Many people use the New Year as an opportunity to look more closely at their finances and to get a better understanding of the areas where they can cut back on their spending. By analysing the key areas of your lifestyle, such as your driving habits and home life, you’ll find several ways of saving money without drastically changing the way you live.
Insurance, MOTs, and keeping the car well maintained all add to the expense of keeping a car – and that’s not including the price of learning in the first place.
There are ways to cut back on this expense though. Right from the beginning – with free online learning resources – to the end – with comparison websites helping to shave large amounts off your insurance bill.
Research shows that by taking part in a smarter driving training course, it is possible to save up to £230 annually, and it will be kinder to the environment too, while knowing how to perform basic maintenance checks will help you to keep your car in good shape.
Everyone enjoys a good holiday and it’s not always necessary to cut back on trips away even if you are watching your budget. Look for alternatives to package deals such as a driving holidays where you can take your own car, or find an affordable hire car company. Moreover, search for last-minute deals online so you can get the best prices – the more flexible you are in your requirement the more you can drill down on the price of a getaway.
Package deals can offer excellent value if there’s enough of you. Consider going away with your friends or extended family to obtain further savings.
If you need to buy travel currency, be careful of the hidden fees that might be incurred when you buy it with a credit or debit card.
Do your best not to give into temptation to special offers or goods unless you’d be buying them anyway, and look carefully at the long term value of products before purchasing them.
When supermarket shopping, try to avoid buy one get one free offers or special purchases that you might not use; take a list with you and only buy what’s on it. Before going shopping, do a stock take of everything you have in the cupboard and freezer so you don’t end up buying things that you don’t need.
Where possible, only use credit cards for larger purchases and pay off the balance at the end of every month. If you have a large credit card balance, keep an eye out for zero per cent credit card deals and consider transferring your balance to make managing your credit card bill easier. If you can, choose a credit card that offers cashback on your purchases.
If your water bill is high, do some research to ascertain if a water meter might be a more affordable option. You can do this by using an online calculation tool.
Ask your power company about free energy checks and insulation to help reduce your heating bills and seal off any draughts in your home to help make it warmer and lower your energy needs.