Money Saving Tips Every Mama Should Start Using Immediately
How I saved money effortlessly and easily!
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First of all, saving money does not make you a tight ass, tight with money, poor blah blah blah. In fact saving money means you have your head screwed on and know exactly where you want your money to go. You are in control and this makes you smart. So many of us, me included for many years, have no real idea where our money goes. Ever woke up, checked your bank and it’s nearly all been taken up by the bills you forgot were coming out? That leaves you feeling pretty screwed and wishing you had something to fall back on for those trips out, new clothes, car tyre that decides to go flat just at the wrong time. Nobody wants to resort to a payday loan and end up paying over 2000% APR. That’s how people (like I did) get into serious debt and life becomes downright miserable. But the good news is you can change that right now just like I did and start feeling smart and secure. Carry on reading for my top money saving tips!
SWITCH YOUR UTILITIES
I compare my utility prices every single year without fail. Electric is electric and gas is gas, the only difference is the price! There are lots and lots of comparison websites out there all ready to save you a heap of money. Everything gets looked at - electric, gas, tv, phone line, broadband, home insurance and car insurance. I will not pay more than I need to. It is time consuming comparing perks and ts&cs but quite often switching to a new company means you get a new customer deal (often way more juicy than ones for existing customers) which gives you loads of perks at a discounted cost. These are usually limited for the first 12 months then the price will rise so it’s important to mark in your diary about 2 months before the contract is due to be renewed to start shopping around.
Alternatively you can haggle with your current provider. I do this with Sky every single year. While I am aware there are lots of cheaper alternatives to Sky, my other half likes having all the sports channels and of course Gold Rush on Tuesday night, all in one place with lots of recording storage. So when the contract is due to end I give them a call and tell them I’m not happy with the price I’m paying. This is where your bitch side needs to come into play. They WILL tell you that is the current price and they can’t change it. SAY NO. Ask to be put through to their cancellation team immediately and that you wish to cancel. The cancellation team are lovely and will throw anything and everything at you to keep you as a customer. I haven’t paid for Sky Sports, BT Sports, Sky Cinema for 5 years or my upgrade to Sky Q which I was originally quoted over £200 for. This will work with most companies, don’t be afraid to put your foot down.
Same for car and home insurance, if you like your current company but don’t want to pay the same rate (or even a higher rate as I was quoted in October!). Shop around for some quotes, you will find cheaper. Ring your current provider and tell them what you have been quoted and you would like them to match or better it or you will be changing. 9 times out of 10 they will do it very quickly! If they don’t then thank them for their service and cancel, it’s a really simple process to move to a new one and can be done in minutes. I saved over £300 by switching on my last renewal!
THE NAUGHTY C WORD
Yes its February but I’m going to say it…CHRISTMAS!! It will be here before you know it and the time to start saving was 26th December, but you can start now and still save a huge headache come December. Make this year different. If you saved £1 a day between today and Christmas that’s £304. I save £3 a day, every single day I move £3 from my current account to my savings account (which I have no card for) and every year I have over £1000 to spend on presents, decorations, food and trips out over the Christmas school holidays. You can change this to suit you but by planning early you’re not taking huge chunks out of your income come the end of the year.
I’ll be sending out a newsletter in the next few days with some money saving printables on so be sure to pop your email in the subscribe section so it comes straight to your inbox!
Yep, I said it. I never ever ever shop in any of the big supermarkets without first checking CheckoutSmart or Shopmium both which allow you to save money on your shop and even free products without a coupon in sight. Simply check before you shop, purchase the items on offer, upload your receipt and get your money back! It actually is as easy as that. I saved around £125 on my shopping last year using these two apps alone. There are hundreds more so be sure to check out your app store.
DOWNGRADE YOUR TV PACKAGE
So as I said before, haggling with your current provider can work. However if you don’t have an other half who hates change and likes his TV shows all in one place and want to switch there are some fantastic options out there.
If you decide to cancel completely then I highly recommend checking out Freeview. It has a good selection of channels including a few film and kiddie channels to keep the monkeys happy.
If you’re like us and your home is a hub of tablets, laptops and games consoles then BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, Channel 4 and so many others offer free apps. You can stream shows at any time free of charge. I will highlight here that you DO need a TV License to use these and those clever little people can check. Don’t be stung thinking you can get away without one. We are saving money here not paying it out in hefty fines.
There’s also the Amazon Fire Stick which is currently £29.99 down from £39.99 and offers a wide range of services that you can try for free.
Amazon Prime offers a free trial then £79 a year or £7.99 a month after. While this seems a lot, if you order off Amazon a lot it saves a huge deal in postage costs every single year while offering a very speedy next day delivery plus a huge amount of shows and films available on their app. From personal use, the shows featured on Amazon Prime seem to be quite recent and up to date. Netflix starts from £5.99 a month and allows you to stream on multiple devices. What I love about Netflix is the Children profile. I can set it for it to automatically log in to the preset Children profile or create a profile with their name on with the same settings and it will only show them age appropriate shows. Meaning I can allow them the control to choose their own show (without screaming “MUUUUUUUUUM CAN YOU CHANGE THE SHOW”) and know they won’t be coming across anything gruesome!
Ever had a conversation with a chatbot? No? I hadn’t either until I came across Plum. She (could be a male but I like to feminise her) saves money for me. I literally do not notice it leaving my account. She will only ever move what I can afford based on my spending from the previous month. You can withdraw at any time and have funds back in your account quickly and I can honestly say I’ve been so surprised every time she messages me to say how much I have in there! You can also add extra in if your feeling flush as well as see a breakdown of your spending over the last week, month and 90 days including what you have been spending it on.
I will admit I was dubious about putting my finances in the hands of an automated chatbot but after extensive research and talking to people I knew already using the app I gave it a go and absolutely love it now!
There are some popular ones out there that offer a % commission on purchases made. However I came across one 2 years ago called Boom25. I find this so much more fun! Basically you have a 1 in 25 chance of winning your entire order back! The 25th person to order will literally have the full amount of their order paid back to them, I’ve seen people pay for their holidays through the site and win the full £2-4k back! JustEat is a popular one on there and fab for regular little spins of the wheel. There are lots of well known retailers including Asda George, The Works, Groupon and so many more. For every one you don’t win you earn a bonus amount which gets accumulated and you can withdraw when you do win. I’ve won a few times and been paid within a few days. They run promotions where the odds are sometimes cut to as small as 1 in 7 and have a Facebook group which sometimes has extra promotions plus lots of other Boomers (I’m in there, say hey!).
Lists, lists, lists. I have lists for my lists! But the most important list I make on a weekly basis is my shopping list. This slip of paper means I can enter that shop (usually Aldi) ready for battle and prepared to defeat those doomed middle aisles of thermal vests and kids activity packs that I never knew I needed. None of this would be possible without a meal plan. For this I use the planner shown below from Amazon for just £2.19 and of course free delivery using Amazon Prime.
If you aren’t meal planning already and you want to save money FAST then DO IT NOW! I cut our weekly shopping including takeaways from over £180 for a family of 5 to just £85 including one takeaway a week. It’s so simple and I’ll be releasing a post shortly dedicated just to meal planning.
Start by taking stock of what you already have, use this as the perfect chance to clear the cupboards of out of date food (we all have that tin somewhere that went out of date 5 years ago) and know exactly what you have ready to use. Decide what you can use that week to make a meal and make sure you don’t buy this again this week. Sit down and plan all your meals for the week - breakfast, lunch and dinner. Allow yourself a treat/takeaway night but be sure to put this on your plan. Stick to the plan. Use the plan and make your shopping list with only what you need, don’t forget the household essentials - loo roll, bin bags etc but again only if you need it.
One of the biggest things I found when meal planning was the huge release of stress. Before, it would come to tea time and all of a sudden there would be a huge panic. “What am I going to cook?”, “What do you want for tea?” and the good old “We have nothing in”. Now I go to the fridge, look at exactly what we are having and boosh, done.
I promise you if you use this one tip alone, you will save money. You will no longer fall foul to throwing any old thing into the trolley and still wondering what the heck you are going to cook.
HOW MANY OF THESE DO YOU DO ALREADY? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS!
AND DON’T FORGET TO LET ME KNOW HOW MUCH YOU SAVE USING ANY OF THE TIPS.
All my Love