HOW TO SAVE MONEY
TOP TIPS TO SAVE MONEY ON YOUR OUTGOINGS
By Polly Ker – Optimum Financial Solutions
We all know how much easier it is to spend money than save it, but there are lots of simple ways to save money without it having to be a huge sacrifice. Many of us waste money without giving it a second thought. Set a goal and try these simple changes to grow your savings without feeling you’re missing out:
1 – Work out how much money you are wasting.
Monitor your spending for a month on non-essential items like coffee on the way to work, buying lunch, a magazine or drinks after work. Add it up and you will be surprised how much you are frittering away. With the average coffee costing around £3 a go, one per day, 5 days a week is a minimum of £60 a month. Find out where your money is going and then alter your routine to allow your spare cash to be saved. You could buy a plastic coffee cup and make yourself a drink before you leave the house or take lunch to work with you instead of buying it every day.
2 – Which direct debits can you reduce or cancel?
Gym memberships are a big one that people pay out for but rarely use. Even if you are going to the gym twice a week and membership is £60 a month that’s £7.50 per session. Try cancelling the membership and go running on the streets or do a gym class using YouTube for free!
3 – Are you paying twice?
Check for mobile phone insurance no longer needed, or that can be consolidated into your home or business insurance. In fact, you may have many items like this covered by both home and business insurance – make sure you are not paying out for things twice!
4 – Do you pay out for debt such as credit cards and loans?
If so maybe consolidating your debt will save you money on a monthly basis. You’ll save on the interest and potentially bank fees if you have ever been hit with admin fees. Reviewing your mortgage could also save you a lot of money too of course. It feels like a traumatic process because we often roll it into the memory of moving house – it’s really not that stressful, especially with the right advice to navigate you through the different deals.
5 – Earn more – are there any extra hours available at work?
Could you pay someone to do jobs for you to enable you to earn more money? For example, a cleaner takes some of the domestic duties, allowing you to work a little longer. You could also consider a second job, perhaps one an evening or weekends, or one where you can work from home, and put this money straight into your savings pot.
6 – Earn money on your current account.
Some accounts will pay a higher rate of interest for funds held in your account. You can also switch your current account to another bank and get money for doing so. Many of us develop a sense of loyalty to a bank but don’t forget the banks are in business and make money from you so you should shop around as they will compete for your loyalty!
7 – Use personal finance software.
This can be used to track all your income and outgoings and help you to see where you could make savings and cut backs. Most programmes will offer detailed reports to highlight spending areas and often have the ability to set goals and coach you on how to achieve them. There are some excellent budgeting apps and these can be shared with a partner so you can manage bills and shopping for example together.
8 – Save money on groceries
Don’t be afraid to try own brand products or a cheaper supermarket such as Aldi instead of reaching for the big-name brands, there is often a huge saving to be made by switching brands. And it may take a little more time but visiting a couple of shops in a lunch break allows you to find the best deals from each shop – there are even apps you can use that tell you how much the same item costs across the major supermarkets so you know if you are getting the best deal. Then do a monthly online shop for all the basics so you only top up for fresh produce depending on your meal plans.
And don’t forget it really does help to regularly review your insurances and utilities. This is a great way to get a better deal and save yourself a good amount every month. Use price comparison websites – whether you’re looking for car insurance, broadband packages or your next family holiday, comparison sites are your best friend when it comes to getting a good deal. Don’t buy without making sure you’ve done your homework first.
Some areas do require specialist advice and anything with legal repercussions including a mortgage should be things you do talk to an expert about.
Our advice is be realistic about what you can cut out or down on, you don’t want to end up making life more difficult, however, with a few simple changes you will soon have your savings mounting up.