There are lots of ways you can save money in 2019 – from setting goals and budgets, to maximising employer perks, loyalty schemes and making your home more efficient. If you are looking to cut the costs and save in 2019 then it might take some hard work and planning – but here are some practical changes you can make to help you get started.
Save and Plan
Start the year with a goal
Start the year with a goal in place – whether you are saving for your first home, retirement, a house move or just to reduce your outgoings so day-to-day living costs aren’t quite so tight– set a realistic goal. It will be easier to stay on track with a set plan in place.
Make the most of your Personal Savings Allowance and tax-free savings options
Your Personal Savings Allowance allows you to earn up to £1,000 interest a year on your savings without paying tax on it (for standard rate tax payers). Couple this with an interest-free tax savings option, such as an ISA, and you can earn a decent amount on your savings without paying tax.
Maximise employee contribution
Most companies will offer a workplace pension scheme which will include an employer contribution – this is where your employer contributes towards your pension, alongside your own financial contribution. These schemes provide an opportunity to maximise free money from your employer and the minimum amount currently stands at 2%, but some companies will pay higher.
Check your credit card deals
If you have a credit card it can be easy to carry on making purchases and paying off your balance without thinking of the rate, but it’s a good idea to check it regularly and see if there are better deals out there – you may also find a new credit card which offers 0% on balance transfers for a set period of time; this will save you paying any interest on your credit card balance for often up to 12 months. It may also be worth considering a cashback credit card which will pay you back a proportion of what you spend each time you use it.
Treat savings as a bill
The easiest way to make sure your savings remain a priority is to set up a monthly automated payment for your savings and treat it as a bill – that way you will be adding to your savings every month without physically having to transfer money out of your account (when you may not want to and find something better to spend it on). By including it in your bills you will also discount that money as spending money each month, which will help with budgets.
Save on Shopping
Shop around and set up alerts
Check before you buy. Shop around online and in store for the best deal – there are websites that help you compare prices too such as pricespy.co.uk. If you’re looking for something specific but it’s too expensive, set up price drop alerts e.g. with camelcamelcamel you can set up alerts to notify you when your selected Amazon item drops into your price range.
Vouchercodes: Before your buy, check the many websites online which list voucher codes and discounts for hundreds of retailers. As well as general voucher codes you could get a big discount on orders by signing up to newsletters or downloading shopping apps.
Rewards for loyalty: Do you have a Tesco Clubcard or Sainsbury’s Nectar card? If so then not only could you save money on your food or gift purchases by using your accumulated points, but you could also boost your points to enjoy meals out and entertainment, e.g. 50p of Tesco vouchers is worth £1.50 in Pizza Express or Prezzo.
Watch out for automatic renewal
Don’t allow your insurance premiums to automatically renewal without checking the price - you could save £100s a year by swapping. If you want to stay with your current provider then finding a better deal somewhere else could still work in your favour as your current provider might come back with a lower offer to beat the competition.
Look at Cashback Sites
If you buy a lot online you might want to consider using a cashback site such as Topcashback, Quidco or Kidstart. On these sites your visit is then tracked. If you buy something after clicking through one of these sites then an amount is put into your cashback site account once the transaction's processed (often a small percent of 1 – 5% of product cost). Do your research beforehand, though – don’t pay to use any of these sites and check the terms and conditions.
Remember to be safe when buying online – check out our article here on buying safely online here.
Save Around Your Home
Switching could save you money
You can make real savings by switching energy provider and snapping up a cheaper deal. According to the Money Advice Service, this could save you as much as £300 a year. If you don’t feel like phoning around then a comparison site can save you time and give you an idea of savings. It’s not just changing energy suppliers that could save you money - changing broadband deals could, according to cable.co.uk, save people hundreds a year.
Check your energy efficiency
How energy efficient is your home? Making small changes could save you money. Switching everything off at night, including all your TV and digital TV devices, could save around £30 a year, and by swapping your existing light bulbs to energy-saving ones, including all your bedside lamps, you could save up to around £100 over the bulb’s lifetime.
Loft insulation, energy-efficient appliances, water saving devices and turning down your heating can all contribute to savings £100s off your energy bill over the course of the year.
Teachers Building Society can help you reach your 2019 savings goal with a range of savings options. Visit our savings pages for more information here.