Friday, 8 January 2016

Finance Fridays – 5 ways to save money in 2016

Welcome back to Finance Fridays after our Christmas break. Before the New Year we were looking at winter car care which contains some tips to keep you safe in the road at this time of year. With 2016 upon us for this week it's all about making the most of our money with some easy ways to save a few pennies or in some cases pounds.

Loo roll – Toilet paper, lavatory paper whatever you want to call it is one of life's necessities. How much do you use in an average week though? If you find yourself behaving like the Andrex puppy can you do with a few less sheets? Try squeezing the the roll so it's more difficult to pull (works particularly well on children). On subject of Andrex are you seduced by the more expensive brands claiming extra softness? Try switching down a price bracket and then perhaps going down another notch in a couple of weeks. I promise you the value brands aren't like the tracing paper they used to have in schools years ago!

Fabric conditioner – I've never bought it on its own. Sometimes when the 2 in1brands are on offer and cheaper from my usual brand I have purchased them. Have I ever noticed any difference in clothes washed with or without fabric conditioner? No. Do our clothes come resembling cardboard? No. So save your money and save the environment from the extra chemicals getting washed into your clothes and the water supply. Remember as well fabric conditioner breaks down the fibres in your clothes making them last less longer and reduces the absorbency in towels.

Ditch the gym – In January gym new memberships are at their highest but few people who start going are still so dedicated come 1st February. Therefore the best thing to do is not join in the first place. Save on the initial joining fee, any further monthly charges and all the clothes, shoes and bag required. Instead opt for free exercise. This week I only needed a few items from the supermarket so I walked there and back. It also meant I couldn't be tempted into buying any extra things I didn't need thus saving more money. If you're after more structured or rigorous exercise try YouTube tutorials or get running with the free weekly 5km events held by parkrun each Saturday morning around the country.

Check your receipts – Many things I buy are reduced or on offer but what price it shows on the price sticker or shelf isn't necessarily what you are charged. Always check your receipt after you have paid and before you leave the shop. This Sunday I nipped into one of my local supermarket and found the cream had been reduced to 10p. Since we were going to use the cream that night anyway it was a bargain. Once I paid for everything I checked the receipt and found I had been charged the full price of 84p. One trip to customer services and the assistant actually gave me the full 84p back.

Don't use contactless payments – Being able to pay without putting your PIN in does save a few seconds but it also makes spending much easier. Since you don't have to think so much about every purchase and confirm the amount your spending habits can run away from you especially now the limit has been increased to £30. A lunchtime trip out could mean one expensive coffee, a takeaway sandwich or salad and a magazine. In around 10 minutes you could be around £15 down without thinking about it.

What little things could you do to save money this year?

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  1. Some useful tips here - I think the contactless payments one is something that would catch me out easily. I always have to remember to ask them for a receipt, as I really would lose track otherwise.

  2. I confess I loathe cheap loo paper, especially that awful thin stuff that comes on huge rolls in public loos, that you have to spend ages persuading to appear then have to pull out yards and yards because it's so thin and useless. I find nice thick loo paper actually costs less in the long run because you use less of it.
    As for contactless payments, it's something I really don't see the point of. Who needs to save a few seconds that badly? And in any case it saves ££££££'s if you make and take your own sandwiches!

  3. Some really great tips here. Thanks for sharing

  4. Great tips! Can highly recommend Parkrun, My daughter goes to the junior one every week and it's great x

  5. Sneezing the roll! I always squeeze mine and it stops the boys getting too many sheets! My biggest tip would be just use less. Less shampoo etc. We often just use too much!

  6. Love the toilet paper tip but so you mean squeeze, not sneeze ;0) - we buy large packs at Home Bargains for a fraction of the price than the supermarkets

  7. Great tips, I totally agree about fabric conditioner, I think it's an appalling chemical to add to things and should be banned! (Yes I'm that anti it!) Also agree about loo roll and the gym. Contactless payment hardly exists in France so that's not an issue for me but I can see how it would be easy to over spend using it.

  8. These are all useful tips. Instead of fabric conditioner, I use dryer balls in my tumble dryer to soften towels and bedding. I wait until they're nearly dry and then finish them off in the tumble dryer.


I appreciate your comments. If you have any tips, tricks or tweaks please pass them on!