It’s never much fun to go on a big money-saving drive especially if it means you have to deny yourself all your little luxuries and treats. This self-imposed austerity never lasts long, so it’s much better to bring in a few clever hacks that don’t hurt and will carry on saving money for years to come.
Here’s eight of the best…
Always clear your browsing cache
It’s great to go online and compare prices, but always clear your cache before you buy anything. Retailers, airlines and other online companies monitor your searches and if you seem particularly keen on a certain destination or trouser suit, they’ll bump up their prices. Another good tip is to always use the guest option with an online retailer rather than signing up, as newbies often get freebies.
Start carrying cash again
If you can see what you’re spending then you’re less likely to spend it all. Draw some money out at the start of the week for your use and as you see your stash dwindling, you’ll become more cautious. Using a budget calculator, like the one on this website, also helps you to set limits for your weekly, monthly and yearly spending.
Always work on improving your credit
Even if your credit rating is already great, you can probably push it up a few more notches. Having a glowing report doesn’t just help you out when it comes to getting loans, overdrafts and mortgages, it can also lower your insurance premiums, mobile phone contracts and other utilities.
Wait until the month’s end to make big purchases
If you’re buying something big that involves a sales rep, then the end of the month could mean the rep is keen to meet their quota. This in turn could mean a nice discount for you to close the sale.
A flexitarian is someone who’s happy to go vegetarian for a day or so if meat’s especially pricey. These people will even go vegan if the tofu’s cheap enough. Then, when they find a cheap cut of lamb, they’ll flip right back into carnivore mode.
Most generic or own-brand goods use the same ingredients as the fancier branded items. Read the ingredients and experiment to find the best unbranded things – you’ll never go back.
Invest in a water filter
If you’re a bit too fond of buying bottled water then you should take the plunge and buy a water filter and some reusable bottles. Once you’ve made the initial outlay, you’ll save loads because you’re not buying those pesky plastic bottles anymore.
Be cheeky occasionally
Most retailers, utility providers and so on have promotions going but they either forget to mention them or they only offer them when they’re asked about them directly. Always ask if there’s anything going – you could turn it into a joke and ask if there’s a “Red-haired Sagittarian” discount this week… It doesn’t hurt and at the very least you’ll get a laugh from the salesperson.