Check out top tips from a range of experts about how to reduce your expenses and save money as costs rise.
With the UK inflation rate rising the fastest it has for 30 years, many families are feeling the stretch on their budget. Cutting down the cost of living is becoming a priority, so we checked in with a range of experts to find out where you can cut back your spending.
Social finance app EVERYTHING Co-Founder, Michael Wilkinson:
Cut ties with unnecessary subscriptions. Studies have shown that 85% of people underestimate the amount of money they spend on subscriptions. At EVERYTHING, we have virtual cards that will help you manage this, but for now, trawl through your accounts and get slashing. Don’t forget your subscriptions through iOS or Android and if you’re feeling lazy you can get a service to do it all for you, with the added benefit that it will tell you if you’re overpaying. You may be surprised which ones you forgot you’re still paying for or realise some aren’t worth the extra cash!
4Lite, Light and Wellness Advisor, Kate Baker:
When your energy bill arrives, it’s too late to do anything about the cost. Be your own future friend by proactively using less energy now and reap the cost benefits when your next bill comes in. Simply switching to LED lightbulbs can slash energy bills as well as cutting carbon, doing the right thing for your wallet as well as the planet.
In fact, a bid to make the nation more eco-friendly has already seen new sales of incandescent bulbs halted and a ban on new halogen sales has just come into force. While consumers may still have these bulbs at home and may see the last supplies being sold-off by retailers, the long-term move to LEDs is inevitable. Acting early by banishing costly, energy-guzzling bulbs from the home can make a big difference. It’s as easy as changing a lightbulb. In addition, embracing the new trend of smart lighting can save you even more.
WeThrift Savings Expert, Nick Drewe:
Try to time your supermarket trips for when they are likely to have just added yellow reduced stickers to stock that needs to be sold that day. Normally supermarket workers will start discounting products that are about to pass their sell-by-date later on in the afternoon or early evening, so a food shop after work is the perfect time to grab a bargain.
Many supermarkets also have clearance sections where products that cannot be sold at their RRP or may have damaged packaging can be found. Just make sure to check you are happy with the item and that the goods aren’t compromised before heading to the checkout.
This way, you can make the most of heavily discounted deals that will help you to fill your freezer up with discounted food options in the coming days and weeks.
Eco-friendly home shop Greenshop, James Partridge
As we all become more aware of our energy consumption and carbon footprint, there are plenty of simple switches we can make every day to make our homes energy efficient and save money. Making your home more energy-efficient doesn’t have to mean big, expensive alterations like new insulation or installing double glazing: small, achievable changes can collectively make a big difference over time.
For instance, using draught excluders and closing your curtains more often can help to stop valuable heat escaping from doorways and windows. When it comes to your appliances, you can always select a cold wash or eco cycle on your washing machine. You can also get into the habit of turning off devices like your television or chargers at the socket, as these can use a lot more energy than you may realise — even when not in use. Keeping on top of cleaning, descaling, and maintaining our appliances can also help them run more efficiently: for example, a clean oven reaches the desired temperature more quickly, which in turn conserves valuable energy.
Finally, if you’re trying to save water, washing up in a bowl rather than under a running tap is much more efficient over time. Similarly, when you make your next cuppa, try only filling the kettle with as much water as you need rather than filling it all the way up.