With the rising price of petrol, gas, electricity and food pushing inflation above wage growth, many people across the UK are struggling to make ends meet. In fact, analysts are predicting that 2018 could be the worst year for economic growth since 2012.
As a result, more and more households are looking to reduce life’s big expenses whenever possible. Here are a number of ways you could do the same, which should help with everything from meeting your rent or mortgage repayments to putting food on the table.
- Use public transport – With regular expenses like the cost of petrol, insurance, tax, servicing, repairs, and parking, owning a car is seriously expensive. So, try to use public transport more often to save money.
- Consider alternative means of transport – If you need the flexibility of a car, look into alternatives such as sharing the school run with a family friend or alternating who drives to work with a colleague.
- Walk or cycle – The NHS recommends that adults aged 19 to 64 should get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week. This can be achieved by walking or cycling to work, which will help reduce your bank balance and your waistline
- Capitalise on balance transfers – If you’re carrying debt with a high-interest rate, look for balance transfer cards with sign-up offers or promotions, such as 0% APR for 18 months.
- Avoid minimum monthly payments – This might not make much sense in the short term, but by only meeting the minimum on your debts, you’ll end up paying more and be burdened for longer.
- Rethink your future – Even if you’re putting money away for retirement or creating a nest egg for loved ones, you might not need as much money as you think. For example, a no funeral cremation is much less expensive and even more straightforward.
Food and drink
- Buy in bulk – Larger packages of non-perishable or long-life food can be much cheaper than individual items. So, as long as you’ve got enough storage space, buy in bulk.
- Cook in bulk – Whenever you cook, make more than you need and freeze the rest for future dinners or lunches at work.
- Buy own brand – A lot of the time, own-brand or generic products come from the same factory as name-brand items and are exactly the same in terms of taste.
Utilities and entertainment
- Think smarter with utilities – No matter whether it’s buying a programmable thermostat, using energy efficient light bulbs or unplugging unused devices, there are various ways to reduce your utility bills by thinking smarter.
- Cancel unnecessary subscriptions and memberships – Gym memberships and subscriptions to on-demand streaming services can be expensive, especially if you don’t get value for money by not using them. Consider cancelling wherever possible.
- Find cheaper or free options – Borrow books from your local library, attend nearby community events, volunteer for a charity close to your heart – these are all examples of cheap, often free, entertainment.