By the time you pay for your mortgage, groceries, energy and other bills, the chances are that there isn’t all that much left from your household income. But it doesn’t have to be this way – far from it, in fact. All of us are probably paying too much for the things we buy and use, and if you want to start living a more frugal lifestyle than you are right now, there are some quick and easy wins to target. Today, we’re going to reveal some of the simple changes you can make to your lifestyle, and help you save a significant sum of money every month, without breaking too much of a sweat. Let’s take a closer look at some of your options.
The first step is to take a look at your most recent energy bills. Gas and electricity companies love it when we forget about our contract periods, and move into standard tariffs, which ultimately cost us a lot more than the initial agreement. Use price comparison services to make sure you are getting the best deal possible, and you could save yourself anything from £300-500 every year.
In days gone by, mobile phone technology increased at a considerable rate, and it was often worth buying the latest model just to keep up with the progress. Now, though, it’s a different story – the manufacturer iterations just aren’t that incredible anymore, and we seem to be approaching ‘peak phone.’ And make no mistake about it, if you want the latest device in your armoury, you can expect to pay a lot of money for it. Instead, pick an older model, which is often available at bargain prices due to lack of demand. If you can persuade your family to go with you down the retro route, you could save thousands over the course of a year.
Many people borrow way too much for what they actually need the money for, and it’s senseless waste of cash. Not only will you spend some of the money you borrow on unessentials, but you will also pay an enormous amount of interest in the long-term. So, look at applying for small loans instead of paying off large loans over several years, and all interest that goes with it. Don’t just dive into borrowing, either – take your time to find the right deal, and you can save a small fortune.
Are you still paying through the nose for your TV? Satellite companies charge an astonishing amount of money, but the reality for most households is that they aren’t even watching the shows and movies they are paying for. And the simple truth is that as streaming becomes more popular, it’s pretty pointless paying for a full TV package when there are so many other options. Look at Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon’s video service as an alternative to expensive, pointless cable TV packages
Be honest – how much food are you throwing out every week, because you never get around to eating it? The average household throws out half of what they buy, due to products going off, or even ignorance about sell by and use by dates. If you want to make a difference to your grocery budget, you could do a lot worse than starting regular meal planning. Write down your meal plan for the week, and only buy what you are going to use – not only will your shopping bill go down significantly, but you’ll also be helping the environment.
The next time you go to your local pharmacy, think twice before paying for branded products. Non-branded medications include the exact same ingredients in the vast majority of cases and will do the job just as well. It’s crazy that we are happy to pay a rate of almost ten times the cost of a non-branded item just because we think it is the higher price means it is better. It isn’t – and you are just wasting your hard-earned cash.
Much like the energy companies, insurers rely on us forgetting about renewal dates – and charge us a significant amount extra as a result. You will almost always find that insurance companies give new customers a better deal than they offer old customers, and it’s something of a shameful scam. However, it’s easy enough to play them at their own game – just use a comparison site and switch your allegiance to another company and get the price you deserve.
Do you have any more tips to add? Share them in the comments!
Disclosure: This is a collaborative Post.