It looks like personal finance is back in fashion. Over the past year, there have been some great money related shows such as Super Shoppers, Secrets of Online Shopping and The Shoppers Guide To Saving Money. And now there is one more show to add to the list; Right on the Money.
Right on the Money is a show produced by the BBC and it aims to give tips on how to earn and save money. As a personal finance advocate who has been moaning for years about people’s lack of interest in their own financial affairs, shows like Right on the Money are great as it increases peoples awareness to their own financial situation. People who are featured on the show are amazed at how easy it is to slash your personal costs in half or to earn that extra bit of money to help your budget go further. Saying this, here are some great tips as featured on Right on the Money:
- Make use of cash-back sites like Quidco and Topcashback for almost all your shopping online. You can get as much as 10% cash-back on everyday purchases whether it’s shoes, beauty products or even insurance policies and broadband packages. In many cases you can also get a lump sum. The cash-back can really add up to hundreds of pounds each year. You can put the extra cash towards a holiday, for example. Only ever use reputable cash-back sites.
- Watch out for auto-renewal on most of your contracts – Did you sign up to half price broadband, TV or phone offers? Then note down when that offer ends and switch when it does. Once the special offer period expires, the full price you pay can be very steep – so you need to make sure you are continuously moving around to get the best deal. It’s easy to switch – you just have to remember to do it. This tip works great in association with cash back website. All you have to do is get your next phone or broadband deal with the cash back sites mentioned above and get double the savings!
- The sharing economy can be a great way to earn or save money. You can make money by simply renting out your car parking space, renting out some storage space in your house or renting your house itself via Airbnb for a few days or just the weekend.
- One good way to save money from your everyday items that are just sitting around at home is with shared contracts. In shared contracts you can lease your bike out to someone on a day by day basis – charging mileage and a portion of the general running costs. Or you can have what is called shared ownership where you co-own the bike with someone else and share the running costs – normally 50/50.
- Learn to budget. Don’t fall into the trap of invisible spending. Make a shopping list and keep to it, for instance. It will help ensure you don’t run out of money before the end of the month. Be realistic about budgeting for all the things you like to do as well as need to spend money on. Read ‘ Easy ways to save on your supermarket shop’.
- Another top tip is to use cash especially on a night out. Ahead of a night out I decide in advance how much money I’m happy to spend and then only take that much with me and leave the plastic at home. This allows me to avoid getting an expensive shock the next day.
- Set up a direct debit to transfer money to a savings account at the end of every month to help build up an emergency fund. An ISA is a great way to save on tax. And for those lucky enough to have used all of their allowance for the year, here are some other great ways to save tax free outside an ISA.
- If you are in Debt, use the snowball method to pay it down.
- Shop around for deals. This point keeps being banged on about by the personal finance community but it is amazing how little people shop around. Visit websites like Commuter Club to get discounted rail fairs and JustPark to save on your parking costs.
- Make sure you are not paying for any memberships or subscriptions that you no longer use. A recent study revealed that almost half of those who no longer use their gym fail to cancel their membership!
- Take your own packed lunch to work – Avoid the latte factor. The average saving for someone who takes his or her lunch into work, and avoids a trip to the coffee shop on the way in, is over £1,200 a year. That’s more than enough for a holiday!
- When you’re paying by card on holiday, make sure you pay in the local currency rather than converting it back to pounds. And change your money before you get to the airport. Both will get you far better rates and give you a little more to spend while you are away.
- Switch your energy providers. It takes a matter of minutes but could save you hundreds of pounds over the year! Unbelievably, 60% of UK Households have never switched!
- If you can afford it, pay for your car insurance upfront rather than by monthly instalments. They can add more than 10% to the price. Here are other ways to save money on your car.
- Make sure you read the small print on all your insurance policies. 33% of people admit that they never do – and 25% don’t even know what they’re covered for. Make sure you are only paying for what you need.