Can you believe it is only three months till Christmas? If that has come as a shock and you are wondering how you are going to afford everything, read my Money Saving Tips to help you for Christmas and beyond!
Money Saving Tips
- Switch utilities – are you getting the best deal when it comes to your utilities? Many people stick with the same supplier of things like gas, electric, insurance etc, either because they think it is difficult to switch; or because they feel they have to be loyal to a particular company. If you can save money by switching, why on earth wouldn’t you do that? USwitch is a great site that you can compare energy prices, as well as broadband, TV, and mobile phone packages. They even can compare personal finance and insurance options.
- Ask your current provider what they can do for you – if you are no longer tied into a contract with your current provider ask them what the best deal that they can do for you is. In the past I have declined an offer as I didn’t feel it was good enough and was then put through to their retentions team – who was able to give me a very good deal.
- If you really need to borrow money for a purchase, then apply for 0% credit card – and pay it off in full before the offer expires. MoneySavingExpert has an eligibility calculator that will tell you your chances of being accepted. This is not something I encourage, simply because of my own experience with a credit card in my early 20s and getting into debt.
- Buy 2nd Class stamps – If you send out a lot of mail, send them 2nd class instead of 1st class. It may not seem like a lot (I think it’s about 10p difference), but if you have to buy a few books of 12 stamps, the money you save could buy something else.
- Cheap petrol – will petrol ever truly cheap again? Probably not, but you can find the cheapest in your area at PetrolPrices.com. Check your local/free paper for petrol coupons. Our local paper often has a money-off per litre which my father-in-law gives to us – very handy! Some supermarkets also run money-off petrol when you spend in store. It may not be a lot of money save, but every little helps!
- Car service & MOT – don’t feel that you need to go to your car dealer for these annual checks on your vehicle. The price difference can be a lot of money, which we have found out in the past – ask friends and family for garage recommendations. You can also get a free MOT from Halfords Motorcentres at the moment, so a great saving there too.
- Insurance renewals – I know I mentioned insurance above, but I have to mention about renewals because we have just had our car insurance renewal come in and it is £200 more than what we paid last year! We phoned to check this and was told that renewal prices are computer generated and should always phone for the best price! Shame they couldn’t give the best price to start with right??!
- Declutter & Sell – I’m such a fan of this! We all outgrow certain things in our homes – books, toys, clothes, DVDs, etc., and instead of just tossing them away, you could sell them online via sites like eBay, Gumtree, MusicMagpie, Amazon, or at a car boot sale – although might be a bit late in the year now for the outdoor ones, check local listings for indoor boot sales. And if you can’t sell – donate instead.
- Cutback – daily coffee at Starbucks? Work lunches down the pub or at the local sandwich bar? Add up those pounds because it can be a lot per week/month! You can buy so many coffee types these days, included brands like Starbucks and Costa – so make a flask and take into work with you! Similarly, make lunches at home to bring with you. Need ideas? I have a huge series of recipes that are perfect for packed lunches!
- Open a bank account for your Christmas savings – interest on savings accounts isn’t what it used to be, but at the very least get the best that you can by comparing the different banks.
- Fill a piggy bank! – it might be old fashioned, but putting your change at the end of the day or week into a jar or money box will soon add up. In the past I’ve done things like save every 20p or 50p I had in my purse, or even more fun was every £2 coin I got as they weren’t so popular. It’s amazing how they add up over time.
- Buy end of season – stock up on Christmas cards, wrapping paper, gift tags, etc., and even decorations, and crackers in the Boxing Day sales – everything will mostly be marked down and you can grab some real bargains for next Christmas. You can do similar for other times of the year. I have always bought summer garden supplies at the end of summer for huge savings.
- Make a note of what you spent this year – then divide that by 12 and that is how much you should aim to save each month for next year’s festivities.