10 Ways you can have a financial overhaul in 2018
I have been writing about money saving for nearly five years now and am full to the brim of top tips to save money or make money. I thought I would start the new year with a post of my top ten favourite tried and tested ways to make a big difference to your budget and money spent each month. I’ll also try to put an estimate on how much time it will take you to sort it out as I know that put people off. I will also try to write in biggest money savings order.
Write down everything you spend money on.
First things first you need to get a good handle on what you are spending versus what money you are bringing in. Whichever method you are most comfortable works, be that writing it all down or writing it into your phone, tablet or a spreadsheet. I have a very handy spreadsheet created that you download here. This includes everything even all those random costs that happen every few months an average cost for them has been included every month.
Once you know where your money is going you can start on making those savings.
Your biggest cost is most likely your mortgage or rent. Are you on the best deal for your mortgage? Why not spent five minutes calling your mortgage company to see what deal you are on. If you are on a standard variable rate mortgage and your previous deal has expired it’s time to switch. Or maybe you are on a flexible variable mortgage rate and there is a better rate if you were to fix it. This quick phone call will be worth it if you then find a better deal. The great thing about switching with your existing provider is that you don’t need to go through all the affordability checks.
Or maybe it’s time to switch to a different mortgage provider, most likely there will be a better deal available if you move elsewhere. I wrote about a great company called Habito who can help you switch, all can be done very simply online.
Another big bill is going to be your energy bill, maybe around £100 per month. Again, its worth a simple bit of investigation to see if savings can be made here. I am currently with Octopus Energy and am really impressed with their customer service and prices so there are definitely worth checking with, and you get a £50 bonus when joining! They are not on the comparison sites so are good company to start with.
I would also do a quick check with www.uswitch.com as well who will do a full comparison for you. I have written a post about how simple it is to check your energy bills here.
Can you get a better TV/Broadband deal?
It’s always worth calling up your TV/broadband provider to see if they can offer you a better deal. Go straight through the customer retention department or the cancellation team to see what they can offer you. If you are out on contract you will always be able to get a cheaper deal which is annoying as they don’t let you know this! Or maybe you can strip back some of the extras you don’t need like the movies or dare I say it sports channels?
Swop your food shop
I was a loyal Tesco customer for many years, my last shops there two years ago were costing around £120 for 1 weeks’ worth of food. I swopped over to Aldi and that bill reduced by around £40 per week, an incredible saving worth so much money. Here are my top ten favourite Aldi products that are just like their branded equivalents. But so much cheaper!
Unused direct debits
It’s always worth going through your direct debits every few months to ensure that everything you are paying for is still being used. Are you using the Netflix subscription, are you going to that gym three times a week? If you are not using the service cancel it immediately! A great way to check all your direct debits is to set up an account with Bean. They will not only give you all your direct debit information they will also indicate where you might be able to save money. I write about them here.
Have a No-Spend Month
I did this for two months in 2017. It really makes you think about the little unnecessary things that you spend money on. The coffee on the way to work, the £2 toys to keep the children happy in the supermarket. It does mean that nights out are cancelled or if you do go out you are on the water but it does mean a chunk of money can be saved after a no spend month. I did one back in May. We normally spend around £1000 on food, petrol, bits for children, shoes, clothes, haircut etc. We managed to reduce this to £700 in the no-spend month.
Also, a fab tip is to write down everything you spend, keep that spending diary and review it back at the end of the week to see what maybe you could have gotten away with not spending.
Put your saved money into an emergency fund
Do you have a stash of cash for emergencies? You know those times when the boiler breaks or the car needs a set of new tyres? Or even worse you lose your job, or your earnings are reduced. It’s said that it’s good to have an emergency fund of three months’ worth of earnings set aside just in case of an emergency.
There are many ways of saving, be that in the bank, or using a handy app like Chip or Plum or even adding coins to a coin jar. I recently saw a friend had saved all her £2 coins for a year and had accumulated £600 worth!
Get Cashback on your online purchases
Whenever I buy anything online I buy it through Topcashback. This simply means that I get a little cash back kickback on every purchase. So yes, its free money! I have had an account for five years and use it for things like holiday bookings, flower delivery, pizza delivery, Ugg boots, new car and holiday insurance. And over the five years I have earned a huge £1825 from my online purchases! Sign up here for an account.
Read on more about how to get cash back on this post, but it’s really such a simple way of making extra cash.
Declutter the house and make some money
January is such a great time to have a big clear out and sell your unwanted clutter to make some cash. I have seen some great ideas on Instagram where people are listing ten items per day for the whole of January. Wow, I’m not sure I could do this! I have written my top tips on how to best sell on eBay. I use eBay to sell things and Facebook which I tend to do in spurts, I might sell 20 things one week and that will be it for few weeks as I tend to get annoyed with the postage and possible complaints bit at the end.
Decluttering is going to be my mission with the act of throwing away seven things every week which I will do on Friday. I am going to do this every week for the whole year and will share my progress on Instagram, I am looking forward to having less stuff as I am such a terrible hoarder.
Other Money-Making Ideas
The queen of money making is my good friend Emma Drew. She has literally tried everything from online surveys to mystery shopping to charity shop reselling to selling smelly shoes on eBay. She was one of the first bloggers I ever started reading and I learnt so much about online money making and blogging. Emma has just launched a fab new website called Make Money Without A Job where you will find all the information you need to make lots of extra cash.