We’re going to take a look at how we can save money in everyday life – it’s not an easy task, household bills having gone through the roof and millions of people have been surviving each month on very little once the essential bills are paid.
In many cases people are finding it difficult to even pay utility bills, getting behind with their heating and electricity as well as mortgage and rent. Is it achievable to save money in the existing climate, can we make simple changes that could contribute towards making life a little easier?
Dealing with debt
Before, tackling ways of saving money I always felt was the most important place to start. If you have debt, you should not first look to save money. Paying off debt should be your number one priority before even considering savings.
Especially because the average person in Scotland on a reasonable salary would realistically only be able to put small chunks of money to the side for savings.
If you consider what you would be paying on interest to debts then these saving habits would be counter productive.
If you feel like you are struggling with paying back debts you owe, there are numerous options available to you in Scotland. In recent years the Scottish Trust Deed has helped thousands of individuals write off a portion of their debts and only pay back what is affordable to them.
Debt Therapy Scotland is a company who pride themselves on offering impartial free advice on the options available to Scottish residents. So if you fall into the struggling category, use their custom built debt solution finder to see if you qualify for a government backed debt solution like a Trust Deed or DAS
We’re being encouraged to recycle food using food bins that are collected by the council. What’s shocking to a lot of people is how much food is going in these bins each week, it’s proof, if any were needed, how much food we actually waste.
One way we could all save money with food is to stop wasting it and use it rather than throw it in the recycle bin. If you don’t use a recycling bin where you are, then your food is going in the rubbish along with the rest of the general waste in your home. This can have a detrimental impact on the environment.
In order to save money and help the environment there are things you can do with leftover food that will provide delicious meals that are both nutritious and filling.
Planning is important – try to think of what you have in the fridge, cupboard and freezer then make a list.
You can make something out of everything you have left that’s close to the use by date. Items close to their use by date can be placed in the freezer and used later, just defrost when needed and use within 24 hours.
Left over fruit can be turned into a smoothie, turn your potato peelings into flavoured crisps by popping them into the oven rather than throwing them away.
If you plan what you’re going to have each day using what’s left in the fridge/cupboard etc., you’ll be able to use up what you have without having to throw it away and buy more food to replace it.
Heating is one of the most expensive necessities of life and one of the most difficult to control and get just right. How can you keep your home at the right temperature without wasting heat? The goal is to save money on heating bills and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Whichever type of heating you use, using it when it’s off peak to heat up the entire house is a good way forward, but you may need a different type of control in order to do this – ask whoever supplies your heating about how you can make savings.
You should at the very least be able to control your heating to come on and off whenever you choose – in which case only heat the rooms in your house you’re going to use when you’re home. You could save a great deal of money heating your home in this way, regardless of how big your house is.
Switch lights off when they’re not needed and keep doors closed so as to conserve heat in each room.
If you go out to work then you probably have your own work wardrobe that’s kept separate from your leisure clothes.
However, it can be expensive to maintain with normal every day wear and tear.
If you’re constantly going through more clothes than you can afford then there are ways you can save. Rather than constantly buying new clothes, consider taking a look on bidding sites or buy vintage, good vintage clothing is not only going through a revival at the moment, many garments from the 80s, 70s, or 60s are better made and look better than their more contemporary high street rivals.
If you don’t fancy that then take a look at eBay, look up well known high street labels and see if you can find something at a fraction of the price.
You could also try having a party with other friends and work colleagues and exchange clothes you’ve either grown tired of or no longer fit you. Someone may be able to exchange something with you that you’ll find a more interesting replacement. Shop in open markets and second hand stores, people shop in this way regardless of their personal circumstances, and if you do find it hard to shop in this way, remember that it won’t always be like this, it’s a temporary solution, a temporary measure until you’re through the worst of it.
Finally, make do and mend may have had some currency during the Second World War, but it has a place in today’s culture with more and more people taking to DIY, handmade clothes and home-made cooking, whatever it takes to get us through the worst of it.
There are millions of people out there in exactly the same situation – you’re not alone.