It’s not just retailers who benefit from getting a headstart on Christmas. Even with the demands of children, it’s easier than you might think to squirrel some savings away and coast through the festive months just that little bit easier. With just a few little life hacks there’s a huge amount of money to be saved ahead of the festive season. In fact you’d be amazed at how quickly the pennies add up. Here are a few ideas to get you started…
Skim some off the top
Whether it’s a money box you design with the kids or a dedicated 10% of your pay you vow to stash aside as part of your budgeting plan, there’s something to be said for saving money the old fashioned way. By limiting what’s in your account, you make smarter money decisions from the get-go. That’s why a lot of successful savers I know immediately trim some off the top of their pay each time it arrives.
Eat better food – and more of it!
Eating out and takeaways are obvious contenders for little luxuries you’ll want to put on the back-burner in your run-up to your savings goal. However, there are other tips and tricks to keep in mind too. For instance, while ready meals seem like a good deal on the surface, you can often get better results from buying fresh ingredients and batching up meals. Freeze the remainder of curries, stews or your favourite bolognese to give you some variety further down the line.
If you’ve got a spacious kitchen you can go full on pantry mode, stashing away pastas, tins and other things that keep for ages. It’s also great to seek out bargains at discount sites like Approved Foods, and even Amazon Pantry has some goodies at great prices.
Sell off the old stuff
It might seem obvious, but I stand by it time and time again – especially since the web’s made it easier than ever to part with unwanted bits and bobs for a decent price. This is especially clever if you’re either due a smartphone upgrade or coming up to the end of your contract. See if you can do a deal, get comfy with the new phone and sell the old one – often for hundreds.
Be energy smart
Big changes can come when you realise just how much you spend on gas and electricity each month, so it’s easy to see how disagreements over energy usage can cause friction between housemates and families. You could include petrol in that too, which is why I’m trying to do less driving in a car less laden with bits and pieces. If you’re vehicle’s covered in roof-racks and other extremities it’s heavier and therefore consumes more petrol, so it pays to literally get rid of the deadweight.
At home, opting for a smart meter is a great way to help you save money. They show you exactly how much gas and electricity you’re using so that you can make changes to how you use energy at home. That way there’s no more surprising bills before the festive season rolls around.
The little extras
Couple these tips with frugal living and you’ll be surprised by just how much can be saved. Eat out less by hosting meals for friends at yours. Cut back on clothing costs, cancel unused subscriptions to online services and haggle for better deals with your broadband company.
What’s your secret to saving ahead of the festive season? Is there anything I’ve missed?