Households around the UK are facing the prospect of a tough winter as inflation is currently around 4%, the highest in a decade. This is tough for everyone, but more so for families since a family of four can expect to pay out £2,000 per month, excluding rent.
These figures make cutting back essential, especially with the most expensive time of the year on the horizon. So, what are the easiest and effective ways to save money at home this year?
Search for Top Deals
Your overheads aren’t going anywhere, yet they aren’t set in stone. Sure, you must pay your bills, or else you’ll face a fine. However, several competitors are willing to undercut their rivals to increase their market share, reducing your fees in the process. To find them, you must research the best deals thoroughly. For example, a comparison website will show you how much you’re paying for your energy usage, and how much you could pay if you switched providers.
Even better, you can implement this tactic for a range of things, from your house and car insurance premiums to credit cards with the lowest interest rates. Don’t forget about your groceries, either, as food shopping bills vary wildly between £30 to under £100 per week. Right now, Google Shopping is considered the most consistent regarding finding the cheapest food prices because it searches traditional (Tesco/Asda) and non-traditional (Amazon/eBay) retailers. Your hobbies also come under this category. After all, there aren’t many activities that can’t be made cheaper by using research. Take gaming as an example. Over 50% of the population – around 36 million people – embrace the art form for fun, entertainment or distraction, making it essential for players to check Steam’s platform for sales that reduce the price of iconic series.
Of course, you can use reviews to figure out which releases will award you the most game time, allowing you to spend less money on new purchases. People who like to frequent online casinos will be glad to hear that this is an effective strategy for them as well since the industry revolves around positive reviews. Not only can you use feedback to find the best and least expensive libraries, but you can also learn about return-to-player rates of iconic casino games such as slots. The highest RTP slots may enable you to stretch your stake farther as you could win more often, and players who win get a better value experience than players who don’t win.
Organise Direct Debits & Subscriptions
Direct debits and subscriptions are simple. You set them up and the money comes out automatically every month. For some things, such as credit cards, they are essential as missing the deadline results in extortionate interest charges. Still, the sad fact is that you may lose £30,000 in your lifetime after losing track of your monthly direct debits. And there’s a potential £265 extra a year on subscriptions you can’t remember, too.
Thankfully, it’s easy to start trimming away the fat. For instance, how many streaming services do you pay for? If you have Netflix, you don’t need Amazon Prime, and vice versa. Also, if you live with another person, you can purchase a single service and split the costs in half. This works for Spotify if you pay for it in the first place. As far as your phone’s concerned, don’t tie yourself into a two-year deal when it isn’t necessary. Instead, check out the likes of Giff Gaff, a provider that prides itself on cheap, monthly-rolling deals. They do refurbed phones, as well, which means you can pay for a handset separately and dramatically cut your phone bill.
If in doubt, you should take stock of your subscriptions and direct debits to analyse whether you are paying for any that you don’t require. Alternatively, a modern approach is to download an app that tracks everything for you, like DoNotPay or Truebill.
Staycations Over Foreign Holidays
Everyone loves a holiday abroad, but not many people stop to check the price tag. When you do, you’ll realise it may cost you as much as £4,800 per year, which is a hefty sum. That’s the average for two holidays, making the price of one around £2,400. Plus, this is a general figure. The price will depend on your destination and how much you plan on spending when you exit the airport.
Staying at home doesn’t have the same appeal because the UK isn’t as exotic as Europe, North America or Asia. Still, it’s miles cheaper, and there are several excellent destinations throughout the union, from Cornwall and Devon in the South East to The Lakes in the North West and The Peaks in the Midlands. In 2021, British citizens spent an average of nearly £770 on staycations, which represented an increase of 40% from 2019. However, it’s a couple of grand cheaper than a foreign getaway.
For those who can’t resist the allure of France or Spain, it’s important to book outside of the peak seasons and stay outside of the touristy areas. Holidays in term-time, for example, can cost as much as £418 more because the demand is greater when families have fewer responsibilities to worry about. That’s £418 you can save by booking a few weeks in advance or a few weeks later.
The easiest ways to save money are to research your bills, organise your finances, and opt for a staycation over a trip abroad. By following these tips, you could save your household thousands of pounds to spend on other things!