There’s no doubt about it, saving money is a difficult task. Whether it’s giving in to a tempting takeaway or persistent coffee cravings, small costs all add up. The first step to saving money is to learn healthy habits and prioritising your future needs over your current wants. Harvey Roe is here with top money-saving tips to help you comfortably enjoy life without the extra cost.
One of the most effective money-saving tips is to record your weekly and monthly expenditure to ensure you are aware of where your money is going. By creating a spreadsheet, you will be able to record your outgoings to help you highlight any excessive or unnecessary payments which you can amend in the following months.
We are all guilty when it comes to impulse buys but evaluating whether you want or need the item is key. If you determine you need it, wait until the next day and if you still feel the same then make the purchase rather than rushing into it.
If a large proportion of your monthly expenditure is on travel, think about some of the ways this can be reduced. For example, if you work in London and often get the tube, try and replace this journey with cycling – which is also great for the environment!
Find a cheap alternative if you are a coffee addict
After reviewing your budgeting spreadsheet, you may realise a high proportion of your money is fuelling a coffee addiction. You may think that £2.50 per day doesn’t seem much but this equates to £75 a month which could be spent on something more tangible.
The simplest and most cost-effective thing to do is make your coffee at home. Whether that’s instant coffee or a specialist pod machine, you can have more caffeine for the fraction of the price. Purchasing a flask or reusable coffee cup allows you to take it wherever you go and it will feel like you’ve bought a takeaway!
A reusable cup has multiple benefits, as well as sustainability and transportation purposes, you can also purchase cheaper coffee’s. For example, Costa and Starbucks offer 25p off for using your own cup.
If you really can’t resist visiting your favourite coffee shop then make the most of loyalty schemes. This is usually in the form of a stamp card, an app or a plastic card which you swipe each time you pay. Some of the main coffee chains offer include:
- Caffe Nero – a stamp card with a free coffee for every nine stamps you collect
- Costa – get five points for every pound you spend with a reward card, every point is worth 1p
Starbucks – Use a loyalty card each time you pay to get a star, you receive a free drink every 15 stars and more mini-rewards.
Smart food shopping
By planning and preparing your meals, you will always ensure you have a full fridge and the means to cook substantial meals. Visiting your local supermarket with a list of all the ingredients you need to prepare meals for the week will make a difference, as long as you don’t deviate from the list. By meal planning, you will be less likely to find yourself with nothing in the fridge and ending up in local convenience stores which are more expensive.
Similarly, having enough food in the fridge will prevent you from ordering takeaways. If you are short for time and find it difficult cooking for one, there are plenty of websites where you can find quick and easy meal alternatives such as ‘BBC Good Food’ which contains over 50 recipes under the section ‘Meal-for-one recipes’.
Another alternative is to opt for a cheaper supermarket such as Aldi or Lidl and use their own brands rather than name brands; they really do taste the same and cost less. Also, ensure you don’t shop on an empty stomach as you are far more likely to choose desirable unhealthy snacks.
Choosing to shop sustainably by using charity shops will help reduce the cost of items such as clothing and home wear. For more guidance on curbing a tumultuous relationship with clothes, reading the book ‘How to Break Up with Fast Fashion’ by Lauren Bravo will provide a guide for changing the way you shop.
You can also carefully consider your energy usage as households are responsible for 29% of energy consumed throughout the world, and as a result, contribute to 21% of total CO2 emissions. When electronics are not in use, unplug them. There is no need to keep your internet modem, router, lights and desktop computers plugged in without using them. Additionally, power cords and chargers that are plugged in without being used still draw out energy which can add 10% to your energy bill. Also, ensuring you use natural light rather than artificial has positive benefits as it keeps your home warm, lowers bills and prevents the growth of mould and bacteria. It is also known to make you happier and more productive – so it’s an all-round winner for both you and the planet!
We hope by implementing our top tips you will be able to successfully start saving money.
Written by Nancy Thomson