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If your finances are a little stretched at the moment here are some simple ways to save money and cut your costs. Each of these might only save a few pennies but put them all into action and your budget might look a lot healthier at the end of the month.
1. Ways to Save on Broadband, Mobile & TV Packages
If you’re out of your initial contract period, then switching your broadband provider is a must. This is a very competitive market and you’re likely to get a cheaper deal or a much faster service if you switch.
Similarly if you have a TV package such as Sky or Virgin then call you provider to discuss ways you can reduce your bill. If you tell them you’d like to cancel, it’s likely you’ll be passed onto their retention team who will try to tempt you to stay with lots of lovely deals and offers. Have a good look at your package and let go of the elements you don’t use such as movies or sports.
Finally mobile phone contracts can be very expensive and its likely you don’t use all the data you’re paying for. If you’re beyond the end of your contract, then switch to a sim-only deal and keep your old phone. This will save you a fortune as the majority of your monthly payment goes towards the cost of a new shiny handset.
It goes without saying you need to look after you mobile so invest in a good quality cover and screen protector and it will last you for years. Mobile technology has hardly changed over the past few years, so your old handset is more than capable of handling todays demands. Batteries and screens can be replaced if necessary for very little cost.
2. Repair and Fix Rather than Replacing
Carrying on the above theme, if something breaks or stops working then fix it rather than throwing it away and replacing it. Washing Machines, TVs, Phones and other tech can all be refurbished and repaired.
There are a number of social media groups and other resources online to help you fix your broken stuff if you feel like having a go yourself. YouTube has a tutorial for almost everything these days and there is a growing movement towards fixing and reducing consumption.
This can be both rewarding and empowering and you’ll definitely save yourself a lot of cash.
3. Transfer or Consolidate Your Debts
If you’ve built up debts on credit cards or overdrafts it’s likely that you’ll be paying quite a lot of interest. Switching these debts to a new credit card with 0% interest on balance transfers will reduce your payments dramatically.
What this means is that you’ll either be able to pay off your debts faster or reduce your monthly payments. These deals are usually for a fixed period, but some can be as long as 22 months without any fees. Once you’re at the end of the fixed period simply switch again to another deal.
4. Arrange a Free Overdraft with Your Bank
Speak to your bank about overdrafts. Pre-arranged overdrafts can be free up to a certain limit. Be very careful not to exceed your free limit as charges above this amount can be very high. Keep a track and stay below the threshold
5. Switch Your Current Account
Switching banks is another good option as many of these offer cash back for switching. £150 is a nice little bonus and the banks will do all the hard work. This is usually completed within 7 days. Again pay attention to their charges and overdraft limits as this could catch you out.
6. Cancel Unused Memberships and Subscriptions
We’ve all taken out gym memberships after the new year and never set foot in the gym. Have a look at your direct debits and pick out one or two small subscriptions which you feel you could do without.
Many people have an Amazon Prime subscription purely because this allows you to get deliveries next day. Sure, this is convenient but is it really necessary if you don’t watch anything on their streaming service.
Software, TV Packages, Wine Deliveries, Cosmetics, Magazines and Newspapers. The list is endless. Cut out whats not essential and you might find you don’t really miss it at all.
7. Get Cash Back When You Spend
There are a number of websites which allow you to earn cash back on your spending. These sites are free to join and can save you a fortune on a wide range of goods such as fashion, electricals and groceries. Cash can be paid directly into your bank, through PayPal or with vouchers.
Check out TopCashBack or Quidco
8. Use a Money Saving App
There are a growing number of apps available to help you keep track of your spending and budget. With everything in one place it easy to see where your money is going and how much you have left. Some apps let you scan products and will tell you if you can get them cheaper elsewhere.
In addition apps like Vouchercloud will let you use the “near me” function to find the best deals where you are. You can then use their vouchers to get discount on those products.
9. Use charity Shops
Charity shops can be a goldmine if you’re shopping for new clothes. Be patient and prepared to do a bit of rummaging and you’ll be sure to find some gems. If you don’t fancy hitting the streets many have online stores where you can browse from your sofa.
Many high street stores will have arrangements with Charities where they donate stock that hasn’t sold so you might find many of the items aren’t even pre-owned.
In addition, you’ll have saved some money and made a more sustainable purchase at the same time.
10. Quit Smoking
Easier said than done you say. I agree, smoking can be a hard habit to kick. That said the NHS is really pushing to help people quit as the long term health implications could save them a fortune down the line – speak to your Pharmacist or GP and they will be keen to help – in some cases you might even get patches or tablets on prescription
If you really can’t quit, then switch to something cheaper such as E-Cigarettes. If you’re smoking 20 a day then vaping could be as much as 90% cheaper overall which could save you as much as £270 per month!
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