Keeping costs down

It can be said that sometimes we think with our hearts and not with our heads. Making New Year’s resolutions can often be disastrous, with 80% of people failing by February and regretting it instantly. One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to cut down on spending, and although this sounds achievable, if you don’t have a fully-pledged strategy in place, the likeliness of failure spirals out of control. I’ve done it myself so I’d be surprised if you hadn’t!

Yes, occasionally we can be victim to an unexpected expense — whether this is a home appliance breaking or making that third trip on a bus with only a return ticket. It all adds up. So how can you keep costs down?

 

Travelling

Start off with something small, but something that will make huge changes when it comes to your bank account. Using a megarider ticket, you will be able to travel as much as you want and can tailor your own needs to the ticket type. Whether you’re in need of a weekly bus pass for your travels, or a monthly one — you will find yourself making a huge saving in comparison to buying a ticket every day.

Are you a driver?Did you know that the average motorist in the UK will spend an astonishing £168,880 over their lifetime? Doesn’t that seem like a crazy amount of money? Why not consider efficient public transport instead?

Annually, petrol costs a driver £1,052.04. Servicing a vehicle costs can add up to £441 annually — which can change depending on the individual’s situation. MOTs can cost up to £168.46 annually. Cost of parking is on the rise, and over the year, a motorist can find themselves paying £145.80 on parking. When it comes to insurance, this can sway dramatically as younger drivers will find themselves paying a higher cost to be on the road — on average, insurance costs an experience driver £436 every year. Tax can equate to £116.35 on a yearly basis. Car supplies can cost a driver £29.61 and if you were to go abroad and wished to drive, holiday rental cars can leave you £180 out of pocket.  That’s not all!

Speeding tickets equal £25.12 for the average driver here in the UK. This would cost a driver £2,594.38 in total where commuters find themselves paying considerably less for a significant service — imagine the saving you would make with a megarider ticket!

 

Lifestyle

Coffee

According to research carried out by MyVoucherCodes, people in the UK visit coffee shops at least three times per week —currently there are over 21,000 outlets around the country! This means that Brits visit coffee shops around 156 times a year with an average spend of £8.52 — with travel expenses, this could go up to £13.85. This creates an annual average spending of £2,600, a majority of which could be saved if you were to opt for taking your own coffee to work.

Branded coffee company, Douwe Egberts, has said that a 250g pack of ground coffee can make up to 30 cups. When looking to see how much a 1kg pack would cost, Amazon has priced the coffee at around £15, meaning that each cup of coffee would cost close to 13p. Try taking a flask to work and even purchasing an on-the-go coffee cup that will see you through your day.

 

Smoking

If the rise in prices for cigarettes hasn’t already put you off, did you know you could save a whopping £3,796 (if you smoke 20 a day) – surely this should be the driving mechanism for you to quit. MoneySupermarket.com has stated that non-smokers pay around £6,309 less for life insurance, which could be something worth investing in for the new year. I know that now Steve’s life insurance when he smoked was always much higher than mine per month.

An alternative that many smokers are trying to save money is vaping. 10ml bottles of liquid cost around £5 on average — saving those who turn to vaping around £1,900. This also can be quite costly though. Quitting altogether is a much better choice.

Lunch

Forking out for lunch every day could cost you £1,288 according to research carried out by VoucherCloud. Evidently, you could make a huge saving by preparing your lunch at home — whether this is making a quick sandwich or taking in a tin of microwavable soup to heat up. When we looked at the total working days in 2017, there was 252 — if we went by Poundland’s price of tomato soup, which is 50p, you would find yourself paying £126! A massive saving for anyone looking to cut down on costs.

 

Unexpected expenses

We’ve all been victim to an unexpected expense, with 54% of 2,000 people asked saying that they suffered from an unexpected expense within the household. On average, these costs totalled £248.70 — showing that any saving is beneficial for occurrences like these. 47% of these issues happened in the kitchen, a room which is essential to the day-to-day running of any home, and if you don’t have the money to pull out instantly, it could cause an everyday stress. With the money you’ve saved taking your own lunch and coffee to work, quitting smoking, and travelling smarter — you will be able to make life easier on yourself and your family. It was also found that 35% of people had to use a credit card to cover the costs of unexpected expenses. With 18% of them not being able to pay more than £100 on their own, 17% had to borrow from friends and family!

Thinking smarter for 2018 is a must, how will you be changing your ways to save money?

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12 Smart Ways To Save More Money Around The House

Saving money around the house might seem impossible if you’re currently struggling, but there are likely a handful of things that you can do to make sure you start saving more money. Whether you want to save more money so you can send your kids to classes outside of school, or whether you want to put some money into a college fund, or even if you just want some money to play with, the tips here can help you to achieve your goals. Read on for 12 smart ways to save more money around the house:

  1. Make Repairs ASAP

You’ve noticed a repair and you think that you’ll deal with it in a few weeks time, then a few more weeks time…and you just keep on putting it off. Most homeowners do this, but what happens? The repair gets bigger, and worse, and ends up costing even more to fix – never mind the damage that it could cause. If you have a repair that’s letting in a draught, it might not seem like a big deal, but it can mean letting out the heat and wasting a ton of money. The sooner you make repairs, the better it will be for everyone.

  1. Use Your Home Decor Intelligently

Your home decor should look aesthetically appealing, sure, but are you using it intelligently? For example, if you live in a cooler area, you can select decor that will help you to keep your home warm, so you don’t have to spend as much on heating the home. Bear in mind that carpet can help to keep the heat in, but it can also trap dust and allergens which can be terribly unhealthy for those in your house. Research various options.

  1. Come Up With Meal Plans For The Week

Coming up with meal plans for the week will help you to save time and money. No going through the freezer and coming up short, and no wasting money on things you don’t need at the supermarket. You’ll know exactly what you need to buy when you do the food shop, and how much of it.

There are a few other things you can do to save money on your meals. How about buying in bulk where possible and freezing things so you save money in the long run? Parting with this much cash in one can be tough, but think of the long term benefits. Avoid taking your kids food shopping, or going when you’re hungry. Both of these things can mean you end up spending way more than you ever intended.

  1. Become More Eco Friendly

Do your bit to become more eco friendly around the house, and chances are, you’ll save a fortune. Cut back on water usage by taking short showers rather than baths, and make sure you switch off the tap when you’re not using the water, like when you’re brushing your teeth. Switch to more eco friendly light bulbs, and ensure your appliances are star rated. Make sure everybody in the house is on the same page, too!

pina messina

  1. Save Money On Your Utility Bills

Find ways to save money on your utility bills, as these are often responsible for the biggest drain in your finances. Take the time to compare energy and see if you could be getting a better deal. Don’t worry about switching, as the new company will do most of the work for you. All you have to do is find a deal that’s better for you. Check out better deals before your contract renews each year.

  1. Take Advantage Of Cashback Offers And Schemes

Cashback offers and schemes can help you to get more money back on things that you would have purchased anyway. Find sites that are suitable and then make your purchases through them. It can take a while, but you’ll get more money back in the long run.

  1. Collect Your Spare Change

Start collecting your spare change – don’t just put it on a table or in a draw to be forgotten about. Buy a huge jar and start dropping coins in there to see how much you can build up. You’d be surprised at how much you can save over time. Some people even make a pact with themselves to save certain coins no matter what, and this helps them to build up savings much faster.

  1. Stop Buying Name Brands

Do you buy name brands when it comes to your food and toiletries shop? Stop! Just because they are big brands doesn’t mean they are any better than cheaper brands. Often times, you’ll find that supermarket own brands are just as good or will suffice. Choose carefully what you’re going to purchase. To ease you into different brands, try swapping one or two things each week. Over time, you should save a large amount on your shopping.

Peter Wendt

  1. Grow Your Own Veg And Herbs

Growing your own veg and herbs is a great hobby, especially if you have kids. Not only that, you’ll always have a fresh supply to take advantage of when cooking, no need to go shopping!

  1. Create And Stick To A Budget

If you haven’t already, create and stick to a family budget. Make sure you know your numbers and that you come up with a realistic incomings and outgoings chart. Come up with the amount you’re going to spend on food, how much you can spend on entertainment, and anything else that’s relevant.

  1. Have Regular Money Meetings

Having regular money meetings with your family will ensure you’re on the same page and working towards your goals. This is especially important for you and your partner, but it’ll teach your kids good money habits too.

  1. Always Use Coupons And Vouchers

Don’t buy anything before you’ve looked for a coupon or a voucher. You can usually find them online. It takes a few minutes just to be sure! Also consider buying something second hand before you buy it new.

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Tightening The Belt: Cutting Back on Luxuries For Better Saving

The little luxuries in life are what make it worth living. A weekend away, a delicious meal out at a restaurant or some new clothes for example can make life that bit nicer, and can make the long hours and hard work we put in all seem worth it. But at times, tightening the belt is needed. Maybe you’ve been hit with an unexpected expense and need to free up some extra cash, or perhaps you want to get out of debt once and for all. Maybe you want to save up for a deposit for a house as you’re sick of wasting money on rent each month. Either way, you might be looking for ways to cut back your outgoings so that you have some extra money. Here’s how you can go about it!

Chris Lawton

Think About Your Car

Cars can be expensive to run, and depending on your situation you might be better off giving it up entirely at least for a while. Without the cost of insurance, road tax, petrol and repairs you can free up money that can be used elsewhere. If you only ever do short journeys, consider walking or biking, it’s kinder to the environment as well as your pocket. Of course not everyone is in a position to give up their car, and if you need one to get by there are still things you can do. Upgrading to a better car might seem counterproductive when you’re trying to save money, but can actually save you money. A hybrid or electric vehicle for example will save on fuel costs as well as road tax, but any newer car is likely to have better fuel economy and will be more reliable. You could even lease one of these if you don’t have the budget to buy a new car. You won’t own the vehicle, but you get to drive a good quality car for one monthly payment, and most are covered by warranty so no big repair costs if anything goes wrong.

 

Find New Ways to Socialise

Nights out with the family or friends can take a significant chunk of your budget. From day trips to evenings in the pub, the cinema and restaurants, if you add up all of the money you spend socialising you’ll probably find it’s more than you think. You don’t need to stop socialising with friends, instead come up with new ways to go about it. You could host a barbecue and ask everyone to bring some meat and a bottle. You could host a potluck party, or you could throw an afternoon tea. Some sandwiches, homemade cakes and lots of tea needn’t cost much, but it’s an elegant way to spend time with friends in the garden when the weather is nice.

 

Get Creative In The Kitchen

Food is another significant expense, but most of us spend too much on it. From forking out on expensive takeaways regularly to wasting food there’s plenty we can do to bring down costs. Make eating out a special occasion, and limit takeaways to once every few weeks. Instead of buying lunch at work, pack some sandwiches, salad or homemade pasta instead. There are plenty of ways you can make it interesting so you don’t need to feel like you’re going without.

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