The Covid 19 pandemic meant that people all across the world have had to cut back on their spending and reanalyse their financial situation completely. Some have lost their jobs, others have spent much more on groceries and heating/air conditioning bills due to being home a lot more. Either way, keeping hold of your finances and watching every penny has become more important over the past two year than ever before. With worried murmurs of further lockdowns across Europe we may be in for another peculiar Christmas that nobody wants, but we all need to be prepared for the worse, emotionally as well as financially.
But when you think you’ve done all you can, is there any other way to tighten your wallet even more and future proof your budget? Well that’s why you’re reading this article afterall so we’ll jump right into it. Below we have shared some tips you may not have thought of which could have a real impact on your finances over the next few wintery months. Many of these tips are really easy things to do, and won’t feel like you are making much of a sacrifice. However, collectively they can amount to making a tangible and positive impact on your finances.
Change the light bulbs in your home:
The use of your light bulbs can make up 10% of your overall electricity bill, so if you are not using energy efficient light bulbs then this could be an area that you should try to change. You can easily pick up energy efficient light bulbs in a homeware store or even online if you are unable to leave the house, and they can make a real difference to your electricity bill overall. While you’re in the process – get in the habit of turning off the light when you leave the room and lean into the Danish concept of ‘hygge’ also known as making spaces super comfy with blankets and subtle mood lighting like small candles. This naturally leads you towards an energy saving way of life that actually improves your state of mind and helps you relax.
Watch that kettle:
Do not overfill a kettle as it burns thousands of wasted kilowatts per year, one of forty such money saving tips Wonga recently blogged about in fact. But what is the logic? Well, it might not seem a lot, but the energy needed to boil a full kettle is much less than a kettle with only one cup’s worth in.
Most new kettles come with handy markers on the inside of the vessel to show you the level of water required for different numbers of cups. So if you want a cup of tea, don’t overfill it. These small changes can add up over time and take money off your electricity bill each month.
Grow your own:
How much money do you spend on food each week? And what about those top up shops, because they can really add up too. If you find that your weekly bill is really taking up a chunk of your cash, why not try and cut this down. One of the ways you can do this is to grow your own vegetables. You can start small, like with some tomatoes on your windowsill, and could build this up over time depending on how much space you have. If you don’t have a garden, that’s ok, you can also grow vegetables on your windowsill as long as it is a sunny spot. Growing herbs on the sill is a great way to broaden your culinary horizons too.
Okay this one leads on directly from the last point but it’s worth splitting out into its own point. Have you ever considered going vegetarian? It can really help you to save money if you decide to make this nutritional change. Savoo says, “Since meat-eaters usually eat meat for at least one meal a day, five days a week, even just cutting down and having a few veggie days in your diet can make a real difference.” So, it isn’t an all-or-nothing approach. You may choose to swap out one meal a week into a vegetarian version, and this could save you a significant amount of money over the year.
If you want a live example of this, plan out a few vegetarian meals ahead of time and incorporate them into your weekly shop in place of the usual meat you would be ordering and see just how much your bill changes. This is particularly impactful if you have a taste for the pricier meats such as cuts of steak and legs of lamb.
Cut out the booze:
There are many benefits to cutting down on alcohol, including health benefits. However, if you find that you do drink a lot of alcohol throughout the month and you are looking for a way to save some money, this could make a real difference to your finances. Perhaps you should restrict drinking alcohol to just the weekend, which could mean that you save a lot of money in the long run. You don’t have to suffer as a result, you can buy alcohol free beer or wine and you can swap some of your usual tipples with some non-alcoholic favorites. There are plenty of options on the market that can make drinking just as fun.
It is all too easy to jump in the car when you need to get somewhere, but swapping out a few of your usual car journeys for a brisk walk instead can make a real difference to your finances and your health. Every time you get into the car, you are burning pennies away by using up petrol. If you find that you have two cars in your household and you could get by on using just one, why not sell that car and reduce the insurance premiums and petrol or diesel costs that you would usually have spent on it? This one resonates particularly loudly for the UK readers at the moment I’m sure!
That concludes our list, I hope at least one of the six provided tips helps you on your journey to a healthier financial journey. Best of luck!