Saving money can seem overwhelming when you’re currently not in control of your finances, however it’s much easier than it might seem when you look at the smaller things. Saving in a wide range of different places really adds up and can transform your finances, whether you want to use it to save to invest in property or to do some more online shopping. So, let’s get into it and help you take control once and for all!
Don’t Ignore Auto Renewals
Our first piece of advice is to make sure you don’t ignore auto renewals. When things like your insurance, phone contracts, internet and TV plans are due to renew, often they will send an easy to miss email and increase the prices. So, make a note of all of your renewal based outgoings and when they are due to renew. Around a week before, give your provider a call after looking around at what competitors are offering. Explain that you’re not happy with the increases and that the price is no longer competitive, and more often than not, they’ll reduce the prices to keep you as a customer. It might take a while to get this sorted, but it can save a huge amount over the course of a year!
Do A Weekly Meal Plan
A great way to save money is to do a weekly meal plan for your food shop. Rather than just going to the supermarket and going round to see what you fancy, you should sit down and plan all of the meals you’re going to eat, then put together a strict shopping list. This will result in you only buying exactly what you need, reducing food waste and helping you to save a lot of money!
Batch Cook Meals
Another tip on the topic of your food shop is to batch cook your meals. When you make things in big batches and then freeze them, you’re using a fraction of the electricity that you would otherwise. For example, say you make a chilli that makes 8 portions. You’re using around ⅛ of the electricity you would have if you made 8 separate meals. Plus, it’s usually cheaper to bulk buy ingredients rather than smaller portions. Things like chilli, pasta sauces, curries and stews all work great to bulk make.
Reduce Your Meat Intake
Another tip when cooking is to take out some of the meat and replace it with plant based proteins. In your sausage casserole, use half the sausages and then add a tin of butter beans. In your curry, take out half the chicken and replace with lentils. In your chilli, use 250g beef mince instead of 500g, then add a tin of black beans and a tin of kidney beans. Looking at the average cost of beef mince in the UK, you’ll likely pay around £3.75 for 500g of 5% fat beef mince. So, if you replace half with a tin of black beans (70p) and one tin of kidney beans (70p), you’ll get a bigger portion overall and you’ll save money!
Not only will this save you a lot of money, but eating more natural plant based foods like beans and pulses is really healthy for you too, so it’s a win-win.
Buy Supermarket Own Brands
The last point on how to save money on your food shop is to buy supermarket own brands. No matter what the product is, buying supermarket own brands will almost always save you a very good amount of money! For example, popular tins of baked beans will cost up to £1.40 these days, whereas a supermarket own equivalent will be around 50p. If you can save up to £1, or even half of that, on every product, your supermarket shop will be a whole lot cheaper.
Wash Clothes At 30 Degrees and Less Often!
Now we’re moving onto your washing. Our first tip is to wash your clothes at 30 degrees. This will save a lot of electricity over the course of the year and it doesn’t make a difference to the quality of your wash at all.
Another thing to do is to wash your clothes less often. Things like your coats, jumpers, jeans, trousers and overshirts don’t need to be washed often at all, so only wash when they really need it. Not only will this mean less washes so less electricity used, but it also means that you are prolonging the life of your clothes as when you wash, it causes gradual damage over time.
Focus On Saving Water
Now moving onto your water usage! Looking to save water around the house is a great way to cut costs and save money. Try swapping your baths out for showers where possible, turn the tap off when you’re brushing your teeth, only run your washing machine and dishwasher when they’re full and ensure none of your taps or toilets have drips or leaks. These might only seem like small things, but when you change your attitude to water usage around your home, it will definitely add up.
Consider Transport Options
Another thing you can do to cut costs is to consider your transport options. The costs of running a car with insurance, tax and everything is very expensive. So, if you live with your partner, potentially consider sharing a car if that would be an option, for example if one of you can get public transport into work. Or, if you pay for your car on finance, then you could downgrade to a cheaper car that is more fuel efficient. Perhaps you could do a combination of the two, getting public transport some days and driving others, to cut back where you can. If carpooling is an option, even better!
Pay Off Debt Before Saving
A really important tip to help you save money over time is to pay off debt before saving. The interest that accrues on debt is usually a lot more than you benefit from savings, so paying off everything you owe before saving will help you to save a lot of money in the long run. Managing debt can be difficult, so if you’re finding it overwhelming, make sure you speak to a financial advisor or look for IVA advice to help make your debt more manageable.
Consider A Side Hustle
Last but not least, if you’ve done all of the things above and you’re struggling to reduce your spending, you may need to look for a side hustle to help boost your income. This might be looking into dropshipping, taking a course to do SEO in Manchester out of your working hours, perhaps you start selling your delicious cookies or you could try tutoring online. Different side hustles are suited to different people, so go with your strengths and watch your finances transform.