Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves, goes the old saying and it’s still good advice. Money leaks from our wallets too easily. That dripping tap in the bathroom that needs fixing could be wasting up to 7,000 gallons of water and costing you, don’t let that laissez faire approach extend to your financial life or you’ll be leaking cash everywhere too.
Here are five pieces of advice that can help you get the financial plumbers in.
1 – How much data do you use?
Research from America shows that average smartphone users pay for far more data usage than they actually use, often a factor of several magnitudes. Don’t pay for what you don’t use. Keep a close check on your statements and work out how much data you actually use on average. Then make adjustments, don’t just settle for that nice, big 10GB contract you signed up for and make a change. It could save you hundreds of pounds.
2 – Insurance savings
Another bill we’re all too ready to accept without question is our car insurance. You can also apply many of these checks to your home and contents insurance too. Don’t let your payments roll over year on year without checking out what the competition has to offer. Sometimes just telling your insurer that you’re thinking of switching will get you a discount. Check you don’t have more cover than you need and consider increasing your excess to save on premiums.
3 – Burning money
Energy bills are going up and up and up. It’s good for the environment to save energy and will save you a fortune. The purchase of an electronic, programmable thermostat could start the process. Because of climate change legislation there are lots of grants for energy saving projects around your home, so get online and start researching them. Turning your thermostat down by just one degree in the winter is reckoned to cut 2% off your energy bills.
4 – Turn off the phone
The landline is fast becoming a thing of the past, but the bills for having a line aren’t. If you have a good broadband connection you can call over the internet for much less, and new products that make it more convenient are being introduced all the time.
5 – Lists are your friend
Food waste figures are appalling. The amount of food we throw away is something of a national disgrace. It could be as much as a quarter of what we buy – what a waste! Shopping with a plan is the way to counter this. Make out your menus in advance if you can, make good use of your freezer and don’t be tempted by supermarket offers that make you spend more to ‘save’.
These five fixes are just a start to shoring up your finances. Soon you’ll be a sophisticated money saver, using your new American Express cards to get cash back on all your purchases. The internet is your best friend when it comes to saving cash, it’s full of bargains and full of information, so make a personal project of your financial plumbing plans.
About the Author: Colin Lynch is a saver and has a quite disciplined financial lifestyle and has seen all sorts of money issues.