The recession is starting to bite and we are all feeling the pinch. Household bills are rising, inflation is refusing to fall, and many of us are starting to tighten our belts.
It makes sense to get your finances in order by saving – and even making – as much cash as you can.
Write down everything you buy. It is a bind, but you will be surprised how often you add a chocolate bar onto the petrol bill, or buy a newspaper you never get time to read.
Cancel the extras. Do you really watch all those TV channels you are paying for? Are you sure your mobile phone cover insurance isn’t included in your household insurance? Wouldn’t you get just as fit going for a jog instead of paying for that pricy gym?
Shop around. Not just for cheap food but for insurance, energy tariffs, your phone and broadband, your bank account… There are so many price comparison sites out there you have no excuse not to. You could, literally, save hundreds.
Clear your debts. With interest rates so low, it makes economic sense to use your savings to clear your debts. If this is not possible then become a rate tart and transfer the balance of your credit card to one offering 0 per-cent. Make a note of when the deal runs out so you move it to another card.
Make lists. Don’t ever go to the shops without a list. And don’t ever shop when you are hungry.
Downsize your brands. Always buy branded food? Then move down a brand; go for the supermarket’s best quality own brand instead. If you are already buying the own brand then move down a notch to the economy range. Some things will be awful, but with others you will never notice the difference.
Use your library. How many times do you buy a book and only read it once anyway?
Clear out the clutter. Sell your stuff on eBay, or get up early one weekend and hold a car boot sale.
Sign-up to cashback sites. If you do a lot of online shopping you can get some of it back effortlessly.
Plan ahead. Christmas comes round every year, but it always takes our bank balances by surprise. Start buying in January, when stock is reduced, or put some money aside every month. The same goes for holidays or birthdays.