Well, didn’t last month feel like an absolute slog? These five-week January months are quite the strain, so chuffed doesn’t even do it justice with how I felt about my first 2020 pay check coming through.
Last year was a financially heavy month for us – we hit a really big milestone in November 2018 and bought our first home. Yay! After eight years of renting, we took the plunge and became homeowners.
So last year, we spent a lot of time and money doing everything we needed for the house. From room renovations, to furniture, to building our own DIY garage-shed and fitting a sump pump in the cellar.Of course, a new boiler was needed shortly after too and the car needed some impromptu repairs. You know what it’s like, one thing after the other.
Reflecting on the busy year, we were still able to enjoy life’s luxuries, but at times made conscious decisions to maybe stop in for drinks or grab a pizza oven instead of a take-away.
What I thought I would share with you are some simple hacks on how you can save pennies without
really needing to change anything drastic.
These tips won’t guarantee you thousands of pounds and should still be done alongside your usual monthly savings too.
We’ve been with the same provider for years now, and having moved locations, our broadband speed and connection has gotten real bad. It’s been on our to-do-list to call up and scout out the competition, but we’ve been a little complacent and it’s still to be done. Alone, just having a nosey over on just one comparison site for broadband and TV deals, I’ve already spotted a better deal for half the price. Through using your postcode, the site showcases all opportunities for your area, comparing broadband speed, TV channels, contract length, set-up costs and additional perks. From my search, these vary from extra one-off channels, to entertainment, sport or cinema passes. You heard it here first, but this week, I will get onto this!
Similar to the TV and broadband deals, when was the last time you reviewed the best bank deals? I’ve been with my bank account since the age of 12, and 25 years later I have never considered changing. With different ISA’s, savings and rewards accounts, it’s definitely a good idea to revisit your options. Some banks will offer you cashback for switching, other have better financial rewards, whilst others may provide extra add-ons like travel insurance.
When you’re out and about, avoid hitting the shops on an empty stomach as what will more than likely happen, is that your basket will fill up with unnecessary items, or maybe even quick snacks and meals that won’t leave you content. Keep your eyes peeled on the kilo price too – if you can afford or have the means to transport back bulk buys, it tends to be more cost-effective for you. And don’t forget your loyalty cards either, as you might as well collect those points.
Whether it’s the work canteen or nearest local pit stop, an easy money saver is to make your own lunch at home to bring into work. If the thought of preparing early for just one meal seems like a faff, bulk prep and sort out your full week in advance.
I get it, sometimes you come home from work and just fancy doing nothing. You want an easy takeaway and that’s all okay. What might be a fun task though is, instead of ordering in again, why not read up a recipe and learn how to make your fave dish in your own very kitchen. It’s a great new skill to learn, around one-third of the price and you might even prefer your own version. Plus, if there’s leftovers, that lunch for the following day sorted.
Whilst this tip isn’t going to make pennies fall from the sky, what it will do though is, through your standard purchasing habits, give you money back on certain shops. Each cashback platform will have different partners and rates, but for example recently, with a Groupon gift purchase, I got £8 back in my bank. Now what this won’t be good for, is if it encourages you to spend more of course, yet if you are going to make an online purchase, you may as well take advantage of the cashback.
One of our biggest savers this year was from doing our own DIY work. From making our own living room lights to a bay window seat, to the full concreting and panelling of a shed and repositioning the radiators, a lot can be done with the willingness to give it a go. And if you don’t have the confidence or knowledge to do it, ask around – from friends, colleagues, neighbours or family, you could save yourself a fortune, and in return can wine and dine your DIY buddy as a thank you. Across the work we have done, we’ve saved almost a full salary from giving it a go ourselves.
There are so many little money saving hacks out there, it’s just a case of finding a few that work for you and being conscious of your spending habits. Life is there to be enjoyed, but on occasions, do you really need what you desire now?
I would love to know what money saving tips you find useful too.