The beginning of a new year is a significant time for many. It gives you the opportunity to turn over a new leaf and start the year afresh. It's also an opportunity to hit the restart button on your goals, especially for the ones that you weren't quite able to accomplish. If the previous year was filled with overspending and not quite having enough, it isn't uncommon that you may decide to include saving as one of your goals for the New Year.
Even if you were pretty good at managing your finances, you may want to save towards a particular goal such as a new car, a tropical holiday or a deposit on a mortgage. Whatever the case, within this guide we will list 18 practical saving tips you can use to achieve your financial goals. Aside from saving by putting money aside, there are several other areas in which you can cut costs and earn a little extra which you'll see below.
Paying back debt can seem counterproductive to your saving goals. Contrarily, paying back your debt improves your credit score which ultimately gives you more financial flexibility. If you have unpaid instalment loans, overdrafts, or store cards, consider starting the New Year by drawing up a plan to pay them off. For one, you'll pay back less in interest if you create a repayment plan that enables you to pay as much as you can as quickly as you can. Secondly, if your debt has been lingering for quite a while and you explain your circumstances to the organisation you're owing, you may get a discount. If not, they should at least set up a repayment plan that's easier to stick to.
A year is enough time to acquire loads of items, and a lot of it might happen to be stuff you don't need or use. A new year, however, is an opportunity to declutter. Whether you realise it or not, this is also a chance to make some extra cash which can go towards your saving ventures. Some examples of things that you could sell for an extra couple of pounds are clothes, electronics, gadgets, bags, antiques or anything that is interesting. You can sell your items online or look for a shop that will buy them from you.
It can be said that budgeting is the foundation of effective saving. No matter how much you put aside, if you don't budget it is very likely that you'll end up dipping into your savings or needing instalment loans. On these premises, it might be worth considering drawing up a realistic budget for the New Year. Try and make sure it is as comprehensive as possible and it's something you can stick to. This should help you spend within your means and achieve your saving goals quicker.
Learning the art of haggling this New Year may save you more money than you'd expect. Instead of taking prices at face value, see where you can get discounts. Some key areas where you can put this into practice include your mobile phone network provider, insurance, energy and broadband.
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Do you find that your car spends more time parked on the pavement than on the road? If so, maybe you should consider ditching it for the New Year. Not only will you be able to get some cash from selling it, but you'll be able to cut out all of the car maintenance bills from your expenses. If you ever miss driving you can always rent a car when you need it.
Following your favourite brands on social media could be extremely beneficial to your pockets. Brand pages often advertise giveaways, competitions and discounts on their page so that's a chance for you to save big.
Old gadgets such as consoles, music players, mp3s and tablets can be sold for a substantial amount of cash. If you happen to have some lying around, this might be a good time to gather them and see how much they're worth. You can take them to a pawn shop or try selling them online. There are several platforms available in which you can register, set up an account and sell. Before setting a price do a little research to see how much similar used gadgets are going for.
Taxis are a very convenient way to get around if you don't drive, however, they can also be rather expensive. Consider sharing travel to cut costs this year. There are a few reliable websites online where you can meet people who want to share travel. You'll most likely be required to contribute to petrol costs for the most part.
Memberships can easily zap your money when left unused. A typical example includes gym memberships. Check through and identify any memberships you're paying for but barely using and end them if the cancellation fee isn't outrageous. You will save a significant amount annually which could go to better use.
One of the biggest enemies of saving is overspending. Not only does it leave you broke most times, but it also leads to the need for instalment loans. There are several apps around that can help you track your spending so that you're on top of your finances and on track with saving.
Using cashback websites when you shop will save you tons of money this year. If you're wondering how it works, you're basically paid to buy something via a cashback website as opposed to directly from the retailer or seller. You could earn anywhere from a few pence to hundreds of pounds depending on what you're buying.
Going on holiday can be expensive depending on where, when and how you go. If going on holiday is in the pipeline for this year, start looking for deals early so that you can grab good discounts, packages, and deals. Also, consider choosing a time of the year where it's cheaper to travel.
In this day and age life can seem quite fast-paced and like we're constantly on-the-go. As a result, not many of us have much free time. If you happen to have a reasonable amount and are up for the task, here are a few ways you could monetise those extra days or hours: take surveys, no-risk matched betting, get a part-time job, learn a skill, review websites and apps, or write and sell an eBook.
Your energy bill can take up a large chunk of your income. See if you can call in a professional to assess your energy usage and ways in which you can save. This may require you to service your radiators, change your light bulbs, or wash less. Also, consider switching energy providers as some have cheaper tariffs.
Growing your food at home could save you a satisfactory amount of cash this year. Whether you're new to gardening or a pro, it is a good way to cut your grocery bill down significantly.
It is almost safe to say that the internet has taken over in many ways. It is certainly changing the way we consume entertainment such as television. If your TV has been collecting dust, perhaps you could consider getting rid of your TV licence. Most things can be viewed online so it's definitely worth thinking about.
If you didn't already know, different grocery stores often have different prices for items. To ensure that you save and get the most for your money, consider using comparison apps before going grocery shopping. The apps should be able to tell you where you can get the item you're looking for cheapest so that you keep more money in your pockets.
If you've ever been charged for late payments, you know how it can throw your finances off course. It could lead to instalment loans or borrowing from friends to cover the unplanned expense. Try and make it your duty to pay your bills on time by setting up direct debits or using apps and phone reminders to avoid charges and save money.
Saving isn't a skill that is mastered overnight for most. It is something that requires persistence, discipline and determination to achieve. You may find that irrespective of trying to implement these tips, you still need the odd instalment loans here and there, but don't be discouraged. Hopefully, the saving tips in this guide and a little focus will help you stay on track with your saving goals throughout the year.
Let us know some of your own saving tricks, hints and hacks! You can get in touch with us on our social media pages.
Getting off to the right start in the new year can make you feel great. Saving some cash can make you feel even better and help you steer clear of online loans.