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Ways to Save in 2020
Make 2020 the year that you regain control of your finances - many people make New Year’s resolutions to be more savvy with their money, but in reality they hardly ever get round to doing anything about it, we're here to help you change that!
1. Use your ISA Allowances
Lots of people aren’t aware that they can save up to £15,240 a year in a tax-free savings account called an ISA. It basically means that you don't pay any tax on the interest accrued, so if you have some spare cash in your current account, this is the difference between earning next to no interest and up to £150 a year. The ISA year runs from April to April, and the 2017/18 ISA allowance is going up to £20,000 a year.
2. Cut the Cost of your Fuel Bills
Prices are rising but that doesn't mean that you should get ripped off. The market for fuel suppliers is a highly competitive one and changing supplier can be as easy as clicking a mouse. Suppliers usually offer incentives for you to switch with them and you don’t have to worry about the formalities as your new supplier will take care of all of the finer details, you’ll just pay less every month!
3. Buy Own-Brand Goods
There’s plenty of brand snobbery associated with buying store branded goods, but in the current climate can you really afford to be so picky? Many of the essentials can be bought for a fraction of the price and the only major difference is the packaging, and a lot of the time the goods taste exactly the same.
4. Use eBay
You can sell almost anything for a small commission fee. So, have a rummage around your house for any old belongings that might be worth a bob or two. After all, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!
5. The art of Saying 'No'
It can be pretty easy to give into the demands of a screaming 5 year old on a busy Saturday afternoon in Toys’R’Us. But don't do it. Saying 'no' a few times a month will do wonders for your bank account.
6. Keeping up Appearances
Trying to keep up appearances can be very costly, especially if you're trying to impress friends or neighbours. However flush with money they may be, you don't know how much debt they're in as a result of their flashy lifestyle.
7. Walk or Cycle to Work
It's great for your health and most importantly FREE! Check out Swindon Travel Choices for more information. They're a project to support the regeneration of Swindon Town Centre by promoting different travel choices to people who work in the town centre and live in the borough.
8. Quit Smoking
Smoking can't just cause health problems, it can cause financial ones too! Your 20 a day habit is expensive and could be costing you anywhere between £2,000 and £2,500 a year.
9. Change your TV Package
900+ channels and still nothing to watch, which begs the question, is it really worth paying through the nose for expensive digital and satellite like Sky and Virgin when options like Freeview are free? Choose wisely.
10. Take out Premium Bonds
Instead of wasting money weekly on the Lotto, why not invest in Premium Bonds instead? NS&I Premium Bonds give you the chance every month to win £1 million. Instead of paying interest, they hold monthly prize draws with a £1 million jackpot and over a million other cash prizes.
11. Clear Credit Card Debt
Although credit cards are a convenient way to pay for goods, it's far too easy to stick it on the plastic and forget about it until the end of the month. If you can't clear your credit card balance every month, a low-cost loan could prove a cheaper option for you.
12. Plan Ahead for what you want... or for the Unexpected
Put away a bit each month in a savings account. You can start building your holiday fund or safety net to cover yourself for unexpected bills. Set up a Direct Debit from £20 a month or more and watch your money grow.
13. Mobile Phone Recycling
What do you with your old mobile phones and gadgets once you've finished with them? Stick them in a drawer to gather dust or try to make some cash out of them? Businesses like Phones4Less will collect and recycle your old mobile phones in exchange for cash, they offer some great prices in return for your mobile.
14. Go Back to the Shop
If you recently bought something that you weren't totally sure about and haven't used, get your money back. Check the back of the receipt or the retailer's website to see what the shop's policy is – most retailers will give you 30 days to change your mind.
15. Cancel Your Gym Membership
If you work out more than three times a week, great. If not, cancel your membership straight away! With the rise of the pay-as-you-go gym, there's no need to tie yourself into a lengthy contract with a hefty monthly price tag.