We all long for more pennies in our pockets; or even better, pounds in the bank. It’s easy to compare your financial state to that of others: colleagues, friends, family, especially with the influence of social media. It seems like everyone else has their finances sorted, and you’re left lagging behind in debt.
But don’t feel discouraged. Your saving goals aren’t so far away. You can make even the smallest changes and reap the rewards – and you’ll barely even feel like you’re depriving yourself or pinching the pennies too much.
We’re here to share our secrets of how you can see the cash pile up – just by making small changes to your everyday routine, and skipping a few bad habits.
Spending a little less time in the shower will mean you’re saving time, but you’ll also be using less water. Hot water none the less. Think of hot water as a precious commodity – if you’re using it, you’re paying to heat it up first. Having your daily showers for no longer than 4 minutes can save you in the region of £30 per year.
Avoid Label Brands
It can be tempting to pick up all the branded goods in the supermarket or the department store, but you only need to glance at the price tags to see the difference in price between the ‘own brand’ stuff versus the premium brands.
MoneySavingExpert.com claim that ‘going down one product level (downshifting) could cut a typical family's shopping bill by £850 a year’, and their taste test study determined that ‘value apple juice, self-raising flour and cheddar cheese had absolutely no compositional difference from their pricier equivalents’. We encourage you to consider trying some own-label ranges for yourself - for the basic items in particular the taste can be just as good!
Make money from your unused driveway and pocket something in the region of £20 per day if you live in a city centre. That’s an incredible £5,214 per year!
Share the Journey
Carpooling isn’t only another great option to reduce your carbon footprint and be a little kinder to the environment, it’s also an excellent money saver. Teaming up with a colleague to go to work or sharing with other parents during the school run could save you something in the region of £161.04 per year.
Plus, cut the cost of your commute even further by making sure your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure level; an estimated 50% of tyres on the road are under-inflated, which increases resistance and raises your fuel consumption. Also, did you know that driving at 60mph instead of 70 can save you 9% more fuel?
Save Money & Space
You’ve probably got a space in your home dedicated to storing junk that you don’t want or need - we’re all guilty of it. Impulse buys, unwanted gifts, things that we simply no longer use. If you think some of your items could be used and appreciated by someone else, consider selling them on a selling site like eBay or Gumtree. Local Facebook groups are also a great place to flog things, especially furniture, electronics and clothing items. The average eBay selling spree will reportedly earn you an impressive £52.50. So get rummaging!
Not just for school kids, packed lunches are one of the easiest ways to save significant cash. In fact, people who take packed lunches, tea and coffee to work save in the region or £6.30 per day. And whilst that sounds like a fair amount, it’s not until you do the maths and realise that you’re talking about £1884 per year, you’ll see it’s well worth up 10 minutes earlier every morning to prepare.
Another significant yet painless way to add to the piggy bank is through improving your supermarket habits. By this we mean making the proper preparations, and avoiding over-spending. The best way to do this is to make a list of the things that you actually need to buy and not deviating much (or at all, if you can!) from it. It’s also been proven that going shopping when hungry really does make you spend more - up to 15% more in fact. That’s an average of £12.45 per shop!
Waste Not, Want Not
Did you know that the average UK household wastes an incredible £700 worth of food every year? That’s all those pieces of burnt toast that go in the bin, the over-estimated portion sizes that get wasted, the half-eaten pieces of cheese left to rot in the back of the fridge that you throw out once you can no longer stand the pong. It all adds up - so try and think about how you can be cleverer with your food preparation and storage to ensure the minimum gets wasted. You can often make leftovers into a delicious meal or snack with minimal effort.
DIY & Find Cheaper Alternatives
They often say ‘if you want something done properly, do it yourself’, but it’s probably truer to say ‘if you want something done cheaply, do it yourself’. That needn’t mean that you have to sacrifice on quality or getting a job done well - there are hundreds of ways to teach yourself new skills which can avoid needless spending on labour from specialists or artisanal workers. Need the oven cleaned? Do it yourself. There are loads of blog posts and Youtube videos of ways that you can do it effectively for next to nothing. Build a website for your business yourself - free services like wix.com show you how to do it super easily. Trying to train your dog? Doing it yourself can save you £20 per lesson - that’s something in the region of £100 in total.
Give Creative Gifts
Birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas or holidays coming up? Express your love for family and friends with low-cost or handmade gifts. People will appreciate the personal touch.
Skip the tumble drier and hang-dry your clothes. It’ll save you an estimated £60 per year and reduce your carbon footprint by 2.4kg.
Don’t Waste Electric Energy
Imagine as you leave lights on needlessly or forget to fully switch off your TV or computer, that you’re literally throwing money in the bin. They use a surprising amount of electricity even when on standby! Not only that but also think of the wasted energy and harm that you’d be doing to the environment. Taking this small step could save you £86 per year - simply by flicking a switch.
Delete Your Cards
Having your credit card details saved to your favourite shopping sites like Amazon, or saved in your computer’s memory make it that much easier to spend money. Removing these details will combat those impulse buys that you almost always end up regretting - if there’s something you really need, you’ll go to the extent of taking your wallet out and popping your card details in. In fact, studies suggest that this tip could save you something like £129 per year.
Now, if you have been keeping a running total, you’ll see that taking on these money-saving hacks could save you a hefty £10,000+ over the course of a year. There are loads of other ways to save money simply by making small changes to your everyday routine - we hope this list has opened your mind to ways that you can cut costs in yours. If you want to know how you can save even more, follow our articles on myjar.com/news/ for regular tips and tricks to help you see the cash pile up.
Warning: Late repayment can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to moneyadviceservice.org.uk