This year, with the ongoing cost of living crisis, people are looking to save as much money as they can.
The financial strain was evident last year with many people seeking help with the likes of food, petrol and energy bills all increasing.
But now that the festive period is over with people getting back into their normal routines at work, many are watching what they spend, especially during the long weeks between the pre-Christmas wage and January pay day . However, there are some things you can do to cut back and spend more wisely.
So, how can you save money and spend carefully? Hull Live asked personal finance experts for their advice. Here’s what they had to say.
With the new year here and a new month upon us, it’s a great time to start budgeting.
Rita Kastrati, shopping and saving expert from bank of things Twig, has said that you should first see what money you have left after paying for gifts, bills and other necessities such as food, your car and shopping.
Then after this, you can see how much you are left with. She say you can then divide the remainder between the days or weeks you have before your January payday.
Romi Savova, CEO of PensionBee adds: “Categorising your expenditures into ‘fixed’ and ‘flexible’ spending can help you work out what costs you’ll be able to cut down on and redirect your money to where it’s needed the most.”
Make a money-related resolution
Ross Duncton, head of EMEA marketing at Columbia Threadneedle Investments says that the cost of living is affecting everyone “so it’s not surprising that one in five people are planning to make a money-related New Year’s Resolution for the first time in their life.”
In a survey of two thousand people, 27 per cent said they are committed to saving more money this year whilst 15 per cent said they intend to set a stricter budget for the year.
Elle McAtamney from TopCashback also suggests going cold turkey on impulse buys: “When you do have to spend, make sure that you are doing so mindfully. Impulse buying may feel satisfying in the moment but won’t do anything to improve your bank balance – short or long term.”
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No spend days
Nick Drewe, a money-saving expert at Wethrift says: “Whilst going 24 hours without spending a single penny might sound like an impossible task, with a bit of planning, it is much easier to achieve than you might think.”
If you can work from home, make your own lunch and have cosy nights in with Netflix, it could save you money. Drewe adds: “If you keep up this practice for the whole of 2023, you may even find that come December, you have mastered going a whole week without parting with a single penny.”
Keep an eye on your accounts
To make sure you stay on track with your budget, it is important to monitor your bank account.
Drewe suggests doing regular bank statement checks which will make you aware of what your monthly outgoings are to ensure you are paying for the right items, and the correct amount. He says: “This is helpful for monitoring any subscription costs that have increased which you don’t feel you can justify anymore.”
Alternatively you might want to use a budgeting app or make your own spreadsheet, says Duncton adding: “Sometimes we forget about budgeting for the smaller spends in life, like a loved one’s birthday. It can be helpful to map finances out in a spreadsheet that can be revisited each month and amended as necessary.”
Sometimes it’s great to have a clear out so why not make the most of it and see if you can sell any hidden gems that can be given to a good home?
Kastrati says: “If you have unwanted gifts, electronics, books or even old CDs, give them a second life and get an instant cash injection” by listing them on second-hand websites.
Kastrati adds: “Unlike other sites, Twig credits your account instantly, so you’ll see an immediate boost in funds, which could just be the lifeline you need.”
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Sensible food shopping
Many of us are aware that food shopping, amongst many other things, are increasing and as a result, people are cutting down. Kastrati suggests shopping for reduced items and opting for homemade coffee or sweet treats rather than eating out often.
Kastrati adds: “Don’t be ashamed to shop around for reduced items in the supermarket. It’s all about stretching the budget and being savvy. Batch-cooking food will also save money and time.”