Grandmother and child

29 June 2015

Top tips for savvy saving around the home

Good savings habits will always be useful and great practice for the future, helping you to afford the things that you really want. Here, Principality Building Society’s Customer Director Julie-Ann Haines discusses her top tips for savvy saving around the home, without having to make huge changes to your lifestyle.

You’ve just bought a home and finally you feel that all the saving has paid off. But inevitably there are still things to pay for. Whether it’s a new sofa, just paying your monthly bills or wanting a much-needed holiday the habits that you’ve learned saving for your deposit can be put to good use to ensure you can afford the things that you want.

Ultimately, the cut backs do not have to be drastic, and actually small lifestyle changes will help your savings increase month on month without you feeling the pinch. Many of us will spend months, if not years, saving for the perfect home. But at the end of it you have a home to call your own where you can build a life for you and your family, which for me would definitely be worth the saving.

Looking at where you spend the most money is always a good starting point when thinking about what small changes you could make to your spending. Writing down a list of your outgoings from all your bank statements and receipts to see how you are spending your money is really important and can help you identify the areas where you want to cut back.

Looking at your mortgage product and energy suppliers to ensure you are on the best products for you and your budget can also be a good way to save money. Something like simply swapping to energy-saving CLF lightbulbs around the house can make a significant difference, considering 19% of a typical electricity bill is from lighting*. Replacing just one 60 watt bulb with a CFL bulb can reduce your electricity bill by around £7 a year* – so if you replaced 10 bulbs around the house with energy-savers could save you £70 a year without even noticing. It may sound easy, but even just simply remembering to make sure all the lights are turned off when you leave a room will reap savings too. 

Outside of the home, the constant juggle between hectic work and family life can also often mean we chose what is most convenient over what will save us money in the long run. Swapping expensive ready-made sandwiches to homemade lunches is a simple swap that can save you money every day, and may even help you lose a few pounds from your waistline as well as your purse.  Preparing lunches at home will take a few minutes and is much more cost effective than buying a bite to eat at your work cafeteria for instance. Finding time to make it - perhaps while you’re preparing dinner – is often half the battle but ultimately the much cheaper option if you have a savings budget to meet. 

In the same vein, buying your favourite takeaway coffee every morning on the way to work can add up to a significant amount by the end of the week. If you’re spending an average £2.50 every day on coffee over the course of a working week - £12.50 per week - just think how much you could be saving over a month, or even a year. I’ll let you do the math! 

Updating our home with the latest technology can make its mark on our wallets, making this a prime area for potential savings around the house. Recycling old mobile phones for instance, working or not, is a brilliant way of making money back on an unused item and decluttering your house at the same time. Websites such as** recycles old mobile phones for money in return.  Making sure all technology around the house is completely turned off, not just left on standby, will also contribute to savings on your electricity bill. 

Sometimes the key to being a savvy saver around the house is simply knowing where to start. There are a range of comparison websites on hand to help us be even more thrifty with our money nowadays, without desperately searching for the best deal. If you’re a busy working mum or keen to cut back on the price of your weekly shop for instance, using comparison websites is a good money saver – without even having to leave the house! After working hard to save those precious pennies, don’t lose out on the potential interest you could be earning too. Look after your hard-earned savings in an ISA and get the most out of your savings without paying tax on it.

Making savings don’t have to end once you’ve bought your house, but neither do they need to be drastic. Getting into the habit of choosing cheaper alternatives will soon become normal, and is certainly good practice for when you are looking to save for that holiday, car, gift or maybe even a new addition to the family. 

** By clicking on the links you will leave the Principality website - Principality is not responsible for the content of external websites.

Published: 29/06/2015