6 simple and practical ways to save money in 2017

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

With the January blues behind us, and a brand new year ahead to start afresh with our financial planning, 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:

6 Simple and Practical ways to save money in 2017

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 £15,240 for 2016/17 and rising to £20,000 from 6th April 2017, 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.

For more information or to request an information pack about Foresters Friendly’s Stocks & Shares ISA, visit: www.forestersfriendlysociety.co.uk/isa or apply online today for a Foresters Stocks & Shares ISA.

 

Image: iStock.com/Geber86

 
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