The best ways to save cash and still enjoy life

 

We all like treats and little luxuries. But there's nothing more stressful than financial woes.. Adopt these strategies for saving cash and life the good life without money worries.

Use price-comparison sites to find the cheapest prices on everything from one-off treats and presents, to supermarket items and fuel. Mysupermarket.co.uk compares prices at top UK supermarkets so you can decide where to shop before heading out of the door. Utility Warehouse's Find Me The Cheapest scours the internet for the very best prices on anything at all.

Walk more. It costs a lot to run a car for journeys around town. If the journey is less than a couple of miles, consider whether you could walk (or cycle) instead.

Make the most of cashback cards, points cards and rewards cards (but don't fall into the trap of buying unnecessary items because of them!)

Check your credit card interest rates. There are so many competitive rates on the market, if you must have credit card debt then at least transfer it to one which charges 0% interest (and make sure you pay it off before the introductory period ends).

Pay off credit card debt before any other debt. Credit card debt is probably the most expensive (and unnecessary) debt to have. Set up a budget and prioritise paying it off. You'll save so much money in the long term.

Ditch the little habits which soon add up. Do you drink bottled water? Buy a coffee when you stop to fill up with petrol? Pop something in your basket whilst you're queuing to pay for groceries? Be aware of these little lifestyle habits and make an effort to stop them. Put the cash you'd spend into a jar instead and be amazed by how quickly it adds up.

Use vouchers, discount codes and offers. Save offers that come through the door or as emails and texts. They can save you a packet on days out, treats and little luxuries. Only use them if you were planning on buying the thing in the first place, though!

Buy own-brand items at the supermarket. They're often made by the same people who make the big-named brands anyway, and can often taste just as good if not better. Don't pay for packaging and labels.

Befriend your butcher, fishmonger and greengrocer. They will often cut you a good deal, particularly if you shop late in the day (they don't like waste). And they'll give you great advice on how to prepare and cook seasonal food, so you waste less food at home.

Invite friends round to socialise rather than always going out for coffees, lunches or dinner. You could even set up a rota, or start a Come Dine With Me style challenge with friends and family.

Cancel things you just don't use. Do you really need your gym membership, magazine subscriptions, and other membership/group/club subscriptions? Consider cutting back on regular charity payments and even some insurances if they are not strictly necessary. Then funnel the cash into a savings account or cash ISA.

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