How to save money – 8 simple tricks
You don’t have to make big cutbacks. The trick is taking lots of little actions that all add up to sizeable savings – you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much it can add up. Just switch to feel rich.
1. Use a budgeting tool
Post Office offers a detailed budgeting tool so you can work out exactly how your finances stack up. Take a look:
2. Shop smarter – plan ahead
We all know this one: write a shopping list and stick to it – you spend less and waste less. But there’s a step further: plan your weekly meals around the supermarket’s offers. Go online, see what deals they’ve got, then write your list. And stick to it.
3. Don’t buy now, buy later (maybe)
So you’ve seen what you want to buy and you’re just about to fork out for it. Stop right there. If you wait – give it at least a week – you’ll know whether it really is a must-have or just an in-the-mood purchase. We’re not always rational when shopping and retailers are experts at persuading us to part with our cash.
Waiting can also mean paying less. If you’ve been browsing online, chances are you’ll see an ad pop up for your coveted item, with a tempting – careful now! – offer.
4. Don’t forget your work perks
Before you sign up to a gym, pay for your travel season ticket, buy a bike, or even a bottle of wine, check your company benefits. Many employers offer all kinds of perks that can save you money. For example, you could save at least 25% on a new bike if your employer is signed up to the Cycle Scheme.
5. Do it yourself
Be more like your grandparents: grow your own, make and mend. It needn’t be an all-consuming hobby; just a pot of herbs on a windowsill can mean a few pounds saved every week. Get a refillable water bottle instead of buying a new one, and pack your own lunches instead of getting a supermarket meal deal.
6. Walk another way
Avoid temptation. Find another route to the station, so you don’t pass the bakery, coffee shop or book store that lures you in every time. And if shopping for you is fun, rather than functional, try not to go until you actually need to buy something. (And then give it a week – see tip 3).
7. Spend more sometimes
Cheaper isn’t always best value. Reliability is the most important factor when you buy an appliance. Buy one that’s recommended and comes with a guarantee. And be sure to maintain it properly – if it says clean the filter every month, clean the filter every month. It’ll last longer and cost you less in the long run.
8. Be a better driver
We can’t all afford a new, more fuel-efficient car. But we can all afford to drive more efficiently. There are three things you can do to guzzle less petrol: change your car’s air filter, inflate your tyres to the correct pressure, and keep to the speed limit. All these will save you money on the day-to-day running of your car.