No matter our financial position, we could all benefit from keeping more of our money in our pockets. Being able to save some cash can give us a financial safety net for when times get tough, reduce any debt that we may have, or help us save for big-ticket purchases like traveling, homes, and weddings.
Whatever your reason for saving money, there are plenty of simple tricks you can use to help you reach your goals.
Loyalty Doesn’t Pay
For most things in life, being loyal usually brings rewards. Being loyal to your employer will often result in perks and promotions and being loyal to your friends will help build stronger bonds between you.
However, when it comes to financial services, being loyal often doesn’t pay. If you have held a credit card for more than a couple of years, you’ll likely find that the interest rate is higher than it was when you first took it out. The opposite will probably have happened with your savings account, the bank will have likely slashed how much they pay you in interest. For utilities, insurance, and telecoms products, the prices of these typically go up each year too.
This is one scenario, where being disloyal can pay off. Companies typically offer much better prices to new customers to help get them on board. They do this in the hopes that they’ll remain a customer once the promotional period has ended, allowing them to charge more.
But you can beat this by switching to a new provider once the promotional period is up. For example, comparing insurance plans online before simply renewing with your existing provider will likely save you a sizable sum.
Swap Cable for Streaming
In many countries around the world, cable television is one of the biggest monthly consumer expenses. In the US, for example, most households have cable bills that are higher than their other utilities combined.
Switching to streaming services and “cutting the cord” can make a big difference. Of course, you’ll still need to pay an ISP to have access to the internet, but the TV portion can be skipped in favor of services like Netflix.
The content that they offer has come a long way in recent years. They no longer just have old boxsets that you watched a decade ago and films that you’ve seen over and over again. These companies have invested heavily in original content, live sports, and more. Amazon Prime Video, for example, airs live Premier League matches in England and Netflix has spent a lot to create regional content for viewers in Spain, India, and Japan. In fact, 45% of all of Netflix’s content is now non-English.
Buy and Cook in Bulk
In the business world, a phenomenon known as “economies of scale” helps reduce the cost of buying a raw material, finished good, or service when you buy a larger quantity of it. It’s why a pre-packaged sandwich doesn’t cost thousands of dollars and cars can be bought by most people around the world.
It’s not just big businesses that can take advantage of this either, as an individual you can harness the power of economies of scale to keep more money in your own pocket.
Buying dried and non-perishable foods like rice, pasta, spices, tinned vegetables, and even frozen foods can be cheaper than buying fresh alternatives. Buying these versions allows you to buy them in bulk, either through a wholesaler like Costco or by taking advantage of multi-buy promotions in supermarkets. Discounts from buying in bulk can range from just a couple of percent all the way to 50%, and sometimes even higher.
The same can be used for cleaning products, certain cosmetics, clothing, and stationery.
Once you’ve bought your food in bulk, cooking more than you’ll eat in one sitting and portioning the rest out for future meals can help you save time and money too. While at work, instead of buying an expensive lunch from a shop, restaurant or cafe, you can just take your pre-prepared meal from home. It will also discourage you from calling for a takeaway after you get home from a long and stressful day in the office when you just don’t feel like cooking.