• Advice, tips and hacks to help you make the most of your finances and everyday life. Brought to you by First Quality Finance                              Back to Main Blog

  • Even normal day to day living can prove expensive so anything you can do to save money can make all the difference. In the First Quality Finance office we’ve lined up 24 actionable tips to help you save those pennies.

     

    Always Compare

    Compare, compare, compare! Make use of comparison sites to check your energy prices, TV packages, phone provider, insurance and the rest. You could save hundreds a year by switching providers, and a lot of these sites make it so easy to switch nowadays

    PAYG Deals

    Switch to a pay as you go sim, a lot of companies do Bundles, so you still get unlimited texts/ calls etc. but for a lot cheaper than your usual contract

    Make that List

    Make lists! I cannot even count the number of times I have gone shopping and brought everything I do not need. Using a list helps me to stick to a budget and remember everything I need rather than grab anything and spend a fortune.

    Shopping Research

    Switch where you shop. Look around for the best prices, you could literally half your usual shopping costs by doing a bit of research as to the best-priced shops for particular items. Also, take advantage of the new customer offers, a lot of companies offer money off of your shopping when you spend a certain amount on your first home delivery shop. Then switch to another one the next week/ month to use that discount too!

    Packed Lunches = Savings

    Make lunches for work/ days out instead of spending extortionate amounts throughout the week

    Resist Deals

    Do not be tempted by buy one get one half price, or 2 for a certain amount if you only really need one! Yes, it may be a great deal but will you use it before it expires? If not you are actually spending more than you need to as it may only go to waste and is costing more than the one you needed. I mean, obviously, if it is something you will definitely use or has an extended use by date or a household product you need all the time then load up and save that way for future!

    Join the Main Discount Sites

    Check sites such as Groupon and wowcher and the likes, you can save on days out to the zoo and restaurants rather than buying tickets or meals direct as well as lots of shopping offers, perfect for Christmas and birthday gifts too!

    Be Smart at Christmas

    Yes, that dreaded word for some – Christmas – it is approaching fast! Save some pennies by shopping at boot sales (a lot of stalls have brand new items cheaper than the shops) throughout the year or shopping in the sales and storing away. I like to keep a box where I will pick up bargains and pop them in there then when Christmas rolls around I have several gifts already for a fraction of the price I would usually pay. I do have to thank my mum for that one as I stole the idea from her. She would keep a box of kids stuff for the copious amounts of parties me and my siblings would attend so she always had a gift we could take for our friends that were picked up in the sales. It pays to be prepared

    Look for deals Online

    General shopping for clothes/ toys/ household items and the likes – try eBay, Gumtree, Shpock, boot sales, charity shops and so on. You can always find a great deal, and it will save you a lot of money. Trust me!

    Check Your Subscriptions

    Regularly look at your monthly subscriptions, I am a sucker for signing up to things and not actually using the services for months, if you don’t use them, cancel them!

    Gym Costs

    Talking of things I don’t use – the gym – yes I am the person that signed up for the gym with great intentions, then I didn’t go for about 6 months as I had no time, energy or willpower but yet I was paying a ridiculous amount each month and not using it? Now I stick to free Apps with quick workouts or YouTube videos as I can fit them in when I can, and I don’t have to pay!

    PAYG Gyms

    If you do want to go to the gym, find one that’s pay as you go. If you don’t go that often or get a basic membership rather than the full whack if the reality is that you don’t use half the services it allows you to.

    Make Money from Your Old Items

    Instead of throwing your old clothes/ toys etc., try holding a boot sale/ garage sale/ selling on a local Facebook site or places like Gumtree, eBay, Schpock and so many others. Also, check out cash 4 clothes drop-offs or just donate them to a charity so they can raise funds for a good cause

    Save on Weddings or Events

    Got an event like a wedding/ christening/ party that you want a new outfit for but will most likely only wear it once? Instead of spending out on a new outfit ask family or friends if they have anything you can borrow or do a clothes swap!

    Budgeting Apps

    Look at budgeting apps, there are some great ones around at the minute that help you to budget and pop money aside without you realising, so you end up with some nice savings!

    Check for Vouchers

    Check in your newspaper or on your food packets/ boxes/ tins and household item labels for vouchers! A lot of brands have 2 for 1 vouchers for theme parks attached. Most of us just throw them away and then realise afterwards we could have had a cheaper day out by hanging on to the packet!

    Use cash Back

    See if your bank does cash back extras and if so, make sure you activate the deals that are relevant to you

    Avoid Cinema Food

    Going to the cinema? Take your own food! It is not illegal as we all seemed to think when we were kids smuggling in our 3 for £1 packs of sweets.

    Search Online for Days Out

    Look for free days out, lots of sites will tell you what is going on locally and the costs. You are bound to discover a new park/ landmark/ museum/ event that you can visit for free!

    Make Use of Direct Debits

    Switch to direct debit if you are someone that forgets to pay on time and incurs charges! Direct debits will automatically come out of your account and so will reduce your chances of getting late fees and extra charges

    Shop Around

    Shop around for the best prices on your household appliances, and save for them if possible rather than being tempted by high interest buy now pay later schemes. A lot of the time you can be paying double the actual price of the item on a buy now pay later scheme. Look for a low-interest deal if you cannot pay outright or again use sites to find second hand working items or boot sales/ charity shops etc

    Organise Your Debt

    If you have a lot of debt, try to clear your most expensive debt first! The one with the highest interest, clear it first! There are lots of organisations out there that can help you with debt advice such as step change so instead of keep taking out loans to pay off another loan, seek debt advice from a specialised debt solution authority

    Purchasing Clothes – Think Twice

    Do not be tempted to purchase clothes how I did, thinspiration dress, 2 years later, £50 down, I still cannot fit in that dress! If you have more motivation than me then go ahead and buy it though!

    Save and repair Your credit

    Okay so here is one last, and may I add, GREAT tip for those of you that need to build up your credit profile – LOQBOX!
    Now these guys are your own mini savings account but they also build your credit history by turning your monthly savings into credit payments. You get all your savings back at the end via one of their partner banks in a shiny new account.

    YOU choose to save between £20 – £500 a month over 12 months, they then turn your monthly savings into finance repayments.

    Each payment you make gets added to your credit history.

    Now bearing in mind this is a FREE service, they will also send you out information regarding the financial system and how to improve your personal money management!

    If you cant make a payment one month, then you can unlock your LOQBOX and get all the money back that you paid in so far so it does not affect your credit history.

    When you want to unlock your LOQBOX they will help you set up an account or an ISA that your money will go into for you to withdraw or keep saved up! So you come out with an improved credit rating and a nice lump of savings.

    These guys are literally the heroes we needed!

    Well that concludes the saving tips, hit the buttons above to share and comment below if you have used any of these, or maybe you have your own money saving tip[ to share.