Aside from the usual post-festive health drive, the most popular resolutions include cutting down on spending, or saving more.
However, finance-related resolutions tend to be the hardest to achieve, especially during January after a Christmas blowout, and how often do you stop to consider your spending habits. By making a few small changes, you could enjoy larger long-term savings which could see you finally buying that holiday home abroad, taking a well-deserved break or treating your loved ones. We’ve got five easy ways to make a saving from every day, which we all kind of know and do, but the New Year is the perfect time to really act on those money savvy mantras.
Plan meals and shop with a list
Heading to the supermarket without a meal plan or a shopping list can cost you more than you might think. According to a survey conducted by the Money Advice Service, 60% of consumers who shopped with a list said they saved money – they were less likely to be tempted by impulse purchases and did not spend extra money on mini ‘top-up’ shops throughout the week.
Swap barista coffees for home brews
Have you ever stopped to wonder how much your daily latte costs you each week? When the average price of a medium coffee is £2.45, you could be spending anything up to £260 a year, just on coffee. Instead, you could invest in a nice bag of coffee from your local supermarket. Make hot drinks at home and take them with you in a reusable cup or invite friends and family over for a chat, instead of meeting at a coffee shop.
Implement a 48-hour shopping rule
Impulse buys are often the cause of empty wallets. If you find yourself reaching for a coveted item in the shops, give yourself 48 hours to think about it. This gives you time to decide whether you actually need the item or simply want it. The additional time will also help you consider alternative options, such as buying second-hand on popular marketplace websites or whether a more affordable alternative can be found elsewhere. You can help enforce anti-impulse buying behaviour by removing stored credit card and debit cards from online shopping sites.
Cook in bulk and freeze leftovers
Food waste is an expensive habit. Buying lots of small meals or cooking surplus food and throwing it away could leave a substantial dent in your wallet. Instead, you can save money by buying ingredients in bulk and batch-cooking your meals. You can portion the food into plastic containers and either freeze them for later or enjoy them throughout the week as an easy meal.
Hunt for better bargains
Rather than opting for familiar products or services out of habit, you could save extra money by shopping around for something similar that offers better value for money. For example, if you regularly make international payments through your local high-street bank, you are often subject to unfavourable exchange rates and high transfer fees, sometimes up to £40 per transfer. Also, imagine making 12 regular monthly payments – you could end up paying up to £480 over the course of a year.
Every money transfer provider offers a different underlying rate of their own, which can deviate a lot from the market exchange rate. Plus, exchange rates have a tendency to fluctuate. As the competitiveness of these rates can vary significantly, inadvertently using an uncompetitive transfer provider can increase the costs of sending money across international borders. Sterling’s value can be affected by a number of factors ranging from economic data releases through to updates surrounding Brexit negotiations - so they can move against you at any time. If sterling weakens then any international expenses that you have could go up as a consequence.
Using the right foreign exchange provider could give you access to some useful tools to enable you to protect your finances against adverse movements in exchange rates – which could save you money in the long run. There's no transfer fees for online payments, while our award-winning team are available on the phone to help you with any queries you may have. Get started and you could make a saving today!