Here are a few money tips to help you save hundreds each year if youre prepared to put in a little time and effort.
1. Put your regular household bills on direct debit. You often get a reduction on this, as its cheaper for them to manage. Save up to £150 per year.
2. Switch your mortgage to a better deal. Check penalty and switching fees first so you know the real cost of switching but it could still work out cheaper longer-term. Save ££££!
3. Check your bills and bank statements. Are you paying for something you no longer need or could switch to a cheaper service? Call waiting on your phone, mobile phone services you dont use etc.
4. Pay for everything with cash. When you actually have to take cash out of your wallet, you are more likely to make a conscious decision about what youre spending it on rather than just handing over a credit card. If you can save just over £1 a day you could save up to £500 in a year.
5. Take advantage of Buy One Get One Free, 2 for 3 and special offers for goods you usually buy anyway. Save up to 30-50% on your weekly shopping bill.
6. Always shop around for the best deal. Switch your insurance car, house, contents, to a lower deal. NEVER pay the annual reminder without checking for a cheaper deal first.
7. Switch your utility bills to a cheaper provider. This is easy to do and you can often do it online. www.uswitch.com
8. Use Skype www.skype.com for free phone calls over the Internet. Encourage your friends to sign-up too and you can talk for free. You will need broadband or DSL and a headset for your computer.
9. Register your landline with www.1899.com Cheap rate calls to many international locations and free calls to the UK. Save at least half to two-thirds on your calls.
10. Shop around for your fuel prices can vary locally by as much as 7p per litre which while it doesnt sound a lot, can add up to a saving of over £160 per year if you just fill up once a week.
11. Review the contents of your supermarket shop where could you cut back. Fizzy drinks, snacks, biscuits, cakes. Buy fruit and vegetables in season its cheaper. How much do you waste?
12. Buy own brand products often much cheaper but just as good. Watch the labels to make sure you know what youre really paying for. Added sugar, bulking agents etc.
13. Reduce the thermostat by 1 degree and you could save 10% on your heating bill. Insulate your home properly. Put your water and heating on a timer.
14. Reduce your electricity bill: Switch off appliances such as the TV, video, Hi-Fi, DVD at the mains when not in use.
15. Switch to energy saving light bulbs not only do they last longer but they use less energy and you could save £5-10 a year for each bulb you use. Switch off lights when not in use.
16. Make your own lunch to take to work at least a couple of times a week. If you spend an average of £6 a day on lunch you can save as much as £480 per year by making your own two days a week.
17. Skip that morning coffee. It could be costing you over £400 per year.
18. Buy things on an annual basis rather than monthly when they work out cheaper car Tax, insurance etc. Save regularly so you have money set aside. Can save you 10%.
19. Check your smoking and drinking habits. You could make HUGE savings by cutting back or giving up totally.
20. Buy the things you need in the sales or second-hand shops. Its worth waiting a few weeks or even months for a large purchase at a much reduced price. Check online for cheaper prices too and you could save 10-20% or even more.
You can download a Money Habits Checklist from my website and get over 50 money saving tips in my ebook.
Copyright 2006: Clare Evans.