Saving money comes down to one thing, spending less than you earn each month, If you earn £1,000 and spend £800, you’ll save £200 each month. This £200 that you save each month, could be the difference between retiring a millionaire, or not retiring at all. The below table shows what happens if you save £200 per month, from the age of 23 to 68. The short version, you’d be a millionaire.
Most people that we speak to don’t save. There is always an excuse, a reason why they could not save money that week or that month. Remember, we’re not talking big numbers here to retire a millionaire, but we are talking about saving money each month, while thinking about your purchases. Where can you save £2,400 per year?
Below are 51 places that you could save money each month.
Unexpected Savings Accounts
StarlingBank.com, Monzo and Revolute all provide the option to set up an account which will facilitate you saving small amounts of money over time. The accounts help you to save by rounding up the cost of your purchases, for example, £9.75 would become £10 with the 25p automatically transferring to your savings account. Yes, this is a small figure but you would be surprised at how much you will save over a period of time.
End of The Day Change
We all accumulate small change over the course of a day which we can often be guilty of discarding. A plan is to save and accumulate this cash, then add to your savings account. Much like the accounts above, the savings are small, but you will be amazed by how much small savings can really amount to.
Creating a shopping list before you go grocery shopping is a great way to keep you on track and remind you what you are there to purchase so that you are not buying unnecessary goods. A shopping list also helps you to plan efficiently for the week ahead so that you more easily stick to meal plans, reducing wastage.
Coupons and Loyalty Programs
It is a fantastic idea to sign up to available loyalty programs. Signing up will often mean that you are informed of upcoming and current deals, and as you accumulate points, you will benefit from discounts and money off vouchers. It is also worthwhile checking magazines and newspapers for various coupons which can be used in an array of shops.
Bulk Buy Staples
Exploit as many advantageous offers as you can, particularly those on expensive, non-perishable items such as toiletries. When you see your day to day products on special offer (think buy one get one free) stock up on as many of the items as you can. Not only will this help your overall spending, but it will also reduce your travel time to and from the store, saving money on fuel.
Avoid Unnecessary Bottled Water
Depending on your location, tap is best. There is little to no difference in filtered tap water to that of bottled water. If you are venturing out for the day, remember to fill your water flask at home to avoid purchasing expensive bottled water for you and the family. If you or your family are craving something a little different, try adding fresh fruit to your water or sugar free squash.
Buy Non-Branded Goods
When grocery shopping, you should consider purchasing the “in-house own brand” products as opposed to the “house-hold name” goods. For example, Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut cornflakes will cost you £3.00 per box whereas you can purchase a box of Tesco’s own branded Honey-Nut cornflakes for only £1.00. Yes, there may be a slight quality difference, but this is often minimal, and worth the substantial saving!
There are various websites available online which offer brilliant deals such as two for one offers, heavily discounted meals, hotel stays, spa trips or even vacations abroad. Such websites include Wowcher, Groupon, and Itison, which are free to use and only require you to sign up in order to access the deals.
It is very beneficial to wait and make use of Boxing Day sales for any large purchases that you wish to make, such as a new homeware appliances. If you are good at planning in advance, it can also be useful to purchase the upcoming years Christmas and Birthday presents in the sales to help you save that little extra.
If you find something that you were not planning on buying, remember that the item will still be in store the following day. Avoid making costly mistakes by going home, sleeping on it, and taking your partner or friend along with you to the store the following day to minimise the possibility of you making an expensive mistake.
Switch Mobile Phone Plan
If you find that you don’t make full use of your monthly data and/or minutes on a regular basis, research the market to see what deals are available. You can then speak with your current network provider about downgrading your plan and seeing what offers they can make to you. If they are not able to offer you a better package and you can exit your contract with a minimal penalty, switch provider to help save money in the longer term.
Subscriptions, no matter how small, all add up. It is beneficial to take the time to go through, note and review all subscriptions that you have. You will most likely unearth subscriptions that you had completely forgotten about and no longer have a requirement for. Another good idea is to speak with family/friends about their current packages and the possibility of teaming up. For example, Netflix allows you to add friends and family to your account for no additional cost, as does the music app, Deezer. This could help save a substantial amount of money over the course of a year.
Although the interest rates on student loans have historically been low, have you considered how much accumulated interest you have paid over the course of the term? If you still have outstanding student loans, it would be beneficial to pay them off sooner rather than later to reduce the overall compounded interest.
Balance Transfer on Credit Card Debt
If you have accumulated a substantial amount of credit card debt, you should undertake some research to find out if you are eligible to transfer the debt to an interest free card for a more effective payment strategy, reducing your overall payment.
Credit Card Debt
Explore the loan options which are available to you and whether or not the interest rate would be lower than that of your credit card. You may benefit from a 0% interest loan, or one with a substantially lower interest rate than that of your credit card. If so, it would beneficial to take out a loan to cover your credit card debt resulting in you paying substantially less in interest over a period of time.
We are all guilty of banking with the same bank as our parents and their parents before them, but in this day and age, there are a number of stable banks to choose from which are offering an array of suitable bank accounts. Take the time to shop around to identify if there are any banks offering account sign-up bonuses, a more attractive interest rate, reduced charges for overdraft facilities and so forth.
Track Your Money
We are all guilty of whittling away money on an ongoing basis with seemingly no idea where our money has gone. It is therefore a great idea to begin tracking your money on a daily basis to understand your spending habits and how you can better manage them.
Set Saving Targets
Put in place a target at the beginning of each year which you can review on a monthly basis. For example, you may decide to target an annual saving of 10k. Each month, you can tick off your savings and if you fail to meet your monthly target, you can always make up for it the following month. The key is to ensure that you are reviewing your savings and spending on an ongoing basis to keep you on track.
Sell Old Clothes
It is always good to have a wardrobe clear out every now and then to minimise clutter. When you decide to do so, try selling any unwanted items of clothing online. It may surprise you how much you can make from selling just a few pieces on, for example, eBay.
Buy Second-hand and Sell Unwanted Items
As mentioned above, selling unwanted clothes is an excellent way to save and make money, and you can do the same with the vast majority of your belongings. For example, whether you are a first-time parent or a veteran with five children, we are all aware of the costs associated with having and looking after children. To help ease the financial burden, consider purchasing good quality second-hand items such as highchairs, car seats, prams and even wardrobes. The Bugaboo Donkey Duo pram is a classic example; this will set you back around £1,500 when bought new but will cost a mere average of £600 when purchased second-hand. If well looked after, the pram, along with other mentioned items, could be re-sold once your child(ren) have outgrown them. You can do the same with toys and even clothing, saving you a significant amount of money.
Sell Old Video Games
There is always a demand for second-hand video games. Once you have completed your game and are ready to move onto the next, sell your game to a second-hand buyer and you can use the proceeds to help purchase your next!
As we all know, socialising can be a costly affair. To save money, it can be a great idea to invite friends over to your home for dinner and drinks as opposed to eating out. You can take it in turns to host evenings at your homes and could even suggest that you all pick a different theme for each week or month, ensuring that you have a lot of fun and variety.
Prepare Lunch at home
Whether you are eating in your work canteen or popping to the local bakery for a freshly made roll on your lunch break, the cost of eating out soon adds up. Preparing a packed lunch to take to your work will not only save you money, but will also save you from the temptation to agree to go for a business lunch, or from purchasing any additional goods when picking up your sandwich, and drink.
Eat less meat
We are all aware that good quality meat can be expensive and so cutting down your meat intake to once or twice per week will help to reduce your weekly grocery bill.
We all know the associated health costs to smoking but we also need to consider the damage smoking causes to our bank balance. Try cutting down on your daily intake and eventually quitting. If you consider that the average cost for a pack of 20 cigarettes is £10 in the UK, and some people can easily go through a couple of packs per week, this would average a total cost of £1,040 per year. This is a substantial amount which you could instead contribute to your savings. It is also worth nothing that insurance providers place a premium on life insurance payments to those who smoke.
Consider Alcohol Intake
Have you considered your monthly alcohol outgoings? Alcohol is expensive. For example, you can buy a four pack of Corona for £5.00 versus paying an average of £3.00 per bottle in a bar. Therefore, if you choose to drink, it is wise to consider having friends round for a sociable gathering as opposed to eating and drinking out.
Go to Free Events
If you are looking to expand your horizons whilst saving money, make use of the many free fun and interesting events taking place near you. Check your local newspaper and Facebook groups to find out what is going on in your surrounding area. You will often find many interesting cultural affairs taking place that you may have never known or heard about. For example, a local band may be hosting an evening of Disney themed classics in your local park which would be fun for all of the family to go along and enjoy or you may find that a nearby museum is hosting a free art exhibition.
Rent Out Your Spare Bedroom
Should you have any spare rooms in your home, it is worth considering renting them out, think Airbnb.
Cut Your Own Hair
Now, this may be deemed a little risky, but if there is someone in your home who has experience cutting hair, then by all means, have them do so. Trips to the barbers and/or hairdressers can soon add up so, if given the opportunity, cut your hair from home.
Not only is carpooling a more environmentally friendly approach to travel, but it is also economical. You can carpool to work, school runs or even for your trips to the gym or cinema. If you do not own a car, you will save a substantial amount of money by contributing toward your friends fuel outlay and not having to incur the costs of daily taxis. If you are a car owner, taking the driving responsibility in turns on a monthly basis would not only cut down on your fuel costs, but also your cars mileage.
Do Not Speed
Speeding is not only dangerous to yourself and other road users, but it can also be costly. Have you considered what you would do in the event of losing your driver’s licence as a direct result of accumulating points due to speeding? How would you get to and from work? What would you do for the school runs, or in the event of an emergency? Avoid expensive speeding fines or potentially losing your licence by abiding the speed limits.
As my grandmother used to say, “pay for quality once, and you’ll never have to pay for it again”. Yes, the initial outlay when purchasing a quality item will be more, but you will save money in the long run as quality products have more durability and will last for longer.
Used Luxury Goods
There are a wide variety of used luxury goods that are available to purchase online or in a shop. I have always wanted to purchase a Rolex but would far rather save a couple of thousand by purchasing a second-hand watch in good condition than pay full price for a new one.
If you have been through the list and really cannot save any money each month, maybe it’s time to think about earning a little more each month. How about a side-Income, a second job, or even a hobby that can earn you money.