Sometimes, the best money-saving hacks are the smallest things. Swap something here, stop wasting this small amount there. Even better, most of these small projects don’t require much time or energy investment. Do them once and you’ll see your financial wellbeing improve.
We’ve put together a list of eight small things you can do to start saving money today.
1. Track your money
You’ve heard it before: budgets are important. But before you can plan how to spend your money, you need to understand where it’s going.
2. Make a budget
Now that you understand where your money goes, set up a budget. Decide how much money you can allocate to each category and where you need to cut down. A budget is a good way to refocus your financial goals and learn how to spend less.
3. Cut housing costs
For most people, housing is the most expensive category in the budget. One of the best money-saving hacks you can focus on is cutting down on your housing expenses, no matter whether you rent or own.
Sharing expenses with a flatmate can considerably lower your costs. If that’s not possible, try to negotiate the rent with your landlord. Offer to pay two months’ rent upfront in exchange for a slightly lower monthly rent or see if they’ll agree to take a smaller security deposit.
4. Save on utilities
You won’t save a fortune by turning off the lights every time you leave the room, but doing 10-20 small things every day will add to significant savings on your utilities over a period of months.
Switch all of your lightbulbs to energy-efficient LED bulbs, get a thermostat to help control your heating, seal windows and door to prevent heat from escaping, and space out your laundry more to save on both electricity and water usage.
5. Negotiate all of your services and subscriptions
If you’re a long-term customer, a simple phone call or email could get you a discount on a service or subscription you’ve been using for a while. A £50 discount on your car insurance, £10 on your pet insurance, or a free month added to your gym membership all add up.
All you need to do is ask: “Is this the best price you can offer me?” or “I saw a cheaper price advertised by another company. Can you match it?” The worst that can happen is they say no.
6. Commit to one month of free entertainment
This money-saving hack could be a great exercise on being creative and finding ways to replace expensive club and movie outings. For outdoor fun, go for a hike, have a picnic at a local park, borrow a bicycle, or play tourist and join a free city tour where you live.
Weather not cooperating? Organize a board game night with friends, have a Netflix marathon, or find out if your local museums offer free days.
7. Eat out smartly
Eating at home will always be cheaper, but once in a while you might want to meet a friend for a meal or go out to celebrate something special at a restaurant.
When you do, you can cut costs by getting lunch instead of dinner or ordering a small entree rather than a big main dish.
The most overpriced items on the menu are the drinks, so order water instead and save a ton of money.
8. Consider second-hand shopping
Buying second hand is not only a great money-saving hack but it’s also sustainable and great for the environment.
For some things, buying used almost always makes more sense. This is the case with books and textbooks, basic furniture items, small kitchen appliances and even cars.
If you’re shopping for something expensive, such as designer clothing and sports equipment, buying second hand could save you a lot of money and you’ll still end up with the same quality as buying new.
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