Times are tough right now, and money is tight for a lot of families. Incomes are not only reducing in real terms because many people are being asked to take pay cuts or to reduce their hours, but also because everything is becoming so expensive. In the UK, unemployment is at a 17 year high, with 8.4% of the eligible population out of work.
There has never been a better time to take a good look at your income and spending and save as much as possible. Here are 10 ways to immediately start saving money:
1. Cut down on takeaways. If your average spend on a takeaway meal is £25 a week, then getting one every other week immediately saves you £50. Cut down altogether and you are £100 a month better off.
2. Lower your mobile phone tariff. Just how much do you pay for your mobile phone texts and calls? Some of the tariffs are so confusing that the people selling them don't even understand which ones are better value for money (this means you Carphone Warehouse!). Work out how much you spend a month and see if there is a better deal out there.
3. See if you can switch to a better rate for your gas and electricity. Many websites let you search online for better value. Save up to £100 a month in some cases. If you have not already discovered these websites, then moneysavingexpert.com and uswitch.com are good places to start. I will put a list of some more at the end of the post.
4. Shop around for cheaper car insurance. If you have been using the same company since you started driving, then the chances are that there will be other companies which provide far better deals to you. Do you have all the benefits? You pay less if you park in a garage, have an alarm fitted etc etc, discuss it with your prospective insurance company and see what they will offer you.
5. Pay off as much expensive credit card debt as you can. This will significantly reduce the amount of interest you pay for the rest of the debt. Letting it stay just builds up the debt for you. Save money by paying it off more quickly.
6. Use your car less, drive to a park and ride instead, or just simply walk for shorter distances. Drive more economically and plan your journeys so that you can get several things done during just one trip.
7. Cut down those subscription services. You know if you cancel your Sky subscription, they only phone you a month later and offer you a much better deal. Haggle with them! Of all the services that you buy they are probably the ones that you can bargain with the most. Save at least £30 a month.
8. If you have a landline phone, see if your phone company offers a cheaper tariff. A lot of companies have unlimited calls during evenings and weekends. Or if you regularly phone overseas, see if they have an Anytime service which lets you call anywhere for a certain number of minutes a month. Halve your phone bills.
9. Shop at a cheaper supermarket. Switching from Sainsburys to Aldi can reduce your bill from £100 a week to £40 a week.
10. Go through your bank account with a fine-toothed comb And pick out the niggling little unnecessary payments. Are you paying for things you no longer use? Are you paying subscriptions for the kids that they don't even read? Cut out all the useless payments. Do you have more than 3 insurance policies? Make sure that you are not paying to cover the same things in different policies!
Don't throw away your hard earned cash. Sit down and make those savings today!