As we enter a new year, many of you may have made resolutions to better yourself and your life in 2020. Writing a long list of changes to make is the easy part, the more challenging aspect is actually sticking to them. Each year, there always seems to be similar resolutions that pop up amongst the general population.
These tend to be…
- Eat healthier
- Be happy
- Save money
And the list goes on. As there is always something to purchase or fund, saving money seems to be a goal for everyone, at all times. This may be down to the fact that it can be rather tough to effectively save money whilst paying rent and car costs, plus for holidays, birthdays and Christmas. To help you on your way, we have put together 10 easy ways to save money in 2020.
1) Learn to budget
We understand that this is much easier said than done, however, there are various tools and techniques you can use to keep you on track. The main struggle with this is knowing where to start and how to manage your finances. Luckily, due to modern technology, there are plenty of apps available to help you budget. With varying features, there is something out there for everyone. From planning and prioritising spending and saving up for a particular event to tracking financial behaviour, there is a solution for you.
2) Switch your bank account
Shop around and don’t be afraid to switch your bank account or set up a new one with a different branch. You could be missing out on a savings account with a much higher interest rate than your current one. There may also be benefits more suitable to you with a different provider, so take the time to find the best option for you.
3) Utilise loyalty cards
At first glance, loyalty cards may seem like a scam to tie you to the company and keep you as a customer when in fact, they can have multiple benefits. Choose wisely and only sign up to a loyalty scheme if you are a genuine customer, shopping or using their services regularly. Most shops now offer this and some of the best include; Tesco Clubcard, Nectar Card and Boots Advantage Card.
Of course, most coffee shops and some restaurants will also have these schemes in place but it is important to consider whether this will just encourage you to spend more on luxury items rather than save money.
4) Invest in saver cards
Depending on your age, you may be eligible for certain saver and discount cards.
If you travel regularly and are between age 16-30 or 60+, you could be saving up to a third of train costs for a mere price of £30 each year. For school pupils or senior members of society, a bus pass may be more beneficial.
Also, be sure to register for a NUS card or UNiDAYS account if you are a university student.
5) Avoid branded products
Brand VS Budget studies have shown that supermarket own brands can be just as good as branded products. Switch this up and make better choices in your next food shop and see if you make any savings.
6) Install an energy meter
Many households are still on the same energy rate that they initially were when they first set up, however, times have changed. You can now save hundreds of pounds on your monthly bill by switching to a better deal and installing a smart meter. This allows you to track your energy use and only pay for what you use rather than overpaying with a set price.
7) Don’t buy food out
Whether you find yourself frequently purchasing a morning coffee before work or eating out at lunchtime…STOP. Breaking these habits will benefit you long-term even if it only seems like a small cost at the time.
Packed lunches don’t have to be boring. Be adventurous with ideas and make your co-workers jealous; soon enough a home-cooked lunched will be much more appealing than a sandwich from down the road! Investing in a good quality flask will also encourage you to bring your own coffee from home.
8) Use a smash money box
This is a great way to save money and have a bit of fun, especially if you have children.
A money box that you can only get into by smashing it into pieces; if you are a culprit of dipping into your money box when in need of loose change, this is the perfect solution for you. This will help you avoid temptation and allow you to effectively fill it and reap the benefits at the end.
TOP TIP: Stick to £1 and £2 coins instead of small change in order to end up with a rounded, worthwhile figure.
9) Cancel any unused subscriptions
Did you get over-excited when film and TV streaming platforms first came about? Have a think, do you really need to subscribe to Netflix, Now TV, Amazon Prime and Hulu all at once?
Take half an hour out of your day to check in on the services you currently pay a subscription fee for and consider whether you really get your money’s worth. By cancelling the ones you no longer use, you will save a pretty decent chunk of money each month that can be put towards other things.
10) Cash in from a spring clean
A new year tends to make us want to declutter our lives and our minds and start afresh. During this process, you may find some hidden treasures that you no longer get any use out of. If you feel like any of your old belongings could be rehomed, why not upload these items to online marketplaces such as eBay, Music Magpie or Depop.
Following these simple steps should help you stick to your new year’s resolution of saving money, however, if you are still struggling, a cash loan may be a temporary solution. Get in touch for more information.