Saving money is a wonderful thing to do at any time of the year, but it can make all the difference now that Christmas is looming. Here are 10 useful tips on how to save some money, to give you some more funds for Christmas and beyond.
1: Record your in-coming and outgoing money – The first step to take is to start recording your in-goings and outgoings. It is hard to understand how much you can save until you know exactly how much you are earning, and spending.
2: Make a shopping list – Making a shopping list might sound funny, but making a list of what you want is much easier to stick to than wandering around a supermarket with a vague idea of what you need. If you resolve to not buy anything that isn’t on your list it can make it easier to avoid temptations, especially those tasty aggressive offers designed to make you part with more of your money.
3: Switch your gas and electricity providers – It is very easy to just renew your energy contracts, or to just stay with your current providers for ease. Looking at changing can save you money, so it is worth looking. Even if you want to stay with your current providers, it is worth checking that you are on the best value package that they offer. A great website to see if you can save money by switching providers is uswitch.com
4: Ditch the phone contract – For years, having a mobile phone contract was by far the cheapest way to own a mobile phone. Now though, there is a vast choice of pay as you go tariffs out there that offer good data and messaging allowances. It can be easier to just buy a phone on eBay or anywhere else and not be tied to a contract. This also means you can upgrade and change your phone whenever you want.
5: Bin the brands – Binning brands is one of the easiest ways to save money, and is often overlooked. A lot of own brand food such as pasta and rice are just as good as the big brands, but admittedly other things can be a different taste. Often a lot of people are quite happy to have these foods though knowing that it is 50% or more less expensive. Beyond food though there are loads of things that you can save money on by buying own brand such as toilet rolls, washing powder and other household products.
6: Switch your broadband – Like gas and electricity, often it is easier to just stick with the broadband that you are familiar with. Now there is a lot of choice out there where you could get a great deal. It is worth looking to see if you can get a better deal with another provider or your current one. You could even find that you are able to get Fibre broadband instead of ADSL for the same price too! A great resource to see what broadband is available and see user opinions is the Think Broadband website.
7: Shop around for your insurance – You may see a bit of a pattern forming here. It is far too easy to stay with your current provider insurance providers, be it for car, home or pet insurance. This is what the companies bank on. You can often get a way better deal by looking elsewhere. Often your existing provider will find a better deal suddenly if you tell them you are leaving.
8: Pay with cash – Paying for things with cold hard cash can often make it much more apparent how much things cost. I am guilty of just paying for things with my debit card and then having a shock when I check my bank balance. By paying for things with cash where possible, it is much easier to keep track of what I have spent, and I can also keep an eye on what is left in my wallet.
9: Use loyalty cards – Loyalty cards can be a great way of getting money off of stuff in the long run, however they should not prevent you from looking for a better deal for stuff. Often if you switch between supermarkets and use loyalty cards they can see that you have stopped shopping there for several weeks, and send you extra vouchers to try to entice you back.
10: Create a goal and reward yourself – What’s the point of saving all this money if you don’t have a goal in mind? Why not make a game of it and reward yourself if you can reach a certain goal? It could be something like a holiday if you can save the money, or a new TV, Car or anything you can imagine. Having something to show your efforts is an amazing motivator.
I hope you find these tips on how to save money useful. Once you begin enjoying the challenge it is easy to find hundreds of different ways to save money. Good luck!