MoneyÂ doesn’t seem to go as far as it used to and we are all feeling the squeeze. Saving can be brutal but once you take a close look at what you’re really spending your money on you can give it your best shot.
Try implementing theseÂ tips to save yourÂ money this month:
1. Check Direct Debits & Auto-Renewed Payments
Remember that free movie streaming trial you signed up for? No? Well that free period is over and now costing you money each month. Check your bank statements for the last 3 months to make sure there are no unnecessary or unused services that you are still paying for.
2. Sell Unwanted Clothes on eBay or ASOS Marketplace
BeforeÂ you buy new clothes at least get rid of what you don’t wear and make some cash in no time. Look out for free listing periods on eBay and be very descriptive to pique interest. Make sure the listing ends at a time when people will be free to sit at their computer and throw in a last minute bid! My successes have been Sunday nights around 8pm but figure out what works as soon as possible for optimum sell through.
3. Don’t Stop at Clothes Sell Homewares too!
Sites such as Gumtree are great for selling furniture and bulky items. Specify whether delivery is an option but to save time and hassle perhaps opt for collection only. Be realistic though, this is not an antiques fair so make sure you’re not asking for too much!
4. Check your Phone Plan Usage
If you are not using all of your free minutes or data, downgrade your plan and save money. Conversely if you exceed your data allowance each month you could be paying more for the extra usage and actually save by upgrading to a higher allowance. Call your network provider and ask them for their contract options to find a plan that best suits your usage.
5. Ask for Samples
This works especially well for beauty products, skincare products and fragrance, but can also work in respect of sampling food before you buy. I have bought so many products that ultimately didn’t work or didn’t agree with my body, it is such a money pit! Where you can, try before you buy. For example, when you shop online some stores offer free beauty samples, such as David Jones, so check what rewards are out there before you buy anything you haven’t tried and add a sample on to your regular purchases.
6. Ditch the Face Wipes
Face wipes can be a money pit with one pack of 25 costing up to $8 per packet! I recently switched to Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water which offers 200 uses per 400ml for only $12 per bottle (read more on that here). You can also try using baby oil or Aloe Vera gel as a make-up remover too.
7. Shop at the End of the Day
Ask the seller what deals they will give you for their remaining produce. Bakers have sold me discounted loaves of bread before, because they had used some slices to make sandwiches. This works like a dream at markets.
8. Plan Your Meals for the Week
Include easy, bulk family meals, such as Bolognese, Chilli Con Carne and Stew… Â leftovers make a great lunch the next day. Also, live out of your freezer! There is usually plenty hiding in there and you don’t want to have to throw it out after months of freezer burn.
9. Cancel that Gym Membership
If you’re not using it then lose it. You’re probably rolling your eyes but yes you should get out there and walk, or ask your friends to join you and go for a run. If indoor exercise is your thing, hook your laptop up to the TV and find free workouts on YouTube (just be aware of your download limit on your wifi!). Or if you and friends want to motivate each other, and have access to a big space with a tv, club in together to buy a dvd workout program such as those offered by BeachBodyÂ and start your own fitness group! It’s cheaper than that gym membership.
10. Finally, Always Shop Around
Whether it’s your TV subscription, your phone bill or your home insurance you should always run price comparisons every year to see what else is out there. You could save hundreds of dollars; you don’t even have to make the switch – sometimes telling your current provider that you are looking for a cheaper alternative will prompt them to offer you a discount to stay.
11. ASK for a Discount
I recently overcame my haggling fear and saved money on a vacuum cleaner, wedding rings and a coffee machine, by simply asking ‘Is that the best price you can give me?‘ Don’t be afraid to walk away, chances are you can get it elsewhere or just come back another day. Don’t rush into a purchase until you have checked prices in other stores and online. If you see the product cheaper online (but you want it now!) go to the local stockist and show them the deal on your phone, asking them to price match or even better to beat it. As the saying goes, if you don’t ask you don’t get!
I’ve learned to take pride in being frugal after years of being an impulsive spender. Please feel free to share your tips and tricks if you have any gems!
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