If the festive period has hit your wallet hard and you’ve resolved that 2022 is the year that you’re going to get on top of your finances, then you’re not alone. Use the tips and hacks below to save money and make your hard-earned cash go further.
Get On Top Of The Bills
It can be easy to stick with the same suppliers for electricity etc., and let the direct debits simply quietly leave our bank accounts every month. But you may well be overpaying for your utilities, which can add up to a huge amount of money over the course of a year.
Spend some time looking on price comparison websites to make sure you’re paying the lowest price and getting the best deals possible on your regular outgoings, and make the switches necessary. Switching suppliers is now an easy thing to do, and your new provider will normally take care of all the details for you. Set a reminder in your diary for six months or a year (depending on your contract) to nudge you to check the comparison sites again to make sure you’re still getting the best rates.
Save On The Grocery Shop
Being mindful of how you go about the weekly food shop could save you big money. Hitting the supermarket (either virtually or in-person) without a list is one of the easiest ways to overspend. Plan a weekly menu, and shop with this firmly in mind.
Booking a regular grocery delivery can also help you to rein back on the spending: online food shopping leaves you less open to the temptation to put extra bits and pieces into your trolley or to be hassled by the kids for things that they want to be included. Read the full article here for more ideas on how to cut back on your grocery spending, such as using coupons and discounts to full effect and using cashback to bring down the bill even further.
Overhaul Habits and Memberships
Having an audit on various memberships you might have can be a very useful activity that will have your wallet thanking you profusely. Do you hold any subscriptions that you no longer use or need? If you have a membership to a gym or leisure club, think honestly about whether you’re using this to the full and getting your money’s worth from this facility. Cutting out superfluous memberships and subscriptions could add up to a significant monthly saving.
Perhaps you’re in the habit of grabbing a coffee and some breakfast on the way to work every morning; investing in a flask and packing a croissant and some fruit from home in your bag is a small change that, if you spend just £3 a day on a morning pick-me-up, will result in a saving of over five-hundred pounds in a year.
Transfer Credit Card Debt
The interest you may be paying on your credit card debt could potentially be an unnecessary expense. Have a look online for cards that offer 0% balance transfer deals and move your debt at your earliest convenience – most companies will take care of this side of things for you, making the whole process quick and easy.
If you can, pay off the balance before the 0% interest period expires, and be aware that the interest rate payable may be high after this time. If you still have card debt when the offer period ends, then begin the process of finding and switching to a different card that offers a 0% transfer rate before this date.
Check Your Tax Bill
Make sure that you’re claiming all of the tax relief that you’re entitled to help bolster your household finances. The marriage allowance is one such tax relief that could keep more money in your pocket. Check your tax code, too, to ensure that you’re not paying too high a rate, and have a look at tax credit requirements to see if you are eligible to apply for these.
If you are self-employed, have a look at the information available online, which details expenses you can claim that will reduce your tax bill; claiming for things like home working, mileage, and telephone costs can all add up to a big saving on the amount of tax you’ll pay.
Does It Need To Be New?
It’s worth considering, before you make a new purchase, whether this is an item that could realistically be bought second-hand. As well as potentially saving you a huge amount of cash, this also fits in with a more sustainable approach to daily life. In terms of the kids’ school uniforms, could you arrange a bring and swap event for parents to pass on garments that no longer fit or are needed? Thrift stores, car-boot events, and yard sales can also be great places to grab items of furniture, toys, and homeware at incredibly low prices.
Online freecycle and upcycle networks are also widely available in most areas, whereby members can offer, or acquire, a multitude of items free of charge.