You've done it; you’re in your new home – firstly, congrats! But, have you thought ahead and considered how to keep your home finances on track and within budget? Here’s our top tips to help keep those bank balances looking healthy and get you thinking thrifty!
- Food glorious food – don’t waste any of your leftovers veggies. If you’re cooking up a roast, cook extra vegetables and potatoes – who says bubble and squeak is just for Christmas? Make your food go that bit further and it could make more than just the one meal! Hey, you could even blitz up your leftover veggies in a blender and make a warming soup!
- Utility bills – shop around! MoneySavingExpert.com, from Martin Lewis, is particularly useful. You can even do a full market energy comparison to make sure you are getting the best deal on your electricity and gas bills! Now that’s smart.
- Ebay – those old clothes you no longer want, or what about those old kids’ toys taking up extra space? Get them listed on Ebay – you’ll be surprised how much your unwanted items will fetch!
- Amazon Prime - If you've been anything like me during lockdown, Amazon Prime has been far too easy when you **think** you need something. Click the 'buy now' button and it's usually landing on your door mat the next day! Without realising, those impulse purchases add up. Stop, and think, do I really need this? You'll be surprised at how much you'll save by not clicking that button so readily! (speaking from experience!)
- Shopping Lists – if you don’t already write a list when doing your weekly shop; write one. That way you only shop for the things you need and don’t end up spending extra money (it’s also good to go shopping when you’re not hungry; if you’re like us, somehow all the naughty treats end up going in the basket when our tums are empty!)
- Meal planning – Kinda ties into the point above, but if you can plan your meals for the week ahead and shop for these bits weekly, you’ll resist the urge when you’re hungry to reach for the phone and order a take-away if you know what’s for tea!
- Budgets – sit down and calculate your monthly outgoings. Don’t just rely on your bank statements which only give you a real time overview of your balance (and doesn’t take into account the bills for the rest of the month). A simple spreadsheet detailing your monthly gas, electric, water, TV license, council tax, home insurance, car insurance, mobile phone, mortgage, rent etc. along with any other expenditure for the month, food shops, holidays, birthdays etc and deducting these outgoings from your monthly income will give you an accurate of figure of where your money is ‘at’. If spreadsheets aren’t your bag; there’s some great apps to help with budgeting that you can get on your phone – ‘Pocket Money’ is a good one.
- Buying in bulk – when you see a billy bargain on some of the household items that don’t have a shelf life on them – like loo rolls, washing power, dishwasher tables – buy a few packets – it’ll save you a few quid in the process for when the items go back to full price.
- Christmas – it’s never too early to think about this one. We all know that it can be an expensive time of year; so why not set aside a set amount of money each month into a ‘Christmas saving pot’ – that way, when December approaches, it’ll make things that bit easier.
- Christmas Sale Shopping – THE perfect time to stock up on 2022’s essentials – grab your Christmas cards, wrapping paper, bows, decorations, stocking fillers in the Christmas and New Year sales – you’ll usually grab some bargains and save some money in the process! Can't beat getting ahead of the game and organised for next year, right?
So, there you go, a few hints and tips to help those pennies go that bit further. Enjoy your new home!
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