Inflation shows no signs of easing and the outlook is not encouraging. According to the most recent Eurostat data, 21.7% of the population of the European Union is at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Romania (34%), Bulgaria (32%), Greece and Spain (28% each) were the Member States with the highest rates of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Portugal, however, came out in eighth place.
On the other hand, the European Central Bank warned that Portugal is the fifth country in Europe most at risk of energy poverty, that is, when households cannot access essential energy services because they lack money or because they are starting to slow down. payments.
There are no magic formulas, but now is the ideal time to make some changes in your daily life to save at the end of the month. The family budget thanks you. The solution is to learn new habits.
The first golden rule is to set a family budget because that way you only have the money you have available. Not only does it manage to avoid unnecessary spending, but above all it avoids living above income.
The truth is that in recent years many Portuguese families have been forced to change their daily lives and start making decisions in a more balanced way to make their lives easier.
Some tricks have been used by consumers for a long time, but there are small solutions you can opt for that are sometimes overlooked (see boxes). And certain small day-to-day expenses that may seem insignificant, but make all the difference at the end of the month. This is the case with breakfast outside. But let’s get to the numbers: spending 3.5 euros a day in a patisserie may seem like little, but at the end of the month – taking into account only 22 working days – that translates into an expenditure of 74 euros. At the end of the year we are already talking about an expenditure of more than 900 euros.
Another trick used by many consumers is to take advantage of sales seasons to purchase desired products and garments. There are stores that offer discounts up to 70%. On the other hand, do not buy all the clothes at once and divide purchases and clothing expenses per month and per person in the household where possible. That is, if you bought clothes for yourself this month, you should not buy them for the rest of the household until next month.
It is not only in everyday life that expenses should be viewed with a magnifying glass. Holiday planning cannot be left behind. Organizing the trip in advance can translate into significant savings. Those who cannot plan their lives “on time” can choose to travel with low cost airlines or last minute deals. In the latter case you have to be flexible with data. You can also choose to buy travel over the internet – sometimes you can get good deals.
Some solutions to save daily
There are always little tricks to save on water, electricity and gas bills. Use energy-saving light bulbs, always switch off appliances – they consume energy in standby mode. Run simulations to find out which rate best suits your situation. It should also change some habits – quick showers, for example – and choose to install more efficient devices in taps, showers and flushing systems, as this can save up to 300,000 liters of water per year per family.
A trip to the grocery store can be a real problem if you give in to the temptation. To avoid this, you can follow some golden rules. Always carry a list of the products you need, don’t go shopping when you’re hungry, and opt for white brands whenever possible. Try not to bring children and be sure to look at the shelves from top to bottom. You will see that these small differences when paying can add up to significant savings. Also take the location into account, according to Deco you can save depending on the location and comparing the different products.
banking and insurance
Mortgage credit represents a heavy expense for the majority of Portuguese and it is always desirable to reduce the term, especially when interest rates continue to rise. To avoid unpleasant surprises, you can renegotiate the spread with the bank or ask for an extension of the term. This last option always means paying more interest. If you have some extra money, you can always choose to pay off the credit. If you have several loans, you can combine them into one. Beware of credit cards: they represent a dangerous temptation. In terms of insurance, rent only the cover you need and analyze the offer very well.
Only spend if it benefits you. If you are one of those people who pay not to go, then you better unsubscribe. About 50 euros at the end of the month can make a lot of difference. You can always choose to exercise in public places, for which you do not pay anything.
First check whether your mobile tariff suits you. Operators bet on tariffs that allow free calls to customers on the same network or x free minutes, regardless of the operator, against payment of a monthly fee. You can use the simulator on the Anacom website to check the best rate. There are also alternative solutions such as Skype and VoIP. As for subscription TV, analyze the offer very carefully and try to take advantage of the promotions. Only subscribe to channels you know you’ll see.
Choose to use public transport. You will see that at the end of the month you not only save a few euros, but also avoid real nervous attacks. Those who do not go without a car can choose to share it. Cost sharing can be an alternative. Moderate the use of air conditioning and adopt a driving style that allows you to reduce consumption._
Those who are less able to save can try to save one euro a day – at the end of the year they will have 365 euros. If this task does not seem impossible to you, you can resort to various savings products. The offer is varied. All you have to do is choose the level of risk you want and select the one that best suits your needs. Don’t forget your makeover. There are various solutions for using savings to ensure a better income after leaving employment.
Use discount cards and vouchers. It may seem insignificant, but it is always a small amount that you can save.