A new year is upon us, and with it the drive to start and keep resolutions. Is this the year you finally take advantage of that gym membership? Have you pledged to see more of family and friends this year? Maybe you’ve decided it’s finally time to up sticks and quit that terrible job. In 2017, the top 3 New Year’s resolutions were healthier eating, self-improvement and better financial decisions, so the chances are your resolution fits somewhere into those categories.
Yes indeed, the new year is a great time to make better financial decisions for yourself. How, though, should you go about this? Saving money isn’t always easy, and perhaps the conventional advice just hasn’t worked for you. You’ve tried cutting back on your expenses and you can’t find anywhere that makes sense. You’ve tried working a second job, but it was exhausting. Luckily, there is a better way. Here are 5 surprising ways you can save money.
Take out a loan
Well, this article is about “surprising ways” to save money, and this is certainly one of them. The thing is, though, taking out a loan really can help you to save money, or at least to understand your payments better. If your outgoings are scattered across different outlets and it’s hard to keep track of them each month, then taking out a loan can help you pay all of these off in one fell swoop. You’ll then only have one source of outgoing loan payment to track instead of several. Make sure you find yourself a good lender like this one, because there are plenty of loan companies out there who are untrustworthy and disreputable.
Think about your subscriptions
If you’re the kind of person who’s subscribed to a hundred different media services, then parting with even one of them could be difficult. After all, how can you go without your Netflix binge, or your daily Spotify playlist? If you’re looking to save money, then this is one of the first places you should look. Are you really watching anything on Netflix or Amazon Prime, or are you just flicking through every night looking for something? Could you maybe try a few free trials of other music streaming services (they’re all much of a muchness)? There are smart ways to save money when it comes to your subscriptions.
Ditch your vehicle
For many, a car is a lifeline – it’s a way to get around, sure, but it also represents limitless freedom and the opportunity to get out and go anywhere you like. Think about it seriously, though. Do you really need your car? Do you work in an out-of-the-way place that’s impossible to reach via public transport, or are all the places you regularly go in range of decent trains and bus routes? When you really think about it, you may not actually need your car as much as you think you do. Even if you absolutely must hang on to it, there are ways to save on petrol by travelling via public transport wherever possible.
Plan your meals
It’s a familiar scenario: it’s Tuesday night, the toughest day of the week is ahead and you just can’t face the prospect of cooking. We’ve all been there, but the truth is that if you want to save money then planning meals is one of the most efficient ways to do that. Many supermarket chains and shops profit from the idea that you won’t buy ingredients and create meals yourself, so they price their ready meals and lunch deals accordingly. You can save a huge amount simply by buying ingredients for a simple dish like soup or paella and planning or even making it ahead of time, creating healthy, delicious lunches for yourself into the bargain.
Don’t be afraid to switch providers
Broadband companies, energy companies and other service providers all have at least one thing in common: they don’t want to lose your business. That said, many businesses are disproportionately focused on bringing in new custom rather than keeping old custom, so many deals and offers are centred around new arrivals. Since that’s the case, it behoves you to switch your providers for things like Internet and energy every so often. Shop around, see who’s offering the best deals at the time and get in touch with them. The system is constructed around the myth that it’s really difficult or time-consuming to switch providers, when in reality it’s probably only a couple of phonecalls. More than worth it for the money you’ll save, wouldn’t you say?
These are just five surprising ways you can save money and still lead a fulfilling life. Are there any we missed? Do you have any tips that have worked for you that you’d like to share? Let us know!