It could be a spending spree, panic buys, quick fixes or the things we convince ourselves we should invest in, but whatever the reason, the money has to come from somewhere.
A very popular theme among lifestyle gurus is compiling lists of things we can remove from our budgets that instantly impact the amount of money we have.
If you are the ‘family bank’ these tips could help you save hundreds of pounds.
How many times have we left a pair of sunglasses at the beach? Or on the roof of our car as we drove off? Or even heard the fateful crunch as we sit on the pair in our back pocket?
Designer sunglasses are fragile high ticket items that sometimes only come out for a few weeks of the year, so while it might be nice to get a new pair of Ray-Ban’s this can set you back up to £150.
It’s not hard to see how that number could double or triple over five years and even more so if you are paying for the whole family, which is why opting for a budget pair can pay off.
Mobile Phone Insurance
Break it, lose it, smash it or have your phone stolen – all can mean pricey repairs or replacements.
Insurance companies will often play on this fear, charging chunky premiums and while you can get cheap mobile phone insurance from £34/year you could also get it for free.
You might even already have it if you have a bank account that you pay for and most banks don’t need you to register your phone to cover it – though some do, so it’s always worth checking.
Chances are some form of mobile insurance will be listed in the perks and if it’s not it might be worth getting a card that looks after your phone and your money.
Popular savings website MoneySavingExpert.com says: “if you already pay separately for annual travel insurance and breakdown, it could be worth checking out the top packaged bank accounts.
This is especially true if you have a joint account, as this usually covers both account holders’ phones for one fee.
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Pets are wonderful additions to the family and looking at the number of people who got dogs over lockdown most of us agree.
But there are lots of people who get a pet and after a few months realise that their monthly budgets don’t balance up, it’s eating away at their savings or they can’t afford vet treatments.
In the worst-case scenarios, you might have to give up your pet if you realise you don’t have the time to look after them and the cost of a dog walker is too much.
Calls to Scottish SPCA from people seeking to give up unwanted pets have risen by more than 130% in the last year.
They can be a financial burden but they don’t have to be if you choose wisely.
It could be as simple as choosing a smaller dog that eats less and considering how many times a day you have to drive to the park to walk your dog, or thinking about how much you have to spend on healthcare.
Things to consider include food, disposing of waste (poo bags or cat litter), pet daycare, pet insurance plans and reigning in that urge to buy them new accessories.
Understanding the depreciation value of cars is key to making sure you don’t lose money on your investment and sometimes it’s worth buying a second-hand car.
Consumer site confused.com said: “Most depreciation happens in the first three years of the car’s life, so buying one over three years old might save you some money.
“Most dealerships will offer a warranty if something goes wrong too.”
This tip is agreed by almost everyone who gives budget advice and it’s this- don’t pay baggage fees.
Travel as light as you possibly can and find out what your airline has included in the ticket price- to get the most of what you pay for but also to avoid nasty surprises before you get on the plane.
Airlines will try to upsell you extra baggage with tempting deals so you have to ask yourself if you need it.
The goal is to avoid paying baggage fees that make a budget holiday much more expensive- keep the pennies for sangria by the pool.
No, this is not a suggestion to remove veg from your diet but it is a call to start growing your own.
It’s not an overnight saving but it could have long term benefits.
If you have some garden space, a really useful way to use it is to build a raised bed and start with some seeds that often only cost a few pounds.
Spring and summer are good times to look at garden centres or low-cost stores for cheap equipment but you are likely to already have access to most of it- does your neighbour have a power drill you can borrow? or do you live near a community shed?
There are plenty of free guides online on what to grow and when to grow it and you can prepare and freeze any extra to be used over the winter.
Also, zero-waste markets have become more popular over the last few years and are mostly independent stores, so if you live near one keep an eye out or ask about ‘free veg’ boxes.
True to the label, these are items that can’t be sold but could substitute an item of veg on your menu with something free.
The result is long term savings on food budgets or an instant money saver.
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