Weddings, cars, mortgages and other big moments in life won’t happen without money. Putting aside a few pounds per month into a dedicated account will soon build up, but saving on wastefulness and irrelevances, or capitalising on resources that you were unaware you even possessed, could reap dividends. Here are seven ideas to boost your pot of cash.
Not paying for a TV licence
We’re not advocating deliberately and illegally watching television and not forking out £145.50 a year to do so, by not gaining a licence, even if the licence structure itself is under close scrutiny.
However our viewing habits now are different. Many of us don’t live our lives via the broadcaster’s schedules and rely on Netflix, On Demand and other forms of Catch Up TV for our viewing needs, and none of these require a licence. Just be careful to stick to the confines of the agreement.
Substituting your wage for childcare vouchers may save your hundreds or even thousands of pounds in tax per year, by allowing you to pay through your pre-tax salary.
As Money Saving Expert explains, the scheme can apply for both parents of a child up to the age of 15 and is easy to implement.
Swapping to e-cigarettes
A switch to vaping could save a smoker nearly £1,900 based on swapping 20 tobacco cigarettes a day at £7 per pack (plus refills) for products such as Phoenix ecigarettes.
Bear in mind that it could also save you money in clothing (lack of smoky smell), and potentially health products.
Using your legs
Do you really need to take the bus or car? Can you car share? Or can you walk, cycle or even roller skate to work? For fitness and financial purposes, leaving home slightly earlier and getting to your destination under your own steam can be beneficial.
If it’s boring, take a different route. Even if you walk half the journey and take the bus for the second half you’ve still saved some pennies.
This takes a lot of the fun out of your annual shopping, but buying products 364 days ahead of the game can make for big discounts. Buy next year’s Halloween items on November 1-2, when the prices are ‘slashed’. Pick up Christmas gifts during sales throughout the year, barbecue sets in October… you get the picture.
Have an alcohol-free month
‘Dry January’ has become an annual tradition for many who are regretting their Xmas excesses, but there’s no definitive rule that says you have to give up the booze from the start of the new year. You may have some booze that needs consuming within a certain time period.
Don’t feel guilty or give up just because you’re still sinking the pints on January 2. Why not have a dry mid-January to mid-February, or a dry March or April?
Renting rooms or parking
Millions of rooms across the country are empty or largely unused, and if you possess such a set of four walls, then it might pay you to put them to good use and bring in several hundred pounds a month by bringing in a lodger. Make the room habitable, put a bed in the corner, et voila.
Similarly a patch of concrete that could be used as parking could be a great solution to the commuter sick of paying rail station parking fees, or the football fan who needs a safe spot for their vehicle on match day.