I Need To Save Money

I Need To Save Money

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I Need To Save Money – a new year is looming!

Well, 2016 is drawing to a close a new year beckons.  The wrapping paper is in the bin, the tree is looking a little worse for wear and thoughts of January start to loom.  Panic levels start to rise as the January credit card bill is round the corner and the wait for payday still seems as if it’s a million miles away.

I Need To Save Money – Take Action NOW!

Here are some of the things I have done when I have needed to save money: –

  1. I Need To Save Money – Save BEFORE you spend your salary

Set up a direct debit so that when you get paid a set portion of your salary gets transferred to another account.  That way, temptation is kept at bay as you build a rainy day fund.  If you can, try and save up 6 months’ salary in case of unexpected redundancy or some other financial crisis.

  1. I Need To Save Money – Shop around for your utilities

Don’t stick with the same gas, electricity or telephone provider.  We all have bills to pay so you should put a little bit of effort into finding the most competitive deals.  U-Switch have always been very good but do ensure that you ask for a search ‘across the whole of the market’ to ensure you are getting the very best in terms of deals.  Water is the only thing you can’t shop around for but if you have the option, consider water metering.  The general rule is:  If you have fewer people than you have bedrooms in your house consider metering.

  1. I Need To Save Money – Use cashback sites

Sites such as TopCashback and Quidco are brilliant ways of getting some money back when you’re shopping or buying essentials like car / home / building insurances.  All you have to do is sign up for an account and then shop through the cashback website.  Think of it as a portal through which you shop as normal.

Brilliantly easy and I have made hundreds of pounds back by doing this!

  1. I Need To Save Money – Use cashback credit cards

I use American Express and a Marks & Spencer credit card as back up as not everyone will accept American Express.  My tip is to treat them as if they were your debit card and write down every single transaction as if it was being debited immediately.

I keep my receipts then record the transactions in a notebook.  Anything bought with American Express gets highlighted green and any Mastercard purchases are highlighted in yellow.  Normal debit card transactions are left uncoloured so I can cross reference against bank statements and credit card statements.  This may sound a bit geeky but I have never got into credit card debt whilst using this technique!

  1. I Need To Save Money – Set reminders

If you don’t want to pay your credit card bill by direct debit, ensure you set up a reminder.  I use Google Calendar which is synced to my phone.  You do it however you choose to but whatever you do just do it as late payment means interest and fees or, in other words, wasted money.

  1. I Need To Save Money – Go paperless

Who wants loads of paper bills coming through the door?  Not only is it depressing but it’s probably costing you more money too.  Check on all of your utility, bank, credit card, mobile phone providers that you are paperless.  If necessary, set up a separate email account just for bills so they can all be found in one place.

  1. I Need To Save Money – Buy second-hand

Not only can you buy some great clothes and accessories at charity shops [particularly ones in expensive areas] but you can also buy refurbished technology too.  I recently purchased a refurbished Apple phone through Music Magpie.  I was a bit dubious at first but they offered a 12 month warranty  and so I gave it a go.  I’ve been extremely happy with my purchase.  I refuse to be drawn into the expenses of the ‘latest gadget’ and after using a cashback site I paid just over £100 for my I-Phone 5S.

  1. I Need To Save Money – Go SIM only

Continuing on from No 7 above, I also refuse to get drawn into ridiculously expensive mobile phone contracts.  I bought the Apple I-Phone then got a SIM only deal from Talkmobile which costs me £7.50 a month.  Are you paying a ridiculous amount for your phone?  There are massive savings to be had by going SIM only.

  1. I Need To Save Money – Work out what you don’t need or don’t use

Go through your bank statements line by line and be ruthless.  Do you need satellite TV?  Do you use that gym?  Do you need that warranty?  Do you need that magazine subscription?  I have never signed up for any kind of paid for TV.  Many people I know are paying £80+ per month just to watch television.  If you really need to save money then this is a no-brainer.

  1. I Need To Save Money – Turn down the temperature dial and raise your awareness!

Very often I see people in boiling hot homes wearing nothing more than T-shirts.  Put more clothes on and cosy up in blankets and hot water bottles.  Heating a house is costing us more and more [both financially and environmentally] so think about how you can warm up on the cheap.  Hoovering the house warms you up quite a lot I find …!

If you’re water-metered, think about how many times you flush the toilet.  A useful but slightly gross rule of thumb is: ‘If it’s wee leave it be but if it’s brown, flush it down’.  Finally, consider shortening your time in the shower and share bath water.  Yes, I did say share bath water.  If you’re bathing on a daily basis and are not filthy dirty then SHARE and just top up with a bit of hot water when the next person gets in!

  1. I Need To Save Money – Give up smoking and cut down on alcohol

Smoking is, for me, a no-brainer.  It’s expensive and can kill you.  No more said.  Similarly, alcohol is getting more costly.  Get out of the habit of having alcohol in the house and regard it as an occasional treat rather than something that has to be part of your daily routine.

  1. I Need To Save Money – Sign up for the supermarket delivery offers

I’ve found this a very useful way to get through a difficult financial month like January.  I have signed up for all the online supermarket delivery services I can in order to get, say, 25% off and free delivery on your first shop.  It won’t last forever [it’s usually your first shop that counts] but if you’re clever and you get on with your family, friends and neighbours you could each agree to sign up on a rotational basis and make the good times last that little bit longer.  Very often, you’ll also get codes emailed to you as the supermarkets have noticed you’ve not shopped with them for a while so keep an eye out.

  1. I Need To Save Money – Newspaper offers

Newspapers are great places to find money off deals as they have supplements etc promoting various offers.  Also, some papers run their own promotions like The Daily Mail.  If you buy it or know someone else who does start collecting the numbers printed on the back page in order to earn rewards.

If you’re buying a paper every day then they soon start to add up.  I save Daily Mail points in order to collect Marks and Spencer vouchers which I then save for the end of the year and use to pay for the Christmas food.  I combine this with the vouchers I get from my Marks and Spencer credit card and usually have between £50 – £100 to spend at Christmas which isn’t to be sniffed at.

  1.  I Need To Save Money – Forget brands and go generic

Apart from one or two bits and pieces, I have stopped being a slave to labels.  Supermarket own ranges are often made by the same companies but the packaging is just a bit less interesting.  Get yourself some pretty tins and jars and just decant your supermarket own brand into them.  Most of the time your family will not notice.

Supermarkets design their layout so that branded items are at eye level when you go in.  You need to look lower down for the own brand stuff.  ‘Label snobbery’ costs a fortune and nobody needs to know you’ve switched.  The same applies to your medications.  Nurofen is 8 times more expensive than plain old ibuprofen.  16 Ibuprofen [200mg] costs around 35p.  The same quantity and strength of Nurofen will cost you about £2.40 at the time of writing this blog post.  It’s another no-brainer.

  1. I Need To Save Money – Don’t auto renew your insurances

At the end of every year, I get my new diary and spend a little bit of time noting down when my obligatory purchases have to be made such as insurances, car breakdown and computer virus protection etc.  That way, I prompt myself to do some research before renewal is due and I can also check whether there are any decent cashback offers available.  However, even if you want to stick with a particular provider it is worth putting in a phone call to see what you can get knocked off.  Even if it’s £10 or £20 it’s still money in your pocket and not theirs.

  1. I Need To Save Money – Use your local library

Instead of spending a fortune on books, you can use your local library which is a massively underused resource.  Not only can you access the internet for free you can also borrow DVDs which you can incorporate into a cheap family night in.  When you think how much the cinema costs these days [along with the popcorn, snacks and drinks], I’d say this was a pretty good alternative!

  1. I Need To Save Money – Bulk buy if you have the space.

Cash and carry establishments such as Costco are a great way to save money as larger sizes and bigger quantities usually mean money saving for you.  Do check your pricing obviously but it is a great option if you have a Costco card or know someone who has got one and is willing to take you along.  For those of us who don’t, buying in larger quantities is usually the most cost effective way of purchasing.

Again, consider sharing deals with friends and family if there is a great bargain to be had.  It’s all well and good getting a brilliant deal on 100 toilet rolls if you have nowhere to store them but if you split the deal then everyone’s a winner.  I personally like buying my Yorkshire Tea teabags in the 1200 sack size from Amazon …. I do like my tea!

I really hope these tips were helpful!

Here’s to life on your terms,

Rachel a.k.a The Life Hack Tutor

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I Need To Save Money

I Need To Save Money

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