A Bunch of Savings Tips for Spring
We've rounded up eight of the best money saving tips for spring. Start now!
1. Check your credit score and rating
It’s probably the easiest-to-ignore (until you need a loan) part of your finances, but it pays - literally - to keep an eye on your credit score. It might have gone up or down since you last checked, and that could affect the interest rate on your credit card. You will be able to tweak your financial behavior accordingly when you get a sense of what makes your score fluctuate, so go online and check it out via a site like Experian, Noodle or Equifax to get a sense of how to factor it into this year’s financial plan.
2. Look at your credit card balance and tackle it
This is THE most fundamental step in any savings or “get me the hell out of this mess NOW I’m drowning” plan. Credit cards are such an expensive way of borrowing money (the average rate is around 18-20%). Putting it off makes the mountain harder to climb, so bite the bullet and start a plan to chip away at that balance. Just skipping the takeout coffee and restaurant meals for a few months could make a real difference, and don’t forget to see this as a positive thing you’re doing, and be proud of yourself. It’s not about suffering and denying yourself as a penance for your “bad” behavior. It’s just a matter of tweaking your accounts a bit to increase wealth. And that’s pretty cool.
3. Check the saving rate on your savings
The interest rate on an ordinary savings account is probably not going to blow you away, but a quick look at different banks’ offerings reveals a surprising range of figures. There’s a chance your savings pay a mere 1% and you can do a whole lot better than that, so consider switching up if this sounds like you. With all the new online and app-only accounts available, consider what sacrifices you can make (not having a bricks and mortar bank to go in to? Locking your money in for a while?) to earn a few more pennies. It all adds up! Check this Savings Fountain from MoneySavingExpert, we love it.
4. Do you have any workplace benefits?
It’s time to check in on any company related finances to make sure you’re not wasting money. It’s all too easy to let your workplace deal with this side of things and assume all is well with it. Sure, they will (hopefully) let you know if there’s a major change or problem, but you can’t expect them to care as much about those stray pounds and pence - or holiday days - as you do. So make sure you’re getting the most out of your pension contributions, training, health checks overtime or insurance policy.
5. Move paperless
Throw away the documents you don’t need. Check what’s mandatory to keep and chuck or scan and file everything else. This may not save you much money immediately, but streamlining your accounting system will give your organisational skills and general approach a boost. There’s nothing like a mantlepiece bursting with torn-open bank statements, bills and old tax records to make you want to bury your head in the sand. If you want to nurture a growth mindset towards your finances, do yourself a favour and try to get them all visible on one screen or a small folder.
6. Clean your wardrobe and sell your clothes
eBay, Vestiaire Collective and DePop are good options for cashing in on unwanted fashions too. And does your local high street have a second hand designer boutique? Cupboards full of unused, unloved items will make you feel out of control and that sense of powerlessness will seep into all areas of your life, including the way you handle your finances. So get Marie Kondo’s book out of the library, sell your unwanted gear, and increase your wellbeing in your mind and your purse!
7. What’s going on with your mobile phone contract?
Have you checked out the competition recently? If you’re paying more than £15-20 you should seriously think about shopping around for a better deal. Changing providers for phone (not to mention television and internet) is often a job we leave on the bottom of the to-do list, but it’s not that hard and can save you a surprising amount per month. Which in combination with all those Starbucks and Pret treats you’re going to take a break from could really have an impact on repaying that pesky credit card…
8. Book your summer holidays now!
Not only will it cheer you up to have something concrete to look forward to (and a cheery, forward-thinking mind makes fewer impulsive spending mistakes) but you can make real savings on flights, hotels and car rental if you don’t leave it to the last minute.
Collage: Vestpod with photo by mvp on Unsplash.