13 How to make economies on spending
There are so many ways to save money. Here are a few of the more common ideas from personal finance experts.
- Paying some bills by direct debit might save you money, for example utility bills. But check carefully, because the opposite is the case with some bills such as household and car insurance, which can cost more if you pay them monthly by direct debit.
- Shop around when it’s time to renew your insurance policies. Premiums are often increased each year, and the insurers rely on customers not bothering to switch to another company. Also check that you’re not paying for any ‘extras’ that you didn’t ask for and don’t want. Note that from 2022 insurers have to offer the same prices to existing customers who are renewing as they are offering to new customers.
- If you’re paying high interest on your credit cards, look for 0% deals on balance transfers but check for transfer fees. If no deals are available try to pay off your credit card debt as soon as possible. If necessary use alternative, and cheaper, borrowed funds.
- Switch suppliers of gas, electricity, landline or your internet connection – although you will need to sort this out with your landlord if you’re in rented accommodation. There are major savings to be had in these areas. Citizens Advice has created a website to help you find the best deal on your energy suppliers [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .
- Reconsider your gym membership, if you have one, and look into ‘pay as you go’ instead. Depending on how often you go, you could save money.
- Think about whether a branded item is really value for money.
- Cut down on the number of takeaway meals you have. Cutting from two to one a week would save typically over £250 a year.
- Call your phone supplier and ask them if there’s a better tariff to suit your needs.
- Buying in bulk for items such as contact lenses saves a lot of money.
- Taking packed lunches to work can save lunch costs.
- Check whether a local market is cheaper than the supermarket – particularly for fruit and vegetables.
- Turn off lights, don’t leave stand-by buttons on and turn down the thermostat to save large amounts on energy bills (and help the environment) each year.
- Make a shopping list and stick to it. Try to use money-off coupons from supermarkets and other retailers, as well as those offered by papers and magazines.