Are you looking for ways to save money or are you worried about your finances this New Year? If the previous year felt like one long struggle with your bank balance, it’s officially time to address your finances and make this year a more prosperous one.
Make it your New Year’s resolution to get yourself out of debt and into the black. Here are 29 savvy ways to save money, starting from today.
29 Clever Ways to Save Money Today
1. Ditch The Expensive Phone Contract
Few things sap the bank account like an expensive monthly phone contract. Ask yourself – do you really need the latest iPhone?
Would a cheaper smartphone do the job just as well? Spend £50 a month on your contract, and it’ll cost you £600 a year. Switch to a £15 a month contract, and it’s just £180 – that’s a saving of over £400!
2. Stick to the Shopping List
Before heading to supermarkets, create a shopping list – and stick to it! Supermarkets know how to encourage us to part with our money, and whilst those 3 for 2 offers seem tempting, they soon add up.
Even cutting your weekly food shop by £10 means an extra £520 per year.
3. Turn Old Phones, CDs And DVDs into Cash
One of the most effective ways to save money is to sort through your CD and DVD collection. If you know you’ve got most of them uploaded to iTunes anyway, then ask yourself – is there really any need to keep them?
Sites like MusicMagpie.co.uk will pay you for your old DVDs and CDs, and if you’ve got old mobile phones lying around, sell them on a site like Mazumamobile.com.
4. Bulk-Buy with Friends
Buying wholesale can save you a lot of cash – but most wholesalers have a high minimum order value.
Team up with a group of friends to purchase as a buying group, which ensures you all make big savings. This is especially effective when buying food, toiletries, cleaning products and baby products.
5. Keep Paying Off Your Loan
Have you finished paying off a loan? Our advice… carry on paying it – to yourself! Set up a savings account and add the equivalent to your loan payment each month.
It’s one of the best ways to save money for big expenditures, such as holidays and new cars.
6. Have a Spare Change Jar
If you’ve got an old jar or piggy bank, place it somewhere prominent in the house and drop your spare change into it or check out Amazon for a saving jar to get you started.
Then, towards the end of the year, crack it open and see just how much you’ve saved – you’re likely to be pleasantly surprised! Even adding just £5 of change per week equals £260 a year.
7. Get Swapping!
Is your wardrobe starting to look a bit tired? Are you getting frustrated about having had the same furniture for years, without the available funds to update it?
Alternatively, www.uk.freecycle.org is a great place to search for free items and get rid of unwanted stuff of your own.
8. Switch Energy Suppliers
Don’t presume that your energy supplier is offering you the best deal available. You could find a better deal elsewhere and end up saving hundreds each year.
9. Track Your Expenses
What you track increases and what you ignore dwindles. One of the quickest ways to save money is by tracking your expenses.
By simply tracking and paying attention to where your money is going, you will be amazed by how much you will save and you can start looking out for opportunities where your money could be better spent.
10. Lift Share to Work
Petrol is likely to be a big expense if you travel to work, which is why lift-sharing is one of the best ways to save money – plus it’s better for the environment too.
Talk to fellow colleagues to find out who you can lift share with, or alternatively, use a site like www.liftshare.com to find people in your neighbourhood who would be happy to join you.
11. Grow Your Own Food
If you’ve got the space, growing your own produce can save a lot of money. A small greenhouse in the garden can be used to grow tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, and a large pot filled with soil can grow potatoes and carrots.
If you haven’t got any outdoor space, a window ledge is ideal for growing herbs and chilli peppers. Check out our guide on how to save money on food shopping.
12. Explore Your Mortgage Options
If you own a home, chances are that your mortgage is your largest monthly expense. You may be able to save money by remortgaging to a better rate, but be warned – this option isn’t suitable for everyone. Compare mortgage products here.
13. Make An Extra Mortgage Payment Once Every Year
Making just one extra mortgage payment per year can take years of interest payments off and shorten the length of your mortgage if you can afford to do so.
This one of my favourite money saving tips; it is astounding to see how much interest can be saved by simply making one extra mortgage payment each year.
14. Become a Savvy Fashion Shopper
Auction sites such as eBay will often have the same product at a fraction of the cost – as long as you’ve got nerves of steel when it comes to bidding! You can also check out our handy guide on how to look good for less.
15. Get A Smart Meter
According to energy companies, having a smart meter installed in your home could save you money, by offering you better control over your heating.
A poll in the Telegraph revealed that 42% of people who had one installed made a yearly saving of between £52 and £250.
16. Skip The Take-Away Meals
Sure, you might look forward to your weekly pizzathon with your partner or a curry bonanza with friends. But be warned, take away meals are far more expensive than buying from a supermarket and cooking yourself.
Two pizzas from a take away restaurant could cost £25, whereas two large pizzas from Tesco cost around £7. Over the course of a year, swapping your weekly take away for home-cooked cuisine could save you over £900.
That’s enough to buy a long weekend away in Italy and enjoy eating the finest pizzas in the world… we know which one we’d prefer!
17. Ditch Store Cards
Paying for things on store cards is a risky business. If you can’t pay the money back quickly, the interest rates can be eye-watering.
Our advice? Resist the initial allure of an introductory discount and avoid at all costs.
18. Plan Your Spending
It’s easy for our finances to run away with us from time to time. One of the best ways to save money is to allocate some time each day to planning your expenses.
Learn how to budget, set up a spreadsheet, detailing monthly bills, payments made and money earned. This will help you to keep tabs on cash flow, and also identify where you can save money.
19. Make The Most Of Leftovers
Don’t view that mushy banana as something that needs to be thrown away. Turn it into banana bread instead!
Likewise, those leftovers in the pan may make a tasty lunch the following day. Always think creatively when it comes to food, to minimise waste and maximise the contents of your wallet.
20. Save Time and Money with Your Freezer
A decent-sized freezer is a savvy spender’s friend. You can freeze almost anything, from chocolate to cheese and bread to bananas.
It means you have a constant supply of food that just needs taking out in the morning to defrost. Relying on your freezer can stop that expensive mid-week trip to the convenience store; it just takes a little organisation.
21. Enjoy Free Activities
22. Cheaper Flights
If you’re going abroad this year, shop around for flights. You might find that flying from a different airport saves you a lot of money, or that flying on an alternative day is a lot cheaper.
Generally speaking, weekend flights are more expensive, so aim to fly mid-week instead. Skyscanner.net is a good place to compare what’s available.
23. Check Council Tax
Many people are in the wrong council tax band, and are paying more each month than they need to. Get yourself moved to the correct one, and you could save up to £200 each year. Check your council tax band here.
24. Cut The Posh Coffee And Expensive Lunch
Admittedly, a latte from Starbucks has the miraculous ability to kick-start your day – but at around £2 per drink, it’s an expensive way to do it!
Cutting your daily coffee-shop fix could save you over £500 a year. Likewise, swap expensive sandwiches from your local deli for a packed lunch. You’ll save around £400 – £700 each year.
25. Turn Down The Heating
We’ve all done it… cranked up the heating, even though we’re sitting in the lounge with just a t-shirt on.
Instead, invest in a warm blanket or even simpler still, pop on a warm jumper! Turning your heating down by just one degree over the course of the year can cut heating bills by 10%.
26. Negotiate A Salary Increase
Okay, so this isn’t strictly one of those ways to save money, but by earning a better income, you’ll have more spare cash in your account, which is never a bad thing.
Arrange a time to talk with your boss, and outline all the reasons why you think you deserve a pay increase. You’re in a particularly strong position to do so if you’re a good performer and have been with the company for a while.
27. Cut The Branded Goods
Branded items often cost more than the supermarket’s own-brand goods. Make the swap, then see if you can taste the difference. If you can’t, you may as well stick to the cheaper one and save money in the process.
It’s actually a little-known fact that many branded and non-branded products use virtually the same ingredients, so it’s unlikely you’ll be compromising on quality.
28. Slash Train Fares
If you know you’re going to be using the train in the future, book your tickets early, as you’ll receive a discount.
For example, when booked 12 weeks in advance, a return journey from Leeds to London costs around £30. Booked on the same day as travel, it costs around £110.
That’s a big difference. If you travel regularly, find out what railcards you’re eligible for, as this is another way to keep spending down.
29. Clear Expensive Debts First
If you’ve got a lot of debt, focus on clearing the most costly ones first. In most cases, this is likely to be your store or credit cards.
If you’re struggling to clear the balance, look into getting a low cost loan to wipe the debt, as paying back the loan might actually work out cheaper in the long-run.
Have you tried to get out of debt, but didn’t succeed? Have you tried again and again? Are you getting to the point where you just want to give up? Before you do, get our simple step-by-step guide to help you get out of debt and STAY OUT!
30. Start Investing and Watch Your Savings Grow
Investing will help you grow your money quicker. The simplest route to start investing is through stocks and shares ISAs and learn along the way. You can start a regular savings plan from as little as £50, or with a £1,000 lump sum with Fidelity.
Even if you don’t have a lot of money now, the good news is that you can start investing with as little as £1 with Wealthsimple. If you are not investing, you are wasting a tremendous opportunity to grow your savings. Click here to start investing in minutes.
More Ways to Save Money
Of course, there are hundreds of ways you can preserve your pennies and build up a nice nest-egg, instead of routinely relying on your overdraft.
Do you have any tried-and-tested ways to save money? What cash-saving ideas do you think work the best, and why? Have you managed to make significant savings recently, and if so, how did you achieve it? We’d love to hear your suggestions!
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