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Top Tips to Help You Save Money

In the current recession we are all looking for ways to reduce our spending. Yet despite our best attempts to spend less when we are out shopping, the average credit card holder currently owes over £2,200 – a sum that will take them more than 2 years to clear if they paid back £100 a month.

Now our goal here is to not depress you. Quite the opposite. Through the following tips we will show you an array of easy to do exercises that will enable you to pay this outstanding debt even earlier and also increase your monthly balance.

1. Your Mortgage

Notably one of the most expensive items you’ll ever have to buy, unless you have got the cash to buy it outright, more than likely you will have to get a mortgage.

Now when it comes to your mortgage it is important to offer yourself the best deal. Despite your Bank’s claims that you will get a better deal with them, you won’t. So instead of trying to remain loyal to your bank, go do some research and find the best repayment rate for you.

More importantly, if you have got the spare cash to pay an extra £100 more a month on your mortgage, do it. This will shorten the length of your mortgage, allowing you to live mortgage free even earlier and make thousands back in interest.

2. Credit Card

Whilst it may feel tempting to put everything on your credit card in the current climate, the reality is you could be repaying a lot less if you chose to get a loan.

The average credit card starts at 15% (APR) so if you were trying to pay off the above sum of £2,200 you would be repaying £545 in interest over a 3 year period. Now compare this to a loan rate of 6% and you could be spending £300 less - namely £209 in total.

3. Save on your fuel bills

The question is: are you getting the best deal? If the answer is no and you know there is a better offer available with another supplier, then switch.

4. Watch your phone bills

Most phone suppliers offer you the choice of free weekend and evening calls at discounted rates. However, if you are one of the unfortunate few to not be on this deal, it might be worth considering changing your supplier and picking one that suits your phoning hours.

5. Switch to pay-as-you go

Many of us are led to believe that contract phones can save you more a month moneywise, but that is not always the case. Costing on average £50+ a month, if you accidentally go above your agreed package during this time you could be spending even more.

Do the maths. Even if you stick to your allowance that is £600 a year that are paying to a phone company. However, if you change to a pay-as-you go phone and set yourself a limit of £20-30 a month, you can halve your costs. How? Because you’re in complete control of your expenses and the number of messages you have got left.

6. Shop better

The curse of shopping at a supermarket with no list is that more often than not you’ll buy foods that you don’t want or need. Instead, go through your cupboards, make a list of what you need and stick to it.

Unless there is an offer that is just too good to refuse, which will save you money in the long run, ignore them and simply follow your list.

Another useful tip is to either buy the supermarkets own brand foods or alternatively to buy from your local market stall. In the case of the store brand foods they cost considerably less than your well known brands. A tin of baked beans made by Asda for example only costs 14p - meaning you can stock up at a much cheaper price.

Buying from market stalls will give you an added bonus of cheaper prices. With smaller overheads, stallholders can price their foods at a much more tempting rate.

7. eBay

We are all secret hoarders. The only problem with this though is that we often keep items that we will never use again but which could generate us a pretty sum if it were sold on eBay.

The great thing about eBay is that setting up an account is incredibly simple and that you can sell absolutely anything there. So have a good look through your stuff; assess what you do or don't need and if it is worth selling, try putting it on eBay. It will be worth it.

8. Learn DIY

The amount we are willing to pay builders, decorators and plumbers to repair our homes is shocking. Every year we must spend hundreds if not thousands of pounds trying to repair our homes, when spending just £100 to do a plumbing course could save you loads.

Lots of colleges offer these types of courses teaching you the very basics to more advanced techniques. Either way though, taking such a course will enable you to do more repairs yourself and save you money.

9. Pick your insurance wisely

Whether it’s your car or your home, it is important to keep yourself covered. Yes when you’re struggling cancelling these policies may feel tempting, but in the long run they will keep you protected.

That being said you need to be careful who you take your insurance out with. Shop around and see which can offer you the best deals and the best coverage.

10. Book early

If you know you want to go on holiday during the coming summer, book your holiday as early as you can, as this will allow you to pay lower airline costs, plus give you time to find a cheaper holiday.

Another useful tip is to book your own ‘package’ holiday online. This will allow you to structure your holiday to your needs and more importantly find better deals.

11. Learn to say ‘no’

How often have you given in to your friends, your family or your children to buy something that you didn’t really want or need? The answer is we all have.

Try instead to learn how to say ‘no’ and only pay to go to places you really want to go. Once there also try to set yourself a budget to make sure 1 quick drink doesn’t turn into 20.

12. Get a train, walk or ride a bike to work

Aside from cutting down on your fuel costs, walking to work every day will help you to get fitter.

Of course it is not plausible to walk to work if it would take you 2 hours to do so, but a 30 minute walk is within your reach.

Similarly with catching a train. You need to consider the distance and the costs of the ticket. If it is cheaper, give it a try.

13. Make use of your resources

If you do make good use of your gym membership, continue, but if you rarely go then swapping your gym membership for a good walk could save you £40 a month.

It is the same with books. If you love to read, try going to your local library to read them instead of buying every one. A library is free, whereas a bookshop is not.

14. Use an ISA

For every tax year you can put up to £3,000 into a cash ISA, earn interest and have to pay no tax on it. So instead of leaving your savings in account with an interest rate of 0.1%, transfer it over to an ISA and begin earning 3% in interest every year.

15. Cook from scratch

Ready meals may be quick to prepare but you could save £100+ by simply copying the chefs on TV and cooking your meals from scratch.

16. Shop online

It cannot be denied that the internet is taking over. Offering easy access to all your favourite food, digital and clothes stores, with the web you can easily compare prices and find the best deals for you.

More exciting is the fact that many stores are offering better package deals than they do in their offline stores. So search online first and see which can offer the better price. If it is cheaper online, go for it.

You may also want to check out our review on the best Cashback websites.

Now we could go on forever giving you advice on how to save your money more effectively, but to help get you started on this journey, why not try one of the above tips first and begin feeling the difference.

 


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