There was a rather interesting headline on Yahoo today, and you know me, anything to save a few bob (source)
Woman who saved £10,000 during first two lockdowns shares her tips for stashing the cash
My five eggs worth says that this article is good for those who are earning good money and are not on a strict budget. Also bear in mind that my personal annual income is less than half this, so the fact that someone can ‘save’ £10,000 in 8 months or so makes me wonder how much they usually spend, let alone what their income is to allow such expenditure!
Quotes from the article are in coloured type
“Some of the super saver’s tricks for putting away more money include cutting back on her spending by freezing her cinema membership card while venues were closed; switching energy providers; using supermarket coupons and cutting her weekly spend on fuel as she began working from home.”
“So, I have saved a lot of money in fuel for my car, going out for dinner, my cinema membership card and just all the stuff that we haven’t been able to do.”
There is also a referral to savings, and that she put her spare money into a savings account, one that is completely separate from her current account. Now this I can certainly identify with as I always worked on the rule of threes: one third of my wages would go on running the house and meeting the bills, another would go into savings, and the remainder was mad money. Savings accounts offer a pittance in interest today (a quarter of one per cent so for every £1000 saved attracts £2.50 in interest per annum) not that I can afford to save anything these days anyway, we tick over with a small cushion.
She also said she’d changed her energy supplier and shopped around for a good WIFI deal.
There are definitely big savings to be made there. We are on fixed rate deals for our heating/light, and landline.
“The couple also saved money by repurposing unloved items and doing jobs themselves instead of paying a professional.”
We did something similar as sellers at car boot sales when we wanted to revamp our kitchen and replace the front fence when we were selling the cottage. We are good at DIY and would do most of the jobs ourselves. However, replacement boilers, anything to do with gas, and full replacement of double gazed panels definitely warranted professional services.
I am not knocking this lady and her savings by any means. Good for her, and I bet she was staggered at the amount of money she was spending without realising it.
The basics are quite simple though:
Make a list of what your outgoings are: ie. bills that HAVE to be paid, like mortgage/rent, council tax, energy bills, water, phone, loans, credit cards etc.
If you have a credit card, take a hard look at what you’re using it for. If you can, clear the balance every month as that way there is no interest to pay. If you can’t at the moment, pay off as large a chunk of the balance as you can afford and don’t carry the card with you when you go out!
Do you really need that gym or club membership?
Do you have the means and time to shop around? We use three or four supermarkets and our food bill for last year was £1781 (Yeah I know, I keep a spreadsheet. It helps, I’m a number cruncher remember!!) We buy certain things from each outlet, not always because they are cheaper, but because they suit us. Also, there are special offers to be had.
Do you have to drive, or can you walk? I was surprised that we almost halved our fuel bill last year but that was because we weren’t doing so many long trips to hospitals or shopping so often and had been walking up to town rather than take the car. Don’t get caught by travelling a few extra miles to save a penny or two a litre. Remember you are using fuel to get there, and if you’ve spent a pound to save 30p, it’s hardly worth it.
Get alternative quotes when your car insurance is due for renewal, but be careful you are getting a ‘like for like’ quote, and that it includes commuting to and from a place of work if necessary. I have also gone back to my original insurer with a lower quote and asked if they can match it rather than have the hassle of switching. Most times they have reduced it to be more in line, if not an exact match. It doesn’t hurt to ask, and the worst they can say is No.
There are umpteen ways of saving money, and they don’t all involve spending hours on the internet or wading your way through pages of printed matter.
At the end of the day, we are all the same :
We have X amount coming in, Y amount has to go out, and hopefully we are left with Z.
How you decide to spend your Z money is entirely up to you of course.