With 2018 coming to a close, Christmas on its way and another New Year on the horizon, now couldn’t be a better time to change those habits of a lifetime, particularly when it comes to our finances. It certainly pays to save regularly, with that rainy day fund providing the essential money needed to settle debts, save for that much needed holiday and pay for life’s little mishaps like that broken boiler, damaged car or washing machine replacement. As a leading cash for clothes service, we provide an easy route to making the most out of all that unwanted or underused clobber gathering dust in your wardrobe. We help people from all walks of life convert their clothes, footwear and accessories into cold, hard cash. In fact, our service has become renowned for helping these individuals boost their savings pots and spend their hard earned money on the things they love best.
Making sure your savings not only add up but keep growing is an important part of the puzzle. With rising rents and food prices, crippling childcare charges and the general cost of living increasing with every month that passes, it’s not easy to save. According to a study by the Money Advice Service (MAS), more than 16 million people in the UK have savings of less than £100. A challenge for low earners in particular, working to eat and survive is of course a priority, which leaves our savings pots either non-existent or rather uninspiring.
There are however many ways that you can save yourself a small fortune, and as you know every penny counts when making your money turn into more money. Read on to discover the mundane tasks that could save you a small fortune and boost your savings one step at a time.
Make saving money a habit
Changing your habits is a great place to begin and an easy step to implement for people earning at all levels. Deducting your savings automatically from your wages every money is simple with the right tech. Most use online banking to set up a standing order that takes a certain amount of cash from your current account and transfers it securely to a savings account or Cash ISA for safe keeping.
As well as managing your automated savings contributions all by yourself, you could ask your employer about the savings schemes they have in place. The majority of savings schemes deduct money from your pay, just like your tax and National Insurance (NI) contributions, meaning you’re never tempted to spend it. There are many types of workplace savings schemes to explore, including Workplace ISAs, Save As You Earn (SAYE) arrangements and Share Incentive Plans (SIPs), each of which works differently and provides its own list of pros and cons. SAYE schemes for instance work better for those looking to save for the long term. Most run for up to five years, and are perfect for individuals looking for the option to invest their money and bonus further through the buying of company shares. Share Incentive Plans and Workplace ISAs are also particularly tax efficient, with employees not having to pay any Income Tax on any income or dividends from the latter.
Whether you are managing your own monthly savings or letting your employer take the reins, knowing how much you can realistically and affordably save every month is important. Many people calculate their expenditure to determine how much they can save, with the figure left over at the end of each week or each month providing an excellent savings starting point. Don’t have any money left over at the end of each month? That doesn’t mean you can’t save! Deciphering where you are spending money and cutting back will ensure you can alter your spending habits and boost savings accordingly.
Save money at the checkout
With UK food prices rising at their fastest rate in four years recently, much of our monthly expenditure is spent filling up our kitchen cupboards. Whilst the costs of food and drink can’t be avoided for obvious reasons, knowing the best ways to save money on shopping will certainly serve you well. Again putting in the ground work is imperative, so start your money-saving exercise by working out what you spend your money on at the checkout. There are a number of great money saving apps that work this out for you. After you’ve made your list of things that you buy every month, shop around for better deals on the staple items that keep your family afloat. After all, the smallest savings can make a huge difference.
At the same time beware of some of the food shopping faux pas that seem like bargains but actually cost you more in the long run. Special offers for example look great but remember, these vouchers, special offers and cashback deals are designed to make you spend more, not less, at the checkout. Avoid buying food, drink and other items that you don’t need just because they’re on offer. Impulse buying is another food shopping faux pas that’s best avoided, particularly on those bigger purchases. Instead aim to make the food you buy work harder for you. Minimising food waste by only purchasing what you need and making use of leftovers will stand you in good stead and stretch that food budget a little further.
Compare absolutely everything!
We are constantly bombarded by catchy theme tunes and equally enthusing special offers from the advertisements of these price comparison websites but don’t be deterred from using them. They do have a purpose, and could save you money as they claim. You can compare absolutely anything these days to save yourself hundreds of pounds on your bills. Car insurance, credit cards and even that aforementioned food shop could all be made more affordable with a quick online search using these price comparison tools. You can save on all your household bills by using a price comparison website, which is great news considering they are continuing to rise across the UK.
When looking to reduce your home phone and broadband bundle you can go one step further than price comparison. Armed with information from your online competitor search, call your current supplier directly and ask for the best price. Make sure the contract you currently have in place suits your needs too, you may find that you aren’t using certain aspects of your deal and these could be traded for things that you do use or even overspend on each month. The same applies to your mobile phone contract.
The household savings don’t have to end there. Even the cost of your water bill can be reduced with a bit of savvy thinking and research. Having a free water meter installed to measure your usage if you feel you are paying too much for your water at present is a great step in the right direction. After your water meter has been fitted you can then change your habits to lower your water usage further by taking water saving showers instead of baths or switching to a more efficient shower system. Don’t forget to switch your energy tariff too, you could save up to £300 per year by doing so!
Head to your closet
Your wardrobe or dressing room could provide the Aladdin’s cave of goodies you need to boost your savings pot. Just one of the ways that you can make money from your unwanted clothes is with our cash for clothes service. We make it easy for you to trade in a range of underused, unwanted or unloved items, including underwear, vest tops, t-shirts, shirts, jumper, jackets, coats, trousers and skirts. It’s not just clothes we pay cash for, we also pay for footwear, belts, hats, scarves, handbags, jewellery and watches. There are a few things our cash for clothes service doesn’t currently accept. Check out our list of what Genie buys for further information.
Our quick and easy to use cash for clothes service provides the best online prices for unwanted clothing. We currently pay 50p per kilogram. The rest of our service is equally as simple. To get started all you have to do is request your free collection pack. Your collection pack will be with you in no time at all – we aim to post your collection pack within one business day of you filling out this request form. Once you receive your free Genie Recycling Pack, you can then get started filling it up with all the clothes, footwear and accessories that you want to recycle. Remember the more your sack weighs, the more you earn, so be brutal with your selection! Please note your pack must weigh at least 10 kilograms. The clothes inside must also be clean and free from damage or stains.
Returning the recycling pack is easy too. Once you’ve finished your clear out, book your free collection from anywhere in the UK. We use trusted couriers to transport your clothes from you to us safely, securely and quickly, with the entire journey fully trackable. Once we’ve received your items, the items in your collection pack are valued and payments processed within 24 hours. It usually takes around three business days for our cash for clothes specialists to work their magic after delivery to get your hoard valued and paid for.
Make your motor more cost efficient
Your home isn’t the only area where significant savings can be made and quick money making schemes can be realised. If you own a car, savings can be made here too. Fuel is one of the biggest areas of expenditure for drivers, but you can find the cheapest fuel prices in your area with a range of useful apps and websites. PetrolPrices and Confused.com are among the best tools for finding the cheapest forecourt for petrol, diesel and LPG.
You can also cut the cost of MOT, repair, and vehicle servicing and maintenance by comparing offers provided by mechanics, garages and service centres in your area.
Use your loyalty to get money off
Saving shouldn’t mean missing out on what you love to do in your spare time. A good savings plan lets you have the best of both worlds (in moderation), allowing you to enjoy the hobbies, interests and pastimes and set money aside for your rainy day fund. If you love to shop or dine out, making the most of the loyalty schemes brands offer is an important part of enjoying your favourite to-dos without breaking the bank. For students in particular, loyalty cards provide a great way to save and live on a tight budget whilst still enjoying all the perks of student life. Want to make extra money during your college or university days? Check out our guide to making money as a student.
There are a host of loyalty card schemes available from a range of retailers, restaurants and supermarkets. Most work on a points system, with points adding up to money off vouchers, one-off deals or discounts. Almost all loyalty schemes are free to join which means you have nothing to lose and a lot to save on purchases and experiences. Doing your research regarding which loyalty cards offer the best value for money however is advisable. Boots Advantage, Sainsbury’s Nectar and the loyalty cards provided by M&S, Tesco and Morrisons are among the best out there at the moment.
It’s not just loyalty and reward schemes that will help you save on nights out. Using online promotional vouchers or ‘click and print’ offers courtesy of websites like VoucherCodes, MyVoucherCodes and HotUKDeals could save you a fortune meaning more money can be dedicated to your savings pot. You can also book your entire night out online, with OpenTable, Lastminute.com and 5pm all specialising in 2 for 1 deals and last minute offers. Joining a dining club or opting for eateries where you can bring your own bottle also provide other ways to save on your night out.
Want more great money making and cash saving tips? Visit our blog for the latest guidance.