5 Money Savers That Will Make You Smile


I don’t like to weigh in too much when it comes to politics and economics, but I was amazed to read recently that average unsecured household debt in the UK has soared to over £13,000, which puts it on a par with the levels we saw just before the financial crisis of 2008. Everyone’s situation is different, and personally, given how low interest rates are at the moment, there’s nothing wrong with taking out a loan if you’re confident of paying it back.
That said, prize number one is to obviously avoid debt as much as possible, and live within your means. That doesn’t necessarily mean cutting all the fun things out of your life. But I had a think the other day about some savvy, even slightly enjoyable ways to make staying within budget a bit easier. This is what I came up with…
  1. Be an expert on deals and discounts
We live in a competitive world, and businesses across the spectrum are trying their best to build customer bases. That means there are guaranteed to be good deals and discounts on the go. You can keep your finger on the pulse with sites like ‘All the Deals’, while many others like Groupon keep you up to date on the latest big savings. Perhaps the best bit of advice though is to avoid buying discounted goods or services for the sake of them being cheap. Rather establish what you need, and then start your search in that frame of mind.
  1. The cash challenge
In the days of easy, contactless payments, many consider cash to be outdated and inconvenient. But the downside to card payments is that it is tougher to keep track of spending. Instead, why not withdraw a fixed amount of cash at the start of each week? Thereafter, challenge yourself to put the card away for the rest of the week, and subsist on the amount you’ve withdrawn. And if you have any savings left over, put that away so that you can treat yourself to something nice at the end of the month!
  1. Work those green fingers
Inflation is rising, and one of the costs which seems to have gone up appreciably is that of fruit and vegetables. Even if you live in the City, chances are you’ll have some kind of garden area. Not only is it a lot of fun (and addictive!) to start developing your own veggie patch, but once you get in the swing of things, you’ll find you end up saving a lot of money too.
  1. Find free activities
As any parent knows, once you have children, it can feel like your wallet or purse empties at a rate of knots every time you leave the house. Activities, especially over the holidays, are a necessity to keep kids stimulated, but it can add up. The good news is that there are plenty which are either dirt cheap, or don’t cost a penny! You can find a comprehensive list on the Moneysavingexpert site, which has more than enough day trips and activities to keep you and the family occupied this summer.
  1. Pay for bad habits
Do you bite your fingernails? Slouch when you sit? Watch too much reality TV? Well, this one is simple… every time you catch yourself committing one of these ‘crimes’, then pop 50p or a pound into a jar. As long as you’re strict with penalising yourself, you are guaranteed to benefit either way. If it curtails your bad habit, then it’s a win. And if doesn’t, well, at least you’ll have a handy savings account building up over time!
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