October 2, 2014

Three simple tips to lower your daily expenses

 

 

I’m Chris, and I’m working with The Original Factory Shop, a high-street discount retailer you’re probably familiar with, to inspire people to save some money in these tricky financial times. Below I share the three methods I’ve found most useful:

Make packed lunches:

 

Paying £5 for a sandwich and a coffee may not seem that bad, but if you add it up over a week / month, it quickly becomes less justifiable. One of the best things I realised after starting full time work was how quick and painless it actually was to prepare packed lunches for a week. If you devote an hour on Sunday evening, you can have the week’s lunches made, wrapped, and (if necessary) frozen, ready for the week ahead. To get you started, this is my favourite recipe, and costs ~£2 for a week’s worth of lunches.

 

Carrot and lentil soup:

 

 

Walk / cycle to work:

 

If you live within a certain radius, cycling or jogging to work may be an option you could consider. I started cycling earlier this year and have found it to be a quicker, healthier, cheaper, and more fun alternative to getting the bus. Obviously the initial expense may be off-putting – £500+ once you take into account the bike, helmet, lights, and lock – but if you consider the weekly cost versus the weekly cost of paying for public transport, it’s less daunting!

 

Google Maps and Map My ride are two useful sites for plotting routes to and from work. Each lets you export files to a handlebar GPS, if you decide to use one, and each has the option to avoid busy roads.

 

 

Cutting utility bills:

 

With another announcement that utility companies will be raising their prices, it makes more sense than ever to try to cut your utility bills. There are a few simple tips that I try to follow in this regard:

 

  • Wear a jumper instead of having the heating on – simply yet effective
  • If the heating is on, have it on a timer at key points during the day, rather than on all the time
  • Turn your thermostat down a couple of degrees
  • Turn things off instead of leaving them on standby (phone chargers especially!)

 

More drastic action can be taken, too. Energy companies are offering free insulation for many homes in order to comply with recent energy efficiency targets, so it may be worth finding out if your home is eligible. Another example is using draught excluders to keep your home warmer; the Energy Saving Trust estimate that draught exclusion can lead to annual savings of £155 for the average home.

 

A takeaway from the post:

 

I’ve created an Excel sheet to go along with this post, that will calculate your rough weekly savings if you decide to follow the tips I’ve mentioned. Unfortunately I was unable to embed it into this post, but you can download a copy by clicking here. An example of what you can expect from the tool is below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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