Monday, June 4, 2012

20 Quick Cuts to Reduce Monthly Outgoings

1. Shop smart to reduce your food bill
Opt for cheaper shop own brands, the quality of which has improved drastically over the last few years as competition between the major supermarkets increases. Always ask for your customer points, as these add up over time and can be exchanged for money-off vouchers.

2. Insurance

Negotiate cheaper insurance - joint building and contents insurance often leads to significant reductions in the premium. Read the small print to check exactly what is covered and be careful not to overpay for cover you don't need.

3. Gas and electricity

Switch to a lower tariff or check a comparison website for a better deal.

4. Shop around for the best phone and internet package

Switching phone and internet tariffs can lead to significant savings - companies often offer huge savings to new customers.

5. Mobile phone tariffs

Are you using all your free minutes and texts every month or should you be paying less? Most mobile phone companies offer a free usage review. As soon as your contract is up, negotiate a better tariff and make the most of loyalties benefits. Don't be afraid to barter.

6. Consolidate credit card and store card debts

Move high interest debts to a credit card with a lower interest rate. Many companies offer a 0% interest rate on balance transfers, for a small fee.

7. Television

Shop around for a better cable or satellite television deal. These can often be cheaper if taken as part of a telephone and internet package.

8. Cancel unwanted memberships

Cancel that rarely used gym membership, buy a pair of trainers and go for a run in the park.

9. Shop second hand

Need new books, furniture or clothes? Check an online auction or swap site to see if you can find the same item for a fraction of the price.

10. Take advantage of free offers

Cut out those coupons and make the most of any free offers that come your way. Savings on 2 for 1 cinema tickets and free loyalty coffees soon add up.

11. Review bank fees

Many banks charge a fee for their current accounts, with the promise of certain perks in return. If you don't use the products, switch to a fee-free account.

12. Be smart about travel costs

Shop online for discounted tickets and sign up for travel company newsletters to receive money-off codes and vouchers.

13. Join the local library

One of the best ways to pass the time for little or no money is to read a good book.

14. Cut down on the cost of cleaning products

Swap expensive cleaning products for old fashioned alternatives such as vinegar and baking soda. Cut up old t-shirts to use as cleaning rags.

15. Wash clothes in cold water

Save electricity by running a cold water cycle - the clothes will come out just as clean.

16. Take a packed lunch to work

Why spend money on expensive sandwiches when you can make your own for much less?

17. Use public transport

The rising cost of fuel means the cost of regular car journeys soon adds up. Take the bus or train instead.

18. Get out to the garden

Is there space to start a lettuce patch or plant herb pots in your garden? As well as being intensely satisfying, growing your own food saves money.

19. Turn off that switch

Save electricity by turning off unused appliances.

20. Stay at home.

Spend less on expensive nights out by entertaining at home - a bottle of wine and a good chat is just as much fun as a noisy evening at the pub.
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