6 simple and practical ways to save money
There’s no better time than the present to start saving money! Follow these 6 simple tips to identify where you can save money and how you can make those savings work harder for you:
1. Create a personal survival budget
Make a spreadsheet showing all your essential monthly expenditure. It should include items like mortgage/rent, rates, utility bills, travel and car maintenance costs, credit card payments, plus essentials like clothing and food. Your completed sheet will tell you the minimum income you need to survive each month. See how to create a savings budget that works for you.
2. Spring clean your current account
Are you guilty of joining the gym and never going? Do you have a magazine subscription but never actually get round to reading it? Are you paying a direct debit for a service you no longer need? A quick glance over your monthly outgoings can flag any subscriptions or direct debits you no longer require. If you bank online you can usually stop these unnecessary payments with the click of a button.
3. Sell unwanted gifts and possessions
Raise cash by selling unwanted items from around your home. Take advantage of online marketplaces like eBay, Preloved and Facebook, as well as specialist sites for second-hand CDs, DVDs and books. There’s a huge trend for upcycling furniture at the moment, so before you take that table to the tip, why not try selling it online or at a car boot sale. Remember, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure!
4. Write a weekly food menu and order online
Get organised and minimise food waste by downloading and filling in an online meal planner. Try to do some batch cooking and freeze meals ready for evenings when you’re short on time. Once you have your plan, try shopping online and take advantage of low cost or free delivery slots. You’ll avoid impulse buys and those “Please can I have…” moments with the kids in the supermarket.
5. Set up a monthly standing order to a savings account
This is a fantastic way to cover the cost of your annual family holiday or save for a big purchase without knowing you’re doing it. A standing order will ensure you don’t miss the money and you’ll be surprised how quickly your savings mount up.
6. Take advantage of tax efficient savings such as ISAs
Every UK taxpayer has an annual tax-free savings allowance, currently £20,000 for the current tax year, meaning you can save up to this amount and not pay tax on any interest you gain. There are two types of ISA available – Cash ISAs and Stocks & Shares ISAs. You can save your full tax-free allowance in one of these types, or split it between them, however you cannot roll-over any unused allowance into the next tax year. That means if you don’t use it, you lose it! So when you’ve finished selling all your unwanted gifts, cancelled unused subscriptions and saved money on your food shop, you could put that extra cash in an ISA!
Please note that tax rules may change in the future and depend on your individual circumstances.
The content of this article is for information purposes only and does not constitute financial advice. We do not offer financial advice. If you’re unsure as to the suitability of a product you should seek advice from a Financial Adviser. You may have to pay for this advice.