EVER wondered why you’re not managing to save money despite your best efforts?
It could be the little things you’re spending your cash on that are causing you to fall behind.
As a money-saving enthusiast and consumer expert at Brandrated, Jenny McCormac reckons we should all stop buying these few things
So how many are you guilty of?
1. Fancy coffee
We’re all guilty of wanting to treat ourselves to a fancy latte before work or an iced coffee on a summer’s afternoon, but this is an expense that can add up pretty quickly Jenny pointed out.
“Spending £3 on just one coffee every Monday-Friday can cost up to £720 a year,” she said.
“Instead of this splurge, dig out your old thermal coffee cup and make your coffee at home before going into the office or instead.”
What’s more, many offices and workplaces offer free coffee facilities, so try utilising that.
Or at the very least they’ll have boiling water, so just bring your own instant coffee.
2. TV subscriptions
We get it, there’s nothing like a mid-week binge on Netflix’s newest crime drama.
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But if you look at how much you’re spending on subscription TV, you might be in for a shock.
What’s more, with a plethora of choices to choose from nowadays, with each plugging ‘exclusive’ series and movies, you might be tempted to sign up to multiple streaming platforms and rarely ever watch them
According to Jenny, most of us end up with more memberships than we ever need, which leaves us wasting money.
“To avoid this, if the series or film [you want to watch] has been around for a while, but is now just being shown on a streaming service, then there’s a good chance it will be available to buy as a boxset from a second-hand entertainment store, or even a charity shop,” Jenny said.
While this is still spending money, Jenny suggested selling it back to the store when you’re done, or sell it online to make your money back.
“If the series you want to watch is brand new and unavailable to watch on anything other than a streaming service, then consider buddying up with a close friend and watching it together,” Jenny suggested.
Another alternative is to sign up for the free trial which most streaming services offer.
But make the most of it before your time’s up and before you get charged.
3. Gym memberships
Staying fit is no doubt a priority for many people, but why pay for a membership when you can work out for free.
“Paying for a gym membership is a huge waste of money for numerous reasons,” Jenny said.
“Firstly, there’s a variety of workouts uploaded onto YouTube or other social media sites every day, from yoga for beginners to heart-racing cardio workouts.
“If the social aspect of the gym is something you would miss, then consider inviting your friends out for your own group workout.”
Other ideas include a group jog around the park or follow a YouTube video in your living room with your pals.
” Not only are they totally free, but it means you can keep in touch with your friends,” she said.
“As the average UK gym membership is £40, by cancelling your subscription you can save £480 a year.
4. Bottled water
“Relying on bottled water is the easiest way to waste money and increase your carbon footprint,” Jenny said.
“Although the cost of one plastic bottle may not seem too expensive and can be refilled a few times, they aren’t made to be long-lasting, so you will definitely need to buy a new one eventually.”
Instead, Jenny suggested investing in a reusable bottle and refill it with tap water. Not only is it completely free but it reduces excess waste.
Jenny said: “There are over 274,000 free water refill spots across the UK and many cafes and restaurants offer free water refills if you just ask, so there’s no reason to rely on bottled water.
“If you do prefer filtered water, then invest in a water bottle with a built-in water filter.”
If you’re a book lover, this last one might shock you, but you don’t have to give up your books entirely, just check out your local library first.
“It’s a misconception that libraries only house dusty and out-of-date books,” said Jenny.
“Take time to visit your local library and you will be amazed to see how many new titles are available, all for you to read at your leisure and completely for free.”
Signing up is easy and only takes a few minutes. Then you’ll not only have access to a wide range of books, but you also get access to the internet and computers too.
Students especially should utilise libraries more, particularly when it comes to pricey textbooks and resources.
“Instead of using your university or college library to take out a textbook, that may already be claimed by another frugal student, search your local library instead,” Jenny said.
Meanwhile, you can read essentially anything an e-reader for much cheaper than print versions, Jenny explained.
And while they might be more of an investment at first, you can try picking one up second-hand.
“Try looking at Freecycle or Marketplace where people may be giving an unused one for free.”