1. Put the credit cards away
Not only do credit cards cost a fortune in interest, if you don’t pay them off monthly, you will also be tempted to buy more than you need. Draw out some of the real old fashioned cash from your bank account and it will make you think twice about how much you are spending.
2. Buy second hand
You may not be ready yet to wear another man’s shoes, but hey, there’s a lot you can get second hand that will be even better quality than what you could have bought new. Put your pride to one side and check out the local charity shops. You can buy furniture, electrical goods and books, all at a fraction of the price they are new.
3. Buy food in bulk and take a shopping list with you
When you go food shopping buy food for at least the next week, and make up a shopping list before you go. Buying in bulk is always cheaper than buying one-off items and your shopping list will help to stop you impulse buying. It will also stop you buying things that you already have in your cupboards, or that you don’t really need.
4. Look through your bank statements
When was the last time you actually opened, and looked through, your bank statements? So, you may not want to see the closing balance on your account, but it could be useful to have a look at exactly where your money is going. You will probably find some standing orders and direct debits that you have completely forgotten about. Cancel those subscriptions that you no longer use and save yourself a few pounds a month.
5. Use the price comparison websites
Make use of the various price comparison websites to make sure you are not paying over the odds for insurance, utility bills, broadband and other regular payments that you make. Companies like these nearly always offer their best deals to new customers, so switching suppler now and then could save you a lot on your monthly outgoings.
6. Use the coupons and the special offers
Keep an eye out for the money off coupons in local magazines and newspapers and sign up for all the store loyalty cards that you get offered. The discounts that you get may not seem a lot individually, but added together, they can amount to a sizable monthly saving.
7. Look for deals online
You can get some serious deals online and even the high street stores have better prices on their websites. If you are as old as I am, then you will remember life before the internet, and you may be hesitant about using your debit or credit card on a website. I had my credit card details stolen once, and that was from an underground car park, not online. I’ve never had a problem with online payments at all. If you are shopping online with a major supplier, you should have no problems at all.
8. Ask for a discount when shopping
We here in Britain are not used to haggling over price, but did you know that you can do it? If you are spending a decent amount of money on anything, try asking for a discount, especially if you are paying with cash. You are not going to get a discount off the price of your newspaper, but even high street store managers have some leeway on price. All you’ve got to do is ask.
9. Prepare your own meals
Some people think that buying fresh food and cooking it yourself is more expensive than buying pre-prepared food, but it really isn’t if you buy for the week and you make sure you use the food that you have. Buy frozen food and you won’t have to worry about it spoiling before you eat it.
10. Make a budget and stick to it
You will be amazed at how little money you actually can live on when you try. The best thing you can do is prioritise your spending, draw up a budget plan and then stick to it. There are lots of ways that you can save money; you just have to make a concerted effort to do it.