My top ten money saving relatively easy and quick suggestions that most people can benefit from

1. Tweak your attitude to money and matters financial. Love it or loathe it, money is what make our 21st century western societies and our lifes work. If you are in huge debt or have a large savings buffer I am confident you can improve what do do with your money to get the most from it. This is to both increase your longer term prosperity plus your day-to-day personal cash flow.

I am not a financial adviser, and the information on this site does not constitute financial advice. However, I have learnt many tips and tricks that makes my money go further. As this site matures hopefully people I have helped along the way will provide testimony to this. I have experienced debt as well as a large disposable income and everything in between and my income may be lower now if certainly goes a lot further than it ever has done! I used some of my "saved money" on things that cost more than the cheapest option i.e. an organic, fairly traded cotton dressing gown rather than a polyester one from Primark!

Some simple adages sum it up: look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves, why pay £25 if you can pay £15 for something?

Bottomline: get into the routine of questioning and assessing your spending patterns- believe it or not it can get a bit addictive to not spend or make savings!

2.Look at your banking, credit cards, your mortgage lender and big utility bill; use comparison and finance sites to make sure you are getting at least one of the best deals around. Consider this:

THESE FINANCIAL BRANDS REPLY ON LOYALTY/ COMPLACENCY OF IT'S CUSTOMERS TO MAKE MOST OF THEIR PROFITS FROM.

Get wise, get informed and only be loyal to yourself. What I mean by this is with ten minutes of investment from yourself in each of these areas you can painlessly switch to better deals. These companies know this and this is why you will always get new customer offers. Sometime just asking for a better option get a result from your existing provider. If you don't ask, you don't get.

SO go and find out how to pay the least interest on your debts, attract the most interest on your savings, and how to make your general purchases at a much lower cost.This last area is a topic to cover a bit more for point 3.

3. Before making any decent sized purchase use Moneysavingexpert forum, Amazon and HotUKDeals as search engines and see what finds/ deals people are talking about to save you doing the legwork. It would be courteous to post any good deals you find to help others as well but this is obviously your choice!

4. Mortgage owners review your mortgage regularly and try to pay it off as soon as possible. Maybe check out an all-in-one account- these are where your monthly pay cheque is offset against the mortgage.

5. The "five things challenge"

I know that it's easy to fritter money away once you get into the habit of just spending it and not thinking about why and how.look for the cheapest options, BUT just for five purchases look for the best buys, research on the internet what other people do and then act on the new info. Even if it is a small thing like changing your coffee drinking purchasing behaviour. IF you cannot do the make it yourself option you can still save about £270 a year saying getting your Double Shot Grande Cappuccino with a shot of Vanilla from Starbucks. For example they cost £3 using their card and tweaking how you actually order the drink can mean you only pay £1.70. Saving £1.30 each time. Four times a week, over a year is an average saving of £270.40. Unbelievable but true.

6. Change your broadband, telephone and other suppliers. Keep aware of where the best deals are and remember not to  suffer from any false loyalty - go for the best value.

I don't know when "value" became a dirty word. When the uber-marketeers got hold of it I suppose but why not aim to get value for your money?  


7.Buying things. The majority of people do like buying things. In some quarters it is almost like a hobby or pastime. This is not sustainable. Plus you run out of room, need to move etc... or end up on some documentary programme on Channel 4. If you really want or need something get it. It doesn't always need to be new (I have saved hundreds thanks to classifieds, on-line auctions sites etc...) and if it does you can use the internet to find the best prices relatively easily once you know how and establish the habit. A much healthier behaviour than just buying on auto-pilot and once you see how saving really do stack up you should maintain the new habits!

So, 3 stages to buying something:

1. Use shopping comparison sites & shopbots to find the cheapest price.

2. Go via a cash-back or points site BEFORE buying the item.

3. Before paying for the item finesse the sale further by using a discount code which often be found on-line somewhere.

If these three stages read like gobbley-gook don't worry I will explain this process in a separate article as if they are new concepts then you need to fully get your head around them BUT it really is worth it.

8. Don't buy stuff if you can get it for free via sites like Freecycle....

9. Or swap/ borrow it via one of the many websites setting up to do this. I haven't used nay yet so cannot recommend any!

10. Sell stuff you don't love/ use regularly as all it is doing is taking up space... don't get me started on those expensive storage units that are popping up all over the place!! .

These suggestions, you maybe thinking, "well isn't it mostly common sense"? Well, you'd be surprised how many people still loose so much money by not being savvy consumers. Much of it is (or should be) obvious. Hopefully something will be useful here, or at least help you think and question your spending habits. If all of this, and more, is second nature then drop me a line to guest blog!

 

 Costs

Hands up people who like paying more for something than they need to (unless it is for charity!)? No one- ok then. What a lot of people in the UK still don't know yet is that how they buy they end up let alone what they purchase means that they are shelling out more than they need to. I realise that that this has to be balanced with actually having a life and not price-checking and researching ever purchase but we can all shop smarter rather than hard. I say this as a fairly reformed shopoholic. Now, she typed a little smugly, I do ask myself do I need/ love it and am how sure am I that that is a decent price and have I a) used a cash back site ( more on those later) b) used a code or waited for a sale. Sometimes the need is too great and b) cannot happen. I am not perfect but I certainly shop savvier and less. Which is a fairly good thing as I thought I was a happy mindless consumer. Turns out I wasn't. Go figure as some Americans say apparently. 

I like to use savings I make to be able to be greener in my purchases i.e. People Tree is more expensive than Primark. However, I want organic cotton on my skin made by happy people coming from un-toxic cotton fields thanks so with my purchasing power my pounds will go to People Tree ( ooh-nice bit of alliteration i shoe horned in there...). Or I use ebay and charity shops. Or I upcycle if I have the time /inclination. 

BUT even before that simple switches you can make with reduce what you spend and reducing your carbon footprint AND exposure to harsh unhealthy chemicals. This I will detail further later. But hear are a few examples of what I mean. Take my neighbour. She spends £8.50 a month on waxing at home. This could be more expensive (in a salon) or free (stay hairy) so she thought she was striking a happy medium. We looked at this while giving her beauty regime an eco/ eco overhaul and I introduced her to (less painful, better for her pocket, her person and the planet)sugaring. She is now a convert. Brilliant. That is just one small example of a small tweak to make. A larger, but easier, way to pretty much reduce your personal carbon footprint by a third it to switch to a green energy supplier. Use an impartial switching site like Ecoswitch to get a personalised summary of the options right for your circumstances. As an added bonus you can use the code "theresourceress" and receive a money ( water and energy) saving kettle or no more standby device! 

I would also recommend Moneysavingexpert.com (MSE) as a great source of help and information on ANY cost reducing topic or purchase. It is one of the most popular sites in the UK!

TIP- just type in the next thing you want to buy into MSE, search the forums and someone somewhere will have posted their findings or useful opinions you can learn from. It is nice to return the favour and contribute to this thriving and friendly on-line community.

Other sources of information and ideas are moneymagpie.co.uk which is a much easier site to navigate than MSE. I also suggest checking out moneymadesimple. a government backed site of impartial information. Checking out sites like the BBC's Working Lunch is great for up to the minute financial information.

Most of us are time poor as well but that is a whole other website. However, buying on-line can save time (or waste it-same as window shopping in the physical world- but this can very much depend on how many demands you have on you).