Another year passes, and as we move into 2016 (how the hell did that happen?!), I think it’s high time to distribute some of my ever popular money saving tips. And seeing as it’s the New Year, all my money tips will be slanted towards January finances. Make sure you’re squeezing every penny now, so you can spend later!
Review your charity payments
You’ll have seen the charity guilt-trippers when you’ve been attempting to walk down your local high street. Bouncing enthusiasm for the charity whose work they are promoting, and always catching your eye, no matter how hard you try to avoid their gaze. Often we find it much easier sign up for these charities than simply say ‘no’. (I think it’s a British thing, personally.) If you check your monthly outgoings, you might be surprised to see that some charities are taking the odd fiver or tenner here and there, and you’ve completely forgotten that you signed up! I know I have. That’s not to say I don’t think people should give to charity. Just make sure you ask the question ‘can I afford this?’ before signing up to give away your hard earned cash.
Try and get a better deal with your internet/television provider
Telecoms companies are happy to try and make some extra money of off you through your own laziness. A lot of us will be put off the idea of changing our television and internet provider. Not to mention that a lot of companies such as Sky, Virgin, and BT also make the process incredibly convoluted and confusing. If you see an offer that’s more attractive than what you currently have, put the effort it and pursue it. Shopping around can save you a lot of money. The best part is that quite often when you threaten to leave, telecom companies will offer you a better deal to encourage you to stay. Try it yourself. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Take a chance with the challenger supermarkets
A few years ago, many of us would have been put off by the idea of shopping in the likes of Lidl or Aldi. These German food retailers were often seen to be suppliers of cheap, off-brand, poor quality food products. This has shown to be untrue, however. Over the last 5 years their market share has increased exponentially. Many of the other more established supermarkets, such as Sainsbury’s and ASDA are losing customers to these retailers. Try taking a chance with Lidl or Aldi and see how much money you can save by trying some of the lesser known brands. You’d be surprised at how well the imitations stack up against their branded counterparts. And for a fraction of the price. If you’re wanting to make your money going even further, consider buying in bulk from one of the country’s hypermarkets, such as Costco or Macro.
Crack out the bike, where possible
The cost of running a car takes a lot out of anyone’s monthly budget. By the time you add up insurance, road tax, and petrol, it’s no wonder you can be left looking at your bank account wondering where it all went. Even taking public transport is a costly exercise, especially if you’re commuting on a daily basis. If you have a bike, and are within cycling distance, why not give it a shot? There are so many benefits to taking a bike into work instead of a car. The running costs of a bike, compared with a car are practically nil. And you can beat the traffic, you don’t need to worry about finding a space, as well as it being good for you. Your company might be involved in the Government’s Cycle To Work Scheme, if you don’t own a bike. Have a look and see if you can get a shiny new bike for less!
Night’s In > Night’s Out
I suppose this final tip comes down to personal preference, but if you’re looking to save money, it’s definitely something to consider. Having night’s out on the town can be a costly business. Considering that these days, you’re now hard pressed to find a bar that sells a pint for less than £3, not to mention how much it can cost to take a taxi anywhere. If you’re looking to have fun on a Friday night, why not invite your friends or family up to your own place. You can buy as much cheap beer as you want in one of the aforementioned supermarkets. No spending half the night queueing at the bar for you! Plus you get to choose the music, AND you don’t get kicked out after last orders. It’s a win-win situation.
So there you have it. My top money saving tips for 2016. Try one of them. Or all of them. Or none of them. I’m not your Mum…