Jurg Widmer Probst with suggestions for easy ways to save money on a regular basis throughout 2021 to boost your personal financial situation when you need it most.
Saving money regularly can seem like a tall order, particularly when many people are adjusting to new ways of working due to the pandemic. As we start 2021, there has never been a better time to review your personal finances and see how and where you can start saving.
It’s not as daunting as it sounds because small changes can really add up. Simple lifestyle changes and careful management can help you spend less. In this blog I’ve come up with various easy ways to save cash every month. Try them this year – they could make all the difference.
5 easy ways to save money and slash your spending in the new year
Before we look at ways to slash spending, it’s important to properly analyse exactly where your finances stand first. Get online and look at your balances for current and savings accounts, any credit or store cards and any other debts you may have.
Write down your monthly incoming money in one column and calculate your outgoing expenses. Some of these, of course, are fixed in stone. There is no way to reduce your mortgage or rent payments, Council Tax or water rates. So, we need to concentrate on categories where changes can be made.
These tips aim to explain how to significantly reduce your monthly expenditure in savvy ways. So, whether COVID-19 has hit your savings hard, or you just want to ensure you’re not overspending unnecessarily, these can help.
- Start with your monthly food bill
Food is a big expense for most people and it’s all too easy to overspend each week. This can add up to a much higher monthly expense than it needs to be. With some strategic changes to the way you shop, this can be mitigated.
The supermarket visits are certainly convenient, but they aren’t necessarily the best way to spend. Take the time to shop around for better deals as these can really add up. For example, rather than sticking to your local Waitrose, you could switch to a service like Low Price Foods. This online supermarket stocks short-dated food items, making them cheaper to buy. It means being organised in terms of what you eat and when but can save a decent amount of money each month.
Other ways to reduce your bills include shopping local. By visiting individual grocers, butchers and greengrocers you can reduce costs and buy less in the first place. It’s more ethical and better for local businesses too.
- Don’t ignore loyalty deals
If you’ve never bothered with a supermarket loyalty scheme, yet you shop there regularly, definitely sign up. They can be very helpful to save money on essentials through the year. For example, Tesco’s Clubcard gives you points on everything you buy there. There are also exclusive lower prices and other offers just for Clubcard holders.
Every few months you’ll be sent vouchers that correlate to the points you’ve accrued, offering significant savings off the products you often by. Similar loyalty schemes include Sainsbury’s Nectar card, which goes one further allowing you to use points accrued in other stores such as eBay and Argos.
- Change your utility providers
Another easy way to lose cash every month is to stick with the same electricity and gas provider for years. While this used to be the norm, these days it makes little sense to stick with one supplier. When the minimum contractual time is over, it’s always worth reviewing your utilities and scouring the web for offers.
There are also services like Look After My Bills that are designed to always keep you on the most cost-effective tariffs. But it’s very easy to keep on top of this yourself using the Internet. Make it your goal to not spend a penny more than absolutely necessary on utility bills. You’ll be surprised how much you can save.
- Switch your mobile phone
These days contracts are not necessarily the best way to get the most value from your smartphone. It’s often cheaper to buy a handset outright and then use a cheaper service provider such as GiffGaff. No contract and an easily adjustable monthly usage make it so simple to manage your phone bills.
And while you can always buy an expensive top of the range phone, don’t forget that there are thousands of cheaper alternatives now available. Have a good look around the Internet and you’ll find off-brand high spec smartphones for around £100 to £150.
- Consider getting a water meter
If your water usage is relatively low at home, you should think about installing a water meter. This will mean rather than paying a set amount each month, you will pay only for what you use. Saving money on water usage is possible for anyone and is better for the environment too.
Steps to take include showers instead of baths, turning the tap off while cleaning your teeth, installing a modern cistern that uses less water when you flush the toilet and washing clothes a max of twice a week. Start healthy usage habits at home and you will save water and money on your bills.
As you can see, cutting monthly bills is far from impossible. It takes planning and some research but is absolutely worth it. Try these strategies and see how much money you can save in 2021.