How to save money using simple lifestyle hacks and psychology
Is your wallet struggling with all of this newfound freedom?
Rather than cutting back on the things you enjoy, there are other, even smarter ways to save your cash.
From tricking yourself with money-saving mind games to taking preventative measures to stop yourself from getting caught out, here are some handy tips to help you make savvier choices.
Let’s get saving.
New parents can save pennies… and the environment
Nearly a quarter of parents are deterred from using reusable nappies by the amount they cost initially, according to Which?, the consumer group.
But while they have a higher upfront cost than disposable ones, they’re cheaper in the long term – especially for those with more than one child.
The government’s Money Advice Service estimates that using reusable nappies can save you more than £1,400 over the course of your baby’s first two and a half years.
Check if your local council offers a reusable nappy incentive scheme, which can include free starter packs or a voucher towards the cost of your nappies.
The amount you save varies depending on where you live. It’s usually around £30 to £50, but some councils offer up to £100 towards the cost of the nappies.
Get snap happy
If you get a parking ticket and think it was issued unfairly, act fast.
Take as many photos as possible before you have even left the car park and email them to yourself so that the time and date is recorded.
If you decide to challenge the fine, you will have all the evidence required to support your claim.
Say goodbye to slugs
The green fingered among us have been horrified by the onslaught of slugs in our gardens caused by weeks of wet weather as they wreak havoc on our herbaceous borders.
But there is a way to stop these pesky molluscs from munching through your plants without using pesticides.
Nicole Laird, co-host of gardening podcast Let’s Grow, Girls, says you can repurpose the insulating wool found in recipe boxes such as Gousto to prevent the slugs from getting at the goods.
When placed around the base of plants and mixed into the soil, the barbed wool fibres (think itchy wool sweater) will keep the slimy pests away from your plants.
Keep a 30-day list
If you have an impulse to buy something you don’t absolutely need, put it on a 30-day list.
For 30 days you can’t buy anything but necessities — everything else goes on the list, with the date that it’s added to the list.
When the 30 days are up, you can buy it, but most likely, the strong urge to buy it will be gone, and you can evaluate it more calmly.
Don’t be like Goldilocks
Whether shopping for a nice bottle of wine or a flatscreen TV, few of us actually buy the most expensive on offer, or the very cheapest.
Many retailers display items in trios — with three very different prices — as shoppers tend to go for something in the middle of the price range thanks to ‘Goldilocks Syndrome’, the one that’s ‘just right’.
But it doesn’t always mean the best deal, so do your maths carefully before you reach for the centre choice.
Out of date tech is an open door for hackers
Cybercrime soared by 72% in the first month of lockdown, according to City of London Police.
If you are using out-of-date technology, you are unwittingly making it easier for hackers — so keep all your devices as up to date as possible when it comes to the latest operating software and app updates.
Credit card hack that will reduce temptation
If you want to curb your credit card spending, you might be tempted to cut them up.
But anyone who shops online will know that you don’t have to have a physical card to pay on plastic thanks to retailers storing your account details.
So, ensure that you can’t buy with ease and call your credit card provider and ask to have your card reissued like you would have it been lost.
When it arrives, destroy it or save it for emergency use only, and browse…
Don’t splash the cash on fancy fuel
You’ve probably noticed the so-called ‘premium’ fuels when filling up with petrol or diesel. The retailers claim that these fuels offer performance and economy advantages, whilst cleaning and protecting your engine.
In reality, unless you’re driving a performance vehicle, you’re unlikely to see any improvements by using fuel with a higher octane (petrol) or cetane (diesel) rating. You will, however, pay up to 10p a litre more for the privilege.
Research conducted by the American Automobile Association (AAA) found that drivers in the United States were wasting more than $2.1billion by using premium-grade petrol and diesel in vehicles designed to run on standard fuels.
Wait until the end of the week for deals
Online retailers roll out some of their best deals on Wednesday through Friday according to studies, so waiting to do your shopping later in the week can be a great way to grab a bargain.
If you want more tips and tricks on saving money, as well as chat about cash and alerts on deals and discounts, join our Facebook Group, Money Pot.
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