We wish you a Merry Christmas & a Frugal New Year!
- Hazel Butterfield
- 10 December 2015
Right as the next few weeks pass and we haemorrhage cash like nobody's business, I know I will be making an extra special effort to keep my wallet closed as much as possible in the New Year. It's all about being smart and trying a little harder, rather than giving things up or just doing without.
Here are a few of the measures I will be putting in place for 2016. Some of these are obvious, or we just forget. Put reminders in your phone. Bookmark good ideas/websites on your iPad as a reminder, whatever it takes.
- Make sure you are using the comparison sites at renewal and making sure you have the best (& cheapest) policies in place. Hundreds can be saved. Use Compare the Market as most policies that you take out through them mean that you can use their 2-4-1 deals for odeon cinemas. Boom. More savings: Meerkat Movies
- This is an old one, yet so many forget to do it. BUY THE STUFF IN THE SALE. Especially the Christmas cards - not the ones that say the year in the greeting! Next year's presents, not just Christmas, plan your birthday/Mother's Day gifts.
- Thinking of joining a gym or bootcamp to get rid of a winter 'layer'? Use as many trials as you can get hold of. Book them at times when you know you will be about over the weekends. If you're smart about it, they could last you for months. They will either teach you that you won't get your money's worth by joining or prove otherwise in which case at least you know the spend is justified.
- Keep your eye out for the freebies in Magazines, some of they really are great. You get the magazine and the £10 product.
- Even if finance is not your forte, get on MoneySavingExpert.com - Martin does know his stuff and he gets it across quite simply. It's sometimes hard to be a grown up and any cheats should be more than welcome.
- Packed lunches. Everybody likes to make life easy and the amazing food in the shops and cafes do their best to tickle your fancy. I am more than aware that Costa Coffee does the best Cheese and Ham Toastie and that Marks and Spencer's is like a little Mecca for me. BUT by the time you have bought your morning coffee and a meal deal were spending on average an extra £8 a day. The coffee may need to stay, but £5 on lunch is £100 a month. Especially if you're trying to trim up, pack a well balanced meal and then you won't be tempted by the Percy pigs at the checkout.
- Get into the habit of googling deals for where you're planning on going; hairdressers, cinema, chain restaurants, clothing shops - you name it. Check for loyalty schemes, discounts. Even independent retailers (my fake lash lady included) will often offer a discount for a 'like' on Facebook.
- Online surveys, some pay peanuts (not literally, that'd be weird), some give freebies to trial or lead to better paid live interview projects, but most can be done while in front of the telly. Best sites, so I think, are - globaltestmarket.com and valuedopinions.co.uk
- Also check out my Savvy & Chic Tricks
- Don't be scared to put it on Facebook when you're looking for your latest deal, people love to share their great finds.