We recently looked at ways people can budget to make their hard-earned money go a little bit further. We’ve got a few more tips below for how to do this. Budgeting can allow you to live your life without making major sacrifices.
If you have bought something that doesn’t work, is not as advertised, or is not of the anticipated quality, complain to the store where you purchased it. It’s easy to just avoid the confrontation and just accept the product, but it shouldn’t be that way. We are only human after all – we’re supposed to be good at complaining! Think about everything that you should have really taken back in the past year, and you will probably find that you have many pounds worth of inferior products that you have never used because you didn’t want to complain.
If you find something that you want to purchase, but it has small, insignificant damage, why not try to negotiate a lower price? Most stores will be prepared to offer you a discount – if you don’t ask, you don’t get!
We often stretch our finances and end up in debt due “keeping up with the Joneses”. Just because your friend, or neighbour, or family member has bought a plasma TV, it shouldn’t mean that you need to do the same. The chances are that that person has put themselves in further debt by doing so, so take our advice, and try to learn to be content with the material objects that you have, and only buy new items when your old ones are broken. Even then, look at your home insurance policy, to see if that will cover the breakage.
Every household should now be recycling, and local councils are striving to make sure we all have the relevant bins to make this easier for us. However, before you throw that cereal box away, think, what could this be used for? Perhaps a file for bank statements? The bags inside cereal boxes can be washed and used to freeze food in. That used tin of baked beans could be crafted into a pen holder. Why not get the kids involved too – it will not only get them away from the TV for a couple of hours, but will encourage them to reuse packaging, and teach them valuable art skills. By doing this month in, month out, you will find that you have soon saved many, many pounds.
UK high street stores such as Tesco, Boots, and Sainsbury are increasingly offering loyalty cards. If you regularly shop in a store like these, find out whether they have a loyalty scheme, and you can make regular savings, and pick up money saving vouchers each month. Make full use of the special “double points” offerings that these companies often have – if you are considering buying something somewhere else and it is the same price, use the store where you have a loyalty card. This is what they want you to do, but it suits you too, because you will benefit from higher value future savings.
Sales in UK stores are becoming more and more regular. Think about when there may be sales, e.g. in the New Year, and ask yourself if you can wait before making a purchase. Many of us often queue throughout the night for the January sales because you can find yourself saving up to 75% in some stores.
On a daily basis, try to plan your food shopping times. If you enter a store at around 6pm or 7pm, you will often find that many items have just been reduced as the best before date is approaching. Many of these products can easily be frozen, or used within the next 2 days. Add these savings up, and you may be surprised at how much you save.
If you are going on holiday, book your flights early, and you should find much cheaper flights. We are offered a certain number of cheap seats on flights, and once these are taken, the price will rise. This will help beat your debt problems, and give you a relaxing holiday at the same time. Why not see how cheap your flight could be online? Here you will find plenty of advice on holidays, flights, hotels, and car hire and see just how much you could save by booking early. Remember, before using a cab to get to the airport, see if a kind friend could give you a lift!
It’s well known that energy prices are rising worldwide, and the UK is one of the worst to be affected, in an already expensive economy. The UK society has increasingly sought advice on rising fuel prices, and the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) have consequently taken action to help suffering UK citizens and offer them debt advice relating to high fuel costs.
Have a look at uswitch.com, and see if you can get a better deal on your energy prices. If you have a pre-pay gas or electricity, consider switching, as this can prove needlessly more expensive than conventional supplies. Moneysavingexpert.com are also currently running a heavily-publicised energy-switching – check their website for full details.
The next time you’re at the supermarket (having taken the bus, and not a cab!), think before buying a branded product. For many items, the taste is no different (the items are often made in the same factory as the branded alternative), and over the months you could start to decrease your requirement for debt advice by lowering your monthly shopping costs. Consider a loaf of Hovis for around £1, compared to Tesco own brand at around 20p. It only takes a few shops to really start seeing the difference, and the money saved on this can go straight towards paying your debt. Alternatively, switch your supermarket altogether, to the one that offers the most value.