Spending money is all too easy, our account is drained pretty much as soon as our wages hit with all the essentials, the mortgage, food, heating, insurance, the children’s school dinners and activities taken out. So for the remainder of the month we are silently praying that we can stay out of our overdraft, which so far we never quite seem to manage!
As a family we have decided to try harder this month and have really made a note of our outgoings, every purchase is being critiqued. We begrudge the money we pay on overdraft interest, money that we never get to enjoy together, so its full steam ahead for a complete overhaul of our family finances. Let’s be honest most people are now feeling the pinch; it pays to be savvier about your spending.
There are things you can do to help like Be an Energy Shopper; it’s all too easy to stick with your regular supplier but it’s time to think whether that is the supplier giving you the most savings. We have quickly learnt not to stay loyal to any company, as loyalty is not necessarily rewarded; often you find new customers get the biggest discounts. My dad bless him believed in sticking with a company, never shopping around or changing his tariff, but he never had the most competitive deal and lost a lot of money because of his mindset. I get that changing supplier can seem a bit daunting when you are used to your current one but we have done it many times before.
It’s so easy to search for deals it seems silly not to invest a little time in bringing down your energy bill and potentially saving around £200 in the process. It is important to find Ofgem accredited energy comparison sites so you know that the information you seek will be fair and unbiased.
We have realised if we do our main food shop without the children we spend a lot less. If you can go shopping when they are at school or an activity you will be pleasantly surprised by how much you save! No more being badgered to get football cards, an expensive magazine or bags of sweets!
It can also help to just take cash, if you have a card you can get a bit carried away but if you have cash you really have to think about what you add to your basket to make sure you have enough to pay for it at the end.
It’s worth bearing in mind that premium brands get the best spots on the shelf, so learn to look down and see the cheaper alternatives. Try not to be a brand snob if you can help it; often the supermarket own brand is as nice with the same ingredients at a fraction of the price! Iceland potato waffles are lovely!
If your current mortgage deal is running out make sure you move it to a new one. We just did this and our bank account was very relieved with the £100 saving!
But with everything do your research, double check if it’s really a better deal and go through accredited sites whenever possible.