Quick Wins For People Who Need to Save Money
Saving money is something almost everyone has at least thought about. But like starting a diet, reading a new book, or getting round to clearing out the shed, it’s often something we put off “until tomorrow”.
The problem is, tomorrow almost never comes. There’s always a new reason or excuse as to why you can’t save money today. It might be a special occasion, you saw something in the shop at a “great price”, or you had a hard day and need to “treat yourself”. Unfortunately, when promising you’ll do it later, you’re just making the task of saving money even harder.
There is a popular Chinese proverb: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now”. And that applies to saving money as well.
While you may have spent days, weeks, months or even years procrastinating and cutting back, put that behind you and start today.
A great way to start is to focus on some quick wins. These easy to achieve money saving techniques will help you to see some progress quite quickly, which will be crucial for helping you to stay motivated further down the line.
Cancel Anything You Don’t Use
Are you paying for a magazine subscription but never actually read them when they’re delivered? Cancel it! Are you paying for satellite or cable TV, but only watch Netflix? Cancel it! Have you got a gym membership that you’ve been paying for years, but haven’t stepped foot on a treadmill for longer than you care to admit? Cancel it!
This is a really quick and easy way to save a lot of money, and what’s more, you don’t have to give anything up.
Sure, you might finally get around to going to the gym again, but if you do pluck up the motivation to do it, start paying again at the time. Until then, keep the money in your pocket. The average membership fee is £40 per month, so after one year, you’ll have saved almost £500.
Don’t just cancel the Direct Debit though; this is a mistake that many people make and it can land them in hot water. You will need to contact the supplier directly and cancel your contract. Sometimes you may have to wait until the end of your existing contract before you can do it. If that’s the case, just make a note of the date so you can remember to do it when it expires.
Find Offers on Things You Already Pay For
Again, this is a way you can save some money without giving up on the things you like. If you want to enjoy a meal in a restaurant, no problem. If you want to buy some new shoes, no problem. Just look for ways to bring the cost down.
Many restaurants run promotions at certain times of the day or on certain days of the week. Check their website and social media for any offers they’re currently running. Other times, you can get a discount for signing up to a newsletter. For example, if you sign up to receive email updates from Sizzling Pubs, they’ll send you a £5 voucher that you can use against your bill. You can find an up-to-date list of promotions run by cafes and restaurants on the MoneySavingExpert website.
If you enjoy playing games, there are ways you can play great titles without paying. For example, Call of Duty: Warzone is a free-to-play battle royale game that runs on the same game engine as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Alternatively, if you like to have a flutter, you can use bonuses that can make your money go further. If you’re unsure which casino offers the best bonus, you can use sites like oddschecker to compare them.
If you’re shopping, you can save money by using loyalty cards. These are offered by many different brands, including Boots, Tesco, Superdrug, M&S, John Lewis, Starbucks, Costa, and Nandos. Just don’t let the prospect of earning points convince you to buy more, or pay a higher price than you could get somewhere else.
In certain stores, you can also earn cashback. By using sites like Topcashback and Quidco, you can receive a small rebate on purchases you make online and instore. But again, don’t let the prospect of earning cashback make you spend more than you were going to anyway.
Many users of cashback sites report earning several hundred pounds each year just by using them when they shop.
Change Your Energy Supplier
For many of us, looking at our energy bill is both boring and disheartening as it can take time and usually shows you a number higher than you expected.
At the end of 2019, energy prices in the UK were 40% higher than they were in 2015. This is an increase that is significantly more than inflation. According to the Bank of England’s inflation calculator, prices rose by 11.7% over the same period, meaning energy prices rose four times faster than everything else.
However, changing your energy supplier is a really easy way to save a lot of money. Many people are put off by the idea as they think that it’s a big hassle, that they will have their supply cut off, or that they will have to wait for an engineer to come round.
None of this is true. Switching is usually just a case of filling out a form online with your new supplier and providing them with a meter reading on the day that you switch.
Changing your energy supplier is much easier than remembering to turn off your lights or trying to spend less time in the shower during a cold winter’s morning. Though, you should do those things too.
Each of the items on this list require almost no effort on your part. For most of them, a small bit of effort once will yield you with savings month after month as you spend less on your energy and retain the money you were throwing away on subscriptions you didn’t use.
Saving money doesn’t need to impact your lifestyle too much; just take these simple steps first and you’ll be well on your way.
Quick Wins For People Who Need to Save Money is a guest post