Making some small savings could rack up to a big difference over the course of time. Here are a few tips to help.
Remember the tip about not leaving devices on stand-by? Well a small amount of electricity is also still drawn when a device is plugged in for charging. Instead of charging overnight, do so for a couple of hours during the day and unplug it when it’s charged to avoid unnecessary electricity costs. This could save you as much as £30 a year, according to the Energy Saving Trust.
Defrost your freezer. Having lots of ice in your freezer will be costing you more in energy.
Waste less food
According to recycling charity WRAP, almost three quarters of our household food waste is still edible, so there’s lots of money to be saved by using up every bit of the food we buy. https://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/ gives 6 practical ways to reduce food waste as well as recipe suggestions for using leftovers creatively.
If you’re worried about food safety, remember: ‘use by’ date is the cut-off after which it is not considered safe to eat the food. However, eating food past a ‘best before’ date won’t cause any health issues.
Cut fuel costs
- Look for the best prices in your area and take advantage of loyalty card schemes – the more you fill up, the more points you can earn to exchange for money-off vouchers
- Don’t hit the gas too hard! By accelerating gradually you don’t need to use more power than necessary and can also reduce the chance of having to brake heavily
- Remove any excess weight from the car. Driving with a full boot or a roof box will require you to use more fuel.
- Wind down your windows rather than turning on the Air con when it’s hot.
- Check your tyre pressure regularly to make sure they’re at the right level.
Reduce your tax bill and find out if you’re entitled to any benefits/allowances
Knowing about all the tax reliefs you can claim could help you to keep hold of a bigger chunk of your earnings Marriage allowance, rent-a-room relief and potentially exempt transfers (PETs), can all save you heaps of money, yet relatively few people are aware of them.
Find out more: 35 ways to save on tax – this guide covers a number of tax reliefs.
Similarly billions of pounds of government benefits and allowances are going unclaimed. You can use this free calculator to find out if you’re missing out.
Cancel Unnecessary Direct Debits
There’s nothing worse than wasting money on something you don’t need and if you don’t check bank statements regularly, then you could easily have direct debits for services that you no longer use. Banking online makes it easier to check your bank account regularly and cancel anything you don’t require any more.
Find out more: how to cancel a direct debit or standing order – a step-by-step guide.
Get a better mobile phone deal
Finding the best mobile deal can be like finding a needle in a haystack.
Take a couple of minutes to check your bills to make sure your call, text and mobile web use aren’t consistently above, or a long way below, your allowance. If they are, you may benefit from asking for a more suitable deal that matches your use from your provider.
Find out more: how to get the best mobile phone deal – would you be better off on contract or pay-as-you-go?
Use budgeting apps
Technology can really help you track your finances these days.
Using open banking, many of these will let you add accounts from multiple banks so you can keep track of the bigger picture.
Find out more: open banking budgeting apps
Share your subscriptions
For entertainment subscriptions like Netflix, and Now TV you may be able to save some money with others in your household by having a family plan. Spotify,for example, offers six accounts for £16.99 under the Premium Family plan.
Find out more: best music streaming services
Transfer debt to a 0% deal
These cards don’t charge any interest on your transferred debt for a set period, so you can stop giving your money to the bank and instead use all of it to pay off what you owe faster.
Be careful though! You may have to pay a fee and not everyone will get accepted for the best deals depending on your credit rating but it could be worth it in the long run.