A few useful money saving tips

It would be fair to say that many of us are not saving as much money each and every month as we should or even could. Given our 24/7 access to spending money, whether this be online, in store over the phone this fact is not perhaps a complete surprise. Consumers in a general sense now have much better access to money spending facilities than ever before and the means for spending our money is becoming more advanced and therefore fuss-free too. Whereas in years gone by the majority of our shopping needs for example, were conducted at our local high street; nowadays this couldn’t be further from the truth. We can shop online, via the means of various different websites for each and every one of our needs and the vast majority of us sure do; with online shopping in the UK reaching a whopping £114 billion in value in 2015 alone. So whilst we have perfected the act of spending, our ability to save money may have suffered as a request. Saving month whether on individual purchases or putting money aside on a regular monthly basis for a rainy day, are really rather important to our overall financial health. With this in mind today we will be discussing some ways in which we can incorporate saving money into our everyday and regular spending habits.

Just before we start, a fun fact concerning money, is that each year more monopoly money is printed across the world than actual currency! Perhaps further highlighting just how fond we are of using electronic means of payment compared to the good old Bank of England note. Fun facts aside in order to address your finances as a whole and therefore actively look to make improvements as far as saving money is concerned, there is in fact a vital first step. This step is to fully understand just how much money you are currently spending for an entire calendar month. Although many of us probably believe we already have this information firmly in our grasp, in reality this is likely to be untrue. Many of us overspend each and every month on the likes of food and clothing for example and this is because we do not keep an accurate and honest tab on these particular spending habits. SO in order to be sure a sensible starting point for your money saving exercise is to record each and every spend you make throughout the calendar month. This should include all forms of spending, whether that be via your debit card, online, via standing orders and direct debits or even just cash. Once this has been recorded, in detail, for an entire month; only then will you understand your actual spending habits.

It might be for many of us the single act of physically recording and listing all of our actual expenditure provides obvious routes for cutting down on spending and therefore increasing our potential ability to save. For example, are you spending more on weekly food shop ‘top-ups’ than expected? It would seem you are not alone given the new BBC show dedicated to highlighting just how we not only over-spend on food but also where brand loyalty is costing us dearly. Perhaps instead your online spending on ‘luxury’ purchases is too high? As we discussed above online spending accounts for billions of consumer spending each and every year and by luxury goods; these are any purchases which are not essential to our everyday living costs. Whichever area of spending it may be which highlights an obvious or perhaps even subtle over-spend, now is the time to address it. You only need to multiple each category of spending by 12 to really understand exactly what you are spending each year on your living costs, travel, food and ‘luxury’ items.

It is therefore important that we do not under-estimate the readily available options we have to save money; simply by fully understanding our existing spending habits. Whether the end result of your research is a budget plan, to track your spending or a discussion with existing suppliers to see what offers and money saving routes they have available, the vital thing is to use the information which is newly at your disposal. The combination of this and a savvy and considered approach to future spending will only lead to better spending habits, the opportunity to save and therefore healthier finances in the future.    

Representative Example: Representative 1286.98% APR on a loan of £300.00 with 5 monthly repayments of £101.03 Total amount repayable £505.13 Annual interest rate (fixed) 290%

Warning: Late repayment can cause you serious money problems - For help, go to moneyadviceservice.org.uk

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Author: Internal Customer Services Agent