6 Ways To Save Money At Home

6 Ways To Save Money At Home

Being a grown-up has its perks but adulting can leave a sour taste in the mouth when it comes to paying your bills. Regardless of whether you rent or own your own place, you will likely have similar outgoings (on different levels depending on your lifestyle, where you live etc). Utility bills, the dreaded grocery shop, council tax and more, it all adds up so most people are looking to save money at home.

We have a fairly decent income as a household but found ourselves frustrated with how slowly our pension savings and everyday savings were adding up so decided to make ourselves a 2019 frugal living challenge. So far, so good (another blog post with an update will be ready shortly). In the meantime, here are six things to consider if you want to save money at home. 

Start Buying Supermarket Own Brand Products

Although it’s nice to buy branded items in your food shop, buying store brand items can make a world of difference to your shopping bill. You don’t have to purchase every single item of your shopping as a store brand item, but buying cheaper items for a portion of your shopping will help you cut costs dramatically. The best thing is, most of the time you’re not sacrificing on taste or quality. The vast majority of my shopping is own brand or similar (apart from my coffee, sorry, I’m a coffee snob).

Save Money at Home By Cutting Down On Utilities

When it comes to using your utilities, it may feel as though there is not a lot you can do to cut costs, but ultimately it comes down to your provider and how much you’re using. There are lots of different programmes that tell you how to reduce your bills, putting you on the best possible plans for your home and your usage. For more information, you can find out how to integrate your satellite billing here.   

Get Rid Of Any Unnecessary Expenses

If you’re really trying to save money each month then you need to take a look at all of your outgoings and work out what is an unnecessary expense. Whether it’s your Netflix plan, Spotify or the gym membership you don’t use – cutting these expenses out of your budget can save you more than you’d think in the long run. Often people find that they have direct debits for things that they have completely forgotten back and no longer use, so it’s worth going through your bank statement every few months to keep on top of this.

Start A Side Project That Earns You Extra Money

Saving money can be incredibly difficult if you don’t have much disposable income to start with. Starting a side project that earns you extra money is a great way to ensure you have a little bit extra to put away each month. Whether it’s making your own crafts, joining a scheme like Avon or starting your own blog – that little bit of extra money can make the world of difference.

Consider Starting A Savings Account Or Piggy Bank

Although it may seem as though an obvious choice, starting a savings account or piggy bank that you actually put savings in to is a great way to motivate yourself to start saving more. As you see it slowly building you’ll feel encouraged to save more and more each time. For tips and tricks and adding to a savings account, you can visit this handy guide here.

Sell Unwanted Belongings 

Finally, a great way to save money at home is to have a good clear out and start selling and unwanted belongings you have. Whether it’s clothing, books or electronics – 90% of the time you’ll find someone who wants to purchase your old unwanted items online. For a guide on selling items online, you can visit this website here. Facebook sell sites are my favourite places to shift clutter and make some money back.

Are you looking for ways to save money at home?  Let me know your top tips in the comments section below.

New Year Finances: Top Tips

New Year Finances: Top Tips

Hands up if at the beginning of the year you sit down and reassess what I like to call the New Year finances? Me too, although I do a monthly budget based on real-life happenings i.e. upcoming events and a quarterly bill review too. Keeping on top of your bills, checking your standing orders and direct debits and making sure that you know exactly what is coming in and out is the way to achieve your financial goals.

This year we’re all about our frugal living challenge. This challenge is about cutting back on waste, saving money, living a simpler life and as a result pouring more into our pensions and savings. As part of this challenge I started with a New New Finances check and here are some of things I had to consider and some that might be of interest to others.

List Your Outgoings, Now Slash Them

When was the last time that you checked your direct debit list on your online banking or looked properly at your spending? When assessing your New Year Finances this is the perfect time to cancel anything you pay for that you no longer need or want (magazine subscriptions are a prime example) and really look at where your pennies have been going to. Looking at mine, I spent far too much in the last quarter of the year buying coffees in town and food for lunch (from Co-op not takeaway) on the way to coworking. A friend gave me a reusable mug and I have a packed lunch so having seen what these habits were costing me, I’m starting new, more frugal habits,

Happy With Your Bank?

If you are happy with your banking set-up, keep on scrolling. If not, this section could be of interest to you. Switching banks has never been easier, with them doing all of the work for you. Here in Thirsk, several banks have closed down, making it difficult for those who do use branch-based banking. Luckily I already had my business accounts and saving with Nationwide so when the local branch of my bank closed, I simply switched all of my remaining banking over to them using the Earn £100 for Switching to Nationwide incentive. It was so easy and both me and my referrer earned ourselves a £100 bonus. I’m obviously happy to refer anyone interested to Nationwide in the same way but if NW isn’t for you, do consider your options. With so many banks and building societies around your bank should be working hard for you in order to retain your custom. If they aren’t, and if they cost you fees and charges you could avoid, consider switching elsewhere.

Save First

Here’s a tip for you, save first. We used to wait and see what was left at the end of the month and put that into savings but found that with that system, there was little left! Now we have a set savings amount built into our monthly budget and put that aside before anything else. If there’s more left at the end of the month, great. If not, at least you have put something away.

New Year Finances Debt Refinancing

If you have credit cards, debts and loans, this time of year is perfect for a New Year finance checkover. Check your credit rating on Experian or other secure systems,  consider an online finance broker, speak to your bank or just shop around to make sure that you have the best deals possible. Debt needs to be paid off pronto and making minimum payments only maximises the amount you pay in interest. Make it easier to banish dead by looking at 0% balance transfers and better rates. Would this make a difference to you?

Cash Spending

This is my super-tip for you. Instead of using your debit card for everything, use cash. You’ll be much more reluctant to part with it, for sure! I now withdraw a weekly amount for groceries and use only that. When it has gone, it’s gone. It’s only been a few weeks but already I’m saving money left, right and centre. I’m planning to extend this way of spending into other areas too. I’ll report back on how that goes!

New Year Finances: In Summary

Have you done a reassessment of your finances yet?  It can be quite eye-opening and well worth the effort. It will enable you to set goals and save money. Take the time to have a look over your income and expenditure, you might be surprised by how much you’re paying out and it’s a good opportunity to call up certain companies and ask for a reduction. More about this in another post. Happy budgeting!

 

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