Living in the U.K. can be quite expensive, no matter what corner you reside. To help you cut down on costs, here are several useful money saving tips.
Tip #1: Settle your credit card balance right away
There’s a good chance that your credit card comes with the highest interest rates among all your debts. Because of this, make sure that you settle your credit card balance in full every month. Doing this would actually save you much more money than investing, unless you can find a financial product with an interest rate higher than your credit card (which is virtually impossible).
Tip #2: Use a pay-as-you-go phone
Do you really use up all the minutes, text messages and data allotment in your mobile phone plan? If you pay more than £60 to your carrier every month, that’s worth £720 annually. However, you can save a lot of money by switching to a pay-as-you-go prepaid phone, which costs only around £30 per top-up. And if you’re easy on your usage, you don’t even have to spend that amount every month—especially if you already have your own Wi-Fi at home.
Tip #3: Prepare your own meals
Ready-made meals or going out to eat may be very convenient, but preparing/cooking your own meals significantly reduces your expenses. It’s healthier too, even when you make your own greasy burgers.
Tip #4: Watch less television
There are many benefits to cutting down on your telly time. First, you use up less electricity. Next, you won’t see so many ads, which will only tempt you to spend on more stuff. Since you’re watching less, you might as well get rid of cable or satellite TV, which would save you more money. Best of all: you have more time for other things, like relationships and exercise.
Tip #5: Make extra mortgage payments
Does your mortgage allow extra payments? Then put in an additional £100 per month so that you can add more equity to your home and save money on interest. If your home loan costs £250,000 at an interest rate of 7 per cent and is payable for 25 years, you’ll be able to reduce your repayment term by 25 months and save around a total of £24,405 on interest.
Tip #6: Prepare a shopping list and follow it
Make sure that you’ve prepared a shopping list before setting foot in a store, or you’ll end up spending more than you should. Of course, you’d still have to follow your list strictly so that you’d stay within your budget.
Tip #7: Get a High Interest Savings Account
You’ve got to do some research, but high interest savings accounts are a great way to grow wealth and make the most of what you’ve got in the bank.
Tip #8: Quit costly habits
Habits like smoking, drinking and drugs cost a lot of money. A pack of Dunhill cigarettes cost around £6.70, so if you smoke a couple per day, that’s £93.80 per week or a staggering £4,877.60 per year. A pint of beer would cost around £2.50 to £3, so if you consume an average of four every weekend, this would set you back by £520 per year. If you drink and smoke, you’d spend around £5,400 annually, not to mention future medical expenses.
Tip #9: Wash your hands
Whether you’re cooking your own food or just went to the bathroom, see to it that you always wash your hands before and after any activity that involves them. Doing this would protect you from getting bacteria, viruses and all sorts of infection, which cost money to treat.
Tip #10: Use LED bulbs
While an LED or CFL bulb would initially cost more, they’d eventually save you more money in electricity bills. Just to give you a better perspective, LED bulbs use up only 2 per cent of the power consumed by regular incandescent lights. You read that right: 2 per cent.