For most people, saving money is about having enough for a holiday or these new shoes from the local designer shop. For others, it’s about making sure there’s enough money in the pot to have food on the table at the end of the day. It’s said that money is the root of all evil, but really, it’s how you spend it that makes it that way. Money itself is not what is evil – but money mismanagement. Choosing to fritter away what little money you do have when there isn’t enough to cover the basics is bad management but with some advice, you can start to make the right cuts where you need to, so that you have enough money for the things you want.
Home improvements, house deposits and new furniture all cost and the worst thing is that if you aren’t looking close enough at where your money is going each month, you’re potentially wasting thousands a year. Your TV package, weekly food shopping and utility bills could all be costing you far more than necessary and by turning a blind eye, you will end up spending the money you could be putting away in savings. Savings don’t have to be done for an immediate goal. Perhaps just putting some back each month for a rainy day and spending on a break to reward yourself is what matters for your family. Rainy day money is always good to have in case the boiler busts, the roof caves in or the cooker breaks down – you then have savings to fall back on in an immediate crisis.
With these savings ideas, you could be looking at getting the same services you receive for cheaper, meaning that there is surplus money in your account by the end of the week:
- Swap shop: There are plenty of comparison websites online such as this one here that you can input your shopping list, click compare and see how your food shop measures up from one supermarket to the next. This way you can swap brands but get the same food and potentially be saving up to a third on your weekly shopping. It’s a no brainer, when most supermarket branded foods are just as good as the brand names but without the steep price tag.
- Save energy: Your gas and electric bills change every year, sometimes without you knowing. The tariff small print is often overlooked and because of this, you may be paying out for more energy than you are using. Websites like Simply Switch can help you to choose the best energy provider for your consumption, saving you pounds which can be put away in an account for that rainy day.
- Coffee off: Do you leave the house every morning and spend on that extra tall mocha from the local coffee shop? How much does that add up to every week? By investing in a hot drinks flask and a coffee machine of your own, you could still buy a mocha every day. The difference being you’re not spending £5 a day on it. That’s a huge saving every week, just by making your own coffee!
- Minimise: If you find yourself with a DVD collection spanning thirty years, it’s time to make cuts. Start selling the extra stuff you’ve been hoarding online, and move the money you make into your savings account.
- Carbon footprint: Driving to work can use more petrol and energy than most things, so rethink your commute. Walking and cycling are both good activities for your heart, and you can get healthier while you do it. Less impact on the environment and the money you save in petrol costs can be saved instead of spent elsewhere.
- Lunchbox: Lunch bags aren’t just for school children. In the same way you are now doing your coffee every day, taking your own lunch to school is a brilliant way to save yourself money every day. Leave your cash card at home if you have to, but you need to start bringing your own lunch to work if you hope to make a decent dent in your spending.
There are so many ways we are spending money without even thinking about it. We think nothing of handing money over for a coffee and a sandwich when we can make things at home. There’s no need to spend money and overindulge if you don’t have to, and that way you can start that nest egg earlier than you planned!