Saving money is a good plan for anyone struggling financially. The thing is that saving money is, by definition, never an easy thing, especially when times are already hard. For many people, saving money is not intuitive, and, in some cases, it might feel like you’re downgrading your living standard. While there’s nothing wrong with this in theory, in practice, it could leave you disheartened and kill your motivation to work. Read on for 9 ways to save money.
So, you need a saving strategy that won’t put you in a position where you feel like you’re giving up too much. With that in mind, here are the top nine ways to save money you might have never considered.
1. Meal Planning and Batch Cooking
Eating out is incredibly expensive. So, one of the things you can easily do to save money is rely on home-cooked meals. The problem is that home-cooked meals can also be quite expensive. One of the ways to get the most nutritional value while saving money is to buy items based on their current value and plan meals based on your ingredients.
This is one of the most innovative ways to approach the situation, but you could even ask an AI to devise a meal plan based on what you have in your fridge.
Meal prepping is also amazing for very busy people. After all, it’s important to understand that many people opt for eating out because they don’t have the time to prepare meals. This way, you can avoid this problem once and for all. In fact, meal prepping can save you around 50% compared to eating out or ordering in.
2. Bypass Geo-Restrictions
To maximize their profit, businesses sometimes use a shady practice of charging different prices based on your location. Let’s say you want to go on holiday this year. You go to the hotel site and see the cost of booking a room. Then, you use your VPN and pretend you’re from somewhere else. Chances are that the cost will be much different.
The reason why this is such a brilliant way to save money is the fact that all you need is a VPN, which is incredibly accessible. There are many VPNs available in the UK; all you should do is download one and try it out.
The bottom line is that you invest 15-20 minutes of your time and get the same room and quality of service for just a fraction of the price. It’s not even going that far out of your way since you can download and start a VPN in a matter of minutes/seconds.
3. Auditing Your Subscriptions
Sometimes, subscriptions can actively save you money. For instance, if you’re a gamer subscribing to platforms like EA Play, you can save hundreds of pounds on buying these games. However, sometimes people subscribe and then just… well, forget to unsubscribe.
You’re probably getting emails or even SMS for each subscription renewal. The most accurate way is to get your account listing from last month and check where your money went. Remember, sometimes, you’re paying for three, six, or twelve months in advance. This is why not all of the subscriptions will be on last month’s list.
While it may sound intuitive to advise you to “just remember,” for the most part, we’re talking about subscriptions that you’ve probably already forgotten that you have.
4. Buy a Coffee Machine
According to one statistic, the average Brit spends £2210 in coffee shops yearly, which is going up. To solve this financial problem, you need to start by answering a simple question – Is this fulfilling a social need, or is it about buying a coffee? If the latter is the case, it’s worth buying a coffee machine (even an expensive one) since the ROI will be incredible.
After all, you can buy a decent coffee machine for as little as £59. You can even buy an amazing bean-to-cup machine for less than £500. This means that, following the previous number, this investment would pay off in three months. Even if you don’t eliminate drinking coffee at your favourite coffee shop, just reducing the number of these instances is incredibly cost-effective.
5. Try Couponing
Have you ever watched shows about extreme couponing? There are people who leave the supermarket with a truck full of goods that they either store and resell and end up saving thousands. In some of the most extreme cases, the store pays them.
Sure, this dedication is incredibly time-consuming, but what if you took a more moderate approach?
This is especially convenient today when you don’t have to cut coupons or keep them in a scrapbook. You can probably just scan them via an app on your phone that you already have. Supermarket loyalty cards can really pay off!
6. Understand Your Debt
To pay off your debt, you must first come to understand it. This is not as simple as it sounds. First, you need to understand interest rates and how they fluctuate. This way, you’ll get a much better idea of what you’re getting into.
Next, you need a debt repayment strategy. Make a list of all your debts and consider consolidation. An alternative is to focus on a single debt and pay it off. The smartest way to handle this would be to pay off the highest-interest loan first, but it’s also effective to reduce the number of loans by focusing on the smallest one as an immediate priority.
Also, before repaying these loans, check if there’s an early repayment fee.
7. Bulk Buying
You need to have a shopping reserve and a buying plan. You shouldn’t be afraid to buy in bulk when there’s a limited-time offer on non-perishable items (like cleaning supplies and toilet paper).
This, however, requires two things. First, it requires you to be on the lookout for these opportunities. Download apps from your favourite shop and set some items as interests.
Second, as we’ve mentioned, you must have money sanctioned for these purchases. No matter how good of a deal you’re looking at, you’re not taking money out of your pension or utility bills to buy toilet paper.
A great thing about carpooling is that it helps you and your coworkers save money simultaneously. In other words, it benefits the budgets of several households. In fact, if you carpooled 20 days a month, it would reduce driving costs by 40-50%.
Some employers encourage carpooling by paying bonuses or reserving the best parking spots for employees who carpool.
Then, as a hidden bonus, there’s the perk of socialization. While carpooling, you’ll get to know your coworkers even outside of work. You’ll talk about interests; you might even discover that you share a passion or two. You wouldn’t be the only person who sees daily carpool as the highlight of their day!
People love to travel for many reasons. Sure, some like to explore and meet new cultures, but for others, it’s about leaving their troubles behind. It’s about being far from their daily commute, being out of reach of some people who drain their energy, and spending a bit more in a foreign country.
Well, if you’re in the latter group, there’s a chance that a staycation could be equally invigorating as a holiday.
Saving Money Takes an Incredible Amount of Willpower and Discipline
The best thing about our list is that it allows you to save money without delving deep into extreme austerity. Sure, you want to save some money, but at the same time, you don’t want to destroy your current lifestyle. The simplest way to save money would be to forsake consumerism altogether, but the simplest and the easiest are often not the same. The easiest is the method that’s sustainable in the long run, and that’s what these nine tips are all about.