Money saving posts are some of my favourites because it doesn’t matter how frugal you are, spending money is sometimes unavoidable. Whether it’s a birthday, getting the car serviced or trying to get fit, as hard as it might be to accept, sometimes you have to spend money in order to save money. And it’s nothing to lose sleep over! It’s perfectly easy to spend money and save at the same time, you just have to be sensible and embrace some alternatives. Here are some of my top tips:
1: Shop Around for Car Insurance
Every year our car insurance renewal seems to come through higher than the year before, even if we haven’t made a claim. When your renewal letter does come through have a shop around on sites like Comparethemarket.com, which will compare hundreds of insurance companies to find you the best deal – often saving you at least £100 a year. It’s also a good idea to look at cashback sites as many companies will offer you cash for taking out a contract with them. You might find you get a substantial amount of your annual bill back. You can also use cashback sites for broadband, utilities and everyday purchases.
2: Get a Deal with Your Car Service
There’s no escaping a car service, but what you can do is try to get a deal with yours. Companies such as Ford are offering their car service customers a year’s UK and European roadside assistance for 12 months from your service date. A roadside package like this from the AA would cost you around £200. If you’ve taken out breakdown cover separately then a value service is likely to work out a lot cheaper. If the benefits dealerships are offering aren’t beneficial to you then consider getting a few quotes from local garages as you’ll probably be surprised at the difference.
3: Don’t Avoid the Celebration Dinners
Just because you’re trying to save doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate birthdays and achievements with loved ones, you just need to be savvy about it! Look for a restaurant which offers special 2 or 3 course menus or an early bird special, because they’re a lot cheaper than the a la carte menu. Some restaurants will also let kids eat free and for adults something like Tastecard (which some bank accounts give for free) offers 2 for 1 or 50% off in hundreds of restaurants around the UK and Groupon often has massive discounts on a selection of local restaurants.
If the celebration or get together is under your control – i.e. it’s yours or one of the kid’s birthdays – then rather than going out to eat, consider inviting everyone to your house for a takeaway. They’re often significantly cheaper than going out to a restaurant and nowadays, there’s much more on offer than a greasy kebab – you can see the prices and choice for your local area here. Plus, as you’re at home you don’t have to pay for expensive drinks nor will you get tempted by pricey desserts.
4: Ditch the Gym but Still Invest in Your Fitness
Gym memberships are far too expensive and they’re even worse if you don’t make the most of the money you’re spending on them. Instead, you could sign up for a subscription online gym like Fitstar which, for a monthly payment, will give you access to lots of online videos for workouts that can be done at home.
You could also invest in an activity tracker or simply buy a few fitness DVDs from a charity shop and still reach your fitness goals without breaking the bank.