How to save money and fix your finances
Managing your money can be a challenge when you’re on a tight budget. Having practical tips and straightforward advice will change the way you shop for the better.
- Join reward cards – not store credit cards
Think about your favourite shops, restaurants, or supermarkets. The majority of them have reward cards that get you money off your shop. If you are regularly putting money into these companies, you might as well get something back from them. Places like Tesco currently offer discounts on selected food items and Sainsbury’s have triple points on your shop, to turn into money off vouchers. From Primark to Nando’s, every time you spend, you’re earning points to lower your costs. However, don’t sign up for an in-store credit card, the onetime money off for joining doesn’t save in the long run as most have high interest rates and bad pay off schemes.
- Hold on to your plastic bags
We have all forgotten our plastic bags while out shopping but the more times you forget the more you are paying out. Some places charge 20p or more for a bag, bringing your own will save in the long run. It also helps the environment too. If you can, keep some in the car or by the front door, even have one in your bag. Better to be prepared than remember when you are already at the checkout.
- Shop for food later in the day
Most supermarkets have a discount section for products that need to be bought that day. Some fresh products get discounted so they can fill back the shelves with fresh products in the morning. Use this to your advantage to get a cheaper overall shop. You can also see what other products that might have been slightly damaged that are on the discount shelf, they are still perfectly edible or usable just a bit bashed.
- Get paid for your loyalty
We should get paid for being a loyal customer. Whether that being with our phone, internet or energy provider. Every year, when it’s time to renew your contract, shop around to see if any other company is offering a better deal. If they are, get in touch with your provider and let them know, and ask them for a better price. There are so many discounts available that companies have but we tend not to ask. They also have departments that are dedicated to customer retention so it’s in their best interest to keep you with them. Get haggling and get the best deal you can.
- Always shop around
You should not always go for the first price you see. Having a look around and seeing what the best price out there is will save you money. You can do this for almost anything; food, travel, technology, clothes. You just have to remember the first price you see isn’t always the first price you should pay. Do your research and make an informed decision.
- Have ‘no spend’ days
Whether we are popping to the shops for a snack or ordering something online, it can all add up. Having a look at how often you spend your money can help you see your habits. Making a conscious effort to have a few days off, where you don’t spend money, is a great exercise in discipline, planning ahead will get you in to the habit of not spending money for the sake of it.
- Set up savings goals
Most banks now have the ability for you to set a savings goal up online or on their apps. No matter how big or small your goal is. It tracks how much you have saved over your set time scale and lets you know when you have completed it. It is a great way to start setting achievable goals and working your way towards larger ones. It only takes a few minutes to set up and you don’t have to do anything else to it.
- See what help is out there
If you are struggling then there are many services that can help and support you. Your bank can help with all different aspects of managing your money, calculating a budget or if you are finding it hard to make a payment. You can also go to local services like the job centre, citizens advice bureau and charities that help you with money worries.
At Free2Learn we are here to help and support you while on your course. Whether you need financial help and advice, or whether you need advice about any other areas of life. Our wellbeing and safeguarding team can help you get the support you need.