save money

How to save money. 12 Simple ways to save £1000’s each year

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We all love ways to save money but it is not always the easiest thing to implement.

This is all about making small changes (although some are bigger than others).

I’m not an advocate for massively frugal living, I believe life is for living and a lot of these things are luxuries that a lot of people won’t want to give up.

I’m just trying to give you ideas on how you may reduce some of your costs.

You may find that some of these suggestions are nonstarters, you may just really not like the idea of them. That’s ok, we’re all individuals and we all have our own little luxuries that we don’t want to let go, just try not to have too many of them.

Subscriptions

TV Subscriptions
Are TV subscriptions killing your paycheck?

TV

Take a look at your TV subscriptions.

With the massive rise of Freeview TV over the past years you now have a wide variety of TV channels available to you for free.

Are you paying for a Sky package? Do you even use half of the channels that you pay for? chances are you do not.

Rather than upwards of £100 a month for the full package, why not explore swapping to Freeview?

If that does not provide enough for you, top it up with a Netflix, Amazon Prime or NOW TV package each month. If possible just stick to one of these but even if you took out all 3, you would only be looking at around £30 a month instead of £100. That £70 a month saved, for most families you could happily cover a weeks food shopping for that.

Old unused Subs

Cancel old unused subscriptions.

We’ve all done it, taken out a monthly subscription for something, used it for a while then stopped but forgotten to cancel it.

£5, £10, even £20 a month can quite easily go out of your account without you noticing.

With so much being paid by direct debit it is no wonder some people find it hard to keep track of their monthly outgoings, but that’s what you need to do.

It can take a while but it’s not that hard. Get a piece of paper, open up your banking software or look at your statements and interrogate all of your recurring outgoings. This should show you everything that goes out every month. If you haven’t used it for a couple of months, cancel it.

Mobile phone contracts

Mobile phone subscriptions
Do you really need that latest, top of the line handset?

Do you have a mobile phone contract?

Do you really need the most up to date phone?

Paying over £50 a month just to have an up to date handset with an average contract?

If you can reduce this down, looking at sim only deals can save a nice chunk of change every month.

As an example, I implemented this a while ago and went from a £70 a month contract to a £22 a month SIM only deal.

SIM-only deals can actually give you a better package too.

If you’re paying more than £20-£30 a month then you are purely paying for the handset.

Mobile phones nowadays are so advanced that improvements in each generation are limited. Not to say the new phones aren’t excellent phones, but 2-3-year-old phones are just as capable and you can pick them up for a fraction of the price.

Look at what you have, if you really need it and if you can downgrade to a SIM-only deal. It is likely that you will find yourself saving at least £30-£40 a month.

Utilities and Insurance

Shop around for utilities and insurance. Simple really but so many people do not do it.

A lot of people renew contracts with their current providers purely because it is easy.

I am not judging, I’ve been there myself and shopping around, getting multiple quotes and speaking to companies is not the most appealing thing to do, but, you can save yourself a decent amount if you just put a couple of hours aside to do it.

Check sites like

Using this method and shopping around for better prices rather than just accepting renewal quotes can save you £100’s a year.

Take the time and make sure you’re getting the best deal.

Food Shopping

Food shopping
The weekly shop

Do you shop at the most expensive supermarkets? always going for named brands? Try out some of the cheaper options.

In the UK, give ALDI and LIDL a try.

There was a massive stigma attached to shopping at these kinds of places a few years ago, totally unwarranted but it all comes down to appearances.

I would argue that the majority of people wouldn’t even know the difference if they didn’t see the packaging.

I cannot tell you how much you might save, that depends on your shopping habits and how much you generally spend, however, from personal experience, when I changed from shopping at Tesco to shopping at LIDL, I can tell you that my weekly shop reduced by a minimum of 20%.

Might not sound like much but saving £10-£20 a week on the shopping soon adds up. Think about it. Even if it was £10 cheaper a week, that’s £520 saved in a year, that’s enough to cover a lot of peoples car insurance (Which you’ve already shopped around for and got a better deal, right?).

Daily Travel

Depending on where you live, is it feasible to use public transport, walk, ride a bike or car share?

Even just starting off doing this for 1 or 2 days a week will have an effect.

I’m not just talking about the reduced fuel costs but think about all the maintenance on your vehicle. If you could knock a couple hundred/thousand miles of your usage every year, that’s going to save you on fluids, tyres, servicing, the list goes on.

Car maintenance payments
Car maintenance payments costing you a fortune?

Holidays

Are you the sort of person who looks for and books a holiday in advance through a travel broker? nothing wrong with that.

If, however, you are not that picky on the actual location then why not wait and look for last-minute deals?

You might not get the exact location you had in your mind, but if you wanted a beach holiday somewhere warm, you’ll be able to find one.

Obviously this varies massively but generally, you’re going to save some money, probably enough for the spending money while you’re away.

Make sure you’re using sites like:

Also, consider booking flights and hotels separately.

This will take a little time and research as it is not always the best way to go, however, a lot of the time you will find that you can MAKE a better deal if you book these things separately.

As with everything on this list. If you’re happy to invest a little time, you’ll find a saving somewhere.

Weighted scales.
Shop around and weigh the options up

Interest payments on Existing Credit

Depending on your current position, this may or may not be feasible for you.

Credit cards, do you use them? If you do, can you pay off the balance every month?

Get yourself into a position where you can. Some people say it’s good for you to leave a balance on there every month as it makes you more appealing to lenders, Nope, not the case.

If you can pay off the balance and show you can borrow responsibly, THEN you will be attractive to lenders.

Secondly, why would you want to voluntarily rack up interest payments every month? You could be wasting hundreds over the course of the year just paying interest that you don’t need to pay, stop this now.

Retail Therapy

Retail therapy. Can you actually afford those designer brands?
Designer brands, can you really afford them?

Do you love shopping, a little retail therapy? No problems with that but do you really need that designer brand? chances are you don’t.

Many people will say that the more expensive designer branded clothing or goods are better quality and will last a lot longer. I don’t disagree with that, but if you are spending 50% of your monthly wage on a shirt or a pair of shoes you need to ask yourself, is this really the best use of my money?

You can find great deals online, check sites like eBay, Preloved, Gumtree, etc or get yourself round the charity/thrift stores.

People seem to think that everything in these places is rubbish and buying second hand is horrible, get off your high horse and go and look.

If you REALLY want that designer bag, I guarantee you can find it online for a fraction of the cost in the shop.

Entertainment

Entertainment, going out at the weekends with friends, spending time and money doing the things you enjoy, who can argue with that.

Of course, everyone needs to unwind and relax from time to time but every weekend?

Going out drinking, clubbing or even for food is so expensive nowadays that even if you can reduce doing this by 1 night a month, you’re going to save a nice chunk of change.

Why not speak to your friends and invite them round to yours for food and some drinks? For the price of a couple of drinks in a bar, you can pick up a crate of beer or a bottle of wine.

Stick some music on, have a laugh and actually enjoy each others company.

Housing

Housing
Overkill for your current position?

A more extreme way to save money each month is to look at your housing situation. 

How many of you are there? What type of property do you live in?

This can be quite an extreme measure but the payoff can also be huge.

If there are only two of you, I’d argue that you really don’t require that 4 bedroom house. Why don’t you look at downsizing to a flat or a bungalow?

This step alone could see you saving hundreds of pounds every month on rent/mortgage and utility payments.

Finance payments

Are you paying monthly for a car either on finance or hire purchase?

Do you really need a car that expensive that’s likely to be costing you at least £200 a month?

It may not always be easy, but why not have a look at canceling your hire purchase arrangement or settling the finance.

If you can settle, sell the car and get a cheaper one that will do the job, that’s likely to save you at least £2000-£2500 a year, and that’s based on a pretty cheap finance package.

The same thing goes for anything else you have on finance.

Some outlets will offer 0% interest which is great. The issue is that the majority of people will take 0% and look at what they want, not what they can afford.

If you get offered and want to take a 0% finance deal then go for it. I will just implore you to only spend what you could pay for.

Do not do what most people do and say:

I only wanted to spend £1000 on a sofa but…..

As we can get 0% finance lets go for that £3000 sofa because it’s nice.

Does that really sound like a good idea to you?

If this is you, you’re overcommitting and costing yourself extra every month when that finance payment comes out.

Stick to what you can afford. You will get the expensive sofa one day, just please don’t do it until you can afford to.

Day to day

Fancy coffee from a coffee shop
Full lovely Barista made brew

The last thing that will help you save money is by taking a good look at your day to day spending habits.

I don’t know about you, but I’m a massive coffee fanatic.

I love a good coffee and will quite happily spend £5 on a decent one when I’m out and about.

But.

Do you stop and the fancy coffee shop on the way to work every day?

Nice coffee and lunch each day at work?

STOP.

Everyone has to eat. Everyone has to drink and everyone has a little vice that they enjoy, however, eating out and drinking takeaway coffees from the local barista is costing you a fortune.

Think about it.

Chances are you will be spending at least £5 on lunch and £3-£5 on a coffee, 5 days a week.

That’s 20 days a month (ish).

If you total £10 a day while working on lunch and coffee, you’re spending £200 a month on something that you could make at home and take with you for a fraction of the cost.

Even if you say it would cost you £100 in food shopping to cover all of your lunches, that ‘s still a saving of £1200 a year.

I don’t know about you but I would certainly rather have that in my pocket.

Something to think about

As I stated at the start of this article, not all of these steps mentioned are going to be for everyone.

I hope you can now see that there are plenty of ways you can reduce your monthly outgoings just by spending a little time either shopping around or doing something yourself.

It stands to reason but the more drastic the action, the more money you can save.

After all of this, I do want to say that although I believe in all of the steps mentioned above, I am an advocate for increasing income rather than Frugal living.

The easiest way, in my humble opinion, to have more money every month is to earn more.

Now I know a lot of you will say “tried that, not that easy”.

Absolutely, it’s not easy but if I can earn money through side hustles online after working a 50-hour working week in my full-time job, so can you.

Commit to 2-3 hours a week to start if needs be, there is something you can do to earn a little extra.

If you need a little help, maybe a little inspiration, check out my article creating extra income where to start.

Case of money
If you’re struggling to cut costs, try a side hustle or a way to increase your income.

Final words

I hope you got a little something from this article.

Even if you go away that little more committed to shopping around for a better deal then I’m happy.

Earning extra income and committing to an extra job or a side hustle isn’t for everyone, so make the small changes first and free up some of your monthly cash.

Here’s to a better financial future for all.

Darren