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Money-saving strategies: What should you be doing?

 

If you’ve been feeling the pinch recently, it might be time to rethink your spending habits. A few small changes could reduce your outgoings and improve your bank balance, so what should you be doing? Here are five money-saving tips to start you off on the right foot.

Use your credit card sensibly

These days, many people rely on UK credit cards to make significant purchases. Electronic payments are quick and easy, but it’s important to keep track of your outgoings. Avoid buying things that you really can’t afford and ensure you can pay off the balance as soon as possible – to avoid falling deeper into the red. If you owe money to multiple lenders and are struggling to cope, moving your debt to a card with a lower interest rate could make things a lot easier to manage.

Be a savvy food shopper

With food prices on the rise, it’s essential to become a savvy shopper – particularly when stocking up on groceries. The cost of basic items could increase by up to five per cent this year due to poor crops, so only buy the things you need and look out for offer and discounts online. Price comparison apps such as Redlaser will also help you get the most for your money, whereas Recipes for Every Cook suggest cheaper ingredients for popular dishes.

Save money around the home

Whether you own or rent a house, you can save money in many different ways. In fact, by going green and reducing your energy output, you should see your bills come down – so why not give it a try? Lower your heating by at least one degree, switch to energy-saving light bulbs, have your boiler serviced on a regular basis and reduce the amount of water you use. These simple measures will protect the environment and help boost your bank balance.

Enjoy cheap social activities

You don’t have to spend a fortune to have fun. There are plenty of clubs and societies that are cheap or even free to join, so sign up for rambling, join a sports team or become part of a book club. If you love being the host, movie marathons, games nights and dinner parties are great social activities and won’t cost you a fortune. Of course, going out for meals or heading to the cinema can be a little more costly, so try to save these activities for special occasions.

Speak to a financial advisor

2012 was a tough year for many, so if you’re struggling to start the New Year with a bang – speak to a financial advisor. They’ll offer you the support you need and can even help you apply for a credit card, put a pension plan in place and re-mortgage your home if necessary. Many professionals have different specialities, so look for someone suitable and discuss your money matters together.

Saving money is easier than you think, so long as you put your mind to it!

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