Money Saving Tips for the New Year

GreenfaolStarred Page By Greenfaol, 7th Jan 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Money Saving Tips

With money thin on the ground at this time of year, this article talks about how you can keep as much of your hard earned cash in your pockets as possible. At this time of year, everyone is counting their pennies. We all spend more than we can afford at the holidays, and there are still bills to be paid.

Thin on the Ground

In the UK, VAT has increased from 17.5% to 20%. It doesn’t sound like much but petrol in particular has seen one of the most dramatic changes. A few days ago it cost £1.239 per litre (x 5 for a gallon, which is approximately £6.10 a gallon) in Scotland (far more expensive than many other countries in the world), it has risen to £1.289, which means it costs approximately £85 (about $150 US) to fill your 1.8 litre engine (average family saloon).

What to do?

So what can we do to keep the debt collectors off the doorstep? One of the first things to do is make sure you know all your outgoings. Check any direct debits coming out of your bank account. Make sure you know what each one is for, you would be amazed how extras slip in. Keeping tabs on your account is a must when it’s near the overdrawn line. You don’t want to go overdrawn and be charged ridiculous amounts.

Quite a few things...

• Switch to your supermarkets value range. This is the cheap range. There is no difference in quality, merely packaging, and they put the uglier items in the value range (the knobbly carrots, funky shaped mushrooms etc)
• Do a weekly menu and shop for it. Means you know what you’ll be eating and won’t spend more, as you’re buying what you need. Stick to your shopping list
• Check online to make sure you’re getting the best deal for your car insurance, electricity/gas, land-line and mobile phones etc. There are many comparison sites, such as moneysupermarket.com and comparethemmarket.com
• While insulating your home for winter is a big job, taking money to do so, there are other ways or staying warm in the winter months.
1. Draft excluders make a big difference, make your own with wool or material, feel the difference in moments – see my How to make a draft excluder article
2. Gaps around your hall door? Hang a thick curtain over it (can be bought for a little amount in charity shops)
3. Put on an extra layer of clothing
4. Heat one room at a time, as needed
Switch from take-out to take-in – in other words, make your own take away meals. This is easier than it sounds. There are hundreds of recipes here, and millions more on other sites
• Newspapers are a luxury, not an essential at this time. Don’t buy newspapers and magazines when you really cannot afford it. Read news online, or watch it. Once your finances are more balanced help yourself
• Rather than heading out to the pub/club/bar/cinema, stay at home, or go round to a friend’s home and catch up, watch movies/listen to music. You’re still being sociable but thrifty

A final word

These are not permanent switches, they are meant to cover you over the winter months, until your finances level out after the big spend.

Tags

Bank, Compare Teh Market, Crafts, Draft Excluder, Money, Money Saving Tips, Money Supermarket, New Year, Outgoings, Overdraft, Petrol, Stay Home, Switch Insurance, Take In, Thrifty, Value, Vat

Meet the author

author avatar Greenfaol
I write a variety of things, from health to cooking, to spiritual, to everyday living. Writing is a passion, and I am trying to become a professional.

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Comments

author avatar TNT_Brian
7th Jan 2011 (#)

Great advice! And all easy to implement tips too. In more rural parts of Scotland the petrol prices are closer to £1.35 per litre or nearly £7 per gallon and diesel costs even more. The worst part of it is that around 80% of the price goes straight to the government in taxes!

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author avatar Denise O
7th Jan 2011 (#)

Great tips. Now if some one would just give me some money to save.LOL
Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Jerry Walch
7th Jan 2011 (#)

This is a well written article, Norma, but I do have one suggestion--when using an acronym that may not be familiar to some of your readers outside of the EU(European Union), you should introduce it the first time you use it as I just did EU. Here's another example of what I mean: VAT (Value Added Tax) is a tax that you pay when you buy goods and services in the EU (European Union), including the UK.

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author avatar christopheranton
7th Jan 2011 (#)

Definetly some things we will have to use this year.
Thanks for the tips.

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author avatar Greenfaol
7th Jan 2011 (#)

Oh, sorry Jerry, I never thought about that. Will know for future. Some things you just assume are universal. Sorry guys. Thanks for the heads up :D
Thanks Christopher :D

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author avatar Jerry Walch
7th Jan 2011 (#)

No need to apologize Norma, it's a common mistake made by many writers-- we wrongly assume that all our readers know what we know. It's an error in judgment that I catch myself making all the time in my technical writing. I might catch myself throwing the acronym EMF around without first introducing it as "Electromotive Force" assuming that al my readers will know what it means because I'm writing an instruction manual for a digital multimeter. I catch those errors during proofreading and go back and introduce the acronym the first time it is used. Some acronyms and abbreviations, like UK are pretty much universally known but it's pretty hard to tell with most, so I always write them out in words the first time I use them. Also, some acronyms have more than one meaning so it's always good to set the meaning by writing them out the first time used.

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author avatar Greenfaol
7th Jan 2011 (#)

Sound advice. Will definitely take it :D

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
8th Jan 2011 (#)

my best tips - plant a garden - grow some of your own food - share with others.

Also never waste food - if you buy it - eat it... be aware of what you have in your fridge at all times so you do not waste anything.
Eat less meat - have some meatless days, or smaller portions.

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author avatar ppruel
9th Jan 2011 (#)

Useful tips. Thanks for sharing.

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author avatar Greenfaol
9th Jan 2011 (#)

Great advice Mark, and thanks for your comment ppruel :D

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