ad // I think we all feel a bit hot and faint when it comes to thinking about money and finances after Christmas. I’m definitely one to loosen the reigns a bit over the festive period but there always comes a time where I need to reel it back in and start being a bit more sensible with my finances again, once the festivities have stopped.
Having a healthy relationship and balance with money is something I very much believe in. But it’s difficult to talk about because everyone’s financial situations are so different, and you just don’t know what’s going on with someone else’s finances – despite what they may say or put out online.
We all deserve to treat ourselves to something nice every now and again, whether that’s a meal out, a new handbag or a bunch of flowers. But it’s important not to tip over the edge and find too much approval in buying treats because there may come a time where you need to save more than you thought.
So today we’re focusing on easy ways to save money. We’re looking specifically at saving today rather than making money because let’s face it, after Christmas, we don’t necessarily want to be starting a side hustle straight away because we’re far too exhausted and probably still hungover.
The pointers mentioned in this post are very easy to incorporate into your daily life and don’t require much effort to use or do. Which is ideal when it comes to saving money as every little saving can add up over the course of a year and you don’t feel like you’ve gone out of your way to do it.
So, let’s look at these 10 ways to save money in the New Year:
Download the Shoppix app
I sing the praises of Shoppix to everyone because it’s just SUCH an easy app to use. It’s free and it allows you to upload pictures of your receipts (physical receipts and online purchases) to get points. Once you reach a certain number of points, you can get a £5 payout or a voucher (for example, Amazon). Okay, technically this isn’t JUST money saving, so that’s a good start.
Although it’s not a lot, if you make a lot of purchases (which most of us do), the points add up fairly quickly. The app also rewards you with scratch cards, which allows you to get more points and surveys on your recent purchases which, again, awards you more points. I get around £30 extra every year from this app, for doing barely anything!
Use the Starbucks app
I’m definitely not that person that’s going to tell you that cutting out your Starbucks coffee is going to solve all your money problems. It won’t – despite was Boomers say. Yes, it might be worth cutting down because let’s face it, they’re not the cheapest coffees but if that daily or weekly coffee from Starbucks makes you happy then you should absolutely get it.
But downloading the Starbucks app is a great way to get something back from all your Starbucks purchases. By paying via the app, you get stars for every purchase. Every £1 you spend gets you 3 stars and once you hit a certain number of stars, you get a free drink. Which over the course of a year, will save you money on a few coffee trips.
Use discount vouchers
If you know where to look, you can find discounts for most major retailers. We all need to buy things – a new outfit for a job interview or a gift for someone special – even if we do need to save money, some purchases can’t be avoided. So, it’s great when you can find discount codes for your favourite stores to lessen the dent in your bank account!
Love Discount Vouchers is a great place to start looking when it comes to discounts for your favourite retailers. I’ll definitely be making use of this house of fraser promo code for homeware when I need to start purchasing items for my new house!
Cashback is one of the damn easiest ways to save money over the course of the year. If you use a cashback app for every purchase you made throughout the year, imagine how much money you’re going to have in your account when December rolls around that you can then spend on Christmas!
A really great option which requires no effort (other than downloading the apps) and which allows you to get money back on things that you were already going to buy. % of cashback will vary between stores but it’s definitely worth it, especially for higher priced items.
Make use of supermarket cards
If you shop in Tesco or Sainsbury’s, then you’ll be silly not to make use of their supermarket cards. For Tesco it’s the Clubcard and Sainsbury’s is the Nectar card (I’m sure other supermarkets have them but those are the only two I really shop in). Lots of products are cheaper on Clubcard so over the course of one shop you might save a few £.
Sign up for tastecard (and take advantage of the 30 day free trial!)
If you eat out a lot or perhaps you have a special occasion coming up where you know you will be eating out, then you’d be silly not to sign up for the free trial of tastecard. Tastecard gives you discounts and promotions on a huge number of restaurants; our favourite being 2 for 1 on food at Prezzo, one of our favourite restaurants!
You can sign up and get a one-month free trial which is great but if you eat out a lot, it might also benefit you to pay for the subscription when your free trial runs out. You’ll be paying more upfront but over the course of the year, you could be saving hundreds on meals!
Compare grocery prices
This one might take a little time, but it can be really helpful if you’re looking to save money on your grocery shopping which, let’s be honest, has increased to ridiculous amounts at the moment. You can use the Trolley.co.uk website to compare prices on your grocery shopping ahead of time.
The website can help you save as much as 30% on your next shopping trip by allowing you to compare 15+ supermarkets, make lists and discover daily deals on products.
Make use of your local library
This is definitely one of my downfalls. Books. I am OBSESSED with buying books – I just love them. But let’s be honest, the price of books can really add up, especially when you’re as much of a book lover as I am. Using your local library could save you literally hundreds over the course of the year!
Libraries are such an invaluable resource for communities and of course they don’t just provide books. Most libraries offer courses and classes, have computers and children’s hours. But for any book lover who needs to save money, you need to get yourself a library card.
Shop second hand for clothing
Not only is this a great way to save money over the year, it’s also amazing for the environment and helping to do your bit by reusing, rather than buying from fast fashion brands. You can use Depop or Vinted for buying secondhand clothing – and also selling your own.
You can also choose to shop second hand from charity shops which will also help a charity at the same time as helping you save money. This year, I had a funeral to attend, and I found the absolute perfect plain black dress in a charity shop which fit me perfectly. You really can find some gems in them!
Set budgets and stick to them
And finally, not an app or a physical thing you can do but setting budgets is a great way to save money over the course of a year. When we go out to buy things, we can often get swept up in offers and deals and not think too much about what we’re spending whilst we’re in the moment.
But by setting a budget and making lists it helps us to be stricter with ourselves and our finances and save money on things we might have ended up buying and not needing, had we not had that budget to begin with!