Are you in need of some extra cash? Having an empty savings account can leave you feeling helpless and stressed.
Good News: Whether you want more disposable income or a safety net to fall back on, there are many ways you can save money around the house.
From energy efficiency and cutting entertainment to shopping frugally and budgeting, here are 5 tips you can use to easily start your savings journey.
Unplug Electronics and Go Energy Efficient
Did you know that whenever an electronic device is plugged in it’s using a small amount of electricity? You’re paying for that.
Warning: This applies to devices on standby and even when they’re turned off!
The solution? Unplug any device you’re not using or at least switch off extension plugs when you go to bed.
It’s also time to go energy efficient with your light bulbs by replacing old incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent (CFL) or LED alternatives.
These are a bit more expensive upfront and have some drawbacks in terms of brightness, but can substantially reduce your electric bill and they last longer too. Gov.UK notes that households could spend 80% less if they used LEDs rather than traditional bulbs over the course of the LED bulb’s lifespan!
What’s simpler than pulling out a plug and changing a bulb?
Budget, Revise and Save
You aren’t going to make consistent savings without a plan. Of course, everyone has budgeted at some point in time even if it’s just in their head. However the key to managing your incomings and outgoings is to revise your budget regularly. After all, the things you want and need also change often. Being too rigid is setting your budget up to fail.
Fortunately even if it does fail or you face some unexpected expenses, you can still apply for 30 day payday loans from one of the established websites to give you some breathing room until you get your next pay check. Then it’s time to revise your budget to account for the repayment.
The trick is to hardwire savings in to your budget so you’ll be in a good position not to have to borrow in the future. Even just £10 a week can make a big difference in the long-run.
Since we all live on our smartphones one option useful for budgeting is to use an app. “Mint Budgeting” for Android and iOS has the most features and can connect to your bank account to import financial data.
Buy Generic Brands and Make Use of Grocery Coupons
Some people really like cheese and always buy the same handful of premium varieties when they go grocery shopping, but just because they like cheese doesn’t mean they care about breakfast cereal.
When you wake up in the morning in a mad rush to get to work, does it matter if it’s a Kellogg’s flake or a unbranded flake as long as there’s some nutrition?
And herein lies the next tip: buy generic brands when it doesn’t matter to you.
Whether its food or other household items the price gap can be quite shocking, while the quality or taste isn’t that much different. Then for those branded items you do buy, keep an eye out online and in newspapers and TV guides where some supermarket coupons are still found.
The Money Saving Expert site regularly updates a list of supermarket coupons across all categories.
Bring Your Own Lunch and Coffee to Work
If like many you require coffee during your working day to function, swapping Costa or Starbucks for a home brewed flask could save you a few pounds every day, even if it’s still a branded blend. This is especially true if you buy large bags or in bulk.
Tip: If it’s just the ‘fix’ you need cheaper brands will save you even more (see buy generic).
Similarly whatever you’re spending on sandwiches, snacks or full blown meals for lunch is always going to be more than if you prepare your lunch at home from raw ingredients or your bulk supermarket purchases.
You can get a bag of pasta and a few other ingredients that last all week for the same price as a pasta lunch you buy while at work.
Rethink Your Home Entertainment Costs
Let’s be honest, do you really watch everything you’re paying for with your Sky TV package? The things you do watch can often be viewed elsewhere for less.
There’s a reason why the media have declared premium satellite and cable dead and online streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime the future (if not the now). They offer some of the most popular current and past TV shows, films, documentaries, and standup comedy; all for viewing on demand at your own leisure.
Even a combination of different streaming services to cover all your tastes can work out cheaper than Sky or Virgin, though the difference can be marginal if you’re a massive sports buff.
CordBusters.co.uk is your authority on cutting the cord effectively in the UK.
You can get by with Netflix for £7.49 and Amazon Prime for £5.99, while watching sports highlights on the web.
Those were some of the main ways you can make savings that can easily be applied today. It’s up to you to get started!
If you found these tips useful please share the article and comment below with your own simple and effective ways of making saving money below.