When it comes to saving money we are often more focused on finding the big ways to cut costs. However, the smaller savings really do add up. If you’re looking for opportunities to save money without making big changes then these are just a few of the lifestyle hacks you can try to help you achieve much bigger savings overall. And saving money means there will be much less of a need to consider short terms loans to cover the budget gap!
Push your big purchases until the end of the month
If you’re buying something that requires interaction with a sales rep then the end of the month is the best time to get it. All sales reps have quotas to fill – if you wait until close to their deadlines to make your purchases then you’ll have more leverage when it comes to bringing the price down and saving you money.
Make your coffee at home – or take your own cup
Avoiding the daily £3-4 spend on coffee can add up to huge savings, which is why it’s one of the lifestyle hacks most often suggested. If you really can’t do without that daily dose of someone else’s caffeine expertise then buy a reusable cup and take that to your local coffee shop each day. Everyone, from independent coffee shops to Starbucks and Costa, will give you a discount if you do.
Track your spending with an app
There are lots of different apps available now to show you how much you spend and where most of your money goes. Find one that will consolidate all your accounts so that you can see your bank accounts and debt in one place and have a clear overview of your finances. When you start tracking your spending you’ll find it much easier to identify where you’re wasting money and where there are opportunities to make savings.
Be your own personal chef
If you’re buying your lunch every day then you could be spending anywhere up to £50 a week on food. The most frugal savers know that batch cooking is a lifestyle hack that will quickly bring spending down. Whip up a sizeable batch of something on a Monday and then eat it for the next few days in a row – it will do your body no harm to eat something delicious on repeat and it will be cheaper and minimum hassle too.
Buy a water filter
You might be surprised to realise just how much you spend on bottled water each year if you really add up the cost. A water filter jug at home gives you a plentiful supply of fresh and ready to drink water with all the nasty bits filtered out. You’ll not only be making financial savings but also environmental ones too, as you’ll be sending less plastic to landfill.
Make sure you’re hydrated
While we’re on the subject of water did you know that many people frequently mistake thirst for hunger? If you feel yourself getting peckish, drink a glass of water before you eat. You might find that’s enough to satisfy your body if it was really thirst that you felt and you’ll save money on the food that you don’t consume as a result.
Ask for a cut price deal
From your internet provider to the energy company you use and the business that you bank with, it’s always worth asking if they can reduce the cost of your services. Most businesses have some leeway available, especially for loyal customers, but they aren’t that likely to offer it up unless you ask for it first. So, try requesting a lower monthly payment or reduced interest rate – even a small decrease in these costs can make all the difference.
Clear your browsing history when shopping online
New customers get the best deals so it’s always worth clearing your cache and history online. Get into the habit of making purchases as a guest rather than signing up for an account that brands can track to make sure you always see the best savings.
Learn to be happy with what you have
It sounds like hipster mindfulness nonsense but you can save a lot in the long run by learning to be happy with what you already have. Appreciating existing possessions instead of constantly looking to acquire new ones is the best way to bring your spending down.
Reduce the brightness on all your screens
From smart phone to laptop and desktop, you can reduce the screen glare to help save cash. All screens have a default setting of high brightness but if you alter this to a lower setting you can save up to 40% on your energy consumption. Plus, you’ll also be taking better care of your eyes.
Alex Hartley is a keen advocate of improving personal finance skills. She's worked at Solution Loans since 2014 and written hundreds of articles about how people can manage their money better. Her interest in personal finance goes way back to...Read more about Alex Hartley