5 simple changes you can make to save you cash – The B-tox challenge.
Many people get the fear when you talk to them about saving money. The response is often, it’s going to take me so much time to sort out an energy company switch or to negotiate a better price with your broadband provider. I am not going to lie, they do take a little bit of time to sort out but when you think that a ten-minute process of investigation and then clicking switch might save you £300 per year, it’s suddenly worth it isn’t it? When are you ever going to earn £300 for 5 minutes work? You can read all about energy switching here.
There are some simple day to day things you might be doing that you can stop or switch which will also save you money. I recently met with the team from B and attended a money saving panel to talk money and the simple changes we can all make to save a few pounds that can then go into debt repayment or a savings account, aka the B-tox challenge. B is part of the Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank, and it’s very different to any bank I have been to before. There were bright lights, colour, mirrors, big screens, a coffee shop. You do your banking any way you choose, from sitting on bench with a tablet, so behind closed doors in an office. It really is banking at its most relaxed and best, I loved it.
Back to my 5 simple changes and ways of saving money.
Switch your branded purchases to a supermarket own brand
When grocery shopping do you automatically pick up the same things, the same branded washing powder, washing up liquid or crisps? Why not switch to the supermarket own brand and give it a try. It will certainly be cheaper and you know what it possibly or probably does the same job. I made a big switch and moved our entire shop from Tesco to Aldi two years ago and have never looked back. Now all the once branded purchases are Aldi own brand and I see very little difference except in the amount of money we pay for our shopping. I wrote about my 10 favourite Aldi products that are better than their branded equivalents. The dishwasher tablets just show how much of a saving can be made!
Take your lunch to work
A really simple one that might be costing you maybe £25 per week at work, a simple switch to taking in a packed lunch could save you a lot of money. It’s also going to be a great way to get some healthiness into you, maybe bring in some different fruit that you wouldn’t normally be able to buy in the work canteen! We made the change from school dinners to packed lunch for the three boys. This has saved us £10 each week.
Buy a reusable coffee cup and take a coffee from home with you to work
When I worked in London the very first thing I would do on arrival at the office was to buy a cup of coffee. That was £1.50 spent every morning where I could have just brought one from home! I have Nespresso coffee machine so the coffee is just as good. 1 years’ worth of morning coffees 4 days a week cost me maybe £300. Eeek, just on that morning coffee.
Be Brave and say no to joining in the drinks round
Getting sucked into drinks rounds when you are out with your friends can be dangerous to the budget and you might end up spending far more than the drinks you have consumed. I know that I drink very slowly so can often drink one drink in the same time that my friends drink two. Therefore I would much rather buy my own drinks and save some money. I can also them sneakily add in the odd soda water and lime to slow down the booze consumption even more.
Start a spending diary
This is such an interesting exercise that I find works really well on good old-fashioned paper. Every day think back and reflect on everything you have spent money on that day. At the end of week have a good look through at what you could possibly lose from the spending diary the following week. It’s a brilliant way of spotting trends that are costing you a lot of money. Maybe you buy a bottle of water with your lunch every day? An easy one to replace with water from the fountain at work. Or maybe you get two takeaways per week, could you reduce this to one or maybe just twice a month?
Are you worried about Money?
Research released 12th Jan 2018 from CYBG’s digital banking service B reveals finances in general are the biggest cause of concern in 2018, for over a third (36%) of people in Britain. Money management is set to be more worrying than health, the health of loved ones, career prospects or their housing situation.
It is estimated that 23% of the population are worried about meeting the repayment of a commitment in January, maybe a credit card or loan repayment. A third of those ages 18 to 34 say they will be borrowing money from their parents to help with January commitments.
Psychologist, Dr Linda Papadopoulos, who was at the money saving panel, says: “Financial worries can have a devastating effect on mental health. The relationship between the way we think about and manage our finances and our mental health is actually circular and can therefore lead to a vicious cycle. The fact is, worrying about debt and feeling insecure in our financial situation can lead to mental health problems like anxiety and stress which can in turn actually contribute to poor decision making around how we manage our finances.”
Many people suggest a tool where they can see all of their finance in the one place will make a huge difference to their financial security and spending. B have a great app that will help you do this and even has a handy alert when you are nearing £0 balance.
Why not start 2018 with a financial overhaul, making a few simple changes. The use this money to firstly repay any debt you have where interest is being charged and secondly start saving.
This is a collaborative post.