Whilst looking for ways to save money might not seem like the most exciting task, it can make your life considerably more enjoyable. A little extra money in the bank can help you in many ways, not least of which is paying off some of your debt. Companies such as Wescot are regularly approached via their page on the site Yell, by people who are finding it hard to keep up with their loan repayments. Addressing this type of issue can be quite stressful, and as such, it’s always a good idea to do what you can to save some extra cash, and put that towards your debts. Of course, additional money can also be useful for things like home renovations, car maintenance, holidays, birthdays, Christmas, as well as unforeseen costs which could result from things such as major vehicle or property repairs, or unemployment.
If you want to save money on a regular basis, it’s important to adopt the mindset of a saver; this means maintaining an awareness of your personal finances at all times, and regularly looking at ways to cut back, or get a better deal. If you’re naturally more of a spender, you might struggle with developing the saving mindset at first; to help you adapt, why not enlist the help of a frugal friend? Create a saving competition, and see which one of you can save the most money each month or week. If you know a group of people who want to join in, you could take it a step further, and set up saving teams, in order to make it more competitive.
Even if you don’t consider yourself to be particularly savvy when it comes to money, there are lots of easy ways to start saving. One of the simplest is to leave your debit card at home, and only use cash when you’re out shopping. This will ensure that you stick to the limit you have set yourself. It’s also important to stop viewing shopping as a way to cheer yourself up when you’re feeling down; ‘retail therapy’ will only provide a short-term boost of happiness, and will leave a big dent in your wallet over time. There are plenty of free ways to pick yourself up if you’re a bit stressed out; examples include getting a new book from the local library, taking a relaxing bath, or watching your favourite television show.
Of course, whilst it’s a good idea to cut back on frivolous shopping trips, being frugal doesn’t mean that you have to give up on fun days out entirely; just make sure that you look for events and activities which are affordable, and preferably come with a sizeable discount. Make use of discount websites like Groupon and Voucher Codes to source special deals on things like holidays, restaurants, beauty treatments and entertainment events.
In order to save, you should also take a close look at your current spending patterns. Creating a spending diary, and using a personal budget spreadsheet, is a great way to become more aware of how much you spend on a weekly or monthly basis. After you’ve gotten to grips with your habits, look at which shops and brands you tend to stick to, and consider whether you might be better off shopping elsewhere instead. Loyalty rarely pays off, and you might find that you can, for instance, save a lot of money by using the supermarket version of certain branded foods.
Whether you’re shopping in person or online, it always pays to compare prices before you make a purchase; particularly if you’re buying something quite expensive. There are plenty of comparison websites which can show you where to buy the cheapest broadband, insurance, or phone contracts. Some of these websites also allow you to compare supermarkets, and see which one will help you to save money on your weekly shop.
A lot of the time, a weekly shop ends up being costly, simply because of those little extra things that you’ve popped into your trolley; items such as cut basil and rosemary can often be surprisingly expensive. If you’ve got some time to spare, you might want to consider growing your own herbs in your kitchen. These potted plants often cost no more than a pound, and provided they are well cared for, they can provide you with delicious fresh herbs for months on end.
If you discover that some food items that you use regularly on special offer, you might want to consider buying the in bulk. Provided you’re confident that you will actually consume the food in question, doing this can save you quite a lot of money over time. However, even if an item is on special offer, you may still be able to find it cheaper elsewhere, so make sure to compare prices before committing to buying them. It’s also important to check the items’ expiry dates if you’re buying a large quantity, as otherwise, you may find that they go off before you have a chance to use them.
When buying products or services online, don’t forget to make use of cash-back sites. All you need to do is sign-up, and then click through the cash-back website to get through to your online shopping destination. When you then make a purchase, you’ll receive a small percentage of that money back. Do bear in mind that it can take anywhere from a few days to a few months for these savings to be made available to you.
You may also be able to make some extra money by selling the discarded items you have lying around in your home. A number of websites offer cash for clothes, CDs, DVDs and old mobile phones, which they then recycle. You might be surprised at how much cash you earn, simply by clearing out some of the clutter in your house.