the course of 10 minutes, I downgraded a package saving £16 a month. That’s £192. So, for 10 minutes work, that’s the equivalent of earning £19.20 for every minute I was on the phone to them discussing it.

In fact, I don’t know if I call it work as I walking from the train station to my client’s office, so completely dead time.

So how else can you cut back on the big things?

Ask – If you don’t ask you don’t get is what I was once told. If you phone up everyone who supplies you with services and just ask them if there’s anything that can do to reduce the price you’re currently paying. Chances are they’ll reduce your payment. And if they don’t what exactly have you lost?

Negotiate – find a supplier who is offering the service that you’re currently using and get a comparison price. If it’s less than you’re currently paying go back to your existing supplier and ask them if they can reduce your price as you’re looking to swap service provider. If they don’t reduce the price, you can always move to the new supplier.

Do you need it? – Do you actually need it? The most obvious question, but sometimes we feel embarrased into keeping stuff just because we’ve had it for a while. Ruthlessly ask yourself if you need it or not. Not sure? Why don’t you go ‘cold turkey’ for a week or two and see if you miss it. If you don’t then you don’t really need it do you?

So what have you done to reduce your outgoings this week?

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