Like many people you may be looking to cut your spending and save more money after a Christmas spending splurge, so you may might appreciate some tips on how to spend less. In this blog post, Gareth Boyd, Founder of Chonies.co.uk, shares with us his 10 tips on how consumers can save money based on his experience in retail. Take a minute to browse through the list below where you can find some really useful tips that will help you lower your expenditures.
1. Make a List Before Shopping
As a human being, temptation is one of the hardest things to overcome, no matter who you are or what you think. We all know that one time we bought that little extra thing every time we are out and about. Slowly but surely those little things build up over the year to one very large expense, and often one you can ill afford. The simple way is to make a list of each thing you need and strictly stay to it. Avoid things that you really do not need.
2. Go Home for Coffee or Tea
When you are out and about shopping, the thought of stopping into your local coffee shop for a coffee can be hard to resist. What you may not realise is how much you spend on these often unnecessary luxuries. Let’s calculate it. Say you are shopping once a week and you have a coffee or tea every time you are down town. Say the average coffee is $3, that works out at just under $160 per year. And that’s a very conservative estimate of the amount of coffee you actually consume.
3. Buy in Bulk When Possible
This seems like a simple enough solution, but when there is a sale on take advantage of those bulk deals. The items I would suggest you buy in bulk are those items you use a lot of, so things like cereals, drinks, toothpaste, shampoo, toilet rolls etc.
4. Pay Off Debt as Soon as Possible
If you have debt on your credit cards, then try getting it to a lower interest rate or pay off more than the minimum amount. Getting your debt under control not only saves you money, but sets you up on a more secure financial footing for the future.
5. Pay Bills on Time and Avoid Late Fees
When it comes to paying bills, get organised. This may mean setting up automated payments or using the envelope system to allocate funds to pay for certain bills. Utilities (electricity, water, telephone, gas) and recurring bills (mobile phones, satellite TV subscriptions) can be set to be charged to a credit card or deducted from a bank account per month. It may be a good idea to pay for these with a rewards credit card so that you earn rewards towards free flights, etc.
6. Stay Away from ATMs
If you are not with the ATM’s bank, then the chances of there being a fee to use it are even higher. If it doesn’t say ‘free transactions’, do not use it! Small charges can easily add up over a period of time.
7. Buy Second Hand
Next time you browsing the book shop for a good book, why buy new when you could get it second hand on Amazon or eBay? The same principle applies to everything from electronics and clothing to CDs and cars. Second hand is cheaper, but often there is very little to compromise, if any, in terms of quality.
8. Compare Prices Before Buying Expensive Goods
Whether you are buying yourself a nice new bag, clothing or a car, go and compare prices from different shops and suppliers. Price comparison sites make it easy to compare prices for practically anything from a wide variety of stores, which makes it much easier to find the cheapest price.
9. Buy Store Brands
Who says you need to buy Kellogg’s, or Coca-Cola or Starbucks? Most large supermarkets have their own brands that retail for much less than their branded equivalents.
10. Don’t Run Errands When in a Rush
When you are in a rush and under pressure, you are more inclined to succumb to temptations to buy something you don’t really need. Schedule your errands so that you aren’t under pressure and can make clear decisions about what to buy.