Saving money is something many people struggle with, especially with the financial climate at the moment. Having even a small amount of savings can be really beneficial to you, especially if something unexpected happens. Knowing that you need to have some savings is only half the battle though, finding the money to save is the hard part for most of us.
There are plenty of things you can do to save money, and cutting down your living expenses doesn’t need to be as hard as it seems. It really is true what they say, every penny counts and if you can save a little here and there, then it soon adds up to a sizable amount.
One place you can save a sizable amount of money with little effort is utility bills. Simply switching suppliers could save you a nice amount each month. There are lots of price comparison websites out there these days that can help you find a cheaper supplier for each of your utilities; this saves you some money each month. If you take this amount and put it into a savings account each month, then it will soon add up to a tidy sum.
Sometimes you don’t even have to switch supplier to save money. Changing your tariff or the way you pay your bills can also result in a substantial saving. You can either call your supplier or check out their various tariffs online to get the best deal. If you have been with your current supplier for over a year, then they can use your last years’ bills to help work out the right tariff for you. If not, then they will use an estimate.
You can also save by changing your payment method. Almost all companies offer savings to customers who pay by direct debit. If you are not already paying by direct debit, then you might find you can make a saving by doing so; you can pay a set amount each month, which should average out over the year to pay all your bills, or pay your full bill each month. Of course, direct debit offers the added bonus of being automatic, meaning you will never forget to pay, which can often result in penalty charges from your company.
Every day spending
For most people, it is cutting back on everyday spending that could save the most. That coffee on the way to work for example might only cost a few pounds a day, but if you add it up over a period of time, it soon becomes a small fortune. Invest in a travel mug instead and make your own coffee to take to work with you.
Do you really need to buy all those celebrity gossip magazines? While they may not seem expensive at the time, if you cut down on small unnecessary purchases like these, then you will soon find that you have a nice amount of cash to put into your savings.
If you buy your lunch each day at work, this is another area where you can save a lot of money over a short period of time. If you make your lunch at home and take it with you rather than eating out every day, then you will soon see the difference in your spending. Many supermarkets also stock meals that can either be eaten cold or microwaved; this may help you if you struggle to find the time to prepare your lunch ahead of time, and can still save you some money compared to eating out.
Shop around for the best deals on everything from groceries to luxury items. It’s amazing how much money you can save by simply switching supermarket for example. When it comes to luxury items such as electrical goods, the savings can be massive if you take the time to look for the best deal. All the major supermarkets are online these days and there is even a supermarket price comparison website that compares the prices of all the major supermarkets.
When it comes to luxury or household items, there are many ways to compare prices online. You can use Google shopping to compare prices online and on the high street, although you will not see every retailer here, you will be able to get an idea of the differences in prices and can often find a good deal. Does whatever you are buying need to be new? You can also save a lot by purchasing second-hand goods. The quality of goods in second hand shops has increased over the last few years and the variety of stores selling second hand or nearly new goods has massively increased.
Home phone and TV
Do you have cable or satellite television? If so, do you actually watch all the channels you are paying for? Most people are wasting money by paying for channels that they never watch, and although it may only seem like a small saving if you cut your package down, you could save a fair bit of money in the long run.
Can you change supplier? These days, there are so many companies offering TV packages that you may be able to switch to a different company. This is not as easy as it is with other products such as electricity because you can only receive cable in certain areas, and not all suppliers offer the range of channels that the big companies do. However, it is still worth having a look around at what is available.
Depending on your supplier and how long you have been with them, you may be able to save money without losing channels. For example, if your current supplier is offering a new customer deal that is better than yours, then call them and ask to be put on that deal. They will probably tell you it is for new customers only, but with a bit of persuading, they will usually allow you to change to the new customer deal as long as you take a new minimum-term contract with them.
The same goes for broadband and phone packages. Do you really need the amount of free minutes you get on your mobile? You can save money here too by cutting your package down, or maybe combining your phone and broadband packages. Many suppliers will give you a better deal for a combined package than you would get if you kept things separate.
you can also save money in some cases if you choose to get your home phone and broadband package from the same supplier as you get your TV package from if you have one. Quite often, the more products you have with a supplier, the more you can save and many companies now offer home phone, broadband, TV and mobile packages. These are not necessarily the cheapest deal though, so make sure you shop around rather than just taking everything from the same supplier because it seems easier.
Although saving money seems hard, there are plenty of things you can do to save a few pounds here and there. If you put all these savings together in a savings account, then they soon mount up and before you know it, you will have a nice little sum of money sitting there for a rainy day.