There is nothing more annoying than burning through your money and finding out you don’t have enough to see you to the end of the month. Saving money can be hard. Where do you start? Here are some simple day-to-day tips which will save you the big bucks without ruining your life and spending years living on pasta.
1. Holiday at Home
Ever heard of a “staycation”? Look it up because as the Pound rides out the Brexit blues more of us Brits are choosing to save on flights and brave the chills of the English Channel.
Its not just flights you’ll save on but money exchange, car hire, those little French phrasebooks and importantly you’ll save time spent sitting in an airport.
What’s great about sticking in the UK though is that there is a surprisingly large amount to do and you won’t feel like any old tourist because you will literally be a local.
So this year why not check out – London’s theatre and food scene, the beaches of Cornwall, the hills of Herefordshire, the gay scene in Glasgow or the mountains of Wales.
2. Quit Meat #meatfreemondays
Well – maybe not quite quit but you can make some key changes.
Whisper it quietly in case someone starts eating a squirrel in protest but becoming veggie or vegan is a killer way to save cash.
Meat is pricey, veg is cheap. How about trying not eating meat during some weekdays and find some cheap vegetarian recipes online, you’ll save money, eat healthier and do your bit to save the planet.
3. Get on your bike
If you are currently driving or getting public transport to work, you can drive down your costs by cycling or walking to work. It might also be quicker – check out your commute on google maps, and see how long it will take you.
This is free, good exercise and nicer than spending your commute under someone’s sweaty armpit.
As an added bonus: your employer might have a cycle to work scheme so you could save cash on your new bike.
4. Switch Energy
We are often told we should switch energy providers each year but most people can’t be bothered.
However, it pays off because when you sign up to a supplier you’ll go onto a 1-year fixed tariff at a good deal. After the year’s up you’ll move to a rip-off variable tariff but most people don’t bother to get back onto another fixed tariff and may not notice the extra cost because they’re on a direct debit.
The Quick Win is to switch tariffs each year and save a few hundred quid. Even better get someone to do it for you : Migrate move customers each year to make life that little bit easier.
Start eating-out less. For example, if you’re going to a restaurant twice a week why not set yourself a target of not eating out in the first fortnight of each month.
Worried you won’t be able to hang out with your friends?
No problem – get them round to your place and cook yourself. Not only will you save money but you might also eat healthier, not get hustled out of your table once you have paid the bill and not be ripped off for that cheeky drink.
Or in other words leave the gym.
The average gym-goer spends £40.53 a month or not far from £500 a year. That is over £30,000 over an adult’s life.
You can get the same deal for free – just go outside and run. If you like weights then buy them, you’ll save money longer-term.
7. Check out the Charity Shops
Here’s the inside scoop – most vintage stalls and bric-a-brac antique shops got their stuff from charity shops. So next time you want to buy that £100 cool leather jacket or fancy old water jug stop yourself, they’ve probably got it for a fiver down at the charity shop.
Beat them at their game and get the goodies direct from there yourself.
8. End Food
Want to go truly radical and save buckets of dosh?! You may have spotted some people eating a ‘Nutritionally Complete Human Food’ called Huel – it looks like sawdust but actually tastes like a milkshake when mixed with water and is stuffed full of all the goodies you need keeping you full for hours. Costs as little as £1.30 per meal. You can give it a go here.
9. Get a Railcard (and if you are a Londoner hook it up to your Oyster card)
This is one of those “Spend-to-Save” tricks which often don’t work ; but this one is truly a winner. The government has introduced a new ‘Millennial Railcard’ so now anyone aged 16-30 can get a railcard for just £30 which gives you 1/3 off rail journeys . That means if you reckon you spend £100 on travel a year (not actually very much less than the cost of a return from London to Leeds) then having a railcard is a no-brainer. Get one here.
Added bonus, if you are a Londoner head down to the nearest tube station and ask them to hook up your railcard to your Oystercard, this will get you 1/3 off off-peak TFL fares on the Underground and Overground.
10. If all the above didn’t work, get an app.
There are some absolutely bangin’ savings apps out there. Each app has a niche but will help you work out where your cash is going, put money aside and even get this money invested so you get interest.
It’s worth checking out which one works for you but we love Chip, Moneybox and Plum. They use their technology to help you save money without trying and have crafty ideas for getting your savings earning interest.
The Bottom Line
Saving money can feel like an uphill struggle, the truth is that you can do it with a bit of careful thought and planning. Don’t sit around though – kick-off today and make small steps towards your savings goal.
To really nail saving we reckon you need to have a goal in mind – whether it is a holiday, a house or just seeing you through to the end of the month. Most importantly it has to be doable and then you can work out what you can do to get there.