Ways to save money

Here I feature my top ways to save money and if you utilize each step, you too will save a lot. Let's get started.

1. Saving money by comparing broadband

It's likely that at first glance you will be tempted to skip this one, but don't! I have asked family members, and friends how much they pay, and they all pay on average 6 pounds more than me. This doesn’t seem like much and after one month it is not but over the course of a year this works out to £72. How long have you had the internet? You do the math! It's worth knowing that the speed you get is most of the time irrelevant because unless you are watching Netflix-style apps streaming-only 4K movies, standard budget broadband should suffice. Especially considering 4K is relatively new and most programs are still in 1080p quality.

2. Saving money by comparing insurance

This is for all types of insurance, car, home, and business. Each year insurance companies purposely raise prices. This is due to most people not wanting to go through the effort of switching. However, the smartest people I know, phone around with different companies each year and push for cheaper prices, this works effectively.

3. Bank account interest rates

Interest rates are not very high but they still offer money for essentially nothing. Whilst each bank has different terms on the deposit amount, etc, they can provide a nice bonus each year! Santander offers a 3% interest rate on a 200 pounds monthly deposit for 1 year. I guess this doesn't really count as a saving, because there is a little bit of work involved but it will only take you 10 minutes to set up.

4. Do you need a TV license?

You might be thinking how can a tv license save me money? Well, you should know that paying weekly or monthly costs much more than paying straight up for 1 year. Also if you do not watch much tv you could unplug the connections and cancel your tv license. You will save £150 a year and you can still watch ITV, ALL4 on catchup tv via the internet. Just no live broadcasting or BBC iPlayer!  I did this and now I just use Netflix, and not only it is cheaper, but I get to watch movies. My favourite programs and don’t have to put up with the constant adverts between shows.

5. Growing your own fruit and vegetables

Now I completely understand that this might not be for everyone. But if you do have green fingers or are up for taking on a new challenge. It is very easy and fast to grow baby spinach. Growing fruits and vegetables can be so rewarding. You don’t even have to buy any seeds, you can collect them yourself from foods that you eat.  For example, if you have some tomatoes, you can take a couple of seeds out, clean them with water, dry them out and plant them.

Tomato plants can give you an abundance of tomatoes, and take up very little space.You can have lots of them if you want to or instead of buying fresh herbs all the time, you can save that money by growing your own. Sage, mint, thyme, rosemary are very easy plants to maintain. They do not require much care depending on your zone, and are perennials which means you can plant them once and enjoy them year after year without having to grow them again.

6. Does bulk buying save money?

When I say bulk buy, you can do this on as big a scale as you want. When I first started out doing this, trying to save money, I looked at things that we buy over and over again. I tried my hand at getting it a lot cheaper. To my discovery, I found that toilet roll at the shop can cost around £3.50 for 9 rolls, this was a non-branded type and actually works at around 38p per roll.

I went on a search online and found that I could purchase 144 rolls for £21 which works at approx: 14p per roll. I was at first skeptical about this, the quality, thickness, softness, etc, but I went ahead anyway, and to my surprise, the quality was perfect, better than the stuff in the shop in fact and it came with a free delivery which meant it came straight to my door without having to carry it. The only problem is I had to store a year's supply of toilet rolls, but at least, it made my guests laugh a lot.

Now you are probably thinking so from 38p to 14p a roll, “WOW, you saved so much [sarcasm] and I know that it is a 24p saving but actually when you calculate it, on the basis that the average family uses 100 rolls a year, that is a saving of £24 and this is just toilet roll. Think bigger, how many essentials do you use? The savings are endless!  Here are some suggestions on things that you can easily bulk buy if you have space; Toothpaste, pasta, rice, a sack of potatoes, tinned foods, UHT milk, oats, cereals, cat food, etc. You should only buy foods in bulk if they have a very long expiry date. Tinned food usually has years on it, and potatoes when left in a sack with mud on can last a very long time. We always buy a sack of potatoes and we have never had them go off!

7. Supermarket comparison & own-branded products

We shop online because it means that we can conveniently get our shopping delivered to us, for cheaper than what it would cost to go and get it ourselves. Public transport is expensive but getting it delivered saves us time, and I can do what I like in my day instead of having to walk around aisles looking for things on my list.

I want you to know that by no means am I saying that you should go for the cheapest possible food, I believe health is the most important, and so you should always buy the best quality food that you can afford, organic is no doubt much better for you and your family because of not being ‘modified, no artificial fertilizers, pesticides, etc)  But if you are going to buy non-organic, then you may as-well buy own-branded products, honestly, the items are practically the same, more expensive versions simply have ‘better-looking packaging’.

Studies have shown that after many blind taste tests, people do not even realize the difference in taste, and just like the bulk buy section, switching to a cheaper brand can save tons, at least try it, and if it doesn’t taste as good, you can go back to your first choice.

In terms of choosing the supermarket, many companies do offer the same products but at different prices, so what can we do about this? You can put all the items on you're shopping list in your basket at (shop number 1) and again at (shop number 2) — find out which ones cheaper and there you go!  If you want to take it a step further, you can go through each basket, and bulk buys items that work out cheaper, but remember this only becomes a saving if you were going to buy them again anyway!

8. Gas and electric

There are many ways that you can save money with your gas and electric, I would recommend going online and comparing providers, that can do both with a single payment plan.

At first, it may not be completely obvious how to reduce your electric bill but don’t worry because I am going to show you the way. Firstly, I want you to think about your day. Do you spend a lot of time indoors or are you out for a lot of the day? If you are out a lot. Then you should make sure that you turn off electrical appliances and gadgets that do not need to be plugged in whilst you are not at home.

When you are out you should make sure that your microwave, oven, kettle, TV, Wi-Fi, dishwasher, tumble dryer, washing machine, hairdryer, chargers, and any other device connected to your mains power are all off.

Ensure that the switches are off because the fact of it is that even when your TV is on standby or your microwave/oven light is flashing with the time it is using unnecessary power that you are paying for. You should also make sure that when you go to sleep which is in fact around 8 hours of your day. That these devices are also turned off. Doing just this alone could save you hefty amounts from your bill.

Another thing to consider is lighting, I see so often that people use lights throughout their home even when it is daytime. They close the curtains and have the lights on, today I ask why? Another common thing I see is people watching the TV and then going upstairs to hoover whilst leaving the telly on downstairs.

If you are not using it then turn it off! On average throughout the UK people are paying approximately £58.25 per month on electricity alone. If you pay less than this then good job. If you pay the same or more then you still have a lot of work to do.  We use the same methods as mentioned above and our electricity costs us between £20 - £30 per month. You could split your bill in half this month!

It might be worth switching your lightbulbs from halogen to LED. This is because they will use a lot less energy over time, try to make a habit of turning lights off when you leave a room. TVs use just as much power on standby as they do when they are on. Thinking about that you probably don’t want to be leaving your telly on all the time.

When you go to bed you should turn off everything that you do not need on. Not only will this start to save you money but it also reduces the risk of a house fire whilst you are asleep.  To help you spend less on gas, you should open your curtains in the day as this will allow the sunlight in, helping to heat your home, once the sun starts to go in the evening you should close your curtains to keep the heat in.

Whilst all these things may seem obvious, it is one thing to know and another to actually do. I have a family member and I won’t say who but they are continuously having the heating on.

Whilst also having many windows open with a cold breeze coming through. Now, this is so counter-intuitive but is actually quite funny if you think about it. It makes sense to heat only the room that you are spending most of your time in. Also, sometimes instead of using the heating, it may be worth your while just putting on a jumper.

9. Walking

In our fast-paced busy world, everyone rushing around in their day. Trying to get the thing done, driving here, driving there, and sometimes we actually forget that we are humans. We do have legs! Instead of public transport or taking the car, for short distances you should walk. Not only will save so much money, it's good for you but it is also better for our environment. Remember also, if you are a mummy or daddy, you are always setting an example for your children, if you don’t walk, they won't want to either.

10. Cook your own meals

Everything is becoming more and more convenient based, sandwiches, salads, pasta are pre-prepared in shops, microwave meals. Some think that this is great and sure it is, but it isn’t great for our wallet or our health, and so we need a Jurassic change!  After all, a £3 sandwich, 50p crisps, £1 cold drink is convenient but on a daily basis. Spending £4.50 on your lunch, but over the course of the year. It comes to a whopping grand total of £1642.50!

You could make your own lunches for the year for £200, and say goodbye to high levels of harmful sugar. Get yourself an Eco-friendly metal bottle for hydrating water. If a £1442.50 saving is not enough to entice you to make your own lunches I don’t know what will! People throughout the UK spend on average £1,000 a year on takeaways. With each takeaway costing on average £10. What we recommend is if you want to have takeaway food, then make your own!

Simply having the ingredients in your freezer to make your own will only cost you around £1 per serving. (through use of bulk buy - 6 frozen rolls, 4 frozen burgers, frozen chips.) Chances are making your own is much quicker, and you will save yourself the 45-minute wait for polystyrene food! Make your own meals in advance instead of buying ready-made. Not only is it much cheaper to make your own but is also a lot healthier.

11. How to reduce my water bill?

I have seen some families of four who pay extortionate amounts for their water bills. When I say extortionate, I mean that it is a lot higher than what we are paying. We are a family of four, and water currently costs us approximately £38 per month. Whilst it costs others around £70 per month. You may be wondering how you can make any change to reduce your water bill. Trust me there are a lot of contributing factors.

Before you get started, one of the most important things to check for is that you have not got a leak. This could be as simple as a trickling tap, underneath the sink, a leaking radiator, or even a leaking boiler. Even though the leakage may seem minuscule, if you added the amount of water wastage after days or weeks, the amount of water could be quite significant which would definitely be contributing to your high water bill. There are also more complex leaks such as those underneath the bathtub which can in some cases be very dangerous.

If you know where the leak is, then you should go ahead and contact a qualified plumber unless you feel like fixing the problem yourself in a DIY manner. If you have checked all around your home for possible leaks and you couldn’t find any then continue reading.

Does watering plants make my water bill expensive?

Whilst watering plants directly is not a major cause for concern, depending on many varying factors such as how many plants do you have? Or how do you water your plants can make a huge difference. Most of us have heard of the water hosepipe ban, and the simple reason why this law takes place is to restrict the waste of water.

It is a common law that is applicable in the UK at certain times of the year. Other ways to water plants include a watering can, or watering from a filled bottle. Whilst using a recycled bottle to water plants can be a bit more effort compared to the watering can. It is, in fact, the most efficient out of all the other methods. This is because it is more direct whereas the watering can have a rose petal sprinkle motion that generally causes more water to end up on the floor instead of the plant pot.

Do you flush the toilet too much?

We have all heard that famous saying “If it's brown flush it down if it’s yellow let it mellow”. Now, this is not always true and sometimes you should flush the toilet for hygiene reasons. Especially to avoid making the bathroom a smelly place. You don’t want the smell of urine becoming stagnant and to start staining your toilet. I have a general rule that if I am going to the toilet and then going out I will flush. If I am going to the toilet then going to bed, I will flush. You don’t always need to flush the toilet. It does, after all, use approximately 71.2L each day per person, and approximately 13.6L each time you flush. That is a huge waste of water.

Are baths more efficient than showers?

After a long hard day at work, nothing beats a lovely soak in the bath to finish the day. Yet we can't help but wonder. How much water are we using when we have a bath compared to a shower? A bath on average can typically hold up to 80 Litres of water. However, in an ordinary slow-flow shower, you would use the same amount of water if you were to stay in for about 20 minutes.

If you could take a 6-minute shower in the morning instead of that evening bath, you would likely save nearly double the amount of water. This alone would impact your bill especially if you are a family of four all having baths. Other things worth mentioning are when you have a long soak in the bath, I don’t know if you do this but I like to.

When the water starts getting a little cold, I like to let some out and top it up with more. Either way, there you have it. The best way to save water in regards to washing is by having a quick shower. In fact, my water company sent me a free sand 6-minute timer. It came with an information pack on how much water could be saved just by switching to a shower instead.

Washing up by hand vs dishwasher

A question worth thinking about, what is the age of your dishwasher as this could be contributing to your high bill. Older appliances including washing machines tend to be less efficient at cleaning. They tend to use a lot more water and generally use more electricity too. Modern dishwashers are so efficient in fact that compared to washing up by hand you could save 18927 liters of water per year. Whilst water costs vary a lot throughout the country you could save approximately £40 per year.

This is just by owning a dishwasher instead of washing up by hand. Although there are other costs associated with running them such as electric and dishwasher tablets this is countered by the cost of washing up liquid.

Running the tap excessively is another thing to think about. When guests come over to your home, it is not uncommon to see them run the tap. Let it run cold, make a glass of water, drink the whole thing slowly, and then turn the tap off. A part of this is to just become mindful that we are wasting water. Many countries have problems with a low water supply and we should try not to take it for granted. Do you have any water-saving tips that haven’t been mentioned? We would love to hear about them in the comments section below!

If I did these things, how much could I save?

If you are willing to take my advice, I guarantee you will save money each year. To maintain any amount of riches you must first learn to control your liabilities. Otherwise when your assets increase so will your expenditure and you will struggle to keep your money in the bank!

You could potentially save £1626 or more depending on how much you committed to this list, what will you do with your extra money?

Why saving money is important?

This is, of course, a highly debated topic.  On one end of the spectrum, you have people who save as much as they can, they go through life without experiencing much and the only actual benefit is seen by their bank account.

On the other hand, you see people living life to the full, always experiencing new things and these people may say things such as you can’t take money to the grave. The only thing is that this type of person has a very expensive habit that is very difficult to break. They are likely to get into debt from buying things that they cannot afford and look to money as the answer for happiness.  But they simply won’t find it.

So far we have covered the extreme cases and the main arguments that people may have depending on whether they believe that saving money is important or not. I personally do not believe that you should be so tight with money that you never experienced anything nor do I believe that you should spend it on pointless things that do not actually matter.  The right answer in this scenario is to think more clearly and for longer what it is that you want to buy why you want to buy and whether it will benefit your life if the answer to this questions is a resounding no then it is likely you do not need to spend any money.

Experiences are very important and I would highly recommend them. The best types of experiences are family holidays.  This is one way that you can truly buy yourself some happiness. Saving money is only as important as the thing that you are going to buy or pay for.

What should you save for?

Some worthwhile ideas of what you could save your money for include:

  • Assets, investments, and other business ideas
  • Hobbies
  • Family holidays
  • Things that would make your life easier
  • Healthcare
  • Education in the form of books, courses, and university degrees.

Saving money in my experience

For me Learning to save money was a slow and painful process. This is because of my lack of knowledge, and I had to learn so much through many online sources. I was determined to save money not because I needed to but because I had an interest. The fact is that if I saved I would be able to spend more on things that matter to me. Now I have tons of knowledge and I am happy to share all of you in a more simplistic way.

Saving money does not have to be a tedious process that limits your enjoyment, in fact, today I am going to tell you that it can be fun. As you discover some simple ways to save money, I guarantee that it will become a new hobby for you. Some of us claim to be bad at saving money but it is only because our parents never showed us how. Like everything it is a skill that you must learn and when you do, it could change your life forever.

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