On paper or in digital form: the household book is booming, after all it is the smartest way to save money every month. FOCUS online says how you can get full control of your spending after just four weeks.

It is very easy and can save several hundred euros. The budget book has always been considered the smartest way to save. In view of the current phase of inflation, people are increasingly resorting to it.

But how should one proceed and how can the savings potential be fully exploited? FOCUS online provides the answers and says what you need to look out for in household accounting.

In order to get an overview, consumers should first list all the costs. This includes groceries, new T-shirts, expenses for restaurant visits, cosmetics, vacations, admission tickets or the coffee-to-go from the bakery.

Write down all the things you paid for and bought.

In order not to forget anything, you should keep all receipts. Fixed costs such as rent, electricity, insurance and installment payments can be documented using account statements.

The price master’s tip: If you keep the receipts in categories, you can compare prices more easily. For example, you can see which groceries have become more expensive or cheaper at Aldi Süd, Rewe or Lidl.

The expenditures are always opposite the income. In addition to the salary, this also includes child, parental and housing benefits as well as gifts of money.

For the time being it is sufficient to list the income in one column and add it up.

At the end of the month everything is added up – namely the income and the expenses.

How often you enter the items “supermarket”, “clothing” or “lunch” in your budget book is up to you. It is important that the balance sheet is correct.

FOCUS online advises: Ideally, list common expenses that you have monthly. You can use a separate sheet for this. On each sheet you then enter, for example, “supermarket expenses” or “lunch expenses”. The respective lines should contain the date and the amount paid.

A simple sheet of paper, notebook or book will suffice.

“By writing it down by hand, you get a very direct link to the numbers,” says Konstantinos Mitsis, Germany’s price champion and price checker from FOCUS online. And further: “The household book can also be designed individually.”

In the next step, it is important to reduce unnecessary costs. For this it is important:

a. Reduce costs through concrete savings targets

You can save on groceries if you look for special offers and only shop with a shopping list, use discount vouchers or buy your own brands.

Paying only with cash can also help to reduce impulse purchases and lower the final total on the receipt. However, the following always applies: You should not do without, but choose more specifically. Often you will find branded products with discounts. The goods are often even cheaper than no-name items. In addition, you can often save a lot on meat, vegetables, sausage, fruit and yoghurt in the supermarket in the evening hours.

Set yourself monthly savings goals that you want to meet and document them. When it comes to fixed expenses such as rent, electricity or the subscription card to go to work, the scope for action is limited.

b. Cut expenses or look for cheaper tariffs

You can usually cancel a cell phone or landline tariff after the end of the contract. Always take a closer look at bills from insurance companies, landline connections, mobile phone providers, fitness studios, streaming services or subscriptions.

Which tariffs do you get from other providers at a lower price? Which expenses can you even eliminate entirely?

For example, coffee on the go and breakfast rolls from the bakery cost over 100 euros a month. It is cheaper to make a butter sandwich at home and take the coffee to the office in a thermos mug.

But you can also save on the monthly gym membership if you train there once every three months. It is better to use season tickets or alternative training offers. There are also family tariffs or memberships that are transferable within a family. Such offers are almost 20 percent cheaper than classic individual contracts.

You can also save with your bank account. You can save the monthly fees at other banks or receive services at much lower prices. If you have taken out several loans, it helps to bundle the loans. In many cases, the conditions are significantly better.

If you have slipped into the overdraft facility and are having trouble getting back into the green zone, you should think about a loan. Interest rates are much lower here.

The first step is to get an overview. Then you should check the savings potential.

Ready-made household books from the trade and the Internet often specify categories – sorted by leisure, health or household. In addition, users can specify the method of payment.

This allows conclusions to be drawn as to whether impulse purchases paid by card or online make bigger holes in the till than cash purchases.

If an analysis on your own is too tedious, use digital helpers. Banks and savings banks offer financial analyzes for online accounts. There are also household books as apps.

“They are suitable for anyone who wants to record their expenditures quickly and occasionally. You save time,” says money coach Dani Parthim from Hamburg. The apps analyze the output behavior, create diagrams and thus make connections visible.

Popular apps include Bluecoins, Money Manager, Mobills and 1Money. You can find the corresponding downloads from the colleagues at CHIP.

Supermarket prices are skyrocketing, but furniture, clothing, shoes and other consumer goods are also becoming more expensive. As a retail expert, I know the tricks of the trade and tell you how you can save money for you and your family every month when shopping. Would you like to talk to me about your savings tips and tricks? Did you notice anything while shopping? Then send an e-mail to Konstantinos.mitsis@burda-forward.de with your name and phone number