Updated: Jul 6
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Well, hello there.
Do you like facts? I do. Here is one just for you:
More than 6 million people in the UK don't think they will EVER be debt free.
That's a lot of people. You may be one of them.
In that case, you have come to the right place!
When it comes to money, many people forget to check in with the small stuff. By the small stuff, I mean things we overlook daily. We don't even notice these things trickling out of our bank accounts.
If you rein in the small stuff, you could save around £100 a month by following the 21 steps in this post. In the current economic climate- every penny counts.
By the way, that is £1200 a year. What could you do with that money? Trip away? Overpay debt?
How do I know this? I did it - I have even written a book about how I saved money, which you can use to help you plan your finances - you can read about it here.
You can buy my book by clicking on the link below- great for the llama lovers in your life.
Let's dig in!
Here are my essential start-off tips to get you managing your money and saving £££s. I have broken the tips into four main sections so you can zoom zoom to where you want to go. I have also added links to my FREE budgeting downloads that you can use to help you manage your finances.
Make a nice cup of tea. Sit down and check your direct debits and standing orders.
You can do this online, on your phone app, or by checking your paper statement. Now go through this list:
1. Did you once sign up for a free trial and forget to cancel it? Cancel it!
2. Are you subscribing to a once-a-month item you don't use? Cancel it!
3. Do you need a monthly subscription, or is it a splurge? Think about it. Look for a cheaper alternative. Splurge you don't need? Cancel it!
4. Do you have a monthly subscription (let's say coffee) that you don't want to cancel but have a cupboard full of coffee? Pause it!
5. Are you saving* and not paying off debts, including your mortgage?
*Saving might not be the best idea in the current climate read more about this in my 3 steps to financial freedom guide
The one cost we can all cut down on if we have discipline!
This section considers your weekly food shop, clothes shop and furniture purchases.
6. Stop buying things you DON'T NEED. Step away from the clothing; you're doing your food shop! You don't need the kimono! No matter how fabulous you look!
7. Reduce food waste. Plan it. Portion it Freeze it. It saves money and time. Check out my post on 31 foods you can freeze to save time and money
8. Stop buying things your family say they want but then never eat/drink.
9. Buy in bulk on items like pasta and rice. It will be cheaper, and they store well.
10. Explore second-hand first when buying furniture and clothing. Look in yo r local charity shops, eBay, Gumtree, Facebook and Freecycle. You might be surprised. A LOT of my vintage clothes come off eBay and look like new.
11. Making a purchase? Look for discount codes online. Use them. They can often get 50% off. Just google discount codes. There are plenty to choose from.
12. Consider utilising 0% APR offers first when buying an expensive product. Especially useful If you have an unexpected break (such as a TV, which happened to us last month in the middle of house renovations. Ouch).
Instead of eating savings that you could be used to pay off your mortgage, or other debt for emergencies. You could consider getting finance on 0% APR. You will be expected to make monthly repayments, so make sure you can afford those. The king of money-saving tips Martin Lewis- has some great advice on this in his credit card guide
It may come as no surprise, but small tweaks in the home can save you so much money.
13. Stop leaving lights on. Get in the habit of turning off lights when you leave a room. A smart meter is a great way to assess this.
14. Swap baths for showers. Reduce water bills.
15. Only turn the dishwater on when it is full.
16. Dry clothing outside. (Seasonal)
17. Stop throwing away things that could sell on eBay! Here is how to be a successful seller on eBay.
18. Do you have a weekly takeaway? Reduce it to bi-weekly or even monthly. If you order through Just eat - get money back through the Topcashback site
19. Walk, get the bus, cycle or car share to work if possible.
You can get the whole family involved. Teach them about managing money and sustainable living too!
Are you finding it hard work getting your kids on board? Make one the Energy monitor for the week? An extraordinary job indeed! Make sure they don't turn off your computer when you are in the middle of a project and have just nipped to make a cup of tea.
I know teenagers are less likely to be interested. Please give them the responsibility of being in charge of energy in the house and giving them some of the money saved as pocket money. This is a great way to build their life skills.
If you aren't using a cashback site, why not? You get free money when you spend!
20. Check if your bank does cashback. TSB, Halifax, Santander, and Llyods all have offers available. Check the T&C's of your bank to see if you qualify.
21. TopCashback claims you can make up to £300 a year. They claim the highest cashback guarantee.
TopCashback has a wide selection of merchants and has a refer a friend scheme where you can make money by referring your friends. It is worth noting you may not get the cashback if you used a discount code. You can use it on an app or desktop = easy peasy free money!
I have created some adorable and practical debt and finance trackers to help to take the first steps to get to grips with your finances. These are totally free - you just need to sign up - then you have access to freebies. New items are uploaded monthly so keep checking back.
Just click on the image, which will take you to the downloads page, where you need to sign in. If you need a walk-through, this page will show you how to access the documents.