If you have ever sat down and thought ‘I want to save money every month’, then you certainly aren’t alone in the UK. Wanting to leave yourself with a little extra money each month is not uncommon, in fact it is recommended that we save a proportion of our wage as a buffer in case of emergencies. Whether you want to cut back on spending to save for a holiday, need a safety net of spare money just in case or are trying to save for a special occasion, there are many ways that you can achieve it.
Putting even a little money back in your pocket each month starts to add up and if you can save a little now, then there will be a lot available for later. If you’re tired of thinking ‘I want to save money every month’ and want to start actively saving instead, then there are plenty of excellent ways to do it without having to cut back too much.
Get rid of unneeded memberships
Almost everyone has, at some point, signed up for a membership and never used it. Many of us have memberships that we keep paying for, but never really get our money’s worth from. Memberships to gyms, clubs and TV subscription services can tot up to quite a large amount each month, so cutting out the ones you don’t use is a must for big savings. If you find yourself with more than one membership of the same type, something very common with film and satellite TV subscriptions, see which ones you use the least and consider whether you really need them.
Review your phone contract
Most phone contracts we take out are on a fixed term of around 2 years, offering packages with different amounts of texts, minutes, and data. It’s common that when it’s time to renew phone contracts, we don’t consider how many of those minutes, texts or data allowances that are actually being used. Adjusting your contract to fit your needs and usage can save a considerable amount on a month by month basis. If you don’t use your phone as much as you think you do, then pay as you go phone options can often be significantly cheaper than paying for what you don’t use.
Take in, don’t take out
Eating out is a favourite treat for many families, but eating out on a daily basis, especially when it comes to lunch, is a costly habit that many have fallen victim to. The average lunch in the UK is around £5-8, depending on which options you choose, so over the course of a month that can total more than £100 spent on lunches alone. With around a third of people who purchase take-away lunches bringing them back to their desks anyway, purchasing lunch on the go is not as convenient as many people think. Making a habit of packing a lunch before you leave for work is a handy way to save money for people who head out to work every day.
Re-evaluate expensive entertainment
A study by the Office of National Statistics showed that on average households in the UK spend around 13% of their income every week on recreation activities, a considerable sum and an easy one to cut back on. After a day at work, everyone wants to relax in the evenings or do something nice at the weekend and no matter where your located in the UK, there are countless free activities that can be taken advantage of. Many counties have their own websites listing which events are free in the area every month. Cutting one day out a month can help you keep a bit of money back for something even more special.
Cut the costs of your food bills
The typical household bill for food in the UK is £53.20 a week, but many of us are guilty of over-spending, especially when adding in take-out meals, meals out and purchasing mid-week top up shops. Evaluating what you’re eating, how much you’re wasting and whether you’re paying for branded labels when own-brand is just as good is important. Over-spending every week on food is easy, but throwing away uneaten food is a common problem, especially when you look at every product that goes in the bin as money wasted. Going to the supermarket prepared with a shopping list, planning meals in advance and looking at ways to make your favourite meals cheaper can put you one step closer to ending the nagging thoughts of ‘I want to save money every month’.
Take a closer look at your insurance
Household insurance, travel insurance, breakdown insurance, life insurance, car insurance- the list goes on. Many households invest in an array of insurances that they have to pay out towards every month. Taking a closer look at what you’re paying each month, and what you’re actually paying for, could help you to cut out what you don’t need and compare what you do. There are many deals on the market offering different packages at varying rates, taking a moment to compare could see you saving vast sums every month.
Sell first, buy after
Wanting a new outfit or the latest piece of technology isn’t a bad thing, everyone needs a treat every now again, but buying something new opens up the opportunity of selling something old. While you may be ready for an upgrade on your phone or laptop or need a new outfit for a special occasion, what you already have may be able to contribute to a proportion of the cost. If you have decided to buy something new, stop and check to see if you have something you no longer need, not only saving money but freeing up space at the same time.
Consider home improvements to reduce energy bills
Sometimes spending money helps to save money and investing in home improvements could save you a substantial sum every month, but a much larger amount in the long run. Options such as home insulation, protecting against drafts and improving the energy efficiency of the appliances you use can also save you money over time. If you have the extra money now to invest in the long run, then the sooner you choose to upgrade your home, the quicker you can start saving.
Find deals and compare prices
Special offers and deals are all around us and being able to find and spot the best among them is a great way to save money on experiences and food. At any one time, there are multiple restaurants offering substantial money saving deals on meals out and activities that are being offered up for a fraction of their normal prices. Whether there is something you’ve always wanted to try or a restaurant that you can’t help but paying a visit to every now and again, there are always deals to be found. Saving money every month doesn’t mean you have to miss out on things, but checking to see what is on offer first can mean you can enjoy it without having to break your budget.
Unplug electronics and save on bills
Leaving your TV on standby overnight or letting your phone stay on charge when its already full are just two of the most common ways to waste money without even realising it. Every minute your device stays plugged in or your TV is switched on it costs you money. Flicking the switch on the plug and pulling the wire out of your phone is all it takes to stop extra pounds being added to your bills every month for energy that you’re not using. Making a few adjustments here, such as turning off lights and not boiling a full kettle every time can really impact your energy bill.
Have another look at your energy provider
One of the easiest ways to put the ‘I want to save money every month’ impulse into action is by looking at your energy bills and what else in on the market for you. An unavoidable cost that we can’t cut out each month, energy bills make up a large percentage of where monthly our income goes- but it doesn’t have to. Leading energy comparison websites like My Energy can find the best deals on the market and reduce your energy bills in mere minutes. Finding a tariff that is better suited to your family’s needs is incredibly simple and something that is highly important if you want to start saving money and stop paying extra when you don’t need to. Energy providers are constantly changing their best tariffs to compete with other providers so staying on top of the latest deals is a perfect way to save big.
Saving money every month doesn’t have to be difficult, comparing what’s on the market and cutting out the things you don’t need can see you spending less and saving more on a monthly basis. One of the best places to start is finding out how much your monthly bills are and working out where you can start saving, freeing up your money now is the best way to prepare for the future.