- 8 purchases you can skip to help boost your savings
- From online shopping to wasteful groceries you always throw away, give these items a miss to help kick start your savings journey
AS THE SAYING goes, when it comes to savings it’s best to start small and look after the pennies, but what everyday purchases could we all do with skipping in order to see the pounds start rolling in?
It turns out our unconscious purchases, which we often buy on impulse, can add up and sabotage our savings efforts, but by becoming aware of these impulse buys and introducing some techniques and alternatives to manage unnecessary spending, it is possible to solve.
Rachel Harte, Head of Financial Planning at Claro, an app-based digital financial coach, said: ‘People can often feel overwhelmed when they are looking at ways to give their savings a boost. It can be hard to think of ways to cut down on spending and many of us don’t realise just how much money we spend on items we could easily do without.
“By cutting the costs of everyday frivolous spending, which we are often unconscious decisions we are making, it can lead to making smarter money decisions overall – which in turn can help with growing savings and developing a better money mind set.”
But what are these unconscious purchases and how can we avoid them to ensure we are making the best decisions for our money? Claro has highlighted some of the biggest culprits when it comes to impulse spending.
Online Shopping Hauls
We have all been there, it’s Friday night in lockdown after a glass of wine and that £102.40 online shopping basket full of must have purchases that are essentials for when restrictions lift seems like a great idea! Rather than hit ‘Buy Now’ wait until Saturday morning and relook at your basket. A little perspective will make you realise which items you really want, let alone need. Claro has just launched a new plug-in which can help with online impulse purchase. This handy tool tells you how many hours you would need to work on your salary to pay off your shopping bag – which may put you off going overboard.
Switch Up Your Food Shop
When it comes to the food shop we all are guilty of spending more than we intended to from time to time. We all have our favourite brands, but does that well known brand of ketchup really taste any different from the supermarkets own brand? And what about your supermarket of choice, is this causing you to pay more for the exact same items you would get at a budget grocer? Why not try switching to own brand products for your next weekly shop and see how much you save or try a more economic retailer. This can be a quick and simple way of bringing down your bills without really giving anything up at all.
Make a Weekly Menu
When it comes to the food shop a little organisation goes a long way. Do you find yourself leaving the supermarket with more than you intended to buy but nothing to make a meal out of? This is a common problem and can be solved by making a menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner each week. That way you can be sure, when you are doing your shopping, you will only leave the supermarket with what you need, reducing waste and saving you money.
Stop wasting food
Hear us out on this one. Obviously, fruit and veg are essential to healthy living, but do you often find yourself throwing away mouldy blueberries you said you were going to eat at the end of the week. Why not switch a few fresh fruit and veg purchases for frozen. Its not just mixed bags of peas, carrots and sweetcorn anymore; tender stem broccoli, mango and even avocado can all be found frozen and are sure to save you cash in the long run.
Hide Your Take-Away Apps
After a long day at work nothing seems more appealing than letting someone else do the cooking, but all those take aways can really add up and sabotage your savings. Why not move all your takeaway apps to a folder on your phone that way you don’t automatically see them when you unlock reducing temptation? Try your hand at a fakeaway or meal-prep if you know you won’t want to cook on a Saturday night.
Reconsider Your Gym Membership
Over lockdown we have gotten used to gyms being closed so why not keep from restarting that gym membership and instead put that monthly amount into savings. Investing in some at-home gym equipment can save you a pretty penny over time, instead of paying for a monthly gym membership, which if we are all being honest with ourselves we wont use as often as we said we would! Alternatively, make the most of the upcoming warmer weather and start hiking, running or cycling to save on the monthly cost of gym membership.
It doesn’t pay to be loyal
A simple way you can save money from your sofa in your PJ’s is by switching energy or insurance provider. Introductory offers for electric bills or car insurance don’t typically last longer than the first 12 months and you may find your bills rising as a result. Head to a price comparison website and make sure you are getting the best deal possible for your household bills. This easy switch can take minutes and save you thousands as a result.
Bring Your Own Coffee/ Lunch/ Snacks Etc…
It may seem like a no brainer, but one of the easiest ways to save cash daily is to stop buying take out coffee and food during the work week. A recent study found that workers spend an average of £6.08 on lunch a day, or a huge £1,580 a year. * Buy a thermal cup and bring coffee from home, and have fun creating new lunch recipes that you can enjoy from your lunch box in a park as the weather gets warmer. Not only will it save you cash, but you might notice yourself feeling better as you wont be eating often unhealthy quick grab lunches from sandwich and coffee shops.
Claro is a subscription-based app and digital network that offers financial coaching and provides education, support, community and the tools to inform everyday smarter investment decisions.
For more information, please visit: https://claromoney.co.uk/