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Saving Money Tips: You don’t need to miss out

tips for surviving on a low income
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We are generally becoming much better at saving money and cutting back on luxuries. The days of endless cheap unsecured loans, full employment and live-now-pay-later lifestyles are well behind us, with the cold hard reality of thrift now playing an important part in most people’s lives. The trick to dealing with this is to find ways to retain your hard-earned cash and make it go as far as possible without feeling any significant pain – so what are the secrets to making sure you can open your bank statement every month without inducing palpitations or having to miss out on life’s essentials?

Start saving money on everyday items

Firstly, develop an aptitude for special deals: Many of us tend not to bother with voucher codes, loyalty cards and the like as there are so many of them. It often feels as though sifting through them and figuring out which ones are worth bothering with is harder work than putting in a few hours of overtime, so you need to play it clever and choose a one-stop shop to get all your discount and vouchers from – and you’ve come to the right place. Stick with the deals you find on this site and you’ll cover enough bases to get substantial amounts off your monthly bills. Scrabbling around trying to find extra deals by going from site to site for hours on end is counterproductive and you’ll end up getting enough spam to feed an entire town on.

Secondly, ditch the concept of having to have everything new. Did you know that the UK is widely reputed to have the best charity shops in the world? It’s becoming more and more common for the middle classes to buy all sorts of items – even clothes – from charity shops. They cost virtually nothing and you’ll frequently end up with some highly unique items that can’t be bought any more. Tell your friends you’re wearing an antique creation from a long-deceased relative and make up a story to go with it and you’ll be the talk of the party…

Charity shop saving money

If the idea of second-hand clothes doesn’t do it for you, charity shops are full of great books, DVDs and more that will save you a pricy trip to Waterstones – and you’ll be making money for charity rather than lining the pockets of a high street retailer.

Next up are your financial mainstays:

Just because you’ve always had the same bank account, credit card and mortgage doesn’t mean you’ve got the ones that are best for you. It’s easier than ever to switch financial products, but most people think it’s a nuisance so they stay stuck in a rut.

Check your mortgage for any hidden extras that are no use to you. A classic scare tactic by mortgage brokers is to get you to pay out each month for redundancy protection: What if you lose your job and can’t work, and then lose your precious house? People buy into this 99% of the time, but take a look at the terms and conditions: Often, the money won’t appear unless you’ve been made redundant and then not worked for six months, and with your career history you know full well that you’ll be doing something after you’re laid off, even if it’s only temporary. So why bother paying out for something you’ll never use? Make sure any plans like this suit you: Otherwise, don’t pay into them.

Whilst on the subject of money, look into offsetting: This is where interest from your savings is set off against interest on your loans, leaving you with a small, or even negative amount to pay each month. Check the applicable rates, though, and make you’re getting a better deal this way than if you didn’t offset.

You should also shop around for energy suppliers as well: We’ve all had salesmen knocking on our doors at some point trying to get us to switch provider and most of us consider them a nuisance – but the fact is that energy companies don’t all charge the same price. One word of warning, though: If a door-to-door salesman asks you to sign his electronic device to prove to his employers that he’s visited your home, don’t – you’ll almost certainly have unwittingly changed suppliers whether you wanted to or not.

Saving money may be a necessity these days, but use a bit of common sense and get into some easy new habits and it won’t have to hurt at all.

 

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