Ten ways to save more money (and keep your social life)
Updated: Aug 28, 2019
1. Make your bank work for you
How long have you been with your current bank? If you’ve been with the same bank for several years, you’re probably one of the millions of Brits missing out on perks offered by banks to new customers. The fear of admin and missing payments is often cited as a reason why people don’t switch - but the UK has a 7-day switching service which ensures all of your incoming payments and direct debits automatically redirect to the new account, taking all the stress of switching bank.
2. Don’t shop hungry
Never go food shopping when you’re hungry. It sounds obvious, but the effect of shopping hungry is a basket full of snacks and fun foods which will be a quick, expensive fix. Instead, be sure to write a list of items you need before going food shopping and stick to your plan. Through meal planning and focused shopping, you can save yourself both money and time.
3. Clean up your subscriptions
Remember that snack box delivery you signed up for two years ago at a bargain price? Did you actually remember to cancel it? Set aside 20 minutes to do an audit of your subscriptions - check your bank statement for the last three months and make sure you recognise everything going out of your account and cancel anything you no longer need.
4. Max out your calendar
Diarise the renewal dates for any annual payments you make, such as phone or car insurance and shop around every time your policies come up for expiry. Loyalty doesn’t count and big insurers cash in when policies auto-renew and customers forget to review or switch, often meaning the first year discounted rates end and prices rocket.
5. Get to know your neighbourhood
It’s easy to think that every fun activity will cost you, especially if you live in a city where your average cinema trip sets you back a minimum of £10 plus snacks. Often this isn’t really the case - try tapping into your local area and check out your neighbourhood theatre, free museums or exhibitions and any community events. Plus, you’ll also get the perk of integrating into your local area and supporting local business.
6. Socialise creatively
Catching up with friends doesn’t always have to cost a fortune and although dinner out is often the easy option, sometimes the more creative meetups can turn out to be the most enjoyable. Ideas? Plan a dinner and delegate responsibility for different courses. Host a movie night and ask guests to bring over snacks and beers. Start a book club and rotate hosting duties monthly.
7. Break up with taxi apps
I admit that a couple of years ago, I had an Uber problem. Eventually I realised that I live in a city with great public transport, which often is far quicker than sitting in a car (if you know London traffic, you know) and the cost of public transport is far more manageable than taxis or driving. If you live in a well-connected city, chances are there’s a monthly pass which gives you unlimited travel. Less hassle, more money - win win.
8. Clean your tech
Recently, a friend was ready to drop £1000 on a brand new iPhone because his iPhone 7 had stopped charging properly. A chance trip to the office IT department revealed that the cause of the issue was dust clogging the charging point - within ten minutes, a quick clean had fixed the problem that had plagued him for months and kept the £1000 in his bank, rather than the Bank of Apple. The same can happen with dryers, hoovers, fridges - so set a regular cleaning reminder and you might extend their shelf lives.
9. Buy own brand products
Hear me out: not every product can match the branded version (Heinz tomato ketchup is a non-negotiable in my cupboard) but there are hundreds of products where you can save serious money through purchasing own brand supermarket products. It’s not just food products you can save on: many supermarkets have own brand household products which serve the same purpose and save you pennies!
10. Carry a refillable water bottle
Not only are you saving the environment by reducing your consumption of single use plastic, but you’re saving yourself from spending unnecessary money when you’re out and about. On top of saving your money and the planet, you are also helping to improve your health at the same time.