From creating a monthly budget, to giving your bills an overhaul, you could still be better off by 2022 by following these tips from Laura, founder of Thrifty Londoner
Image: Thrifty Londoner)
Was 2021 supposed to be the year you got your finances in check? If saving money hasn’t gone exactly to plan, there is still time to turn things around.
The Mirror spoke to money blogger Laura, founder of Thrifty Londoner, for her top tips on how to save and make cash.
From creating a monthly budget, to giving your bills an overhaul, you could potentially end up thousands of pounds better off by 2022 by giving yourself a money makeover.
Of course, the amount you could save by the end of the year does depend on your current outgoings, how much you’re willing to cut back, and how much you’re earning.
Laura said: “Saving thousands by the end of the year is something that’s going to take dedication. But there are several things you can do if you want to overhaul your finances.”
Before you can think about setting a savings goal, you need to know how much you can actually afford to put away each month.
Go through your finances and set yourself a budget using a spreadsheet or app. MoneySavingExpert has a free budget planner you can download which is simple to use.
By seeing exactly how much money you have going in and out each month, you’ll then be able to set yourself a reasonable savings goal.
Laura said: “You’ll also identify areas where you’re spending too much and can cut back. Make sure your budget plan leaves room for fun stuff too.”
Overhaul your bills
Are you paying too much money for your gas and electricity? How about your mobile and internet?
If you suspect you’re paying over the odds, Laura recommends comparing prices online to see if you can find a better deal.
Once you’ve found a cheaper price, call up your current provider and ask if they can match it.
Haggling is by no means always guaranteed to work, but it doesn’t cost a penny – and if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
If your provider can’t do better, and you’re out of contract and happy to leave, then tell them you want to switch to someone else.
Before switching, always check if there are any exit fees for leaving.
Have you got any savings tips to share? Let us know in the comments below
Do you need to make that monthly payment?
It can be easy to lose track of subscription services you’ve signed up to – in fact, Brits are said to waste £265 a year on services we don’t even use, according to Compare The Market.
If this sounds like you, take a look through your most recent bills to see where your money is going and ditch any subscriptions you don’t need.
For example, do you really need both Netflix and Amazon Prime, and could you find a cheaper alternative to your gym membership?
Laura said: “Take a look at your monthly bills and see if you could make some money saving swaps.”
Rethink your meals
Your supermarket shop can easily make up one of your biggest monthly outgoings – but there are ways to slash costs.
It may sound obvious, but one of the simplest ways to save money is by writing a shopping list and sticking to it.
By meal planning, you can avoid food waste and save yourself buying more food when you may already have that exact product in your cupboard.
If you have any leftovers, Laura recommends utilising your freezer so you have a meal for another day.
Finally, try the downshifting challenge, which is where you swap out branded goods for supermarket own-brand products.
If you like what you try and are happy to make the switch permanent, experts reckon you could save 30% a year.
For a family which spends £100 on their weekly shop, this would mean £1,500 saved over the course of a year.
Can you make more money?
By now, you’ve worked out how much you can put away each month – but is there a way for you to earn more money?
Laura said: “Whether that’s negotiating a pay rise at work, or starting a side hustle to bring in more money each month.
“It’s certainly easier to save more when you have a bigger pot to save from.”
If you’re considering starting a side hustle but don’t know where to start, maybe have a think about the skills you already have that you could turn into a small business.
However, this may not be the quickest way to make cash.
Other ways to make money include having a clear out of your unwanted belongings and flogging them online, or even filling out surveys online.
See more of Laura’s tips on Thrifty Londoner, here.