Saving money and getting your finances in order doesn’t have to be a boring and arduous task.
It’s amazing how quickly the pennies can add up by making small changes to your lifestyle. The cost of everything from your weekly shop to catching the bus into work is on the rise, but there are a few things you can do to save yourself a little money from the comfort of your own home.
Out with expenditure, in with saving! money.co.uk has given us the eight household hacks you need to follow to bring down your bills and keep your cash in your back pocket.
1. Make your own lunch
You could save a small fortune by making your own lunches at home and taking them into work. It takes no times at all to make a sandwich, so keep your coffers full by choosing a homemade delicacy rather than a shop-bought expense. Whipping up a quick soup could feed you for a couple of days, can cost under £5 and it’ll be healthier too.
2. Don’t forget your reusable coffee cup
It might seem ludicrous, but the average Brit spends over £2,000 each year on going to coffee shops – a ridiculous amount just to get that morning caffeine fix! So, if you’re wanting to cut costs, invest in a reusable cup.
If you take your own reusable coffee cup to certain chains, you get money off your purchase. Over a few months you will have made back the cost of your cup and then the real savings start. Even better, make a coffee at home for your commute to work – you won’t forget your reusable cup and you’ll save yourself a few quid every morning.
3. Go green at home
Little changes like only boiling enough water in the kettle to make what you need and turning lights off in empty rooms will make a big difference to your electricity bill over a year. Remember to turn the taps off when you’re brushing your teeth and save your washing up for when you have a big pile rather than wasting water on little bits.
Turn your electricals off at the wall so they aren’t on standby mode and check you haven’t got your fridge turned up too high. All these little changes will help you save money and are ultimately better for the environment.
4. Check before you buy
When it comes to shopping there are often tons of different prices for the same things online. A quick Google search can throw up different shops and websites offering the same items at a better price.
Never checkout online without first seeing if there are any voucher codes you can copy and paste, which means money off your shopping. Lots of websites will have active codes – you just need to spend five minutes searching for them.
5. Don’t pay interest on your borrowing
If you’re paying interest on your borrowings, consider applying for a balance transfer credit card. This could save you a load of money in interest fees each month and means you can spread out what you owe over your new interest-free period. Be sure to check your chances of being accepted before you apply.
6. Rethink your direct debits
It’s always worth having a look at your direct debits on an annual basis to see which services you aren’t getting value for money out of. You may have payments coming out for things like gym membership and streaming services that are swallowing a fair bit of your money every month, but you aren’t using – more than likely it’ll be the former one than the latter that you aren’t using!
If you’re only going to the gym once a month think about exercise that won’t cost you money like running outside or use YouTube videos to work out at home. If you’re paying for multiple streaming services like Netflix and Sky, ask yourself if you really need them both. On average, we spend £46 a month for our TV provider, so if you’re not utilising it, get rid and save yourself a pretty penny.
7. Switch your supermarket
Switch up your shopping habits and try shopping at a budget store. If you’re yet to try out the so-called ‘budget’ stores like Aldi or Lidl, challenge yourself to do your main weekly shop there. Do a comparison to see how much you’ve saved compared to your normal supermarket.
You won’t find all the brands you’re used to, so do a taste test with your family to see if they can spot the difference. You could save yourself some serious cash by simply swapping where you buy your cereals from, what brand of baked beans you get or jumping on the ‘wonky’ veg bandwagon.
8. Get rewarded for shopping
Certain credit cards are designed to give you cash back every time you spend money or give you points towards shopping online. If you’re disciplined and pay your credit card in full each month, these cards can be very rewarding.
Don’t forget to use your loyalty and club cards each time you do your weekly food shop and fill the car with petrol. Over a few years your points really can stack up and produce big savings for you and your family.
money.co.uk is a free, online comparison service that allows you to compare thousands of financial products, offering tools and filters to help you find what you're looking for, so you can make informed financial decisions.