Many of us would love a little extra cash in our pockets each month. According to a survey reported in The Guardian, the average UK household will be £10,000 in debt by 2017. So, whether you’re saving for something special, or simply trying to cut back on spending, here are six suggestions for saving money the easy way.
- Switch suppliers
A very good way to save money without compromising on your lifestyle is by switching your energy suppliers and insurance. According to surveys carried out by Money Saving Expert, some of the big brands are charging up to £300 more than their rivals on gas and electricity at the moment. uSwitch and Compare the Market are just a couple of excellent comparison sites that let you find the cheapest deal. You could also look to change your phone contract to make it SIM only, or find a better deal elsewhere if your network isn’t the most competitive. Many will want your business so may match other quotes.
- Shop around
You’ve probably heard of the Aldi Challenge – but it really could save you money! Try buying in bulk from low cost supermarkets for your basics, and only buy big brands when you absolutely have to (try holding a blind taste test, as you may not be able to spot the difference)! It’s not just food shopping that you could save on – everyone from vets to car mechanics have their own pricing structures, so don’t be afraid to ask and barter them down if you find it cheaper locally. Most will want to keep your custom, so remember you CAN take your money elsewhere to find the cheapest deal.
- Buy second-hand
With the lighter mornings and (supposedly) better weather, car boot season is starting! It’s a great place to bag a bargain, as well as finding good deals on the more traditional auction sites and local Facebook selling groups. These are especially great for children’s accessories and toys – just give them a good clean and no one will know!
- Mend it
According to a recent survey in the US, fewer and fewer people now know basic sewing and mending skills, so we are more likely to waste money binning things and buying them again. If you don’t know how to mend a seam, darn a sock or sew buttons back on there are some great online tutorials available, or try a local class. Once you’ve mastered the basics you could start customizing old clothes, sprucing up second-hand ones or even making your own!
- Take paid surveys
Taking paid online market research surveys in your spare time is a great way of making money and saving the pennies. You can choose to get paid in cash (via PayPal, into your account) or in vouchers which can be really handy for Christmas and birthdays. If you’re saving for something big, such as a car or a holiday, you could also win our £5,000 Quarterly Cash Prize Draw, so make sure you get involved and take simple paid surveys when you have time!
- Track your spending
There are a few apps available which help you to keep track of your outgoings, see how much you’re saving and what you’re spending your money on – so you can see where to make savings quickly and simply. And, whilst you’re looking at your bank accounts, why not see if switching might give you a better deal? Make sure you’ve taken advantage of your ISA allowance, and you could even start a savings account by putting away a little amount often. Saving just £2 a day from tomorrow means you could afford to fly to New York City next March!