With the rise in energy bills and rents soaring to an all-time high, it’s no wonder families are feeling the pressure to cut back to save money. Getting a handle on your finances can help you stay ahead of the curve, allowing you to save as much as possible in the interim. This is especially important for families to prepare for any unexpected costs.
Here’s how you can get started.
Set a budget
By using an online budget calculator or even a spreadsheet, you can list all your income and outgoings to work out the budget you need to stick to, to save more each month. Don’t forget to factor in any costly one-off or annual payments too, such as birthdays, celebrations or car-related costs.
Boost your savings
By making the most of ISA accounts and other forms of saving accounts, you can make your money work harder without having to lift a finger. This means you can take advantage of tax-free interest and other perks.
Only buy what you need in the food shop
While we all love a spontaneous food shop, having a shopping list ready to go will mean you stick to the items you actually need, keeping the costs lower. Meal planning is a great way to help save money and make the most out of the ingredients you buy – plus, it can help to save food waste. It can also be beneficial if you shop in certain shops at certain times, for example knowing the Marks and Spencer reduction times can mean you get good quality food at a fraction of the price, just remember to only buy the things you need, can freeze and will definitely use.
Cut back on subscriptions
Whether it’s Netflix or that gym membership you only use once in a blue moon, you could be putting your money to better use elsewhere. Every so often, take the time to review your subscriptions and assess which ones actually make a difference and which ones are draining your bank account.
Take advantage of discount codes and loyalty programs
Loyalty cards are simple but effective at helping you save money – and especially if it’s something you buy regularly. See whether there are any discount codes available too. You can often find them online and on brands’ social media platforms, as well as through influencer marketing campaigns.
Buy second hand
With the rise of second-hand platforms like Vinted and Depop, alongside old favourites like eBay, shopping second-hand is all the rage. In fact, it’s a more sustainable way to buy items that can be repurposed continuously. Think clothes, accessories, toys, books and more – the list is endless. And for families with young children, it can be a great way to shop when your little ones are growing out of items every few months.
Save energy at home
Simple changes to your habits can help you save on your energy bills. Avoid leaving appliances on standby and be sure to turn off any lights when not in use. You could also swap the tumble dryer for drying washing outside on a line when the weather is nice.