There’s more money hiding in your home than you might think. I’m not talking about the spare change down the back of the sofa. If you want to save money for a big purchase or simply cut back your household expenses, try these simple tricks.
Switch your suppliers
A lot of people stay with the same suppliers out of misplaced loyalty. You really don’t need to do this and could save a lot of money by shopping around for your utility providers. Even if you’re renting, you have the right to change your providers as often as you like. You might even get a free gift or money back for switching.
Untether your phone contract
When your mobile phone contract comes to an end, you don’t have to keep paying the same amount. Often, your phone bill is paying for your monthly usage and to pay for the device. Once you’ve paid off the device, your phone bill should be dramatically reduced if you keep the same handset. Save even more money by buying a used handset and choosing a pay as you go tariff.
Get a smart meter
A smart meter can help you to take control of your utility bills and save money. You might not even realise how much power you are using on a daily basis, but with a smart meter, you’ll soon be able to identify which items in your home are the most expensive to run. Even if it only reminds you to switch devices off when you aren’t using them, the savings can really add up over a year.
Install LED lights
It might seem like a small step, but old light bulbs can be draining on your electricity bill. By upgrading to newer LED lights, you can save money on lightbulbs in the long-term and also save money on your energy bill as they are far more efficient. Buy them in bulk online to get the most out of this lifehack.
Buy in bulk
When you’re buying items that you are always going to use, like toilet paper, soap and washing powder, it’s much easier and more cost effective to buy in bulk. Take advantage of offers at the bigger supermarkets and double down on your savings by ensuring you collect store points using schemes like the Tesco Clubcard or Nectar.
Downsize your car
If you have two cars in your household, consider if your family could make do with one. Or, if you have a large SUV, consider if you could downsize to a more economical car with better mileage. Cars like the Toyota Prius and the Peugeot 3008 are highly economical.
Check your tire pressure
Before taking a long trip in your car, make sure you check your tire pressure. You can improve your mileage by 1% over a year by ensuring that your tires are inflated to the correct PSI. The correct PSI can be found in your car’s handbook and you can often check and inflate your tires for free at many petrol stations.
Consolidate your loans
Taking out one loan to clear a number of smaller loans can help you to take control of your finances and negotiate a better deal on your interest rates. This can also help you to create a budget and then stick to it.
Get to grips with balance transfers
If you don’t want to consolidate your lending, you may want to try moving your credit card debt to an interest-free introductory credit card in order to give yourself some breathing room. If you didn’t have to make interest payments every month, you could go a long way to paying off a big chunk of your credit card debt.
Sell unused items
One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. If you’re guilty of hoarding, then it might be time to part with some items and get them listed on eBay or GumTree. You could be sitting on a small fortune and you didn’t even know it. Even things like old remote controls can sell on eBay as they may save someone from having to throw out their TV because they can’t get a replacement remote.
Cancel memberships you rarely use
If you have unused memberships for things like gyms and other subscription services, consider cancelling them if you don’t use them. If you rarely have time to sit down and watch TV, consider if you really need the full Sky package. Simply ring Sky (you can find all the sky contact numbers here) and you could be saving yourself hundreds every year.
Cook and freeze meals
Food waste is not only a problem for the environment but it’s also a problem for our wallets. To avoid wasting food, plan your meals and shopping list at the start of the weekend and then dedicate the whole of Sunday to cooking and freezing your meals for the week. You’ll be much less likely to waste food or reach for a takeaway menu mid-week if you don’t have to think about cooking.
Buy store brand items
We’re conditioned to think that the brand name items are better, but often, they are identical to the store brand items. For canned goods like chopped tomatoes and sweetcorn, you won’t taste the difference between brand-name and store-brand. Save your budget for higher-quality meat and poultry and dairy products.
Look for offers for entertainment
When we’re cutting back and trying to save money, entertainment is often the first thing to go. Look for two-for-one theatre deals, reduced cinema tickets, or just host a dinner party. Entertainment doesn’t have to be expensive if you are always on the lookout for a good deal.
Set up direct debits for your bills
Paying late fees for missed direct debit payments is one of the easiest avoided expenses. Never worry about missing a payment again by setting up direct debits and then making a note of when they go out so that you always have the funds in place. Banks can be quite aggressive with fees for going over your arranged overdraft, so using direct debits to keep track of your financial comings and goings is very effective.