The new year is always a good time to review what we are doing and see where we can improve. Here I some ways I plan to save money in 2017.
While I don’t go in for the whole ‘New year, New me’ thing, I do think January is a good time to sit down and review our spending and look at ways in which we could improve. This year is going to be another very expensive one for us as we have two expensive holidays planned. Now, don’t get me wrong, we have worked and saved very hard to be able to afford to do these holidays, but at the same time I think there is always room for improvement and we could definitely save money by changing some of our habits.
Last year we cut our groceries budget down to just £50 a month and managed to stick at it for almost the whole year. This is something we will be continuing into 2017. I also think we need to choose another area to have a stricter budget in and go from there.
1.Buy an Eco Egg
This is one of those things I’ve been meaning to do for a while but never quite got around to. We only do a few washes a week so it’s taking quite a while for my current washing liquid to get used up. As soon as it is I am going to order an Eco Egg. It’s an environmentally friendly alternative to washing liquid and costs just £20 for 720 washes. It should last us at least 18 months with the amount of washing we do and save money too.
2.Cancel my 123 credit card
In December I had an appointment at my bank to discuss all of my accounts and make sure they are all working as hard as they possible can be for me. One of things that flagged up from this meeting was that I am not making enough cashback from my 123 credit card to make it worth the £3 monthly fee. When I first got the card I used spend a lot more on groceries which is where a lot of the cash back came from. Now I only spend £50 a month it’s actually costing me money to keep the card going. I have already attempted to cancel the card once but gave up after almost an hour on hold. I must bite the bullet and try again.
3.Regualy review my current and savings accounts
The Santander mobile banking app is great for keeping track of my money but I really don’t check it often enough. I always know roughly what is my account but not exactly. If the figures were out by £10 or £20 I probably wouldn’t notice and this is something that needs to change. Considering I am usually so responsible with money this is something I really need to work on.
4.Waste less food
Food waste is one of our biggest downfalls. While we spend relatively little on food we still waste far more than I would like. This is usually from not freezing/cooking food quickly enough. Or sometimes getting something out of the freezer and then not cooking or eating it. We also need to start working our way through all of our non-perishables before we buy any more. A recent clear out of the kitchen cupboards lead to me finding a lot of out of date food. Some of which was, of course, still perfectly edible. Some, however, was not and I had to throw quite a bit away.
5.Buy Less Takeaway
We eat a lot of takeaway. Far more than we should. And it is something we really need to work on. But, it’s not easy. Both my husband and I work long, unsociable hours and often he doesn’t finish until gone midnight. And as we car share I’m usually there waiting to pick him up. After a long day of cooking for other people the last thing I want to do is cook for myself. The last few years we have done a No Take-Away January which as made us really look at how much we spend. We decided it was not permissible this year as we are away for two weeks at the end of the month, but plan to give it a go in February instead.
6. Buy less clothing
I absolutely do not need any more clothes. I really don’t. But when it comes a to sale in Primark or an awesome charity shop find I just can’t seem to help myself. Granted, I don’t spend much on clothes, but I still think I could spend less. I had been applying the one in one out rule up until Christmas when I was given too much clothing to continue doing this without getting rid of stuff I love. I am going away at the end of May and hope not to buy any clothes until then (other than a couple of pairs of shorts for this trip – something I’ve not had much need for here haha!)
7. Haggle with Sky
We have been with Sky for almost 18 months now. Our contract was a year. While we do enjoy it and for the moment it’s not something we would choose to live without, I definitely think it’s worth ringing them up to see if there is anything we can do to reduce the cost of our subscription and save money each month.
8. Get a smart meter from British Gas
This is another of those things I have been meaning to do for a while but have never quite got around to. I have actually gone ahead and booked the appointment and look forward to getting the smart meter installed. It should help keep a much closer eye on what we are spending on gas and electric. It will also show us where we can adjust our habits to save money.