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The economy is in the worst shape in living memory which means that saving has become a bigger priority than ever for people across the world. Even those who were used to a substantial income or people with existing savings will be starting to think about ways to cut the daily cost of living in a bid to make their finances more resilient against the threat of global recession. Saving money does not have to be about complex schemes or monitoring the stock market, it can be as simple as saving a few pennies a day wherever you can. In this article, Asteria offer ten simple things you can do to save money on a daily basis.
Yes, it really is that simple. No matter how you pay your electricity bill, leaving appliances on standby can cost you a significant amount of money over the course of the year. Though newer devices are generally far less power hungry than older ones, unless you really need to have something on a standby setting, it makes sense to turn it off completely when you are not using it. This message is particularly difficult to get through to the younger generation, so parents with young children may like to emphasise this until it sinks in.
This doesn’t have to mean calling in a specialist cavity wall insulation service or spending a lot of money on restructuring your property, it can be as easy as picking up a pair of second hand curtains to hang over any draughty or poorly sealed doors and windows or taping up any airbricks and vents that aren’t essential during the colder months. Heating can be one of the largest drains on your finances, especially if you are overpaying because of poor insulation, so take some time check your home before winter comes. Your bank balance will thank you for it later.
When you have a busy life and a demanding job to contend with, this is far easier said than done, but cooking your own meals using ingredients you bought cheaply is always more cost effective than subsisting on ready meals or take-out food. Try to shop tactically and buy things that can be used in several dishes if possible. Make use of leftovers and use your freezer to store batches of pre prepared food so you can avoid splurging your food budget on quick but usually unsatisfying ready meals.
By this, we do not mean you garbage, but things like clothes, electronic equipment, furniture, and tools. Its more time consuming to live this way but it also means you can avoid overspending when you do not need to. Learning to fix your own electronics and to mend your own clothes takes a bit of practice, but it pays off dividends when it comes to looking after your finances. If you have a family, never throw out old baby clothes or toys. They can always be reused if you have more children or potentially sold on if you need to.
Be honest with yourself. How much time do you really spend watching Amazon Prime, Netflix, or Now TV? If you are trying to save money, overpaying for services you do not really use is one of the main things you need to avoid. Try to keep track of your viewing, listening, or gaming habits and eliminate any superfluous spending as soon as you’re aware of it. It is great to have plenty of choice when it comes to entertainment but paying for something you barely use is both decedent and wasteful.
Taking cash out of an ATM is second nature to most people over the age 25, however, it is also one of the quickest ways to overspend. Taking out a note and then paying for a coffee means that you have a pocket full of change. Change that can easily be frittered away on snacks, impulse purchases or worst, lost down the back of the sofa. Keeping track of your spending is far easier when you use contactless or card payments only.
Leaving taps running, taking a deep bath every day, or wasting water with a hosepipe can end up costing you a lot more than you think. Outside of the obvious environmental advantages of saving as much water as possible, being mindful of how much your house is consuming can help you to save a significant amount of money. Though you obviously need to use enough to stay hydrated and clean, you should always be mindful of reducing waste wherever you can.
This may not be an option for everybody but adding solar panels to your house or using other renewable sources to generate some of your power can potentially reduce your yearly spend on energy by a vast amount. Cutting out fossil fuels is something that will need to happen across the globe eventually and there are now more ways than ever to generate power without having to overpay for the privilege.
Unless you work from home or have young children who cannot go to school, time spent away from your home can be a great way of saving money. Taking long walks or spending some time in local libraries, galleries or museums means that you are not draining your power, water, or gas while you are in the house. If you have the option, try to get out and about a little more.
Treats are what make life a little more pleasant but during times of economic uncertainty, you will need to be able to say no to things that are not essential. You do not have to deny yourself all the time, but cutting back on expensive lunches, coffees and other treats will save you more than you think.