About half of Britons make New Year’s resolutions and half of these will be broken by the end of the month. If your resolution is to save more and spend less then you are at the right website. Here are our top ideas to save money in 2017 without setting the bar too high!
Take a packed lunch to work
If you’re organised enough to make a packed lunch each day, you will save £100s each year and probably eat more healthily as well. Typically this could save someone £600 – £700 a year. If you can combine this with avoiding daily trips to the coffee shop by making your own coffee in the office or just avoiding it altogether, you could almost double the saving.
Creating a change jar
Simply empty you change into a jar each day and the savings quickly stack up – even if you avoid putting pound coins in the change jar, you could still save in the region of £10 a week whilst barely noticing you are doing so. Some people actually take this saving a step further by setting aside every £5 note that comes their way!
Walking or cycling to work
This option may not be available to everyone, but if you can switch from using a car or train/tube you will save money and keep fit! If this goes well you are are adding 40+ minutes of exercise a day, they you could consider saving money by cancelling the gym membership!
Insulate your home and change light bulbs
A big expense in the winter months is the cost of heating your home. Simple steps like adding insulation to your loft or draft-proofing windows could save £100s over the course of a year. If you’re not already using low energy lightbulbs then changing all the old bulbs in the house will reduce your bills – forget about the days of dim light bulbs that took a few minutes to brighten up – things have really moved on in the last few years. For example, if you have halogen light bulbs in a kitchen then replacing them with long-lasting LED low energy bulbs will brighten up your kitchen and make a long term saving. To have an idea about how much businesses can save by converting to 12v LED you can use this energy cost calculator here.
Switch your energy provider
When was the last time you checked if your gas or electric providers were offering the best deals? If it has been a year or two then a quick visit to a website like uSwitch could end up being a few minutes to save a few £100!
A no brainer this one for anybody in the 19% of the UK population that smokes. Smoking 20 cigarettes a day will cost a smoker about £3000 a year as well as increasing the cost of life insurance.
Cutting down on Booze
According to Macmillan Cancer Support Brits spend almost £50,000 on booze during their lifetime or around £800 a year. Whilst we wouldn’t suggest cutting this to zero and having a life of herbal tea drinking if you cut down by 10% or had a Dryathlon month, you would notice the savings and be a lot healthier. Another less healthy option is of course to brew your own beer or make your own wine (ideally with a low alcohol content) – it will take awhile to get your up-front costs back and is possibly a bit more anti-social (unless you are planning to keep inviting friends round).
There may be tax allowances that you are not claiming. For example, if you are married or in a civil partnership and one of you pays tax at the basic 20% rate and the other is a non-taxpayer, you are eligible for the Marriage Tax Allowance. If you were eligible for Marriage Allowance in 2015/16 tax year, you can backdate your claim to 6th April 2015 and reduce tax paid by as much as £432.
Direct Debit Check-up
Check that you are not paying for things you no longer need. Prime examples are gym membership, computer software licences and various types of insurance and product insurance.
If you are between the ages of 18 and 40 you can save up to £4,000 each year (from April 2017), and receive a Government bonus of 25% (£1,000 a year). You can save as little or as much as you want and your savings and the bonus can be used towards a deposit on a first
home worth up to £450,000. More details here.
Just by doing some of our suggestions you could save yourself £1000s each year!