In difficult financial times there is often the need to tighten our belts and ensure that we are getting the best from every penny we earn. This can sound like a rather big chore, but there are many different ways that you can save money, starting with your home.
Here are a few top tips to help get you started. Once you get into a money saving mindset you will find that these ways will become a part of your everyday life.
1. Energy saving bulbs
Energy saving light bulbs are a great way of reducing your households energy costs. By swapping all your lightbulbs for energy saving bulbs you can significantly reduce the cost of your energy bill. Especially now it is coming into winter.
2. Lights off
When you are not using a room, switch off. Try to use your lights only when you need them. You will soon get into the habit of switching off the lights as you leave a room.
3. Turn down your thermostat
By turning your thermostat down by just a few degrees you will be able to save more heat and thus, more money. If there are rooms in your house that you very rarely use then you can also turn the radiators off completely.
4. Get rid of your tumble dryer
One of the biggest drains on your energy bills is a tumble dryer. If you are able to hang-dry your clothes you will be able to save more money than you realise.
5. Always make a list
When you make a shopping list you are more likely to stick to it. By wandering around the supermarket without a list you are certain to spend more money. By making a list you can help to save money. If you can reduce your weekly shopping by £10 per week that is an annual saving of £520. And remember, never shop hungry.
Autumn is a good time to clear out your cupboards, garage and wardrobe. Why not auction off your unwanted items on eBay? It only takes a small commission and is a safe way of selling your items.
7. Car boot sale
Another great way to make some extra cash is to have a car boot sale. Collect all the unwanted items in your home and plan to visit one of your local car boot sales. If you are not sure if you have enough items you can always plan one with your friend and split the profit.
8. Beware of automatic car insurance renewal
Renewing your car insurance is essential. Going with the same insurer is not. Make sure you do your homework. You could find you save yourself a lot more money. Websites such as moneysupermarket.com and comparethemarket.com are a great way to beat your current car insurance quote.
9. Gym membership
If you currently have a gym membership you are not using then now is a good time to cancel it. If you live close to work consider walking, running or cycling there. You could also purchase a second-hand exercise machine. Try your local Freecycle or Gumtree site.
10. Watch your impulse buys
If you tend to buy things on impulse then it could be time to reduce your spending. Set yourself a limit each month for a treat and avoid spending unnecessarily. Online shopping can help too as you are more likely to consider your purchase instead of purely buying on impulse.
If you are struggling to manage your finances you may want to consider a debt management plan. It is always wise to seek expert advice if you are having difficulty in keeping up with repayments. But by making a few small changes in your household you will quickly be able to save a bit more money each month.