As we head into a new year and a fresh decade, many of us are likely to make resolutions about being better with our money. We’d all like to have that little bit extra in our bank accounts – whether it be to treat ourselves with a holiday or to keep saved up in the case of an emergency.
Whatever your reasons, there’s no denying that it can be easier said than done to change our spending habits. It’s easy to point to the sizeable, one-off costs – such as a new pair of trainers or a designer handbag – as reasons why you find yourself in a monthly struggle to reach payday.
But often, making adjustments to your everyday expenses can yield the greatest savings on a consistent basis – and all it takes is a little bit of planning and research. Here, we’ve detailed three simple tactics you can employ to help alter your spending habits for good.
Shop around for household bills
It may seem like a dreary and daunting task, but doing your research on providers of gas, electricity and water can make you some significant savings over the course of the year. Independent bodies such as the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets provide useful, impartial advice on how to seek the best deal, while the likes of Money Super Market estimate that more than half of their customers could save almost £240 by switching suppliers.
Shop and sell online
If you’re a serial shopper, you may not need to cut out the retail therapy altogether. However, instead of browsing the stores for hours on end, perhaps go online, where there are often some excellent bargains to be found, as long as you’re willing to put in the time. And don’t focus purely on the tempting offers as a way to cut costs, but think about the flip side as well. For example, you could always sell some of your unwanted items on the likes of Depop and eBay and, by using a reputable courier service such as Parcel2Go, you’ll be sure to maximise your money.
Meal plan and shop accordingly
Another way to cut down on the cost of your essentials is to do your research into supermarket shopping. First of all, work out your meal plan for the week and what ingredients you’ll need, then look into which food stores will provide the produce at the best prices – you may even need to visit a couple of supermarkets in order to tick items off for the lowest cost. And remember, the list is your friend – stick closely to it, and you’ll be less inclined to have your head turned by that expensive treat.