Saving money in the UK is all about being smart. You have to look for clever approaches to economise on expenses and raise money from selling items that are no longer needed.
Here are a few money saving tips to get you started.
Old Car to the Scrap Yard
If you have an older vehicle that doesn’t hold much value because it’s no longer running and too tough to sell, then perhaps try the Scrap Car Network. They’re a nationwide operation that provides fast valuations on scrap vehicles. Most vehicles sold for scrap are no longer roadworthy, so they arrange to collect the vehicle for transportation to a nearby yard in their network.
The company also takes care of the DVLA paperwork to file the car as permanently off-road. This avoids a fine for you. Whether it’s leaking oil on your driveway or just a vehicle you ran into the ground and haven’t gotten around to getting rid of, the Scrap Car Network can make use of some of the parts that are still reusable. They also make a charitable donation with part of the financial proceeds too.
Overhaul How You Do Your Food Shopping
Food is one of the costliest expenses every week. Because food shopping is a regular activity, sometimes we go through the motions without much thought. As a result, we spend more than we otherwise would if we were more aware of our food spending.
A place to start is to set a budget for what you can afford. When becoming a better planner, you’ll find that it’s easier to stay within the confines of the maximum spending level.
There are different ways to reduce spending. One is to prepare more meals at home while cutting out pre-prepared supermarket meals, takeaways, and other extras. Another way is to look at cuts of meat (or other protein sources if you’re a vegetarian) and see if you’re eating too much expensive food.
Chase loss-leaders from the supermarkets to take advantage of heavily discounted items that pull people in. If there are coupons, use them. But also consider buying local fruit and vegetables at stalls rather than the supermarket. Also, try out the discount supermarkets like Lidl to see what bargains you can find. Then mix in other items to build out what you’ll eat for the week. It takes a bit more effort, but the cost savings can be considerable.
Sell Old Items Online to Get a Better Price
You’ll likely own older items that you don’t get much use out of.
If you have physical books that you’ve already read and won’t want to do so again (or can get them from the library if you do), then list them on Amazon.co.uk as a marketplace seller. Factor in the listing fees and postage & packaging to ensure a profit from each sale. Music CDs in a jewel case and packaged DVDs can also be sold on Amazon for a good price if the discs aren’t scratched already.
For larger items, Gumtree, or Loot if you’re in London, are good alternatives. You can take photos of your things with a smartphone to make your free ad more attractive to readers. It’s also a good lesson on how to set prices and negotiate too!
Energy-Efficiency and Seeking a Better Utility Deal
Work on making your home more energy efficient. This might mean providing a better seal around the windows and doors, using eco-friendly light bulbs, and turning off the lights and appliances at night.
Also, call your utility company and see if you can negotiate a discount on the basis that you’re shopping around. You can also check with other utility suppliers in your local area that might offer more competitive pricing.
Using the Car More Economically by Planning in Advance
Even owning a modern car is expensive. If you wish to reduce the cost of ownership, it’s important to be flexible in your approach.
Batching up errands results in using the car less frequently. It’s cost-efficient and helps reduce wear and tear on the vehicle too. Also, arranging to carpool to taking turns with work colleagues who live nearby divides up the cost of commuting to make it more manageable. While you might not like to give up a little of the freedom derived from owning a vehicle, you still get full use of the car over the weekend for taking trips with or without the family.
It takes time to work on your expenses and bring them back under control. They tend to gradually move up with lifestyle inflation, actual inflation, and a degree of overspending. By being more mindful about your expenses, it’s possible to create considerable slack in your budget, which can be put towards either savings or repaying the debt; or a little of both.