Saving money isn’t always about putting money aside into a special pot. Often you can save money just by changing simple habits or by combing out unnecessary expenses which little by little can add up to hundreds of pounds over the year. Follow these 14 tips and you could be saving more than £500 a year:
1. Turn off your lights and save on electricity
It may not seem like much, but dousing the lights in your home when you're not using them can save £10 or more off your electric bill each month.
2. Switch to a better bank
If your bank is prone to charging fees for things like ATM use, overdrafts or issuing cheques, switch teams and opt for a bank that not only cuts fees, but gives you better interest rates on savings accounts.
3. Split your pay check to save every month
Try to split your pay check between your bank savings and current accounts every month. Aim for an 80% deposit into current you current account and 20% deposit into savings. You'll save automatically and earn more interest with a savings account deposit too.
4. Stop auto-saving credit or debit card numbers
When shopping online, merchants love to keep your credit or debit card number in hand in case you want to make another purchase (they hope you will!). Keep temptation at bay and opt not to keep your payment card number available on "auto-status" when you make a purchase. You'll think twice about making another one when you don't have to actually type in your card number.
5. Inflate your tires to save on fuel
By keeping your vehicle's tires properly inflated, your car or truck will run more efficiently and, more importantly, save money on fuel.
6. Cut out subscriptions
It's easy to sign up for introductory offers for goods and services. But when you do, you can just as easily sign up for subscriptions you don't really need.
7. Split Netflix and other streaming accounts with your household
If you really get and use a subscription service, try to split it with your housemates or family members that you still live with. Take Netflix for example which allows you to have more than one person on the account. Take advantage and split the bill, and cut your monthly payment in half.
8. Make a shopping list and stick to it
Limit your grocery bill by making a shopping list and adhering to that list. When you buy only what you have on your list, you'll better fend off "impulse purchases" that can add to your bill.
9. Stream workout sessions
Save on pricey gym memberships by streaming online gym workout sessions and work out in the comfort and privacy of your own home.
10. Stick to happy hours
Thirsty for a beer after work? Just head to a local watering hole with a happy hour deal. Typically, it's a two-for-one deal for most drinks - and likely the same for some tasty appetisers.
11. Catch a matinee showing
Looking to catch the new Star Wars or Avengers movie? Great. Just go to an afternoon flick and save on ticket charges. While you're at it, eat before you go to avoid spending £10 on popcorn and a drink.
12. Get a water filter
If you're into buying boxes of bottled water, stop right now and invest in a water filter. With a simple installation, you'll soon be drinking clear, cold, uncontaminated water right out of your kitchen tap - and save hundreds per year in the process.
13. Junk your storage unit
A typical storage unit can cost up to £100 or more per month. Do you really need all that stuff? Instead, junk the junk - and the storage unit - and sell all of your stuff on eBay; earn money on the sale; and save money by getting rid of the storage unit.
14. Embrace the 24-hour rule
When you are mulling over an expensive new purchase, before pulling the trigger, take a 24-hour waiting period and see just how passionate you are about the item in question. By waiting, you're reducing that purchase from a "need" to a "want," and can more easily walk away, and saving more cash in doing so.