New Year is the time for resolutions and many of us resolve to be better with money and avoiding debt during the festive period when January comes around. Most of us are so great at maintaining this resolution that we have to make it each year…
The mistake that most of us make when it comes to being better with money is imposing a total block on spending any – unless it’s for essentials. This simply isn’t sustainable; unless you’re in serious financial trouble and most of your money is going to pay off debts, then you need and deserve to enjoy life a bit.
It’s much better, when you’re looking to improve fair-to-middling finances, to make several smaller adjustments that become part of your life rather than to impose one big grey, wet, boring blanket ban on spending money.
Here are five of the best small adjustments you can make to your life that’ll help you feel much flusher when next Christmas comes around.
Always look for the voucher
Whenever you’re buying something online, take a minute to see if there’s a voucher code for that retailer. If you do this every time you shop, you’ll manage to save quite a bit over the course of a year and it’s really no great sacrifice.
Look out for cashback offers
Lots of bank accounts and credit cards offer cashback with some retailers, restaurants, and hotels, so take a look at your online banking to see what’s available and activate the offer. Only use the offer if it’s something you’d be likely to do or buy anyway, though, or else you’ll be spending unnecessary money.
Use your loyalty card for every purchase
No matter how small. If you buy your contact lens solution or any other regular product at a certain chemist chain, then you could be racking up loads of points over the year. Don’t let a single purchase go by without flashing your points card and if you do forget it, keep the receipt so you can get the points added next time you’re in.
Try out some vegetarian or vegan dishes
This sort of adjustment is also good for your health. Meat is expensive so if you try to cook a vegetarian or vegan meal two or three nights a week, you’ll knock a few pounds off your grocery bill. Another good idea is to replace some of the meat in a chili or stew with lentils or chickpeas. You’ll be getting all the protein you need with less of the cholesterol and for less of the money.
Shop for groceries at the end of the day
Everyone knows that the end of the day in a supermarket means big discounts on short-dated goods. If you get into the habit of going to your local emporium in the late evening then you can pick up reduced vegetables and meat. Always look at the dates, especially with meats and if you only have a day left on it, freeze it as soon as you get home. You can also freeze some vegetables successfully.