Our Top Ten Money Saving Tips can really help you to get in control of your money and save more.
1. Review outgoings – our first money saving tips is to take a look at what can be changed/reduced or controlled. What can you get a better deal on? What could you stop using or could you switch to a cheaper provider?
We cancelled our satellite TV provider a while ago and switched to Netflix as it was so much cheaper and still gave us alot of watching options. We also changed our supermarket to a more competitively priced supermarket and it’s saved us hundreds of pounds over the year.
Sites like www.gocompare.com and www.moneysupermarket.com do a lot of the hard work for you on things like gas, electricity, insurance, mortgages, insurance, savings etc (so there really is no excuse to be over paying).
2. Understand your Spending – What are you spending the most on? Is it food? Is it clothes shopping? Is it Amazon? Don’t guess!
Go and look at the numbers (on your bank statements). Most banks now have Apps which allow you to track where you are spending your money. If your bank offers this facility, start using it as it’ll do the hard work for you!
Guessing is dangerous. If you don’t know the answers to this one then you might need a budget so be sure to check out our Guide to Budgeting.
3. Flex your Budget – Where you have expenses that are flexible (this is where you get to decide how much you spend on them), set yourself a realistic budget. For example, we have budget amounts each month that we can spend on food, fun, entertainment, petrol, Christmas and Birthdays. If we don’t stick to our budgets or we spend more on other things, then these are the areas that we “take” money from. So, for example, if we overspend on our budget for holidays then we have to underspend (or save) on other areas of our budget so that everything equals itself out.
You can flex your budgets, but you have to be honest with yourself about what you’ve spent. This is how flexing works – we have a weekly food shop budget that we stick to religiously – if we have one week that’s less than the budget we carry it forward to the next week … and likewise if we have an expensive week, we carry the loss forward to the following week.
4. Money owed – if you owe money or have debts make it your priority to pay these off before you spend on anything else. The interest you are paying on debts, loans, overdrafts, mortgages is always going to be high and you want to pay the least amount of interest possible. If you have high lending rates then shop around on a comparison site like www.moneysupermarket.com
5. Buy in cash – I don’t mean that you have to pay for everything in actual hard cash, but I do mean that you should only be buying things that you have the actual money for (the cash in the bank). No more borrowing!
6. Take your time – Impulse buying is one of the main reasons that people get into financial trouble, so when you see something you like, take a deep breath and give yourself time to think about it. Do you really need it? Can you get it cheaper elsewhere? You’ll be amazed at how many things you don’t buy if you give yourself 24 hours to mull it over.
7. Buy Cheap – We have a rule in our house that if we shop in certain places then we can only buy things that are on offer, sale or reduced. Our weekly food shop, as an example, is pretty cheap as we generally shop at a discount supermarket but occasionally we fancy a treat from somewhere with more choice. So, when we do, we have a rule that we can only buy at a discounted price. It might sound a bit mad, but it’s actually fun working out what you can/can’t have. Plus when we do buy something, we feel SO good that we got it for a bargain price!
8. 0% Rules – Unless there is something you really really need (like a washing machine or oven), then make the decision that you will only buy on finance if it’s 0% interest. Yes, it might mean waiting longer for something to have the right deal (or waiting whilst you save the actual cash to buy it), but you’ll feel so much smugger when you do get it knowing you paid 0% finance.
Remember – Interest rates are not our friends, the only people they make rich are the people loaning you the money. If you buy on interest rates you are normally massively over paying for that item which makes no sense at all. Let’s get that money in your pocket (not theirs) or (even better) into your savings account.
9. Auto save – if you do have any money left over at the end of the month then the best way to save is automatically. Set up a standing order to move money out of your bank account into a savings account every month. Even if it’s a low amount, it’s money you are putting aside regularly, and if it goes out automatically you won’t even notice that it’s gone (and you won’t be spending it). There is a great book which tells you more about this kind of approach called The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach which is definitely worth a read.
10. Pay your Debts – last but by no means least, try to pay your debts before you buy anything else. The less debt you have, the more money you’ll have available to save/spend. If you don’t pay your debts on time it’s likely you’ll get charged a fee or even worse, have legal action taken against you (which is horribly stressful and costly). So make your debts a priority!
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Top Ten Money Saving Tips
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