I hold my hands up. I am a spender, not a saver. It’s like money literally burns a hole in my pocket or bank account. I had hoped I would get better with age but sadly not. I’ve tried saving so many different ways but I always give up and end up splurging on something I don’t really need. I want it, but don’t need it. Olivia’s dad used to despair of me when we were together and as the years have passed I’ve tried to follow some really easy money saving tips to help me out when I’m low on funds.
So what’s a girl to do when her cash disappears quicker than the sun on a bank holiday weekend? Well, aside from getting someone else to handle her finances and give her pocket money, yes I am that bad, it makes good sense to know where your income is coming from and exactly what you need to pay out for starters.
Read on for Some Really Easy Money Saving Tips.
Check Your Outgoings.
Makes sense doesn’t it, but when was the last time you check exactly what was going out of your bank, or even Paypal account? Just because you always pay that amount each month, doesn’t mean you use all of the services you pay for. An old magazine subscription you don’t read anymore, or maybe you have one of the ‘just for show’ gym memberships. Check them all, get them cancelled.
Just by doing this I realised I was paying for Netflix and Amazon Prime that I hadn’t used for months. So I closed my accounts and saved myself over £15 a month. Simple.
Check You Have the Best Deals on Your Utilities.
By using comparison sites it is so easy to find out if you’re paying over the odds for things like gas, electric, insurances, TV/broadband. Sure, it may be a complete pain in the backside but there are some massive savings to be made.
For example, upon reaching the end of my Sky contract, I let them know I wanted to cancel it when the time came. I was paying just under £100 a month, after price hikes for all TV channels except sports, multiroom, broadband and phone line. By not signing a new contract until the last few days of my old one, I got my bill down to £54 a month for the exact same package.
Next up were my water, gas and electricity bills. I am on prepayment meters for all 3.
This often means you pay higher rates. It’s worth looking into a water meter if you have a small household like myself. It works out a lot cheaper. I have swapped my gas and electric over to OVO. I am the proud new owner of some smart meters and can top up from the comfort of my home.
On average, I don’t really save a lot on my bill, around £10 a month. However, it means I can top up from home via my bank account. This means no more nipping to the corner shop to top up. No more 50p charges for using my card and no more buying junk that I don’t need because it’s just there. It’s saving me a small fortune already. Plus being able to monitor what I am using in my home means I can cut down on how much I am actually using too.
Consider Changing Supermarkets.
Now I thought everyone knew that shopping at Aldi was much cheaper than other supermarkets. When I go, which isn’t too often these days, I get the bulk of my basic food cupboard supplies. Olivia was telling her cousin how many items we had bought (97) and how much it cost us (£74) after we picked her up on our way home in the taxi. She was shocked. So too was the taxi driver. He had no idea until I said I dread to think how much it would have cost me in Asda!
To be clear, this isn’t a weekly shop. More like a monthly one. When I go I tend to stock up on things I know are cheaper than in other places and because we like the taste of most Aldi brands food, we stock up. So things like cupboard foods, tins, sauces, squash etc. Obviously, this trip had a lot more than that, the cupboards were literally bare.
The taxi driver couldn’t believe how much we got for our money and agreed it probably would have cost him a lot more in Asda, and usually does. I am always lured into the offers and buy things we don’t really need or want because it’s on offer. I guarantee if I had gone to Asda instead of Aldi I wouldn’t have come away under £100 or had any actual food to make any actual meals with.
If you don’t want to or can’t change your supermarket, change the way you buy.
Make a list and order what you need. I find ordering online means I’m not swayed by offers or reductions on products I don’t need. Opt for a delivery slot when it’s quieter, later at night usually and then you don’t have to pay so much for delivery. Or even buy a delivery pass, making it even cheaper. This is especially handy for me as I would have to pay for a taxi home from anywhere so I would technically have to pay for delivery regardless.
If you are looking to make other purchases online aside from your food shop try comparison sites. You can search for the best deals on what you want this way. Also, sites like dealsdaddy and 1discount.co.uk will search discount codes for you to save you not only money but time too. I love a good bargain and if I can save time while reducing my spending then that is an added bonus in my opinion.
Buy in Bulk if Offers Are On.
Places like Muscle Food have brilliant offers on if you are able to buy in bulk and freeze to use at a later date. This could save you hundreds of pounds on meat over the year.
Or do what I do and scour the reduced sections in your local stores. Recently I managed to pick up 6 bottles of Surf for £1.50. 28 washes per bottle as it was reduced to be discontinued. Sometimes it can really help to buy in large quantities when on offer for products you will always use.
Lists, Planners and Lists for your Lists
Literally, write down everything.
Organise what you have to spend and what you need to buy.
Make meal plans, budget, itemise everything you buy and everything you use. You will be shocked at how much you waste and how many things you buy that you don’t need. Trust me, it really does help. Especially the meal planning. Go through what you already have and make some meals out of it. Use everything up before buying more.
Make, Don’t Buy.
Prepare and plan ahead. Need lunches for work? Take in leftovers, make sandwiches. Make that coffee at home and take it with you. 1 coffee a day from Costa or Starbucks can add up over the week. Buy a travel mug and take your own. Same with sandwiches or meals. You could save a lot of money from not buying meal deals on your lunch and you will probably enjoy it more too!
I know these are some really basic and easy money saving tips but it’s good to be reminded of them every now and again, isn’t it? If you do find yourself short before your next payday there are always different options to look into. As a one-off, there are things like payday loans. These aren’t to be taken as a regular option but to help you out in a fix. For long terms financial help there are other choices available too.