A great many people are criminally squandering their hard earned money on a daily basis - myself included. We all know that scrimping and saving is a pain and too dull for words but the fact is that making a few tiny changes to the way we shop, save and invest could mean the difference between ending our days in a mansion or an old peoples home.
Luckily, you don’t need a financial advisor to patronize you or guilt you into doing something about it; we’ll be running a series of articles on money-saving ideas, investment tips, mortgage advice and all the economic advice you need to get your money matters in order. Subscribe now and we’ll teach you the lingo, give you some tips on haggling for a cheaper price and, today, we’ll give you 10 quick and easy ways to make annual savings that will add up to quite a substantial chunk of change. Enjoy.
- Make your lunch
It’s so easy I’m surprised more people don’t do it. If an average sandwich is $5 a pop and you buy one each day you’re at work, then over a year it’s going to cost you about $1,200 (assuming you have 28 days holiday which is more than most people will get). Get into the habit of rustling up your own food and you can easily pocket half of that cash, using the other half to bulk buy your groceries at the supermarket.
- Downgrade your brand purchases
Going for the cheapest beans in the store is a bit over the top (especially since they probably taste horrible). Drop a brand level on everything you can and the overall price drops by roughly 30%. Often you’re only paying for the branded packaging anyway.
- Align your eyes to belly ratio
Americans actually waste about 40% of food produced for consumption. According to Wasted Food, that amounts to an annual cost of over $100 billion. Buy only what you need for the week and avoid stocking up with food which could spoil quickly. If you run out of food mid-week it’s no big deal to make a second trip to the supermarket.
- Reduce your heating bill
By turning the temperature down in your house by just one degree you can save almost 10% on your heating bill. Also, you’ll prevent about 240kg of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere. Cheaper, and greener too.
- Enjoy happy hour
If you like a beer with your buddies in the evening, consider going at less popular times of the day. Many bars offer happy hour deals when it’s quiet which can often see you save up to 50% of the cost. You can’t complain at getting more beer for less.
- Be a late adopter
I know it’s tough to wait until the buzz surrounding the new mobile phone or games console has died down - especially if you’re a techno-geek - but if you can hold back from buying until at least six months after the new technology is launched you could save up to 50%. Let other obsessed geeks drive the price down for you.
- Give alternative gifts
People always say “it’s the thought that counts” when you’re giving and receiving gifts. You can put this to the test by offering alternative gifts. You could offer your dad a weekend of gardening to save him mowing the lawn and cleaning out the fish pond or give your girlfriend a booklet of massage vouchers to redeem whenever she likes. They’ll love your thoughtfulness and you get to pocket the cash you would have otherwise spent.
- Have a house-swap holiday
Instead of shelling out on an all-inclusive deal to Jamaica this year, you could have a house swap holiday instead. Who knows, maybe you’ll bump into Cameron Diaz and she’ll take a shine to you. Give it a go at HomeLink.
- Drive better
The Energy Saving Trust reckon you can save almost $200 a year by ‘eco-driving’. Obviously this is applicable to manual cars and it involves changing gear before your engine hits 2,500 rpm, driving smoothly and eliminating the use of your air-con while driving at an efficient speed of around 45-50mph.
- Shop smarter
You can save up to 60% on clothes prices by visiting designer outlet stores, as they sell nothing but excess stock, special buys and end of season merchandise from some of the biggest names in fashion. I got some Diesel jeans for $30. Bargain!
If you’ve got any other simple and easy ways to save money then please feel free to add your thoughts in the comments. We could all use as many tips and as much advice as possible. Also, if you’re a financial blogger, professional, or just someone who is financially savvy, contact us now to discuss writing some money related guest articles for Just A Guy Thing.