If you’re feeling the pinch as we settle into January, check out our top tips for saving money and prioritising your finances in 2023.
With rising bills not going anywhere and many of us facing the aftermath of the festivities, you’re probably feeling uncertain about what’s to come in 2023. If this sounds like you, now more than ever is the time to manage your spending – and we’re here to help!
We’ve discovered 23 simple ways you can gain back control of your finances this year. And luckily, many of our top tips include simple cutbacks or changes that you’ll hardly even notice.
So whether you’re planning a luxury summer vacation or simply want to reduce your household bills, there are plenty of ways you can turn it around.
Use a Budget Planner
We know what you’re thinking, “How can a budget planner fix my problems?”. And you’re right, a budget planner won’t magically solve all your financial woes. But they can be a fantastic tool to help organise your spending.
So, how can a budgeting planner help you?
We all know how easy it is to overspend on the things we could do without! Contactless here and apple pay there – losing track of your spending is something most of us fall victim to.
A budgeting planner will help you visualise your finances. You’ll be able to keep track of what’s coming in, and what’s going out of your bank. And more importantly, break down where that money is going.
In fact, we know how useful budget planners are, which is why we’ve designed our very own! If you want to learn more about how you can start making simple savings, check out our step-by-step guide to budgeting and download a free copy of our free 6-page planner.
Try a Money Saving Challenge
Money Saving Challenges have been circulating around the internet for years, and the reason they never get old? Because they work!
If 2023 is the year you’re serious about saving, a money challenge is a fun and easy way to get started. And luckily, there are over 20 to choose from (and counting).
From the 365-day penny challenge to saving up to £5000 in a year using envelopes – the list is endless.
Fancy getting creative with your savings this year? January is the perfect time to kickstart your journey. And luckily, we’ve done all the research for you! Take your pick from 22 of the most popular Money Saving challenges that have gone viral in recent years. You won’t regret it.
You’ve probably found yourself spending more than usual on your weekly food shop (cough, recession!). And with the rising cost of bills & mortgages, many of us are looking to cut back and spend less where possible, starting with the food bill.
If you’re wanting to reduce your shopping bill and make your food shop go further, we’re suggesting you make the most of your freezer. If you’ve found that you’re chucking away food that has accidentally passed its used-by date or binning uneaten meals often, it’s time to get creative.
There are several ways that using a freezer can help you save money on your food shopping:
Buying in Bulk:
You can save money by buying certain items in bulk, such as meat, vegetables, and bread, and then freezing them for later use.
Yellow Sticker Foods:
If you see a good deal on a certain food item, you can stock up and freeze the excess so you don’t have to pay full price later on.
One of the main benefits of using a freezer is that it allows you to store food for longer periods of time, which can help reduce spoilage and waste.
By planning your meals in advance and freezing the ingredients, you can save money by avoiding impulse purchases at the supermarket!
You can also save money by preparing meals in advance and freezing them, so you have quick and easy options for work lunches or busy evenings when you don’t have time to cook.
If you’re unsure whether or not you can freeze certain foods, check out our Foods you Can Freeze blog for tons of surprising foods you didn’t know you could freeze!
Start a Side Hustle
If you’re looking to earn an extra income, a side hustle is a great way to beef up your wage packet! If your income just isn’t quite cutting it anymore, or you’re looking to add to your savings pot, there are plenty of side hustles out there that are flexible around your day job.
If you have a particular skill or expertise, why not offer your services on a freelance basis? This can be a great way to earn money on the side and gives you the flexibility to choose when and how much you work. Platformers like Fiverr are a great place to start.
Become an Influencer:
It might be easier said than done, but with millions of success stories out there, just 1 viral piece of content could transform your life. If social media is your thing, try and grow your following to start earning extra income from platforms like TikTok, Instagram or YouTube.
Selling products online:
If you have a talent for creating handmade or unique items, you can sell them on platforms like Etsy or eBay. This could also be as simple as selling your used or old goods! Facebook marketplace, Depop or Vinted are easy and free to use.
Tutoring or teaching:
If you have expertise in a particular subject, you can offer tutoring or teaching services on the side. This can be a great way to share your knowledge and skills with others while also earning extra money.
Focusing on what you’re good at and what you enjoy is the best way to get started on your side hustle. This could be a talent, a sport or hobby you love or a particular skill you have!
Subscriptions – Do you need them?
Since the lockdown, many of us have racked up quite a portfolio of TV subscriptions. In fact, people subscribing to UK streaming services surged by up to 50% during the pandemic. And with so many out there to choose from, it’s easy for costs to spiral.
Gone are the days when binge-watching series during isolation is the norm, yet 3 years on, many of us are still paying the price for services we probably don’t even use. And what’s worse, many streaming giants like Netflix introduced price hikes without informing their customers.
If you’re wanting to make some quick savings, it might be time to breakdown your subscriptions, and here’s how you can do so:
- Leapfrogging: If you’re a TV or Movie Buff, Leapfrogging is a fantastic way to save money and cut back on the number of streaming services you subscribe to. It works by choosing one streaming service per month to subscribe to. Make a hit list of the series & movies you want to watch then cancel after the month’s up and leapfrog on to the next.
- Split the Cost: So you love the Netflix Originals but you’re also partial to a Disney film. Why not split the cost in your household where each person pays for a different service?
- Downgrade or Cancel: You might have noticed you’re paying for a premium plan that doesn’t actually benefit you anymore. Downgrade to save money or cancel altogether if you’re not actually using the service anymore.
Still unsure of how to save? We’ve put together a helpful guide with tons of ways you can reduce the cost of your subscriptions.
Let 2023 be the year we break the stigma around shopping second-hand! Not only is buying used goods considerably cheaper than buying new, it’s also much better for the environment, and in case you’ve been living under a rock, global warming is creeping up on us thick and fast.
Whether you’re buying used tech, toys, fashion or homewares, second-hand shopping means you’re extending the life of a product, thus reducing the demand for new items to be made.
Not only can this help to reduce the environmental impact of the production process, but also reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.
If you want to encourage a more sustainable way of living, second-hand shopping is a great way to start. Charity shops or online marketplaces like Facebook, Vinted and Gumtree are fantastic for buying and selling your used goods.
Fancy going green in 2023? Check out our How to Save Money by Going Green blog post for the full low down and helpful tips & tricks.
Ditch the Gym
If you want to make a juicy saving each month, swap your gym membership for home workouts instead. It’s totally possible to get fit without going to the gym and best of all, significantly cheaper (or free!).
Depending on the type of gym you visit or membership you have, you could be forking out £50+ per month. If that’s an expense you could do without, it might be time to try some cheaper alternatives.
There are plenty of free and affordable resources out there to help you get active. With many influencers taking to their socials to share workout videos and online coaching, it’s worth exploring your options before rushing to the gym this new year.
Joe Wickes, The Body Coach offers tons of free full-length workout videos on his YouTube channel. Gym chain, The Gym Group also keep their website updated with video workouts and Nike has recently introduced a training plan on Netflix.
If it’s the social aspect you love about the gym, why not join a sports club or set up your own running or walking club with friends? It could even be as easy as getting together with others to work out from home!
If you have enough space, you could invest in some home workout equipment, such as a treadmill, bike, or weights. This can save you money on gym memberships in the long run. Another great alternative is to exercise outdoors. Going for a run, hike, or bike ride outside is a great way to get some exercise without the cost of a gym membership.
However, if you really can’t go without a sweaty gym sesh, try to seek out a cheaper gym in your local area or downgrade your plan! If you pay extra for spa access, store discounts or other luxuries, do you really need them? You could cut the cost of your membership in half by opting for the basic plan.
Save on your Heating Bills
For the foreseeable, our heating bills are not getting any cheaper. And with winter well underway, many of us are looking for ways to heat our homes more affordably.
Here are some simple ways you can save money and keep your home heated for longer:
Lower your thermostat:
Lowering your thermostat by just a few degrees can have a big impact on your heating bills. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, for every degree you lower your thermostat, you can save up to 5% on your heating costs.
Use a Smart Metre:
A programmable thermostat allows you to set your heating to turn on and off at certain times, so you’re not heating your home when you’re not there.
Insulate your home:
Proper insulation can help keep heat in, which means your heating system won’t have to work as hard to maintain a comfortable temperature.
Drafts can let a lot of heat escape, so it’s important to seal any drafts around windows and doors.
Close your curtains:
Keeping your curtains closed at night can help keep the heat in, especially if you have windows that are exposed to the cold.
Switch off radiators:
If there are rooms in your home you don’t use, switch off the radiator and keep the door shut.
Try turning down your thermostat and using alternatives like hot water bottles, thick jumpers and blankets for extra heat.
Most of our heating is lost through poor insulation so ensuring your home is properly insulated can make a huge difference! In fact, our insulation expert here at NetVoucherCodes gave us the low down on affordable ways to insulate your home over on our blog.
Monitor your Appliance Usage
With our energy bills set to further increase in April, now more than ever is the time to get smart about your energy usage. Making simple swaps and changes is the best way to lower costs, and luckily, they’re super simple to do!
Dry your clothes indoors:
Drying racks or clothes horses are a great alternative to using the tumble dryer. Make the most of the natural sunlight and the heat in your home to dry your clothing.
Use an extra spin:
If you find your clothes and towels are taking longer to dry, speed up the drying process by putting them on an extra spin. This can help remove any excess moisture helping them to dry more quickly.
Switch to an air fryer:
Ditch your gas cooker for an air fryer to speed up the cooking process and save money!
Be aware of vampire devices:
Did you know that appliances around your home may be draining your power? When left on standby mode, TVs, Laptops, Computers and Games Consoles are still using electricity. Be sure to switch them off at the plug when not in use.
Use a power strip:
Power strips are super handy for ensuring your switch your appliances off at once.
- Use window coverings to block the sun’s rays in the summer and retain heat in the winter.
- Set your thermostat to a lower temperature in the winter and a higher temperature in the summer.
- Use a smart metre to automatically adjust the temperature when you are not home and keep track of how much you’re spending.
Give Dry January a try!
If you’ve had a tipple too many over the festive season, your head won’t be the only thing suffering the consequences. Dry January is a great way to not only make you feel better but save money! Swap nights out for nights in this January to see how much you can save.
Sign up for Loyalty Schemes
If you find yourself shopping at the same stores, signing up for their loyalty schemes or rewards programmes is a great way to save money! The more you shop, the more points you can earn to redeem for future purposes.
Most loyalty schemes are free to sign up for and can often mean you get exclusive shopping benefits like discounts on orders, free delivery and much more. Check out what your favourite stores offer and sign up for free.
New Year Clear Out
There’s no better time than the New Year to have a clear out! If you’ve accumulated clutter over the past year or suddenly feel like reinventing your style, try flogging your used goods for some extra cash. As they say, ‘one man’s trash is another’s man’s treasure’.
Apps like Depop and Vinted and great for selling your used clothes while online marketplaces like Facebook can be used to sell locally. Many of these platforms are completely free to join and often don’t require any fees.
If you’re serious about saving, why not try downshifting brands on your next shop? It’s super simple and could save you some serious cash.
All you have to do is drop one brand level with everything you buy, and if you can’t tell any difference, stick with the cheaper brand. This is a great way to test whether or not you’re spending more for the exact same quality. After all, why pay more for something that is the same?
In fact, last year, we discovered some surprising statistics by swapping from branded to non-branded cola and the savings are extraordinary! You can check out finding more ways you can save on your food shopping over on our blog.
If you find you’re constantly spending a fortune in the supermarkets, we’ve dished out our top tips to avoid spending over the odds:
Make a shopping list:
A good old-fashioned list is a great way to avoid overspending. Stick your list and you won’t go over budget!
Don’t shop when you’re hungry:
You might not believe us, but shopping for food when you’re hungry means you’re more likely to impulse buy foods that you don’t necessarily need like snacks and sandwiches.
Coupons are a great way to save £100s on your shopping bills. You can find coupons for selected stores online or they may even be on food packaging or on the receipt.
Your local supermarket might but convenient, but is it the most affordable? Switch to Lidl & Aldi for cheaper alternatives and be sure to buy your cleaning supplies from discount stores like B&M or Home Bargains.
Write a Meal Plan:
If you know exactly what meals you’re cooking, there’s no need for any added extras.
There are tons of ways you can save money when it comes to your food shop, which is why we’ve created an in-depth guide to help you out. Check it out to start saving!
Reduce food waste and buy leftovers
If you want to be part of preventing food from going to waste and landfills, check out some of these free apps that can help you rescue food from going in the bin!
Find food from local cafes, shops and restaurants that can’t be resold and buy it for a fraction of the cost! And if you need help managing your own food waste, some of these are great for managing your leftovers, helping you get creative with meals and so much more.
Batch cook your meals
We’re all guilty of wasting food now and again. Whether you’ve let food run past its use-by date, or you’ve dished out larger portions than your household’s tummies can handle. It’s easily done, but it’s also just as easily reversed!
If you’re not familiar with meal prep, get to know! Not only is batch cooking meals great if you’re on a health kick, but they can also save time and most importantly, energy.
Portion out your spag bol and freeze it for lunch at work. Or, cook up a delicious soup and stick it in the freezer. Sundays are the best days to batch cook in time for the week ahead. Why not try it out for a week?
And if you’re struggling with where to start, we’ve got you covered. Check out our Meal Planning to Save Money guide for some inspo!
Switch to Cash
If you find yourself tapping your card or scanning your phone more often than you’d like, why not go old school and stick to using cash? Try withdrawing some cash and limit yourself how much you take out with you. This is a great way to be more frugal and spend less.
Give yourself a daily or weekly allowance and see how far you can stretch your budget! You’ll be surprised frugal you can be and how much money you could save in the long run.
Sales – are they worth it?
With January sales well underway, you’re probably tempted to splurge on unnecessary items because they’re on offer. However, just because something is on sale, it doesn’t mean you have to buy it.
If you’ve found you’ve spent a lot over Christmas, weigh up how much you need or want the item on sale. And remember, sales come and go all year round!
Switch Bank Accounts
Several banks in the UK offer cash incentives for switching to them. This is known as a “switch bonus” or “switching incentive.” These offers are typically available to new customers who open a current account with the bank and switch their direct debits and salary to the new account.
Here are a few examples of banks that have offered cash incentives for switching in the past:
This bank has offered a switch bonus of £100 in the past.
HSBC has offered a switch bonus of £150 in the past.
M&S Bank has offered a switch bonus of £125 in the past.
NatWest has offered a switch bonus of £125 in the past.
Haggle & Switch Broadband, Mobile and Insurance Providers
If your broadband or mobile contract is coming to an end, make sure you shop around or haggle for a cheaper deal. Don’t assume you’re getting the best deal. Switching can often be more affordable with companies offering discounts for new customers.
It’s also worth noting that if you’ve been with the same company for various years, the won’t want to lose a loyal customer. Use this to your advantage to haggle your way to a cheaper deal.
Avoid Convenience Stores and Express Supermarkets
While your local corner shop might be convenient, they often charge a premium price for that reason exactly! It might be tempting to pop into your local shop, but if you’re wanting to cut back and save money, plan your shopping trips and choose cheaper supermarkets or bargain stores.
Shop with a Voucher Code
Shopping online with a discount code is the best way to save money online! You can find tons of working codes here at NetVoucherCodes for the majority of our retailers at any given time. And if you sign up for our newsletter, you can enjoy a weekly round-up of our best and exclusive codes.
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