There are lots of small things people can do to save money. Each one might save you a small amount but these can add up and save you significant sums.
1) It is a really good idea to regularly shop around when it comes to your energy suppliers, credit card companies and insurance companies. You may have been given a good deal at the time you took these contracts out but times and rates change in line with new competition and changing environments. In particularly competitive markets it is worth keeping a constant eye out for offers and discounts available. It may be that with a little persuasion you can also negotiate your way out of existing contracts too.
In England it is generally the case with mobile phone contracts that if you call them up and tell them you want to leave they will do all in their power to keep you as a customer. Often offering you much better deals. Its worth taking the risk sometimes to see what you can get.
There may also be new companies coming onto the market offering better/very competitive rates, which are worth switching too.
Remember as well, if you are not satisfied with a service make sure they know. Write a complaint letter, phone them with your issues, ask for compensation. The worst answer will be a straight no. In my experience most companies will give at least vouchers back for strong complaints. Its often not worth the hassle for them, and as far too few people make use of complaints procedures they can afford to be generous to the ones that do.
2) Streamline your expenses. Make a list of all the things that come out of your account and cut back on any unused or unnecessary expenditures, like the 4.99 a month subscription to Hiking for Amateurs magazine that you never read or the 7 a month fee for that first look at new properties in Spain guide, which you decided months ago was a non starter but never got round to canceling. Cancel your membership to the book club and use the local library. Stop paying gym membership fees if you don’t go to the gym any longer. I guarantee that everyone has at least one unwanted/unnecessary direct debit coming out of their account for a service they no longer need/use. Cutting back on these will save you money every month without changing your lifestyle or cutting back on luxuries.
3) Sign up for internet banking and manage your accounts online. Check your bank balance and statements regularly so that you never get any unexpected payments that take you overdrawn and incur a charge. Know when every payments is due to come out and for how much. Charges on bank accounts can be really expensive and add up. Avoiding them is a must.
4) Walk to work or the shops instead of driving. Make a pact to always walk when only going a short distance. Alternatively invest in a push bike. Not only will this save you money, it will have the added bonuses of keeping you fitter and helping save the environment. Start by just walking/biking to the local shops and work your way up gradually.
5) Grocery shopping. Plan a weeks worth of meals, write a list of all the ingredients you’ll need and stick to the list in the supermarket. If you include a couple of simple, healthy but filling soups which you can freeze half of for another day you’ll be amazed at how much cheaper your shopping will be than if you just go and buy at random. Leek and potato soup is always a good one, as its incredibly cheap, filling and tasty and you can make enough for a couple of meals so that you’ve got an instant quick and easy meal for another night.
6) Buy the stores own brand instead of known brand goods. Especially when it comes to cleaning products and toiletries these can be much cheaper and just as good. There really isn’t any need to pay top prices for toilet cleaner or dishcloths.
7) This one is simple but effective. Turn things off when you have finished using them. This includes lights, the TV (not just to standby), your PC, Games console. The UK wastes millions of pounds each year by leaving electrical goods switched on overnight or on stand-by. Switching them off when not it use will reduce your energy bill and also help in the fight against global warming. You might also want to look at the energy efficiency of your home.
If you can put in place at least some of these methods you will save yourself hundreds of pounds a year. If you don’t believe me then open a savings account and put all the individual amounts into this each month and just watch it grow.