Part of ‘making money’ is saving the money that you already have. Here are some money saving tips that have helped me and hopefully it will help your money go a little further without much compromise. I’ve also included a few things to keep in mind when saving money.
A Little Goes a Long Way
This can easily be saved by just being a little more prepared – a travel mug to take coffee that you’ve prepared at home, a re-usable bottle for water (better for the environment too) and snacks that you can pre-pack into a little bag or Tupperware dish to take with you – and voila, a killer saving! I had a habit of buying water or a coffee while out, this could cost up to £4 per week (at work), so this works out at £200 a year!
There’s nothing wrong with still buying something now and then, but the point is to get out of the habit of spending small bits and get into the habit of saving small bits of money, you’ll soon see that it adds up.
Shopping Online – Offers & Vouchers
One of the great things about shopping online is that many places have special online offers or vouchers that you can’t get instore. Some have these emails piling up into their inbox and can’t be bothered to look through them. Some great people put these vouchers online and you can search for them. So if you are shopping online, it’s always worth having a little search on your favorite search engine (usually Google) to see if there’s any deals or vouchers about. In some places I’ve already decided what I wanted, but manages to save 20% and delivery just by using this little money saving trick. I just look for “*name of shop* offers or vouchers” and see what comes up there’s usually a website like voucher cloud, which has a bunch of different vouchers on the site.
Shopping Online – Basket Hack
Caution, this doesn’t work with all shops, but some places – supermarkets especially, where you’re signed in and you’ve done some shopping – if you leave things in your basket and leave it for a few days, a magical little voucher or deal comes through your email to encourage you to check out. Another way save some money when you’ve already though you were going to spend the money there anyways! There are many baskets that people don’t bother checking out, this is a company’s way of trying to get you to check out and buy from their site. This has happened on a grocery shopping site (Sainsbury’s) and I’ve heard it happens on other websites too.
Buying in Bulk
Although things in larger packs look more expensive, if you look at the amount you are spending per g or per unit, it’s usually cheaper. For example, rice. For 100g you may spend £1, but for 1kg or 1000g the price is £8, so per g its 20% cheaper to buy the larger quantity. You may want to think about the space you have at home first, there’s no point if you don’t have any space to put 1kg of rice but it will save you money in the long run. Sometimes this can just be in the supermarket where they have larger packs, either that or Amazon is quite a good place to find things in bulk. There are some shops that specialize in selling things in bulk too like Costco. I but some we cat food – about £5 for 1pk (12), I found the same brand on Amazon, 5pk (60) for about £20 – saving me £5 for 3 months (£20 over the course of the year).
Quality Over Quantity
With some things its worth spending a little bit more money on. You may have heard of the saying, save a penny but spend a pound. Sometimes buying something cheap means that it doesn’t work properly or that it doesn’t last. I particularly find this true with shoes. A good pair of shoes with decent soles may cost a bit more, but often last years. I’ve also been on the other side, I’ve bought cheap shoes and they’ve only lasted a couple of weeks. Be sure you actually like the more expensive item though, like I said, sometimes it lasts years! For shoes examine the sole of the shoes, make sure they’re not too thin and are of good quality, try them on and make sure they’re comfortable and that you can’t feel too much of the ground (if the soles are thin you’ll feel the difference). Look online for reviews and get the opinions of others too.
Keep an Eye on your Accounts
Not just for suspicious activity, but it is worth seeing if there are things like gym memberships, magazine subscriptions or any online memberships, that you don’t need anymore. Cancelling these can really save your household some money. Look out for those direct debits too – make sure if you’re no longer you’re receiving a service from a company e.g. you’ve changed phone contract providers, they’re not still charging you!
De-cluttering and having a clear out is good to make more space in your own house, but you may be able to sell things online and make some money out of those unused/unwanted items. If you haven’t used it in the last year, then realistically you probably don’t need it anymore.
Recently for me I’ve also realised the value of buying PS4 games on disc rather than from the Playstore. The Playstore may be convenient, but after completing the game you have nothing you can sell on. I’ve made over £30 selling 2 games we no longer play. We were then able to use that money to buy other games we were interested in.
Buying New Items through Bidding Websites (Check it is a Good Deal Though!)
This is a new avenue of saving money I’ve come across more recently. Others going through their items may be selling them online, sometimes unused and in its original packaging – but cheaper than you would find from the store itself. If there is a particular brand, for me again usually shoes, that you like, sometimes you can find it “new, BNIB (brand new in box)” for a price you like – bargain! Caution, make sure you look through all the pictures to make sure its new and to your liking and read the description carefully. There was someone in the news who ended up buying a picture of an item and not the real item! I personally have a look on eBay, there are sometimes brands that I’ll look for (e.g. Heavenly Feet shoes) that can be expensive, and checked the price in their sale. Sometimes if the sale is good I’ll buy it off the original site I’ll buy it from there. Other times I’ve found Clarks real leather shoes, new, going on eBay for <£10 (RRP >£50)
This is just a small note about savings account – there are so many, and it often depends on your circumstances what’s best for you. Just remember, try to get a savings account (especially if you’re saving over a period of years) that will give you a return (% interest) that is better than inflation. For example, If you have £100, and your saving account gives you 2% per year (so think +2%) but inflation is 3% (think -3%) then it may be worth thinking about using the money for something else or looking to save somewhere else. Tax free ISAs in the UK are good – but shop around and see what’s available.
Save by Habit
Get in the mindset of looking out for a bargain (a real one, not just an advertised one) and have a good money saving ethic. This will help with those household savings that you can keep for a rainy day or sunny holiday.
So any awesome ideas on how to save? Please let me know.