We’re currently experiencing a cost of living crisis. At the time of writing, petrol prices have hit a fresh record high and private renting costs are increasing. We’re also dealing with soaring food prices, energy bills and travel costs. Interest rates are on the up too. In the UK, they’re at the highest level in 13 years.
As a result of the rising costs of living, many of us are looking for ways to save money. They might not solve the issue completely but they can help to ease the strain of rising costs.
With this in mind, we’re launching a new series: 20 quick and easy tips to save money. Each week, we’ll be sharing 5 new quick and easy tips to save money. Here goes.
Ignore ‘best before’ dates
We waste a staggering amount of food. In fact, each year, almost 900 million tonnes of food are thrown into the garbage. At least three-quarters of that food is still edible.
While it’s a good idea to abide by ‘use by’ dates, eating something a day or two past its ‘best before’ date is usually safe. Use your own judgement and think twice before chucking something just because the manufacturers said it probably would have tasted better yesterday.
Do a ‘no spend’ day
We can waste so much on impulse buys when we’re out and about. A quick trip into town can see us buying a coffee here, a sandwich there and a few bits and bobs that we can’t even recall. While all of this might seem like harmless spending, it can all add up.
Try to set yourself the challenge of having at least one ‘no spend’ day each week. Doing so will get you into the habit of avoiding frivolous spending and make you more disciplined in the long run.
Embrace the ‘pre-loved’ market
Buying things pre-loved, or second-hand, is a great way to save money on big-ticket items. Platforms like eBay, Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace are great for this. A quick search on something like a trike for your kid’s birthday, and you’ll see that you can save upwards of £50 on branded designs that might have only been used once or twice.
Selling things online is another great way to help with cash flow. Our guide to How to sell your old things online features many tips on how to set yourself up as an online seller.
Reassess your direct debits
Make it a regular habit to check your bank statements to track where your money is going. While you’re there, look at your direct debits and standing orders. Are you paying for something you’re not using or could do without? If so, cancel it.
We waste so much money on things we don’t need. Spending money on a gym membership that’s not getting used? Cancel it and take up an exercise you can do outdoors—like running, for example. Treating yourself to a magazine subscription that never gets read? Cancel it. These monthly spends really do add up.
Switch credit cards
If you have a credit card and you’re paying interest on outstanding debt, it might be time to consider a balance transfer. By switching credit cards and transferring your balance, you can wipe your interest payments off for a limited period.
Simply shop around for the best balance transfer credit card deals online and transfer your balance once approved. You can find interest-free deals for a period of up to 29 months. It’s fast, it’s easy and it could save you a lot of money in the long run.
Of course, we do realise that these tips won’t solve issues like the cost of living crisis overnight. These are testing times for a lot of households and we’ll do all we can to help.
And tune in next week as we’ll be publishing Part 2 of our 20 quick and easy tips to save money series.