Often the lead up to Christmas is a time where we start to think about money, it’s a great time to stop and take a look at your finances. I’m always looking for ways to save more money and I know I’m not alone. Whether it’s cutting down on grocery expenses, switching your energy supplier, or simply swapping to a credit card with lower interest rates. The good news is that there are countless options available if you want to keep your spending to a minimum and start to pay off debts or save for something special.
The internet is packed full of comparison websites, dedicated to helping you find the best deal on everything from your car insurance, to cheap broadband deals. When you have something up for renewal it’s worth spending a little time comparing the options available to you. If you let something roll onto a new year you are unlikely to be getting the best deal. With your broadband you need to check you are on the best deal. For example if you stream content regularly it may be worth looking to switch to an unlimited bundle. Superfast fibre can provide higher speeds and many have free set up. You can also look for an option that includes landline calls saving yourself even more money.
If you’re currently using credit cards then it might be helpful to compare the options on the market and make sure that you’re getting the lowest interest rates around. If you already have a balance then when you do have more cash to splash, make sure that you pay off the debts you have with the highest interest rates first, as this will help to save you more money in the long-term.
Many of us sign up for subscription services then allow them to simply keep renewing every month, without thinking about whether we’re using them or not. For instance, when is the last time you went to the gym that you pay for every month? Have you been watching any Netflix shows lately, or is your Amazon Prime membership going to waste? And do you really need that monthly beauty box? Think carefully about which subscription services you really don’t want to live without.
We all have those little expenses that we know we could probably live without, but we spend money on them anyway. While there’s nothing wrong with this if you have the extra cash to use, over-spending on luxuries could be a serious problem for those who are already struggling to make ends meet. If you recently lost some of your regular income, or you want to make sure that you’re saving more money back for a big expense that’s coming up, look at your disposable spending habits and search for anything you might be able to cut back on. For instance, if you have a coffee from an expensive café on your way to work each morning, try investing in a reusable coffee mug and make it at home instead.
If you find yourself looking at your bank balance and wondering where it’s all gone. Then the good news is that there’s an app for that. There is a huge amount of different tools that can help you to track your money more effectively and reduce the amount you spend on unnecessary items. Try downloading a budgeting tool so you can add up the amount you use at the end of each month, or use a deal-finder to help you track down cheaper groceries online.
While we’re all guilty of paying a little extra for flashy packaging and popular brand names at times, it’s important to know that those habits could be seriously cutting into your budget. Just because a company name is well known, doesn’t mean that it’s any better than the own-name brands you’ll find on grocery store shelves. Try dropping down to a less expensive option and seeing whether your family can tell the difference. If you genuinely don’t like foods that aren’t produced by a specific brand, then there’s not much you can do about that. However, the key to success is making sure you approach the alternative with an open mind. Most non-branded foods are made with the exact same ingredients as their popular alternatives so it’s definitely worth a try.
Ultimately the best way to save money is to just buy less. When you want something don’t do an instant purchase. Instead look around for a deal or could you source it second hand? Ask yourself if you really need it? Once you get used to buying in this way you find yourself buying and wanting less.