12 easy ways to save money
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Simple savings tips for every month, to help you make 2018 the year you spend less and save more!
January: Clear the decks
If you need to make some room for all those Christmas gifts and sale purchases, decluttering is a frugal win-win. ebay, car boot sales and local Facebook marketplaces are all good places to sell your things.
Saving: Will depend on what you have to sell. For example, if you’re clearing out old DVDs and CDs you could earn around 15p-£1 per item.
February: Learn to share
Become part of the ‘sharing economy’, on whatever scale you like. Join forces with your neighbours to swap babysitting services, join a carshare scheme or host a ‘swishing’ party, where guests bring a range of items to swap around. There’s a big market out there…
Saving: At the very least, you could save around £7 per hour on babysitting costs.
March: It’s time to pack up
If you buy your lunch it can easily cost around £5 per day, which really adds up over the course of a year. If the idea of a cheese sandwich every day doesn’t fill you with joy, there is lots of inspiration for cheap, easy packed lunches online – you could try easy pasta salads, inventive wraps and simple soups to name a few!
Saving: Hundreds of pounds over a year, and cutting out the odd treat can be great for your savings habits, see our guide
April: Drop your shop costs
Make this the month you reduce those hefty grocery bills: try shopping at discount supermarkets such as Aldi or Lidl, or use mysupermarket.com to find out where you can get your groceries at the best price. Always have a shopping list and try Martin Lewis’ downshift challenge – try dropping a brand level on everything you buy and see if you can really taste the difference.
Saving: Mysupermarket.co.uk claims to save shoppers up to 30% on every shop. While downshifting from branded products could save over £1,400 on a £70 weekly shop across the course of a year
May: Salad days
Those packets of herbs and salads can really add up – instead, buy a few packets of seeds, stick them in some compost and you can have tasty salad and herbs for a fraction of the price. They’re dead easy to grow, even in a window box if necessary, and you can plant them straight into pots outside from May.
Saving: A packet of herbs cost around 70p, a bag of salad up to £1.50 each time.
June: Before you hit the summer sales…
If you find yourself about to buy something on impulse, stop! Ask yourself if you really need it and how much you would actually use/wear it. Give yourself 10 seconds before deciding whether you are going to buy it or not. For bigger purchases, use the 30-day rule: after this time, you may find the urge to buy isn’t there any more, and if it is, you’ll have a better perspective on its cost.
Saving: Depends how much of an impulse buyer you are…
July: Still convinced you need it? Then buy it cheaper
There is rarely a need to pay full price for anything. Could you buy it secondhand on eBay, swap it for something you don’t need on a site like Swapz? If not, shop around for the cheapest deal using a comparison site such as Pricerunner, try discounted outlet shops, use vouchers – just don’t pay full price!
Saving: Anything from a few pounds to hundreds of pounds.
August: Bottle it up
OK, it might be hot but why not fill up a reusable bottle with tap water rather than spending money on bottled water or soft drinks? Not only is it healthy, it’s better for the environment too.
Saving: Campaign group Tapwater.org claims we spend an average £25,000 on bottled water and soft drinks in our lifetime.
September: Save your energy
It sounds like a lot of hassle, but there are so many comparison sites available that it really doesn’t take long to find out if you could pay less for your utility bills. Try using sites such as uSwitch.com and switch.which.co.uk, or simply type ‘switch energy supplier’ into your search engine.
Saving: uSwitch reports savings of up to £491 a year.
October: Banish the booze
Take part in the increasingly popular Go Sober for October or Stoptober campaigns and you could boost your savings as well as your health, by investing all the money you’d normally spend on alcohol or cigarettes.
Saving: The average household spends £16.10 a week on alcohol at home and while out – that’s a whopping £64.40 a month. Stop the average £5.20 daily spend on smoking you could save around £1,872 per year!
November: Budget Time
While Philip Hammond is doing his thing, you can do yours too. Working out where your money goes every month is a fundamental step towards saving. Keep a spending diary, check your bills and work out what your ‘necessities’ spend is each month. Then take a portion of what is left after the essentials and put it into your savings as soon as you get paid.
Saving: Depends on income and expenditure. Find out how to draw up a budget with our blog
December: Seasonal spending
The cheapest time to buy Christmas cards, wrapping paper and decorations is at the end of December – hit the shops then and you can shave a significant amount off next year’s seasonal spend. Do the same with every annual event – buy next year’s Halloween costumes and decorations on 1 November, for example, and you’ll be quids in.
Saving: You’ll often be able to buy items at half price.
Did you know that simply setting a savings goal could save you up to an extra £550 per year? Find out how