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ARE YOU A FINANCIAL CONTROL FREAK?

Do people call you a control freak? Are you more comfortable when you are in control of everything? Well, I’m here to tell you that rather than being a derogatory comment, you should see it as a compliment. What’s wrong with being in control and being in charge, especially when it come to your finances? I say; nothing! In fact, folks that haven’t got a good handle on their financial situations can learn a lot from you and the following advice.

 

Budgets

Being in control of your budget is surely a good thing right? Whether it’s a personal budget or one for the whole family? It means that you only buy what is needed, don’t go into debt, and have a much more stable financial situation. Allowing you to put money away for other things like buying property or going on holiday.

 

But what is the best way of being in control of your budget? Well, using mobile on the online app can really help. As they can show you what you have spent in a visual way. Which makes it a lot easier to see if you have overspent in any particular area, and manage this better the next month.

 

Savings

 

Being in control of your saving is a great thing. Why? Well, why would you not be in control of your own money that you have worked hard to scrimp and save for? In fact, for some folks just having some savings is an achievement, so they are not just living paycheck to paycheck.

 

However, for the true financial control freak, they will; not only want to see what savings they are making every month. But they will also want a hand in choosing the best account with the most benefits and the highest interest. So they can ensure that their money is working hard for them and their future.
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Pensions

 

Now, a lot of folks don’t worry too much about their pensions because they like their retirement is so far off in the future it seem irrelevant. But you won’t find the financial control freak making this mistake. Oh no! For them having their pension sorted is one of the most important things, because it ensures that they are in control of not just their current situation but also their future as well.

 

Of course, the pension can be complicated things. They can end up scattered if you have worked for a few different employers. Or they can be unusable if you are using a fund where you have no control over how your money is invested. Which many folks in the ‘90s pension scandal learned the hard way.

 

That is why it can be especially useful for the financial control freak to use a SIPP or a Self-Invested Personal Pension. As this allow them to have ultimate control over where their money is invested.

 

Investments

 

Lastly, a true control freak of the financial variety will not only have the budgeting, saving and pension sorted but they will also be making medium to long term investment to increase their overall wealth.

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This Investment may take the form of a business venture, buying property or even investing in the stock market. But of course whatever they choose to put their money into they will definitely want to be as in control of it as possible.

 

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WHY BEING A LOYAL CUSTOMER RARELY PAYS

loyal customer

 

How loyal are you as a customer? Do you pay your bills on time and quietly accept those half-hearted apologies from your service providers when things go wrong? Don’t you think you ought to be rewarded for that?

 

These days, most of us are penalised for loyalty. Instead, it is the new customer who reaps the rewards on offer from our favourite big companies. We’re charged more for staying with the company than new customers pay who have yet to prove themselves as good paying and loyal. Why is that?

 

Next time you’re sent an auto-renewal notice from your insurance company, spend some quality time on the various comparison websites. Chances are you’re going to find the same cover for much less money. Once you’ve set up your new policy, be sure to phone the existing provider and tell them you are now insured with someone else. Make sure you have told them you are cancelling their auto-renewal proposal. The word ‘cancel’ is the most important part of your conversation.

 

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So what should you look for when you’re trying to get a better deal for your service provision? Start with what you have. You need to check the start date of the contract or policy. Now see the minimum term of that agreement. If the contract has expired, you can cancel it and go somewhere else. Most services we use all the time without thinking about it have a minimum term. Make a note of the end date for your broadband, phone, mobile phone, mortgage, energy providers and car insurance. You may have more.

 

Now you know which ones are ready for a better deal, use price comparison sites like http://www.broadbanddeals.co.uk to find it. You’ll need a list of the services you want to keep or that are already provided. For example, with broadband, you might want a minimum download speed and an unlimited data provision. For your car insurance, you might want to ensure you’re covered for driving in Europe and your no claims bonus is protected. Many comparison websites allow you to put those stipulations in as search parameters. The last thing you need to check is added costs like connection or administration fees.

 

Yes, it takes a couple of hours to find the very cheapest deal that serves your purpose. Yes, it can be intimidating having to call your existing provider and telling them you don’t want to be with them anymore. But it could save you so much money! Keep a little spreadsheet detailing each of your finance or contract agreements. Put reminders in your phone calendar when they come up for renewal. Shopping around instead of staying loyal can often reap rewards like new customer gifts or cash back too.

 

Of course, if you’re happy to stay with your existing provider, you still can. Why not let them know you’ve found a better deal with one of their competitors? Chances are they’ll aim to match it if they can. Who knows? They might suddenly reveal a good loyalty deal they ‘forgot’ to mention earlier!

 

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7 SMART AND EASY WAYS TO SAVE MONEY ON YOUR GROCERY SHOP

how to save money on your shopping

 

 

We’ve all read it in newspapers or heard it on the TV, the cost of groceries is expected to rise – whether this is inflation or the effects of Brexit is neither here nor there, the fact is that families will continue to struggle to make ends meet.

 

So, if you want some tips on how to cut your grocery bill down, then you have come to the right place!  Your food bill is an area where you can make savings just with a little planning.

 

Below I have noted some ways to help you the next time you go food shopping.

 

Plan, Plan & Plan

Before heading out the door, I recommend you plan your meals and what you need to buy.  Meal planning can help in so many ways, including saving you money and time overall.  It also helps you cut down on waste and can turn what becomes a boring dinner into a lovely feast!

 

If you want to read more about how to meal plan, head over to my post How to Save Money with Meal Planning.

 

Make a Shopping List

Make a shopping list from the meal plan AFTER looking in your fridge, freezer, and store cupboard.  Going without a list can lead to many temptations and spending more than you wanted.  It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, the back of an envelope will do just fine!

 

Use coupons and cashback apps

Cashback apps and vouchers are a great way of reducing your overall grocery shopping.  You can get many free items too when shopping with coupons and cashback apps.  Head over to my blog post about the best Cashback apps which you can download now and start saving immediately.

 

Know where the reduced section is

Supermarkets reduce food these are often items that have best before the day you are shopping.  If you buy bread at a reduced price it’s a good idea to freeze it if you don’t intend using it all.  You really can get some excellent bargains. Why not visit your local supermarket and see where they keep the reduced section?

 

Look at the top and bottom of the shelves

The higher profit items are often placed at eye level – make sure you look to the top and bottom of the shelf and label to make sure you get the best priced item.

 

Loyalty Cards

If your store has a loyalty card, make sure you sign up for one as you can get a discount or money off coupon from the till.

 

Pay with Cash

After you do your planning, bring cash along – that way you certainly won’t overspend. Having a debit or credit card can often be tempting so leave it at home.

 

Happy grocery shopping folks.

 

Elf x

 

 

THINGS YOU CAN DO OR SELL TO MAKE EXTRA CASH

HOW TO EARN CASHBACK FROM SHOPPING ONLINE

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WANT TO MAKE MONEY WITH YOUR OLD RECEIPTS?  READ ALL ABOUT IT HERE.

WANT TO EARN GIFT VOUCHERS?  READ MY REVIEW OF SWAGBUCKS.  

INTERESTED IN KNOWING WHAT A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT DOES AND HOW YOU CAN MAKE MONEY?  READ MORE HERE.  

WANT TO GET PAID FOR COMPLETING SURVEYS?  READ MY POST ABOUT PROLIFIC ACADEMIC HERE.

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6 IDEAS TO TREAT MUM WITHOUT BREAKING THE BANK

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Below I’ve listed some great ways to treat mum without you having to break the bank!  I love my mum dearly and being a mum is the most rewarding and challenging job in the world.  While I often shy away from imposed ‘days’ by the card industry I often still do something special for my mum.

 

If you would like to treat mum this Mother’s Day without breaking the bank or making that gift more personal, then this blog post is for you!

 

Below I’ve listed some extra special ways to treat mum.

 

 

Make a photo album

 

In today’s smart phone era most of us look at our photos online, but I must admit there is something special about flicking through a photo album that contain some precious memories.  Why not gather these up and make a family photo album?  You could also spend some quality time together going through them.  A great place to upload your photos to is Photo Box who at the moment are also offering up to 40% off Mother’s Day gifts!

 

 

Give your mum a break

 

Without a doubt being a mum is often a 24/7 job which can be both physically and mentally challenging.  Why not give your mum a break by doing her chores for the day?  You could start by cleaning her house or doing her washing or ironing.  You don’t even have to tell her, surprise her when she’s out!

 

 

Afternoon tea

 

Busy mums often find it hard getting the time to sit down and relax with a cuppa and chat to friends.  Why not organise for your mum’s friends to come around and make them all afternoon tea?  You could either bake some delicious cakes or buy them from the local supermarket, serve them on vintage china and cake stands to make it extra special.

 

 

Cook her favourite meal

 

Mums can be busy preparing family meals, pack lunches or snacks.  Having someone cook a meal is such a treat.  Why not prepare your mum’s favourite meal, you can all sit down as a family and enjoy each other’s company?  If you wanted to be a little more adventurous why not try the likes of Gousto who will provide you with all the necessary ingredients to make a special meal?

 

 

 

Flowers & Chocolates

 

Always appreciated by mums everywhere, you could order flowers from the likes of Marks and Spencer with the offer they have on at the moment where you order flowers and get free chocolates!  You could also order a wonderful selection of chocolates from Thorntons.

 

 

Mum coupon book / vouchers

 

Well, it wouldn’t be right not to include vouchers somewhere in this post!  I absolutely adore this post on Mashable, it contains 10 Mother’s Day vouchers from things like One ‘Get out of House Free’ card, Breakfast in bed and permission to criticise my haircut for one minute!

 

 

Hopefully this post will have inspired you for this Mother’s Day, although my advice is not to wait to Mother’s Day to show how much you appreciate your mum!

 

Happy Mother’s Day.

 

Elf x

 

 

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6 TRICKS SUPERMARKETS USE TO MAKE YOU SPEND MORE

save money knowing supermarket tricks

 

Did you know there are ways that supermarket tricks can get us to spend more?  Imagine this…

 

You get to the supermarket checkout and you begin to wonder how one earth a trip for milk and a loaf of bread turned in to a £20 purchase!  If that’s you then read on because it happens all the time and it often has nothing to do with willpower – more like soft manipulation to get you to spend.

 

Supermarkets have years of incredible marketing expertise which they take full advantage of to get you to turn a one item purchase in to a many item purchases.  Of course, these marketing ‘tricks’ have been around for years but if you are on a budget or want to cut down on your grocery shop to save up for a holiday then it’s best to arm yourself with the knowledge to recognise what is happening and avoid falling in to the trap of spending more of your hard-earned cash than you wanted.

 

Below are some of the tricks supermarkets use to convince you to spend more…

 

Floral and Fresh Baked Goods

There are two smells that always welcome you in to a supermarket, one is freshly cut flowers, the other is freshly baked goods.  The look and smell is just wonderful, in fact they may even put a smile on your face with such a sensory overload.  The reason they are there?  These goods are often the highest price margin for the supermarket, put here when you enter as the smell often activates your salivary glands which in turn is more likely to make you impulse buy!

 

Essentials are hidden

Remember that pint of milk and bread you went in for?  Well, it is often hidden near the back or end of the store.  The reason for this is that the supermarket want you to walk through the whole store just to get them –tempting you to buy other items on offer as you make your way to the item you came in for.

 

Healthy versus junk

Fresh fruit and vegetables are often at the start of your shop.  The reason for this is that if you purchase these items at the start then you won’t feel as bad when you come to the junk food, so you will feel just fine purchasing biscuits because this balances with the fruit and vegetables you bought earlier.

 

Aisles

I don’t know about you but I find myself blindly walking up and down the aisles without deviating at all.  The supermarket counts on us doing this, which is why they often change where products are located – again to make us walk round more of the store to tempt us to buy.  The higher profit items are often placed at eye level – how often have you searched for a supermarket own brand of cereal only to find it at the bottom, hidden behind a pillar?  Now you know the reason for this.

 

Another one to watch out for in the aisles is the kid’s eye level.  Yes, they strategically place products aimed at kids at their level so they will often pester parents to buy them.

 

Music

In October (not close enough to Christmas yet) it gets on my nerves the Christmas music you hear in stores but supermarkets often play music, but have you noticed how slow it is?  The idea is that slow music makes you take your time wandering round the store, viewing more products, and ultimately buying more.  Research has also shown that playing classical music can lead people to buy more expensive items.

 

Loyalty Cards

While I love loyalty cards, I know deep down that the store is probably benefiting more than I am but who can resist a discount or money off?  So, while a loyalty card will give you money off the main reason a supermarket wants you to use it is so they can track your spending habits and learn more about what you buy and when.  Have you noticed that at times the till will spout out a money off voucher for toothpaste when you’re about to run out?  Well now you know how they keep you coming back to buy toothpaste!

 

 

So, know you know why a visit to the supermarket for milk and bread can turn in to a major shop.  If you want to avoid these manipulation traps you can try some of the following:

 

  • Pay with cash – just bring along a few pounds, that way you certainly won’t overspend. Having a debit or credit card can often be tempting so leave it at home.
  • Never shop on an empty stomach. When you’re hungry you will be tempted to buy all around you from savoury to sweet – try to avoid grocery shopping when hungry.
  • Write a list. Lists are great if you stick to it.  The more you work with the list system the easier it will become to avoid the tricks of supermarkets.

 

I hope that now you are armed with the knowledge and skills you can avoid supermarkets manipulating you in order to spend more than you had ever intended.

 

Happy grocery shopping.

 

Elf x

 

WANT TO KNOW HOW TO SET UP A BLOG TO MAKE MONEY IN 3 EASY STEPS?  VIEW THE POST HERE.

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WANT TO MAKE MONEY WITH YOUR OLD RECEIPTS?  READ ALL ABOUT IT HERE.

WANT TO EARN GIFT VOUCHERS?  READ MY REVIEW OF SWAGBUCKS.  

INTERESTED IN KNOWING WHAT A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT DOES AND HOW YOU CAN MAKE MONEY?  READ MORE HERE.  

WANT TO GET PAID FOR COMPLETING SURVEYS?  READ MY POST ABOUT PROLIFIC ACADEMIC HERE.

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HOW TO SAVE MONEY WITH MEAL PLANNING

meal planning

 

 

Below I’ve listed some ways you can save money with meal planning.  Years ago, meal planning was something that I never considered but now it is a necessity as far as I am concerned.

Meal planning can help in so many ways, including saving you money and time overall.  It also helps you cut down on waste and can turn what becomes a boring dinner into a lovely feast!

People often say to me that they just don’t have the time to plan, well I’m here to tell you it doesn’t take that long and it will save you time – really!  Below I have listed the reasons why I meal plan so hopefully it will give you an idea of what the benefits are.

 

 

Weekly meal planning saves you time

Going grocery shopping without a list means wandering up and down the aisles trying to come up with recipes on the spot.  Or you think you have all the ingredients to make that meal at home, only to find when you get there you’re missing an essential ingredient.

Well with meal planning you prepare your list in advance so you don’t have to wander aimlessly up and down those aisles being tempted by offers you don’t’ really need.

 

Weekly meal planning helps you eat a more balanced diet

When you sit down to plan your weekly meals, it gives you time to consider adding in vegetables and thinking about the healthier options.  For us, we like to ensure we use the vegetables at the start of the meal plan so you get them when they are at their best and the freshest.  It also means you refrain from buying unhealthy snacks because you have your list in front of you!

 

Weekly meal planning stops you getting stuck in a rut

There are times when I can’t for the life of me figure out any more inventive ways to include vegetables in our diet so taking time to plan and look at recipes is great.

 

Indeed, as I will talk about below, signing up to Hello Fresh is a great way of keeping your meals interesting.

 

Steps to creating a weekly meal plan

Step 1:  Do a little recipe research or sign up to Hello Fresh.

Step 2:  Create a week-long meal plan – I’m offering you a free meal planner diary which you can download below.

Step 3: Make a shopping list from the meal plan AFTER looking in your fridge, freezer, and store cupboard.

Step 4:  Go shopping and stick to your list

 

After all this you will find that it will have taken you less time than if you’d been wandering around those grocery aisles, plus you will have planned your meals for the week, saved yourself money and set yourself a healthy eating plan.

 

Free Meal & Recipe Planner

I’m offering you a free meal and recipe planner to help you along your journey to meal plan.  To download just sign up below.

 

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READ HOW YOU CAN EARN CASHBACK FROM SHOPPING ONLINE –HERE

 WANT TO SAVE MONEY ON CLOTHING, FOOTWEAR, ACCESSORIES &  HOMEWARE?  READ ALL ABOUT IT HERE.

WANT TO KNOW HOW TO SET UP A BLOG TO MAKE MONEY IN 3 EASY STEPS?  VIEW THE POST HERE.

INTERESTED IN KNOWING HOW TO MONETIZE YOUR BLOG?  READ MY BLOG POST HERE.

WANT STUFF FOR FREE TO REVIEW ON YOUR BLOG?  READ MY POST HERE.

WANT TO MAKE MONEY WITH YOUR OLD RECEIPTS?  READ ALL ABOUT IT HERE.

WANT TO EARN GIFT VOUCHERS?  READ MY REVIEW OF SWAGBUCKS.  

INTERESTED IN KNOWING WHAT A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT DOES AND HOW YOU CAN MAKE MONEY?  READ MORE HERE.  

WANT TO GET PAID FOR COMPLETING SURVEYS?  READ MY POST ABOUT PROLIFIC ACADEMIC HERE.

 

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HOW TO STEP DOWN AND SAVE MONEY

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I have a little trick for you about how to step down and save money, it’s a very simple process which I believe will help you save money in whatever you decide to purchase.

 

‘Step-down’ is a process of identifying less expensive purchase alternatives and a process which will help you save money.  Instead of cutting out an item (for example, eating out a restaurant or buying clothing), find a way to purchase it for less or get it for free.

 

You can think of spending as a descending staircase, with steps going down from the most expensive way to buy an item (top step) to the least expensive way to buy something (bottom step).  For example, if you consider clothing.  A five-step staircase might look something like this.

 

 

1st Step:  Expensive department stores or speciality shops

 

2nd Step: Mid-price department store or outlet

 

3rd Step: Discount department store

 

4th Step:  Second hand stores / Ebay / Car boot

 

5th Step:  fREE from sites such as Freegle / family / friends

 

 

 

I highly recommend you try this process out and see how much you could be saving.

 

Happy Saving!

 

Elf x

 

Want to know ways to increase your income?  Visit these blog posts

 

WANT TO KNOW HOW TO SET UP A BLOG TO MAKE MONEY IN 3 EASY STEPS?  VIEW THE POST HERE.

INTERESTED IN KNOWING HOW TO MONETIZE YOUR BLOG?  READ MY BLOG POST HERE.

WANT STUFF FOR FREE TO REVIEW ON YOUR BLOG?  READ MY POST HERE.

WANT TO MAKE MONEY WITH YOUR OLD RECEIPTS?  READ ALL ABOUT IT HERE.

WANT TO EARN GIFT VOUCHERS?  READ MY REVIEW OF SWAGBUCKS.  

INTERESTED IN KNOWING WHAT A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT DOES AND HOW YOU CAN MAKE MONEY?  READ MORE HERE.  

WANT TO GET PAID FOR COMPLETING SURVEYS?  READ MY POST ABOUT PROLIFIC ACADEMIC HERE.

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HOW TO START A FINANCIAL DETOX TODAY

financial detox

I want to share with you how you can start a financial detox and you don’t have to wait until the New Year either – have a go today!

 

A New Year is about fresh starts, it is about making resolutions to implement a new habit or kick a bad one.  While many work towards becoming healthy and fit or setting out to achieve a specific goal, there is one part of our lives that is often overlooked – money!

 

The New Year is the perfect time to take part in a financial detox.

 

What is a financial detox I hear you say?  Put simply it is a way of getting your finances in shape.

 

We all know that Christmas comes around at the same time each year yet three in 10 adults reported they will be in debt after Christmas 2016. A nationwide poll which was commissioned by BBC1’s Watchdog noted that the debt is likely to be up to £250 per person with younger adults more likely to experience debt.

 

I’ve put together a financial detox list of tips to help you keep on track in 2017…

 

Write out your financial goals

 

Most of us are so focused on today that we are often ill prepared for tomorrow.  Which is why it is so important to plan for the future.

 

We all have dreams for the future, but without a plan dreams can often be put to one side.

 

To gain control of your financial future start with your financial goals.  Writing these down is a great way of reinforcing the goal and it also allows you to visualise and reaffirm that goal.

 

Why not treat yourself to a notebook in the January sales and start writing down your financial goals – remember to keep it close and have a pen attached to it – no excuses!

 

 

Purify your income and expenditure

 

To get a handle on your finances it is important to list your income and expenditure.

 

First step is to know your actual income from your salary, benefits, child benefit etc.  Once you have this information you can then move on to your expenditure.

 

Note down your bills and whatever other monthly expenses you have including those trips to the coffee shop or the times you nip in for a pint of milk but end up spending over £20!

 

Once you have this information you can create a realistic budget to help you keep track of your monthly budget.

 

 

Trim your spending

 

Seems straightforward but when you have a lot of bills it can seem a daunting task.  Break it down in to manageable chunks.

 

First re-negotiate your current services such as mobile, home insurance, broadband and cable TV services with your current providers.  However, before calling them visit a cost comparison site such as Go Compare and see if you can get better deals by getting a quote for each of the services.

 

With this key information to hand contact your current providers and ask them what kind of discount they could give you.  Pass on the deals you have found on the cost comparison website.  More times than not, they will offer you a discount.

 

Personally, I have saved hundreds doing this – I know you can too.

 

 

Plug the toxic spending leaks

 

Sit down and assess what you currently spend your money on.  You need to be honest with yourself.

 

Ask yourself the following questions: Why am I spending money on this item? Do I want or need this item? Is it worth that much? Is this purchase trying to make up for some area of my life that is lacking? Is there a less expensive alternative to what I want to buy? If so, why am I not willing to buy the less expensive alternative? What else do I want or need that this money could be used for?

 

Give your answers some thought. Once you understand your feelings make an agreement to rectify any bad habits which are causing you to spend money carelessly.

 

For example, you could put strategies in place to deal with these such as having a ‘no-spend’ day or setting yourself a target such as saving for a holiday.

 

Whatever the challenge I highly recommend you start a spending diary so you can track where your money goes.

 

 

Fire up your income making skills

 

It’s not just about cutting back it is also about increasing your income.  There are many ways to do that.  If you have time to spare you could try out  mystery shopping, or completing surveys during your lunch break or indeed you could start a blog.  You could also sell your unwanted clothes, CDs, and DVDs online or if you have a hobby – sell your handmade items at craft fairs or online.

 

If you are receiving benefits, visit your local Citizen’s Advice to make sure you are claiming everything you are entitled to.  There are so many people that miss out because they are unaware of what they can claim.  Make sure you are not one of them!

 

Happy Detoxing!

 

Elf x

 

This article first appeared on Belfast Live.

 

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10 THINGS I’M DOING RIGHT NOW TO SAVE MONEY

 

As well as making extra cash I am also taking steps to cut down on my expenditure.  The cost of living continues to rise and with some wages not keeping pace with inflation coupled with rising costs it is important to overhaul spending too.

 

I’ve read so much about living a frugal lifestyle that it now appears to be so cool – that must be a first for me!

 

In my quest to be more frugal this is up I’m up to:

 

  1. Yellow sticker hunting. Yellow sticker hunting is when supermarkets reduce food with you’ve guessed it – yellow stickers!  These are often items that have best before the day you are shopping.  The best time for me to go is around 7pm when they reduce the items the most.  If you buy bread at this time, it’s a good idea to freeze it if you don’t intend using it all .  You really can get some excellent bargains. Why  not visit your local supermarket and see where they keep the reduced section.

 

  1. Buying second hand clothing. It’s not just something I have been doing recently, I have always done it.  I love vintage items so the best way to buy them is in charity shops or car boot sales. You don’t have to visit a charity shop if you feel a little weird about it – why not visit Ebay or your local Gumtree site?  Here you will also find people selling clothes including kids clothing – after all they grow so fast so why not save yourself a little money? These are fantastic ways to cut down on the cost of your wardrobe – call it going vintage!

 

  1. Never buy anything online unless I go through TopCashBack or Quidco. If you buy anything online don’t until you go through these two cashback websites.  I have saved so much the past year getting back over £200 just for going through these sites.   Cashback can be requested in to your PayPal account or your bank account – you decide.

 

  1. Take home extra condiments. This is probably classed as a bit extreme but each to their own I say!  If we do go for a treat and there are jam or sauce condiments left at the end of the meal I take these home.  They come in really handy if you run out of jam or sauce at home!

 

  1. Planning meals and Using Grocery Apps. We draw up a weekly menu to help cut back on our groceries, it means we only buy what we need when we go shopping.  This also helps us to reduce food waste.  We also use cashback grocery apps.  These are fantastic as some items end up being free.  I highly recommend reading my article on cashback apps:  How to get money off your grocery bill by using apps.

 

  1. Grow your own. I am not a great gardener it has to be said but I do try and have become successful at growing herbs and salad leaves.  They grow without much effort in pots just at the back door or on the windowsill.  If you fancy giving it a go buy some seeds from your local pound shop together with a few plant pots and give it a go.  You could also team up with family and friends to swap seeds.  Honestly it is so satisfying when you grow something that you put on your own plate!

 

  1. Go for supermarket own brands. I have to admit to doing this on a regular basis and for a number of years.  I never really could get used to being brand loyal when it came to things like beans!  In fact when we switched to own label brands we found that some items tasted much nicer.  During your next shop why not swap just a few items to see how it goes?

 

  1. Keep fit without joining a gym. I hate gyms, but I hate paying for gyms even more!  There was a time when I paid a monthly fee and didn’t bother going.  I might as well have thrown the money down the drain.  Why not try keeping fit for free?  There are so many couch to 5k clubs about or walking groups you could try.  Alternatively you could download an app that will take you through an exercise programme.  The key is to set yourself small challenges like walking the stairs instead of the escalator or getting off one bus stop early to walk the rest of the way.

 

  1. Use coupons and vouchers. I love shopping with vouchers / coupons.  By keeping your eyes peeled in newspapers or magazines or indeed product websites you can save yourself hundreds on items. By registering with TopCashBack or Quidco you can also search for coupons or vouchers there too!  Also remember to take advantage of store reward cards.

 

  1. Stop being a loyal customer. I hear it all the time, oh I would never leave (insert name here), I’ve been with them for years. I have to say this is one category where I have also saved a lot of money over the years and that’s switching providers for insurance, broadband, TV, mobile, gas and electric.  Don’t be loyal to one company – shop around.  Indeed you may find if you shop around and find a better deal then you go back to your current provider and explain you are ready to leave them for a better deal – more times than not they will match the deal!  Why  not visit Go Compare and find out how much money you could save by switching some of your providers?

 

These are the ways in which I am saving money at the moment.  Why not give them a go and let me know how you get on.

 

Happy saving!

 

Elf x

 

 

Also why not visit a few of my other posts on how to increase your income:

 

 

WANT TO KNOW HOW TO SET UP A BLOG TO MAKE MONEY IN 3 EASY STEPS?  VIEW THE POST HERE.

INTERESTED IN KNOWING HOW TO MONETIZE YOUR BLOG?  READ MY BLOG POST HERE.

WANT STUFF FOR FREE TO REVIEW ON YOUR BLOG?  READ MY POST HERE.

WANT TO MAKE MONEY WITH YOUR OLD RECEIPTS?  READ ALL ABOUT IT HERE.

WANT TO EARN GIFT VOUCHERS?  READ MY REVIEW OF SWAGBUCKS.  

INTERESTED IN KNOWING WHAT A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT DOES AND HOW YOU CAN MAKE MONEY?  READ MORE HERE.  

WANT TO GET PAID FOR COMPLETING SURVEYS?  READ MY POST ABOUT PROLIFIC ACADEMIC HERE.

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