Times are tough and households all over Britain are tightening their belts. Whatever income bracket you fall into, the chances are that you’ll want to cut down your costs and minimise your taxes. Here are 101 ways to do just that.
1. Take control of your budget. Decide what has to be paid and calculate how much you have to spend in the week ahead.
2. Keep a record of your spending. It helps to see where you can save.
3. Think about everything you’ve thrown away in the past year. Then ask yourself why you bought it. It’s a helpful guide for future spending.
4. Save money on insurance by shopping around for the best deals, and only pay for the level of cover you need.
5. If you’re nearing the end of a fixed-rate mortgage contract, you can save money by re-mortgaging at a better rate. Prioritise your debt. If you have multiple loans or credit cards, pay off the ones with the higher interest rates first.
6. Get rid of your current account package: you could be paying your bank as much as £300 a year for additional services you could buy much more cheaply elsewhere.
7. Shop around for credit cards. You can make significant savings by choosing the right ones and working out the best borrowing cycle on them to avoid as much interest as possible.
8. Better still; don’t use your credit cards. Using cash whenever possible will avoid interest and give you more sense of control over your spending.
9. Mortgage interest rates are usually lower than those for personal loans. So think about extending your mortgage rather than taking a new loan.
10. Keep an emergency fund, to avoid taking out loans at high interest to cover unanticipated situations.
11. Regularly review the interest you’re getting on your savings. If you can do with a different bank or building society, move your account there.
12. Go green at home. Insulating your roof and your walls could pay for itself in a year or two with the savings in winter heating.
13. Install smart electricity and gas meters. They have the potential to save you well over £100 a year.
14. Save money by moving to metered water. The meter is usually free and most companies will allow you to move back to fixed charges if your bills rise.
15. Even the smallest garden or balcony can grow a surprising amount of vegetables and you’ll be amazed how much you can save at the supermarket.
16. Consolidate your communication costs. Most providers will now sell you a package deal of television, phone and internet at a discounted price.
17. Are you paying for digital TV channels that you don’t watch? Change to a mix that only includes the channels you really want.
18. Do you still need a landline telephone? You probably use it only rarely and you can save money by cancelling it.
19. Are you using all the included minutes in your mobile phone plan? If not, you can cut costs by moving to a cheaper option.
20. Forget about telephone directory enquiries. Google is free!
21. Use rechargeable batteries. They pay for themselves in just five cycles.
22. Turn off electrical appliances, such as televisions and computers, at the wall when they’re not in use.
23. Install energy efficient light bulbs.
24. In winter, turn your heating thermostat down one degree. It could cut your heating bill by 10%.
25. Wear a sweater and turn the heating off.
26. Are your gas and electricity suppliers giving you the best prices? Shopping around could save you hundreds of pounds a year.
27. Shutters on your windows will keep the heat in during winter and save on heating.
28. Are you eligible for assistance under the Home Energy Savings Programme? This could bring you savings on power bills.
29. Get a more energy efficient boiler. You could save as much as 40% of the power you now use for heating water.
30. Another way to save money on power or gas bills is to double glaze your windows. This can cut heat loss by half.
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