Saving money doesn’t have to be complicated or involve intricate financial schemes. Very often, the most effective money-saving methods come down to making small changes to spending habits and avoiding waste. You’ll be surprised at how little effort you need to put in to see quick savings rewards.
To help start getting you into better financial shape, we’ve compiled eight simple saving hacks. Get started on them today, and you’ll soon see your savings begin to rise.
1. Keep Track of Your Spending
Before you can save effectively, you need to have a firm understanding of where your money goes each month. You can do this quite easily with a notebook and pen or a spreadsheet. There are also apps, such as Money Dashboard or Wally, that will automate the process of tracking your cash. Soon, you’ll know where your spending can be cut or altered to help you save.
2. Start Budgeting
When you know where your money is going, you can create a budget. Categorise all of your spending (rent, utilities, food, transport, personal, entertainment, etc.), and allocate each of these categories with an amount of money. Having a figure marked against each of your categories will help you focus on your spending, saving, and financial goals.
3. Cut Back On Housing Costs
Housing, either renting or paying a mortgage, is most people’s most considerable expense. So, cutting back on this cost can lead to having more cash available to save. If possible, consider sharing your accommodation with a friend or flatmate. You might also be able to negotiate a rent decrease with your landlord if you agree to a more extended rental period. Offering an advance payment of rent in return for a lower monthly rate can also work. For homeowners, renew your mortgage at the earliest opportunity, and find a lender with a more favourable interest rate.
4. Don’t Waste Your Utilities
You might not think that leaving a light on all night will cost you much. However, night after night, and month after month, the cost will rack up. If you are going to have lights on for extended periods, use low-energy bulbs to save money. The same applies to water if you are metered. Think of a running tap as cash slowly dripping out of your account – that’ll soon have you brushing your teeth without the water running! Plugging the ‘leaks’ in your utility spending will save you a considerable amount over time.
5. Re-negotiate Your Subscriptions and Services
Many subscription-based suppliers, such as broadband or streaming services, offer great deals for new customers. If you’ve been a loyal customer over several years, you might be able to re-negotiate your contract at renewal time.
Do your research first. You may have to use the leverage of moving to another supplier to get a good deal. You might not get the best ‘new customer’ deal, but you might be able to negotiate a discount that can go into your savings pot.
6. Use Free Monthly Offers
If you enjoy going out to the cinema or theatre, you’ll appreciate how expensive these activities can be. You can replace these by signing up for a free monthly offer with a movie-streaming service. Invite your friends, buy in some popcorn, and you’ve got your very own night at the movies!
7. Smart Dining Out
Home cooking is always the best option if you want to save money. However, it never really replaces the fun and excitement of eating out. When you do dine out, you can cut back on your spending by choosing an entrée rather than a massive main course.
Stick to water, rather than consuming many alcoholic beverages, which tend to be more expensive in restaurants. The same applies to the dessert trolley – give that a miss and save what you would have spent on your sweet.
8. Shop Second-Hand or ‘Vintage’
Browsing charity shops or online sites such as eBay is a great way to find some fantastic used items of clothing or household goods and furniture. As well as being quite fun, it is a sustainable method of shopping, and very often, you can find items that are as good as new.
These hacks are quick to implement and require no real effort. Get started using some or all of them today, and you’ll soon see positive results for your savings.