Saving money can be difficult in these times of desperate need and back-breaking austerity. There are endless ways to penny pinch and squirrel away every last bit you have. But how effective are these methods? And what’s the best way to watch your savings grow? Here’s a quick rundown of my top ways to save money in your day to day life. Some big, some small, but ALL will contribute to growing those funds, little by little.
Skip Your Morning Coffee
Starbucks’ cheapest coffee is £1.50. If you purchase one a day for your working week, that’s £7.50 a week, £390 a year. Imagine having that in your back pocket? So simple. Opt for a travel mug and home brewed coffee, chances are, you probably always have coffee in the house anyway. So why not use it?
Open A Variable Rate ISA
“Variable?!” I hear you cry, “doesn’t that mean my interest rate could DECREASE?!”. Bear with me on this one. Sure, a fixed rate is great if the market is in a good way and the banks are feeling pretty generous (does that ever happen?). But we live in uncertain times. The market fluctuates daily and a variable rate means that, while sometimes it may decrease, it may also increase. Research shows that over time, people earn more in interest with a variable rate.
Compare, Compare, Compare
It may be easier to just stick with the gas, electric, broadband etc company, better the devil you know eh? But while it’s easier, is it worth it? If you’ve been with the same company for years, chances are the prices have been creeping up year on year. Sure, maybe by a couple of pounds every time, but that all adds up. The emergence of comparison sites has been incredible for personal finance. Gone are the days of spending hours trawling the web, or phone directory, for the best deal. Evaluate all your services and see if anything can be reduced by moving to a different company.
Quit The Gym
Health is important. No one is denying that. But how often do you REALLY go to the gym? What equipment do you use there? If you spend time on the treadmill, this can be done by running outdoors. Like to lift weights? High street stores can supply low priced equipment. Assess what your workouts consist of and see if these can be done at home or if home equipment can be purchased cheap.
Hit The Pavement
If you do spend an hour or so in the gym, you can kill two birds with one stone with this tip. Walking or cycling to work will save on transport costs and, providing it is within a good distance, you can get your daily exercise too. Bus passes or taxis are an expense that may not be wholly necessary.
It’s a fact of life that new clothes need to be bought, wear and tear, growth spurts, they all mean a trip to the high street for new threads. Head to the sales line first and spend some time searching. Outlet stores are great for discontinued and offseason wears so look into your local area and see where the closest outlet mall is to you. Charity shops are also a great port of call, find the higher end of the market of charity shops (yes they do exist!) as hight street stores often donate large portions of faulty, off season or returned clothes.