Use our handy tips to discover how clever budgeting can help you save money. From using budgeting apps to cutting costs on household bills.
Do you have savings in place to make sure that you can deal with unexpected necessary spending? Or does the notion of having to replace a broken washing machine or paying for unexpected car repairs stress you out? You need our money-saving tips.
Even if you think that you are stretching your monthly income as far as it can go, there may still be a few ways of saving that can help you out. With our money-saving tips we can hopefully help you on your way to your own savings. Small amounts and small steps count!
How can budgeting your money help?
Budgeting your money in a smart way is not always easy. How can you make sure that you have enough money set aside for unexpected costs? Research shows that a large group of people worldwide do not have enough money set aside to be able to cope with at least one month of no income. Fortunately there are things that you can do to free up some money every month to save. Here’s where our money-saving tips come in handy.
#1: Budgeting the smart way with prepaid cards
Money-saving tips start best with a cup of tea. Grab yourself one and a notepad and list all of your monthly expenses. Pay yourself a small amount of cash to use as money to ‘play’ with. Buy a prepaid credit card with this sum (e.g. Neosurf). This means that you have one card that you can use this month for online (or offline) shopping. From books to clothes, fun stuff for your pet or an entertainment service, you can pay for it with your prepaid card.
Make your card part of your monthly budget
Make topping up your prepaid card part of your monthly budget. You can buy, top-up and use your card online, at any time of the day. Extra money-saving tips: You can also use the card as a savings method. If you don’t spend all the money that you put on your card, just keep topping it up every month with a set amount that you budgeted for. At the end of the year you may just end up with a card that can be used as a nice little extra for Christmas spending!
Your card stops you from overspending
Using a prepaid credit card stops you from digging into your monthly income and overspending. Is there something you really want, but your prepaid card is empty? Recharge your card next month and use this cool-down period to see if you still want to make the same purchase next month. You may find that you don’t!
#2: Expense tracking to save money every month
Do you find yourself looking at your bank account towards the end of the month, wondering where all your money went? You can keep all your receipts for a few weeks, to figure out where your income went. However, even with the best of intentions, keeping track is often forgotten after a few days. Let’s face it, impulse buying and simply being busy takes the fun out of budgeting. For money-saving tips to work long-term, they should be low-effort. Like buying a prepaid credit card that can only be used for impulse purchases.
Monthly budgeting with an app
Using a budget tracking app is among the best money-saving tips. There are even free apps that categorise your spending for you. All you need to do is check in with your app on a daily or weekly basis to make sure that you’re on track with your budget. Here is a list of handy budgeting apps. Create a monthly budget for your shopping, monthly bills, subscriptions, car and petrol and more. Put a part of your disposable income (if there is any) on a prepaid credit card, such as the Neosurf voucher. This card can be used for luxury items, gifts and anything unexpected!
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Find out where your money goes
Money-saving tips always mention budgeting, but where do you start? An expense tracking app will help. All you have to do is check your direct debits and all spending in your app after a full month. Your budget app will show you where your money goes – and where you find that you are spending more than you should.
After that your challenge starts! From household bills to internet providers, insurances and club memberships to food shopping, there is always a way to cut costs and create savings.
#3 Saving money on household bills
Set some time aside in your diary to spend on a good comparison website for your monthly household bills. According to Ofgem every household in the UK can save up to £300 a year on bills for gas and energy. Websites like Moneysupermarket or Make The Switch USA are a good place to start.
Save money on your current contracts
Make sure to grab your current contracts and that you are aware of the rates that you are paying right now. The same applies to insurances for your home, your car or your phone. Remember that even a small difference of paying £10 less a month per amenity can help with budgeting and add up to significant savings on an annual basis. Something as simple as switching from an expensive phone contract to a prepaid phone can really help save money. Here are some handy tips on how to spend less on your mobile phone bills.
Cut costs on insurances
Budgeting often requires you to be agile in new circumstances. Are you working from home more often and using your car less? It’s time to check your car insurance policy, especially if it’s based on miles per annum. Your insurance may not be the right fit for you anymore. You might be able to switch to a cheaper insurance plan. Never auto-renew your insurances. It pays to compare offers every year. You might even enjoy it, especially if it means that you get smart at finding ways to pay less!
Important to remember; be aware of the end dates of your current contracts for energy and insurances. Sometimes switching providers (even if you have to pay a small fine to switch before your contract runs out) can still work out cheaper in the long run.
#4 Budgeting and your food shopping
Money-saving tips can help against mindlessly grabbing the same favourite branded food items in the supermarket. We all tend to overpay for our food without realising it. Shopping in budget supermarkets helps a great deal when it comes to buying your staple necessities. Do you find that those in your family object to trying out a new brand of biscuits, cereal or tea? Do a fun blind taste test!
Plan your meals ahead and save on food expenses
Planning your meals ahead and even cooking meals ahead and freezing them helps to save time and money. You won’t feel the need to pick up the phone for a take-out meal if you can quickly defrost your prepared dinner in the oven or microwave. Make use of good offers on food items that you tend to buy often and grow your favourite herbs or salad leaves in a pot in your garden or on your balcony!
Money-saving tips for budgeting your food shopping
Set yourself a challenge and try to save on food shopping bills by buying non-branded items. The money that you save can be used to go out for a nice dinner. Use a prepaid credit card for your food shopping. Simply put the monthly food budget sum on this card and you won’t find yourself overspending on impulse buys. Use the handy credit card tracker app to stay aware of your budget.
#5 Money-saving tips for shopping online
Have you ever noticed that (after leaving an item in a basket in an online store) you get inundated with adverts for this item? This is a clever method to push you into buying. Use the incognito browsing option in your online browser when looking for tickets, clothing or any other items online.
Clear your browser history after closing a store tab. This way your browsing history is not remembered and you can avoid coming back online to find that your favourite online shop has suddenly upped it’s prices for your chosen items.
Avoid payday parties
Hurrah, your payday has come! Resist the urge to splash out and buy. Make a deal with yourself to use a 2-day cooling off period for items over a certain amount of money. And again; a prepaid credit card can come in very handy here. Pay your bills, monitor your direct debits and take a look at your monthly budget. Your disposable money (make sure to put some in a savings account too) can be used as credit for your prepaid credit card for fun shopping.
Save money on clothing and household items
Shop on resale platforms first if you are looking for specific furniture, a gadget or an item of clothing. You might just find your new favourite dress on websites such as Vinted or eBay. Even online stores such as Amazon show amazing prize differences if you change the country in which you are searching. A classic among money-saving tips is also the good old British charity shop down the road! For those living in the USA there is a great thrift shop finder.
Successful budgeting and saving money
Money-saving tips work best when you compartmentalize your spending. After spending time on comparing rates and contracts and on setting up a clear monthly budget, you will find that being able to save money every month feels like winning. Having some money set aside for a rainy day or for unexpected purchases makes you feel at ease. Budgeting clears stress and enables you to set a financial goal to work towards. Make it fun!