People often turn to small loans when they find they are short on cash. Although this is a valuable resource to have in an emergency, individuals don’t have to rely on these loans for everyday expenses.
Let’s take a look at 18 ways to trim your budget today, so that you can have a great financial future without the need for help with small loans.
1. Ditch the Car
Car sharing is a concept that started off in the US and is moving over slowly but surely to the UK. This method saves a great deal of money, especially when a person uses alternative methods of transportation like taking the bus or bike, getting a lift or walking.
Would you try sharing a vehicle with others to see the savings add up?
2. Entertain at Home
An evening out with friends is fun. However, regular nights out can be expensive and shouldn’t be enjoyed at the expense of small loans. and have everyone bring something to share, whether it’s a bottle or snacks.
This really is a much cheaper option, yet still allows you to get together and have fun.
3. If You’re Out – Turn It Off!
Many small loans requirements result from unexpected large bills. Leave this possibility in the dark by switching the lights off when you leave a room.
Remember to turn off the tap when you’re brushing your teeth or washing dishes. Small changes such as these really add up when it comes to utility bills and can save you a good amount every month.
4. Create a Shopping List
…Before going shopping! We all know that certain items tend to jump into our trolly’s on the monthly shopping trips – even if we’re trying to be frugal. Create a list and try to stick to it and see how much you save. A huge percentage of small loans are applied for on the basis of needing money for basic needs. This doesn’t have to be the case!
Check out Aldi’s special buys for monthly deals and brilliant discounts, use coupons and store loyalty programs to save even more.
5. Use Free Resources Instead of Small Loans
Maybe this could mean borrowing a book from the library or a DVD from a friend. There are loads of free resources out there which are there to be maximised! Look out for free music online or apps which have free music subscriptions such as Rockmyrun for great running music! And on that note – how about ditching the gym membership and going for a run in the park?
6. Sell Your Unwanted Items
Car boot sales, second hand shops or online stores can be the perfect place to match your unwanted items with their new and loving owner. Clean out your home and gather everything you no longer want or need – clothes, toys, books or accessories. Sell through facebook, friends, eBay or charity shops and enjoy the quick cash – minus the small loans.
7. Find Free Entertainment
Many people are surprised to find out what their city has to offer at no charge. A day out doesn’t have to be expensive if you can capitalise on these free and local options. Nothing’s more enjoyable at the end of a good day out than knowing that you have some extra cash in the bank!
8. Batch Cook and Prepare
We all have those days when the thought of cooking at the end of a long day just does anything but float your boat. Instead of reaching for the takeaway menu, how would you feel knowing there was a home cooked meal ready to go in the freezer?
Next time you do some cooking, try making a double batch and save half in the freezer.
Exhausting day? No worries, you already cooked 😉
9. Give Up the Gym
Getting into shape doesn’t have to require a gym, and cutting the membership allows you to save money right away! Have you tried exercising at home, using free YouTube videos? Or alternatively, you could head outside for a jog or take a walk with friends. Local leisure centres usually have great deals for one off exercise classes, swimming and gym sessions if exercising at home isn’t for you. Try something new, you might really like it.
10. Use a Programmable Thermostat or Time Switch
Heating up your house for the sake of the furniture is very sweet – but a pretty quick drain of your cash. Use a thermostat to turn down the temperature when the house is empty. The savings add up quickly!
11. Plan Meals
Eating out is easy and convenient when peering into the kitchen after a long day seems too overwhelming. But these quick kebabs and pizza deliveries come at a high price over time. Try planning ahead. Starting from the initial shop, buying in bulk and cooking and freezing. It really is possible! And massively rewarding when the plan works out.
12. Grow Your Own
Home grown veggies, pulses, herbs and spices are not only delicious but also a great money saver! Pick your favourite item and grow in a container. Thompson and Morgan have a great beginners guide to get you started. Healthy, fun and a money saver – a clear win win!
13. Maintain Your Appliances
Regular maintenance helps to prevent breakdowns. If you don’t know how to maintain an appliance, have a look online at the companies help page and search your queries there.
14. Hunt a Good Deal!
People often use coupons and vouchers for food shopping, but did you know that there are coupons for pretty much everything from spa treatments, breakdown cover or nights out? Check on Groupon UK or LivingSocial to see if your favourite restaurant, salon or clothing store has any vouchers or deals. You’ll be surprised to find how quite a few offer these savings.
15. Buy Secondhand
Ever found a secret treasure at a car boot sale or on eBay? Before hitting the high street, check if your desired item is available used. These days people often buy and sell quicker than they’ve had time to use it!
16. Do You Really Need That?
Without trying to sound like a nag… Before your next purchase it really helps to ask yourself- Do you truly need the item? If you’re not sure, wait a week or two and see if you still really need it. Often, the answer to the question will be no! Save your money when you find you can live without the item you thought was essential.
17. Go Generic
Buy store brands whenever possible. Tesco, Aldi and Sainsbury’s all have their own name branded goods which can often cut the item costs by 25%. Customers are often surprised to learn that they cannot distinguish these store “own” items from the name brands that they have been using.
Try it with a few items to see which store brands you love.
18. Take Lunch
Don’t buy lunch every day, but take it to work instead. Just another coffee/sandwich/salad/fruit juice/chocolate bar… need we say more? Bringing your own lunch to work can save you hundreds of pounds over the year, if not more.
In addition, it’s often healthier to take your own food.
So there you have it. A compact but packed guide to help you start saving money today.
With the help of these tips, we’re sure that you’ll find you have cash once again when you need it most without the help of small loans to tide you over.