Have you had a financial revelation? Is now the time to assess your finances and save some money? It is totally possible to save £5,000 in six months if you are starting from the beginning of sorting out your finances.
I was there, back in 2015 after switching from the ‘safe’ employed world to the self-employed world. My income went from a safe monthly salary to nothing. I had to closely conserve redundancy money, making it last as long as possible. Every single outgoing had to be rationalised, stripped back to basics and the best deal found.
How many of these can you change to make a huge saving, maybe even £5,000 in six months!
1) Switch Your Supermarket
Most of us are loyal to the same supermarket, doing the same weekly shop at the same supermarket brand. Why not try a different supermarket for a few weeks to see what you could save. The German discount retailers are so worth a visit and really will save you a fortune.
When I switched from Tesco to Aldi, I managed to save a huge £40 a week shopping for a family of five. The big savings can be made by switching from well known branded goods to Aldi brands. Give it a try and see what you think. The savings you can make really are huge.
Switch your shopping to a cheaper supermarket £40 x 26 weeks = £1,040
2) Voucher codes or savings apps
With a bit of internet searching you can easily find voucher codes for most forms of entertainment and eating out. Most chain restaurants will offer you freebies for signing up to their app, I have used offers for Prezzo, Toby Carvery and McDonalds recently.
Another favourite which saves me lots at the cinema is the KidsPass App, which saves me 40% on ticket prices for the whole family. Plus, half price tickets for family days out.
Assuming 1 trip to the cinema per month saving £20 and 2 meals out saving £40 = £360 in six months
3) Replace a takeaway dinner with a Fakeaway
How many takeaways do you eat every month, maybe it’s a Saturday night treat? You could replace say two of them per month with a home cooked ‘fakeaway’ instead. Making pizza at home is fun especially with children, or a homemade curry can be just as good as the curry house.
This could save around £30 per month or £180 in six months
4) Switch Your Energy Provider
It is estimated that 70% of the UK population could save money if they switched to a different energy provider, or to a better deal. It really is incredibly simple and takes just five minutes to check if you can save, comparison sites such as uSwitch make the process so simple.
Uswitch estimate that there could be annual savings on average of £479 so it’s worth investigating!
Potential savings in six months: £240
5) Switch Your Broadband provider
New rules which came into play on 15th February 2020 means your broadband provider must now tell you about better deals if you are out of contract. It’s about time! If only every monthly bill provider did this.
Again, you can use comparison sites such as Uswitch to check for a better switching deal. Recent data from Ofcom states that average annual savings of £228 are available.
Potential savings in six months: £115
6) Use cashback websites
I love to use cashback websites to help save on any online transactions I make.Top Cash Back and Quidco are popular cashback websites. Whenever I buy insurance, book a holiday, switch broadband provider, buy football boots, or even when ordering pizza I get some cashback.
I simply search for the retailer/service provider in Top Cash Back and then click through to purchase. The cashback registers in my account and I transfer the savings into my bank account a few weeks later once it has become payable.
Potential savings in six months: £500
7) Move to a SIM only mobile phone plan
Do you really need a brand-new phone every two years at the end of your contract? Keep your handset and switch to a SIM only contract and make some big savings. Your regular handset mobile phone contract pays for the cost of the device and the data/calls every month so once the normal 24-month contract has ended you can switch to data/calls only.
There are big monthly savings here of potentially £30 per month or £180 in six months
8) Compare your car/home insurance
This is another regular bill to compare every year. When that auto-renew comes through for your car and home insurance don’t just accept it and auto-renew. There are likely to be savings by doing a comparison and switching. I like to use the switching tool on Top Cash Back to also benefit from an additional cashback discount too.
Also, you will save a lot by paying in one annual chunk rather than paying monthly. In the past I have saved several hundred pounds on insurance for my home and car compared to the auto-renewal.
Potential savings in six months: £400
9) Give ‘budget’ make-up a try
Are you a make-up lover? Do those expensive brands draw you in to make you buy something every month? Apparently, lipstick sales remain buoyant in difficult financial times, as we see it as a small treat purchase. But those brands, the likes of Bobbi Brown, Dior or Benefit are expensive. If you bought an item every month you could easily spend £200, especially including skincare.
Check out the budget beauty ranges from places like Aldi- Lacura, Elf cosmetics and even Poundland. I was a beauty snob and bought everything from the expensive brands, but I have since tried lots of the bargain brands and have found some brilliant products from moisturiser to mascara, and under eye concealer to toner.
Potential savings in six months: £160
10) Keep a spending diary or track your spending using an app.
Being mindful and understanding your spending in detail will help you to see patterns. You may have daily spending rituals or spending behaviours that are a reaction to something that you can cut out. The spending diary in old fashioned paper format can help you to understand and stop with those behaviours.
Or for the more tech savvy folks’, apps can also do a great job of showing your spend already categorised into areas, some even tell you off when you are overspending! You just connect your bank or cards used for spending and everything is automatically assessed. Apps such as Yolt and Emma are great for this.
Use this information wisely and reduce your day to day spending, and you could save up to £100 per month or £600 in six months!
11) Set up an auto-save tool
Auto-save tools are a brilliant way of stashing away money without even realising. Apps such as Chip connect to your regular spending bank account and autosave a chunk of money each week depending on your good spending habits and balance. The money is saved into an account with Barclays. The money is then easily accessible within a day if and when needed.
6 months saving without realising: £1,200
There you have it, eleven great ways to save £5,000. We can all take action with a few of these to save money, and maybe even all of them to save lots of money!
Lynn Beattie is a PensionBee customer and CEO/Founder of Mrs Mummypenny, a personal finance website. She is also an ACMA management Accountant, previously working in commercial finance for Tesco, EE & HSBC. Lynn is a single mum to three boys, living in Hertfordshire, and is the author of ‘The Money Guide to Transform Your Life‘ published in September 2020.