As a family, we’re always trying to save as much as we can. We can’t necessarily afford to put a great deal aside each month, but it’s always so reassuring to have a little bit put away for things like holidays, days out, and, of course, Christmas and Birthdays.But, with the looming inflation rises, the ever increasing energery cost rises and my boys growing up quicker
than I ever thought possible, and things like going to university, moving out and, dare I say it, weddings, looming ever closer on the horizon, I’m trying to find ways in which we can cut back and save more.
Of course, I don’t want to impact our lifestyle too much, I still want my family to have a comfortable, fun, and enjoyable life, but there are ways we can save, even if it’s just a little bit extra here and there. So I’ve been looking out for tips and advice for saving, and here’s what I’ve found…
Write it down
Writing down everything you spend will help you to identify areas that you are overspending. It’s so easy to spend a couple of pounds here and a couple of pounds there, without even noticing. But, every penny adds up and, before you know it, you’ve managed to spend £10 or more.
By writing down your expenditure, it becomes very clear where you are spending unnecessarily. That coffee you buy every morning might only cost £2, but when it’s written down in front of you, it suddenly becomes very clear that you’re spending £10 a week, or £40 a month on coffee! Instead, why not take your own coffee to work and treat yourself to one coffee every week?
And it isn’t just a coffee here or there, which you start to notice when you are writing down each spend. It is the odd chocolate bar when you top up with fuel or regular visits to the ice cream van!
Before we start all of this trimming, we also must take unforeseen risks into account. What will happen if you get sick or injured unexpectedly? What if you die? In these cases, disability and life insurance should be in place, especially life insurance for parents. Even though these are expenses, your family’s financial future should be secured in the event that something goes wrong. Now would be a great time to get new Term life insurance quotes. Don’t put it off.
We have also found that we made a substantial saving by changing our bank account to a premium one with a small monthly fee, but it covers our mobile phone insurance, family travel insurance, vehicle breakdown cover and all for much less than we were paying individually for each service. So make sure you spend a little while getting term life insurance quotes from various places.
We have just got a new boiler and found that we can get an annual service and monthly breakdown cover for less than I was paying for a one-off service. It really does pay to look around and think smarter.
Bills, Bills, Bills
Unfortunately, bills are an inevitable part of adult life. But if you’re spending more than you need to on your phone bill, insurance, life insurance or utilities, that’s money that you could be saving.
So make a list of all your providers and how much you’re paying on a monthly or quarterly basis, then shop around and see if you can find a better deal. And it’s not just your household bills. You also need to consider any loans, credit cards, or other forms of finance, you are most likely paying interest on.
So, once again, write down everything you’re paying and see if you can find a better offer. This is also important as, if you are paying large amounts of interest and become unable to keep up with your monthly repayments, it may affect your credit rating (you can find out more here).
But don’t stop at standard utilities such as mobile phones or utilities that you can use comparison websites for. Make sure you get new Term life insurance quotes and for anything that isn’t eligible for renewal right then, write it down for six weeks before it is due in your diary so you can look at alternatives. Often you can ring your current supplier of TV and broadband and they will reduce your contract. We went to cancel ours and they matched the price the new company was offering.
Without having to sacrifice any of your luxuries or essentials, you’ve already made substantial savings!
Use a Cashback Provider
Use a Money Back Site for Purchases. Cashback sites such as Quidco and TopCashBack enable you to earn as you spend. The amounts range from pennies for retail items to more than £100 for some mobile contracts.
Want or need?
There are many expenses that are part and parcel of everyday, family life. But there are other costs that, if we’re honest with ourselves, we can probably avoid. Just buy cutting that takeaway coffee or regular takeaway you have as a weekend treat. All the small amounts add up and, what’s more, cooking together will be much more enjoyable and healthier too!
Balance Your Budget
Once you have gone through everything now is the time to decide if you can buy bargain brands instead of name brands? If some of the family are reluctant, then make it a game and transfer your budget buy into the old packaging and see if they notice! Remember, sometimes the easiest way to make money is to save it. Once you identify the fat, then trim it and keep it trimmed.
Take this thrifty approach to all areas of your life, is there a way you can enjoy your luxuries for less?
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