1. Draw up a balance sheet of income and expenditure and make any adjustments as appropriate. Naturally, it is important to make sure there is more income than expenditure.
2. If you haven’t already done so, it would be helpful to request a monthly bank statement, so that a very close track can be kept of finances.
3. Seek advice for help with debt problems, the Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) or an equivalent for your area would be useful. Make contact with debtors immediately to make appropriate repayment arrangements.
4. Find out about getting interest on any credit in your current account.
5. Where at all possible, use zero rated interest credit cards.
6. Check local and national press for information on best rates of interest on savings.
7. Instead of issuing cheques knowing that you’ll go overdrawn, seek first to negotiate an overdraft limit, in the end it will be cheaper than going into an unauthorised overdraft situation.
8. If it makes sense for you, settle credit cards via Direct Debit, it’s better than forgetting to pay and then finding yourself in a situation where you are charged a late payment fee.
9. Pay income tax demands on time, overdue amounts incur interest.
10. Shop around for insurances in order to get the best deal. With the wealth of information on the internet, there are no excuses.
11. In relation to car insurance check out if there are any special deals for women, no claims, older drivers etc. Often times companies will price match, check if yours will do the same.
12. Check around for great deals on mobile/cell phones – these may include: free phone, free text messaging, an enhanced number of minutes etc, again, many companies are prepared to price match.
13. When buying goods, ask for a discount – they can say yes or no, either way, there is nothing to lose and everything to gain.
14. Shopping during sale time is usually cheaper that shopping at other times.
15. Contact companies to find out if they have warehouse sales, this is usually cheaper than paying high street prices.
16. Charity shops have some great quality products and at a fraction of the original prices, you’ll also be putting some money to good causes into the bargain. Especially useful to check out charity shops in fairly affluent areas.
17. Consider shopping at markets, boot sales, house sales as great bargains are usually possible – you’re also able to exercise your bargaining skills to get a great deal.
18. Get at least three quotes from Trades people and assess best value.
19. Negotiate a discount when paying cash for works carried out to your home or business.
20. Swapping skills with another can act as payment in kind, rather than having to pay cash/money for a service.
21. Is your home as insulated as it could me? Worth getting a ‘insulation health check’ for your home, in the long run it could save you money.
22. Showers generally are a lot cheaper than baths; a number of people are able to have a shower with the amount of water it takes to have a bath.
23. Switch lights off when not in use.
24. Dimmer switches can extend the life of a light bulb.
25. Use domestic appliances such as a washing machine,
dryer and dishwasher when you have a full load, this maximises fuel efficiency.
26. Use an economy wash when using a dishwasher – it’s quicker and cheaper.
27. Use carrier bags you get when you buy your shopping for pedal bin liners
28. Buy super market own brands, as these are often cheaper and of good quality.
29. Some super markets have a ‘value range’ which is even cheaper than their own name brands, might be worth checking out.
30. Look out for the ‘buy one get one free’ type deals.
31. Substantial savings can usually be had by shopping at cash and carry outlets.
32. Prior to going shopping, make a list of only those items you need and only purchase those. This is preferable to being tempted to go down every isle – chances are you may pick up what you don’t need.
33. Buying in bulk provides significant savings; you may wish to share this bulk buying with a friend.
34. Recycle padded envelopes and other envelopes if you wish.
35. Write notes on the back of letters and `junk’ mail you receive.
36.’Take away’ food containers can be used to store food in the fridge and freezer.
37. Keep credit cards to a minimum and best still if you have them it may be worth considering keeping them at home and only use them for planned purchases.
38. How about having family/friend pampering sessions, this will lead to substantial savings on pedicures, manicures, facials, massages etc.
39. Make your own clothes, and if you are challenged in that area, ask a friend and offer to do something for them in return.
40. Lots of items are lost yearly on the buses, tube, train, tram and plane networks – these are usually sold off within a specified time period. Contact your local transport authority to find out further details.
41. There are lots of beauty schools and hairdressers that often want ‘models’ for their students to practice on – worth giving this some consideration. You pay a fraction of the standard price.
42. Determine to make delicious meals at home rather than eating out.
43. If it is really hard to stop eating out, decide that you’ll eat out only so many times per week.
44. Instead of going out, have friends round, with each one bringing food and drink that they’ve prepared themselves.
45. Shop around for best holiday bargains; ask for discounts, particularly at hotels.
46. Booking a holiday apartment with friends often works out cheaper than booking individual hotel rooms or smaller self-catering apartments.
47. You may wish to investigate holiday home swaps – that is swapping your home in one country (or the same country) for another home in another country (or another part of the same country). If you go this route, do investigate it thoroughly.
48. Check out local press and tourist authorities for free entertainment, there’s a fair amount of it around.
49. Grow your own fruit and vegetables.
50. Make use of your local Credit Union.