It goes without saying that the cost of living crisis has massively affected our finances, the way we spend and our lifestyle, which may leave you feeling concerned about ways to cope. You are certainly not alone; more and more people are feeling the pinch on their pounds with the highest inflation increase in decades, meaning your money doesn’t go as far as it used to. But the helpful news is there are some ways you can make small changes to save money, cut back on high costs and ultimately spend less.
Here are seven tips you can adopt to avoid the price hikes and survive the cost of living rises, according to financial expert Makala Green, acclaimed author of The Money Edit.
Direct your direct debits
Direct debits are a great way to ensure your bills get paid on time, but they are often paid without you even noticing. A study by Natwest stated that we waste an average of £468 by not keeping an eye on direct debits. If this is the case, It’s certainly the time to check your contracts and deals and renew for more affordable ones. Research has found that millions of brits are out of contract and could half bills if they fixed a deal. So, whether it’s your mobile phone, broadband, energy or even your mortgage, it’s worth looking into. Most companies will allow you to fix a deal months before your product or deal ends, so why not start shopping around early? Many online comparison sites make switching to another provider seamless and stressless.
The trick is, before fixing a deal with a new provider, contact your existing provider to see if they can match the deal or offer a better one based on customer loyalty.
Build courage to cancel regular payments (you don’t need!)
Another easy way to save money is to cancel services or recurring purchases that you don’t use or can’t afford. It might be difficult to do, especially if it’s things you enjoy, such as streaming apps or Netflix. However, with prices going up, it can be harder to justify extra pounds if you’re not getting the full potential; for example, paying for a gym membership but you can’t remember the last time you went. It may be a sign to cancel!
Make regular rain checks
Do you ever get to the end of the month and wonder where all your money has gone? A regular rain check on your finances will help you take control and feel more confident about the future. An easy way to do this is to take a closer look at your highest expenses; it may be looking at how often you drive your car, go shopping or eat out with friends or family. You can then evaluate if you can reduce or cut back any of these costs, such as buying in bulk with fewer trips to save on fuel, shopping around for the cheapest local supermarket or cooking at home for friends or your family to save the extra costs of take-outs. The truth is it may feel like a big sacrifice for small savings, but the more income you have leftover, the more stuff you can do and the more you have to save.
Begin batch cooking
Buying in bulk can save you hundreds of pounds each month. According to Prep UK, you can save an average of £1,100 on your grocery bill every year by batch cooking. We have seen a major increase in household staples such as bread, milk and oil, making regular shopping much more expensive. Here are a few hacks you can do to reduce the load and still feed the family…
Switch supermarkets if your local is pricier; it’s worth travelling a bit further for cheaper options for extra money in your pocket. Opt for supermarket brand products which are cheaper alternatives to well-known brands. For example, a box of Kelloggs Cornflakes in Waitrose is £2.10 compared to Aldi’s £1.99. However, a brand-owned box of cornflakes in Waitrose is £1.00 (prices may vary).
Be energy efficient
Being more vigilant with your home’s energy and water usage will save you lots of money on your monthly bills. You can make quick fixes to your daily habits to help you save some much-needed cash by doing the following: