25 Ways to Save Money
Here we look at ways to save money. For many people having enough money to last the month or to pay for an unexpected bill can be tough, meaning they may need to turn to a short term loan in the event of a financial emergency.
No matter how difficult it might be to make your money last, it is possible for anyone to turn their financial life around and start saving money.
Little and Often
By following the points below you can start to make small savings in many areas of your spending.
Each of these points won’t save you hundreds each month but by making little savings often, you can start to build your nest egg.
Just making that first step in the right direction can be the most difficult part. Read this blog for some ideas on how to start saving money.
Move bank accounts
Lots of banks now charge monthly fees. By switching banks, you can take advantage of “new customer offers” or increased interest rates for new customers. Take a look at Money Supermarket’s page to see what packages the various banks offer.
Stop hoarding, start selling
Have a rummage in the loft, garage, spare room, cellar. All those keepsakes you’ve been hoarding away could be the key to starting your savings. With social media sites now offering various selling pages you could kill 2 birds with 1 stone – declutter while making some money.
Hide the credit cards
If it’s possible for you to do so, leave your cards at home. It really does help stop the temptation to spend on frivolous things while you’re out and about.
Sign up to retailers’ rewards
We’ve all seen them – from Tesco Clubcard to Nectar Points, most retailers now offer loyalty reward points/offers. It may not save you much per transaction, but add these up over the month across all your shopping and you will start to notice the savings.
Plus, if you let the rewards build up over the year it can make your Christmas food shop a lot more palatable.
Become a Basket Case
Recently, online retailers use technology to tempt you back into that purchase you were unsure of.
By leaving an item in your online shopping basket you may well receive a “special offer” or a tempting reduction in price.
This isn’t a fail-safe but it is worth doing, especially for more expensive items.
I personally did this for the months leading up to Black Friday and saved quite a bit – I’ve already started my Christmas presents basket now!
Make a list, check it twice
This isn’t to decide who’s been naughty or nice but is one of the best and most popular ways of making savings on your weekly shop.
Sit down as a family and go through your meal ideas for the week – this can be a nice bonding activity in itself!
Once you’ve decided, write the list of things you need – and most importantly, STICK TO IT. You will really notice the savings here by not making those frivolous purchases at the supermarket.
Let the shops decide
Before making your shopping list as above, why not take a look at what’s on offer this week at your favourite shop or supermarket.
Not only will you save more, but you might start to become a culinary explorer and find meal ideas you would never have thought of otherwise.
We all do it. We get stuck in shopping habits that are pretty hard to break. We tend to shop around when making a larger purchase but it’s a pretty decent way of saving money on your everyday shopping too.
Even doing the weekly shop between a few different supermarkets can help you save money.
The “My Supermarket” website allows you to enter the shopping list you made to find out which shop sells which item cheapest.
They claim you can save up to 30% on your weekly shop.
For a family of 4 that can certainly add up to quite a lot over the month.
Go out at home
If you want to save money the one thing that does not necessarily have to suffer is your social life.
One night on the town can really put paid to your savings goals for the month. Why not invite friends round for dinner instead? You can all bring a pot, or a bottle, and so spread the cost of a great night out indoors! Plus, you get to choose the music too!
That is sew old fashioned
This might be something you only saw your grandmother doing, but previous generations knew how to be thrifty and save money.
Today, with such a disposable lifestyle we are all too ready to throw old clothes away rather than just sewing on a button or repairing a torn seam.
Sometimes, especially when the school holidays are here, the pressure to entertain the kids can scupper your savings goals in one day out.
We sometimes forget the best things we can do with our kids are free. Head to the park, get a football or scooter out, go for a walk. Often, all our children want is to spend time with us as a family regardless of the cost.
Stay behind the times
If you enjoy gaming, one way to save money is to simply wait a few months. For me personally, I always wait for those £50 new releases to turn into a £20 bargain bin. You don’t miss out on anything other than saving money.
Also, things like replica sports kits are notoriously expensive and children often have a way of persuading us these are essential! Again, by waiting a few months you can usually get your hands on a sports kit towards the end of the season for a fraction of the cost.
Money to burn
As this is a blog on how to save money I will not discuss the health benefits of quitting smoking. However, it could be one way of making a hefty saving as it is such an expensive habit.
By smoking a packet of cigarettes a day, you could be spending around £300 a month. That’s an astonishing £3,650 per year. You could afford a great family holiday each year just by quitting smoking.
There, I’ve said it so I’ll leave it there.
Cook in batches
The cold winter lends itself to this money-saving tip really well. While we are deep into casserole, soup and winter warmer territory it is a great opportunity to make your money go further by cooking in larger batches.
You could then freeze the remainder, or take it to work for a cheap but satisfying lunch. While your colleagues look enviously on at your shepherd’s pie as they tuck into their limp sandwich, think about the money they’ve just spent!
Step into the light
It is one of the more obvious ways to save money but switching off things you are not using will chip away at your electricity bill.
If convenient and free in your area (or from your supplier) maybe enquire about having a smart meter installed. By seeing exactly where you are spending (and wasting) money it can help you not only tighten your belts but also help the environment.
Light bulb moment
Also, when your light bulb blows it might be worth purchasing some LED light replacements instead of the traditional bulbs.
By swapping for these new energy-efficient bulbs you could save a massive £240 per year. Yes, the bulbs are more expensive but if you can stretch to this, they will pay for themselves within a few months.
It’s not just books
If you enjoy films and TV you might want to think about visiting your library. Rather than buying that classic box set or film take a trip to your local library.
Many libraries now loan DVDs as well as books – it might be outside the box, but next time you want to have a cosy night in with a film you might save some money doing this instead of buying it from Sky Store or Amazon Prime.
The first degree
In the UK, around half of our energy costs go on heating the home. Factor in hot water and it rises to more than 60% of our energy costs.
However, we can do things to help reduce this. By simply reducing the temperature on your central heating by one degree you can save 3% on your energy bill. Just by dropping it by 3 degrees can save you around 10%.
The only thing you’ll feel is that warm fuzzy feeling of saving money! The average family home in the UK spends around £1,100 a year on fuel.
Just think how much you can save if you put a jumper on too! Sorry if I’ve bought back memories of your parents shouting then!
Next time your car or home insurance comes up for renewal take a look at what other companies can offer.
When we auto-renew it is not always for the best price and sometimes we can end up paying more than last year.
Once you’ve found your preferred price you can always go to your existing provider to discuss with them so see if they will renew for less to keep your custom.
Remember, you’re in control of where your money goes to.
‘Tis the season to be thrifty
OK, so it will never be a catchy song, but you could save yourself a pretty penny by sticking to this mantra. It’s becoming popular now to pay for various seasonal items just AFTER the holiday they were intended for.
Buying Christmas presents, decorations and supplies in January when the offers are on is the more obvious one, but why stop there?
Buying your winter coat in spring, squeezing into summer beachwear in November or getting next year’s Easter egg decorating kit the few days after Easter will save you a lot of cash.
PLUS, it will make life easier next year when you’ve already got it all.
During the school holidays, it can be difficult to get enough affordable childcare, especially if it’s not possible to take the time off work.
Team up with other parents and friends to help provide childcare for each other.
Take a look at one community in America and how they helped each other save more than $2,600 dollars EACH during one summer holiday by clubbing together for childcare duties.
Pack a lunch
Again, one of the more obvious ways to save is by simply taking your own lunch to work instead of spending out at a sandwich bar or take away.
It might not sound like much, but you could save about £30 a week by making that £5 sandwich at home. That can work out at over £100 a month!
Pump it up
Many people don’t realise the savings they can make by simply making sure their car tyres are properly inflated.
By ensuring your tyres are fully inflated you could save around 5% on your petrol costs.
All of these money-saving tips will only save you a little bit of money each. Add them together and you will start to notice the savings.
However, as with anything in life nothing will happen without the most important money savings technique – will power.
It might be disconcerting to be constantly thinking about your spending habits or resisting the temptation of that impulse buy, but by sticking to your goals you will reap the rewards.
If you do find yourself in a financial emergency, our monthly instalment loans may be able to help you cover your cashflow for the short term.
More ways to save money
Take a look at our other money savings blogs here;