Forget the Pennies: To Save Money, Be Pound Smart

OK, the title may be a bit incorrect: you shouldn’t forget the pennies altogether. Those small savings you can make from switching to cheaper brands and so on can add up to real savings if they’re spread over a long enough period. But if you want to save some serious cash, and quickly, then it’s high time you look at the big expenses – the ones that really eat into your annual budget. If you can slash the cost of these expenses, or think about them differently, then you’ll see that savings account moving in the right direction.

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Your Monthly Food Bill

UK households have always had to spend a large part of their salary on one of the basic requirements of living – eating food. And last year saw an additional percentage rise, as supermarkets ditched their promotions and a strong euro raised the cost of imports. If you’re still just wandering into the supermarket and picking up whatever you want off the shelf, then it’s time to rethink your strategy. Planning your meals and making a shopping list can dramatically cut the cost of your food bill – sometimes by as much as a third. Calculate how much you’re currently spending each month, and you’ll see that it’s not an insignificant amount of money!

The Essentials

Along with food, the other two big areas where Britons are spending their money is their housing and transportation. When it comes to your vehicle, you can usually get a much better deal by leasing your car from a company like Intelligent Car Leasing than by buying it outright; you’ll still have a car in your life, but it’ll cost you much less per month. If petrol is your issue, then step out of the driver’s seat from time to time. Public transport in the UK is very good and means you won’t be burning money (petrol) or having to pay for parking.

Avoidable Extras

It’s nice to have a few luxuries in our lives, but the reality is that things like a weekly trip to the pub and the like can cost our wallets dearly. Take a look at how much you’re spending on things like restaurants and alcohol, and you might just discover that you could have much more money in your bank account if you reduced these costs. Try and find other ways to entertain yourself at the weekend; hosting a dinner party or curling up on the couch are no poor alternatives to heading out – and you’ll be thankful for your decision when it comes to checking how much money you have left at the end of the month.

Matched Saving

No-one’s going to stop buying things like televisions, smartphones, and other modern tech. But if you do, consider putting the equivalent of however much you spend into a savings account. It might just make you think twice about parting with the cash, but if you do go ahead and buy, then at least you’ll also be making a wise financial decision at the same time.

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