Many of us struggle to save money. Here in the UK, less than half of us have enough saved to cover 3-6 months of essential spending. This means that losing our job or getting an unexpected bill can leave us struggling to make ends meet.
It is, therefore, probably more important than ever that we all try and save a little bit of extra cash. Unfortunately, many of us are still deciding not to though, either because we’re “waiting until we earn more” or because “we don’t want to give up the things we like”.
This is a common misunderstanding though, as it is possible to save money and still do the things you find fun. Here are some tips on how to do just that.
Sharing a meal with loved ones is an activity that is found in every culture. We come together to break bread and talk about our days, share what’s new in our lives, and tell anecdotes and jokes. However, doing this in a restaurant on a regular basis can really add up.
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to do it while still saving money. The way to save the most is to ditch the restaurants and cook for yourself. This is possible even if you’re someone who is likely to burn a salad as meal kits from companies like Hello Fresh or “dine-in” deals from supermarkets like M&S mean you can enjoy quality dishes for a fraction of the price.
If you’re really against cooking, then why not invite your friends for a takeaway? Take out food is typically cheaper than dining in and you won’t have to pay for expensive drinks.
But if you still have your heart set on getting the full restaurant experience, then look for vouchers or find days (often in mid-week) when the restaurant offers discounted deals.
Most of us play games, even if it is only occasionally. Traditional PC and console games can cost a lot of money, upwards of £50 a pop, but thankfully there are ways we can enjoy great titles without having to spend anywhere near as much.
The first thing you can do is to just keep playing the games you already have. The difference between the annual releases of some of the most popular titles is so small that it’s sometimes barely worth paying extra for.
If you do still want it, just hold off for a few months and wait for the price to come down as you can often pick games up for as much as 50% off if you’re patient.
You can also find free-to-play games that contain many of the same features. There are hundreds of thousands of these free options in both the Google Play and Apple App Stores, so you shouldn’t have much trouble finding some you’ll like.
Another great way to enjoy games while saving is to take advantage of promotions. Many online casinos run promotions offering free spins in various circumstances which can be used to play video slot games for free. Marketplaces like Steam and the Epic Games Store also run special offers where you can find huge discounts on great titles.
Even if we love our jobs, we all need a break now and then. A change of scenery, even if it’s just for a few days, can make the world of difference. Unfortunately, a holiday can cost us hundreds or even thousands.
Simultaneously going away and looking after our finances can be quite a challenge, but thankfully, there are ways you can do both.
Firstly, booking ahead of time is often a good way to make a saving, as is travelling mid-week, and outside of public holidays. Tools like Skyscanner can often help you see when the cheapest and most expensive times are to fly in order to help you find the right dates.
Staying in serviced apartments can also be a way to save money as it means you don’t have to eat out in restaurants for every meal.
You can also use comparison sites to find the lowest hotel rates, the best travel insurance deals, and the cheapest prices for other essentials like transfers and car hire.
If you’re travelling abroad, don’t buy foreign currency at the airport. Use comparison tools to find the best rates or take advantage of overseas spending cards from banks like Halifax and Virgin Money, and fintech brands like Curve.