5 Ridiculously Simple Ways to Make Savings
Save, save, save has become a popular 21st century mantra, with numerous headlines warning us that our pension pots are in jeopardy and chastising us for not making full use of our cash ISA allowances. If you are a thrifty soul by nature, you may have barely noticed the UK's slide into a double-dip recession and still be eking out a living on the savings you amassed last year. For the rest of us, saving is quickly finding its way to the top of our priority list though we have yet to find a method of putting away the pennies that doesn't bore us to tears. Here are just a few of the speedy and savvy ways you can make savings:
- Waste not, want not: Buying food that ends up in the compost bin instead of your plate only means that you will be pouring money needlessly down the drain. Freeze items that you don't use on a daily basis and measure out quantities of dried goods such as pasta and rice to ensure that you achieve the right cooked weight. Before throwing out your old clothes you could check whether they can be 'up cycled' using a few sequins or something equally simple.
- Give Mother Nature a helping hand: Failing to turn off appliances or leaving them in sleep mode will only mean that your electrical devices are guzzling more energy than they actually need to. Invest in an energy savings plug or charger that automatically switches off once your battery is fully charged. Walking, cycling or using public transport will not only be easier on your wallet but can help to reduce your carbon footprint. Use online tools such as walkit to find the best route for your needs. You can also hire a Barclays' bike for the day and explore everything that London has to offer.
- Get on the voucher bandwagon: Discount vouchers have taken on a life of their own in recent years and you can grab anything from cut-price theatre tickets to a weekend break in Rome at a bargain price with a bit of hunting around. The advent of smartphones means you rarely have to print off a deal to take full advantage of it and can simply flash the barcode on your display to start making immediate savings. Signing up to voucher websites will also mean that you get tailored deals to your inbox!
- Break that habit: Whether you vice of choice is a packet of cigarettes, an expensive bottle of Prosecco or a daily dose of celebrity magazines, breaking one habit could net you significant savings over a sustained period of time. However, you don't have to give up the things you love entirely. Try bringing in a flask of your favourite coffee instead of buying your morning latte from a high street chain. An annual magazine subscription will also be substantially discounted compared to the full cover price of your favourite reads.
- Get the best deal possible on everything: From your mobile phone contract to your home insurance bill, you can use comparison websites to ensure that you are getting genuine value for money. Many companies will also deal with the paperwork involved in switching accounts. Providers are also surprisingly conducive to a spot of haggling. A friend of mine managed to get a lower monthly payment for her phone plan after threatening to sign up with a rival. The UK's stagnant property market will also mean that you may be able to negotiate a lower purchase price for a property or ask for a reduction in rent.