With it being summer holidays and the purse strings being pulled to the limit I have a great guest post to show you a few ways to save some pennies.
Everyone hates the idea of simply throwing money away, yet more of us do this every day than we realise. It’s easy to assume that you’re sticking to your budget and being as frugal as possible, until you start looking at your spending habits in depth and figuring out where all your cash actually goes each month.
Most people think that the only way to positively transform their spending habits, is to avoid spending money on the things that they enjoy, like evenings out with their friends or fun trips with the family. However, we think the best thing you can do is stop wasting your money on these things first:
1. Gym Memberships
Unless you’re a professional athlete, or you’re training for a local event or marathon, there’s a good chance that you don’t really need a gym membership. The truth is that you can get all the exercise you need to be fit and healthy without paying a huge fee every month. All you need to do is invest in some weights and create a fitness regime you can follow at home.
Even walking to work instead of driving can help to make you fitter and ensure that you save money at the same time. Not only are gym memberships unnecessary, but most of us fail to use them properly too. We invest in memberships with good intentions, then simply leave them in our bags, never to be used. Don’t spend money on a gym membership that does nothing for you.
There’s a good chance that you won’t be able to give up on paying for utilities altogether – unless you plan on going to live in a tent and cooking your food over an open flame. However, that doesn’t mean that you should continue paying for deals that aren’t giving you the best value for your money.
Countless people over-spend on their utilities simply because they fail to check online for better offers from other vendors. You’d be surprised how much you can save simply by investing a little bit of time into comparing your options online. Check every few months to find out whether you’re still getting the best deal for your needs.
3. Phone Lines
Let’s face it, how often do you actually use your phone line? Many homeowners today are paying anywhere between £10 and £20 a month for a home phone line that they never use, as part of a deal for broadband, phone calls and television channels. Cutting your phone out of your deal could be a great way to cut costs – particularly if you make all your calls via your smartphone anyway.
While you’re getting rid of your phone line, it’s worth thinking about whether you can save cash by abandoning your television channels too. You can find plenty to watch through cheaper streaming services like Amazon and Netflix these days.
Like your utilities, your food is something that you can’t simply do without. However, most of us spend more than we need to on food, simply because we assume that we need more than we do. Before you go out shopping, make a list of everything you need for the meals in the week ahead. Remember to check your freezer and pantry for things that you have that you can use going forward. This will help you to avoid leaving items in your deep-freeze for months at a time.
When you’re out at the supermarket, stick to your list – no matter how tempted you might be to buy something on offer. If it helps, try eating before you go shopping so you’re less likely to stray away from the list. Remember to stay away from big-name brands too. Most of the own-brand products include exactly the same ingredients for a much lower price.
5. Excess Interest
Just like you can potentially get a better deal on your utilities by comparing your options online, you can also get a better deal on your credit card and loan balances by making sure that you search for the best offers online.
If you think that you’re over-spending on your interest payments, look at reconsolidating your loan to reduce the cost of your monthly repayments. For bigger loans like mortgages, there’s also the option to re-mortgage with a different lender if you think you can get a better deal. Just make sure that you take the fees of changing your loan into account when assessing your options.