Whether you’re a student studying at uni, trying to save for your first home or just saving for that next big purchase, everyone could do with a few helpful tips to save themselves some money. We’ve listed a few changes to your spending habits that can be made to make you more of a successful saver.
Sometimes it can be making little changes that make all the difference when trying to make considerable progress regarding savings or retirement fund building and saving a bit of money here and there can add up considerably over time. Here are 14 areas you can focus on:
1. Utility Bills
Some bills you just can’t get around paying, especially utility bills. But never fear: There are ways to help lower your energy bill in summer, winter, and all year long. Switching is easy and should be done regularly to ensure you’re receiving the best deal available to you. Comparison sites are very helpful and your usage could result in you benefiting from a different style of tariff than you’re already on
2. Mobile Phone Contract
Most people today are so attached to their phone it might as well be another appendage, but that doesn’t mean it should be costing you an arm and a leg. Along with utility bills there are comparison sites that will help you find a good deal, and often if you’re a loyal customer providers will offer discounts when you renew to create brand loyalty, make sure you ask rather than just auto-renewing your contract with your current provider.
A holiday for a typical family of four can be an expensive, but there are always ways to cut costs, whether you’re “staycationing” close to home or taking off for the slops on a faraway ski trip. Booking trips far in advance can help you save on flights, waiting for airline or tour operators to have sales can also knock a considerable amount off your trip. Services, such as SkyScanner, are helpful at establishing the cheapest times travel to certain destinations and also has the handy facility to search “anytime, anywhere”, so if you’re not set on a destination this might make the decision for you.
4. Retail Purchases
A savvy shopper knows a good deal when they see one, but they also know Black Friday isn’t always the day to score the biggest savings off of retail prices. By researching what months offer the best times to buy certain products and how to take advantage of special events like sample sales.
Kids can be expensive at the best of times, constantly growing out of clothes and needing that new toy, but then whilst you’re out trying to earn the money to pay for it, who’s looking after them? You are eligible for between 15 to 30 hours of free childcare each week for your 3 to 4 year old, you will be required to choose from a number of approved facilties, this information will be accessable from your local council. For my information visit https://www.gov.uk/help-with-childcare-costs/free-childcare-and-education-for-2-to-4-year-olds
6. Petrol/ Diesel
It’s been said the only certainties in life are death and taxes, but perhaps fluctuating fuel prices should be added to that list. By maximizing your gas mileage and being strategic about your fill-ups, you can help minimize the impact on your wallet.
7. Car Buying
Fact: A new car can depreciate in value approximately 10 percent the moment you drive it out of show room, and another 10 percent by the end of its first year. That’s why many consumers find it more economical to purchase a used car, as long as it’s in good shape. Alot of buyers will opt to purchase a car on finance but buying a car outright can save you in the long run and reduce the stress surround your monthly outgoings.
8. Car Maintenance
Keeping your car running in tip-top shape by performing routine preventative maintenance can reduce the risk of expensive repairs later on. You could save even more by washing your car by hand instead of going through your local car wash. While major car maintenance tasks are best done by a professional mechanic, there are certain minor maintenance items you can learn to do yourself.
9. Moving Expenses
Whether you’re moving into student accommodation, your first home or looking to downsize, moving costs can pile up. Have you considered the cost of renting a van for a day and moving yourself? It could work out most cost effective and although running the risk of breaking a sweat, you’ll save yourself a lot, especially if you know a friend who is nice enough to lend you their van.
10. Home Improvement
One thing first-time home buyers find out is that the costs of maintaining and upgrading a home can add up quickly and do a lot of damage to your savings account. Thankfully, and with the advances in technology there are plenty of tutorials online to help you solve this and help with some smaller jobs that can be completed through DIY. Minor home improvements and keeping on top of minor house hold repairs can reduce the risk of having to pay our a large chunk of savings later on.
11. Weekly Shop and Meal Prep
Food is one of those expenses it’s difficult to cut back on. But £1 hamburgers and instant noodles aren’t exactly sustainable alternatives especially not when it comes to your health. The good news is there are ways to save on your weekly shop through bulk shopping, growing your own herbs, taking advantage of the local farms, and investing time in food preparation could save you a lot, especially when you’re feeling lazy during the week.
12. Date Night
There are plenty of great date ideas that don’t have to cost the earth! Try thinking outside of the box and plan an activity or try out a new hobby you can do together, a date doesn’t just have to be your classic dinner and a movie.
13. Wedding Expenses
Did you know the average cost of a wedding in the UK was over £34,000 in 2017? For some soon-to-be-newlyweds, it’s a choice between saving for the future and investing in their dream nuptials. That’s where savvy budget planning can come in handy, this might not be somewhere that you’d ideally want to cut back, and could in fact be the reason you’re looking to save a few extra pennies but there are always alternatives that don’t have to cost the earth. Have you considered hiring an art college student as your photographer? there are plenty of ways to cut down your cost if you willing to search for them without sacrificing your dream day.
14. Car Insurance
The same as every other financial obligation on this list, it is encouraged to shop around to find yourself the best deal. Did you know that some providers will give a discount if you already have a policy with them? Or that having a multi car policy with low risk drivers could also lower your premium each month.