Everyone wants to try and save money where they can, but in the current climate with the increased bills and cost of living, there has never been a better time to find ways to cut down on costs.
While we can’t find a 100% renewable energy source that’s completely free of charge, we do have a few little tips to help ease the strain on your bank balance.
The first thing to do is to actually get a grip on your monthly expenses. Sitting down and writing out everything that you spend money on in a month can help you identify where money can be saved. But be honest with yourself. If you know you spend money on an indulgence, such as a takeaway or two, don’t beat yourself up about it. Factor it in to the budget.
It’s no secret that fuel prices are high at the moment. So you’re fuel budget is going to be one of the biggest drains on your finances. While you may not be able to switch to public transport or even stop driving completely, you can plan how you use your car a little better. Don’t make short trips that could easily be done by a walk, and plan your trips to a supermarket so you don’t have to keep going back when one visit would do.
Saving money doesn’t mean you have to live life like a monk. Instead, you should look at cheaper ways to have fun. Look for special offers, 2-4-1 meal deals, coupon nights, anything that can help you let your hair down without the usual expense.
Websites like Groupon and Wowcher always have something for everyone. And don’t be afraid to look for free events in the local paper or online.
With so many different streaming services – from music to TV and gaming, even audiobooks! – it’s easy to be signed up to something you aren’t using often enough to make it worthwhile. Look at all the subscriptions you have and see which ones you use. If you know there’s a new season of your favourite series coming out but not until later in the year, then cancel and resubscribe when it arrives.
You can also talk with friends and family about shared plans that are a little more expensive on their own, but cheaper when split between more than one person.
Food waste is a problem for all of us, and does mean we have to spend more money at the supermarket. Plan out your meals and make sure you keep in mind the expiry date on perishables such as meat and dairy products. Remember, ‘use by’ means it has to be used by then, but ‘best before’ means it can be safely consumed after that date.
It could also be a good time to change your car to something that is cheaper to run on a daily basis.
Although electric vehicles are an option for some and can be a good way to save on road tax and fuel, there are some great nearly new cars out there that are super efficient on traditional petrol or diesel fuels. So if you have an older car that is becoming too costly to run and maintain, then why not see what's available and you maybe surprised how much you could save!