Not so long ago I was drowning in debt and had no idea how to get rid of it. I was living paycheck to paycheck and could just about make minimum payments on my credit cards, let alone pay off my balance in full each month. I was convinced that there was no way I could afford to clear my debts on the salary that I was making until I had a closer look at my spending. This was when I realised I was flushing money down the drain instead of saving it.
Whether you are paying off your debt or topping up your savings accounts, spending less is the key to success. One of the very first steps to take to free up some cash is to cut back where possible.
Here are a few money saving tips that you can implement today without leaving the comfort of your home.
1. Stop Subscriptions
Are you signed up to receive magazines each month? Do you read them when they arrive? Do you pay for Netflix but hardly use it? It may be a good time to cancel these subscriptions altogether.
2. Change Mobile Phone Plan
Call your telephone provider to check what minutes, texts and internet allowance you get with your current plan if you are not sure. If your plan is unlimited, consider switching to an alternative plan that may have restrictions or get a pay-as-you-go sim card.
3. Take Packed Lunch to Work
Are you in the habit of grabbing a sandwich from Pret on your lunch break? Start cooking from scratch and packing lunch to take to work. Do it today and make it a habit.
4. Cancel Gym Membership
Do you have a gym membership that you have not used in a while? Consider cancelling it right away even if there is a cancellation fee to pay. Start working out at home or go for a run. There are a lot of free YouTube workout videos if you prefer to work out at home.
5. Change Water and Energy Plans
Did you know that there are some pretty amazing online plans with major water and energy providers? It means that if you change your plan online and stop paper statements, you will get cheaper rates in return.
6. Use Less Water and Electricity
Do you love taking a shower? Get in the habit of having quick showers. Turn water off when you brush your teeth. Turn off the lights when you leave the room. Close the doors to avoid heat loss in cold winter months.
7. Review Today’s Shopping List
Planning a run to the grocery store? Write down the essentials that you cannot do without and stick to your shopping list. Do not get carried away if you see something on offer. Think twice before adding an item to your grocery basket.
8. Quit Smoking
If you smoke, there is no better time to quit than right this second. It’s bad for your wallet and your health.
9. Switch Bank to Get Rewards
Use a switching service that many banks offer these days and bag a reward. Open a current account that gives back, usually a cash back or a monthly bonus.
10. Sign up For Loyalty Cards
Do you normally shop at Tesco’s or Sainsbury’s? Sign up for their loyalty programs and start collecting points every time you go food shopping and scan your card. You can also collect points when you do your food shopping online.
11. Cancel Expensive Evening Plans
Planning to meet up with a few friends for dinner and drinks this evening? Cancel your plans or suggest an evening in with food and wine.
12. Cancel Cable TV
Do you pay extra for your TV package which allows you to watch films or sport? Consider cancelling or downgrading it. Get Freeview but if you do, do not forget you will still need to pay your TV licence. To save even more, disconnect altogether.
TO SUM UP
It may sound overwhelming to put these money saving tips into action all at once. If this is the case, take a step by step approach. Do one thing every day that will save you money and stick with it.
These small changes that require little effort will save you hundreds of pounds every month. Once I have implemented them, I was able to free up some much-needed cash and start paying down my debt in the way I never thought was possible! I was throwing over £1,000 a month towards my debts on some occasions. These small sacrifices were so worth it in the end!