With lockdown, back to school, and Christmas now on the horizon, we could all do with a little extra help.
Sometimes one of the hardest things about saving money is getting started and knowing where to look. Today we have compiled a simple guide to the best tried and tested money-saving hacks you can start right now that could help you out in the long term.
Organise your money. It can be as simple as drawing up a list of everything you have to pay out weekly or monthly from your regular household bills, loan repayments, medical expenses, savings, or even pension contributions. Include the things you need like clothes, food, or even fun days out. By doing this, you will be able to find your pressure points and see where savings could be made.
Buy second hand
As the saying goes - one man's junk is another man's treasure. It might not work with everything you need in the coming weeks and months, but try to buy used instead of new. Use online selling sites, freecycle Facebook groups, charity shops, and ask friends and family if you need something in particular. You will be surprised at what you will find.
Stop shopping at the convenience stores
Let's face it; if something is convenient, it usually tends to be more expensive. Do a meal plan, just one weekly shop, and get everything you need to cut out unnecessary visits to your local. The same goes with eating out - instead of ordering takeout, make a fakeaway and let your bank balance reap the rewards.
Slash your bills in half
One of the biggest money-saving hacks is to shop around every year for things like insurance, household bills, and even your mobile phone provider. When you are looking for the best deal, opt for paperless billing and pay by direct debit to save some extra pennies. Use sites like switcher.ie and bonkers.ie to compare prices. If you have a credit card, call the company and ask if they can offer a lower interest rate.
Be super savvy
In case you weren't aware - family fun doesn’t have to cost a fortune! Opt for free days out to your local park, beach, playground, or even a museum. On rainy days take advantage of free sign-up trials with sites like Netflix and Disney+. Alternatively, sign up to your local library and avail of Borrowbox and download eBooks and audiobooks or RBDigital which will give you access to hundreds of magazines, newspapers and comics.
Sell your preloved items
Have a root through the house and find all the things you no longer use. Then use sites like Gumtree, Donedeal, or eBay to sell unwanted items that might have cost you a pretty penny. For example, if you have a cocktail dress, handbag, shoes, or even appliances, tools, and jewellery that you don’t use or love anymore - box it up and ship it off to someone who will.
Make the pennies count
Do you happen to have a lot of spare change squirrelled around the house? Put them in a jar and at the end of each month, put it into your savings or you could even use it for a treat day. Go bowling, eat out, or buy yourself something nice. Alternatively, you could try the 1c challenge and save for a big celebration or maybe even Santa.
I’m a firm believer in making simple swaps to save money in the long run, from using reusable water beakers and coffee cups, buying in bulk, filling the tank of the car instead of in dribs and drabs, cycle more, and shop around for a discount. But don’t leave it at that, there is saving to be found in everything we do. With further planning, you might be surprised at the potential savings you’ve overlooked.