Even in a buoyant financial climate we should be looking to save rather than waste money. Given the current credit crunch that we are currently experiencing this is even more vital than ever before! The following ten tips could well help you save hundreds or even thousands of pounds a year.
Bill payments -- you can often get discounted bill rates if you pay by direct debit and sign up for paperless billing. Spreading your costs here can also help you budget more effectively into the bargain. Make sure that you regularly compare costs for all of your essential bills and if you can find savings with other suppliers then don’t be afraid to switch!
Shop online -- the Internet makes it easy to compare prices and to find the lowest costs for the stuff you want to buy so use this as your starting point when you have a purchase to make. Don’t just look at standard e-tailers but also remember auction sites such as eBay where you can pick up a real bargain (and if you sell stuff here you can even make money). Doing your supermarket shopping online is also a good money saver -- if you can’t browse the aisles then you are less likely to waste your money on stuff you don’t need (and that isn’t good for you!).
Insulate your home -- lagging your loft correctly can save a lot of heat from escaping from your home and you should also look at insulating your windows and doors if you get drafts through them. If you have chimney/fire places then have them blocked off if you don’t use them as the heat that escapes here also simply wastes your money. You can also look at using energy efficient light bulbs which last for a lot longer and use a lot less energy than standard bulbs. Finally, turn your heating down a degree or two and wear a sweater!
Look at your credit products -- now is not the time to be paying over the odds in credit card rates and fees. Try to reduce your credit card spending and to pay off any credit card debts that you have. Changing credit card provider to find a lower rate or zero interest rate deal can save you a lot of money here.
Look at your spending -- we all waste money without realising it every month. Try spending a month writing down every single thing that you buy. At the end of the month look to see what was an essential buy, what was a ‘nice to have’ and what was a waste of money. You’ll save a lot of money by losing the stuff that wastes your money and even more if you stop buying the ‘nice to have’ stuff all of the time.
Find money saving coupons and offers -- the Internet has some really useful sites that you can use to find special offers, discounts and coupon codes. These may save you money when you shop online and some offers can also be used in shopping in the high street as well. If you have favourite shops or restaurants that have a newsletter then it might be worth signing up to receive it by email as these often come with special offers that you might not find elsewhere.
Stay in the red -- do try to keep within your budget for spending and not to use your overdraft. It is really easy to get into problems with fees and costs here if you don’t gauge your spending wisely. You may be better off with the occasional cash advance payday loan to help you out in emergencies as as least that will give you a fixed cost.
Try to save -- we all need money for those rainy days that come along so do try to get in the habit of saving. Try to put a few pounds in a savings account when you get paid every month -- you’ll be surprised how quickly this mounts up and you can always access it if you need to.
Use loyalty points -- many retailers now offer loyalty schemes where you are given points for spending. The vouchers that you get here or the points that you build up can sometimes only be used on store spending but may also be able to be redeemed against other useful stuff such as days out. This can save the average family a lot of money every year so try and find the best loyalty card deal to suit you and then make sure to spend regularly in the store to earn your points there.
Ditch your bad habits -- there is nothing wrong with the occasional drink but if you go to the pub a lot or drink regularly at home then you can save a lot of money (and your health!) by cutting back. The same goes for smoking. To give you more of an incentive here work out how much your cigarettes cost you a year and work out something you’d rather spend the money on.
The fact is that there are hundreds of ways to save money -- you can probably think of a good few more yourself. But, these ten may give you a starting point so Happy Saving!