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If you’re ready to make a difference to your spending habits in 2020, you might be worried that saving more money means living an overly frugal lifestyle, where you reuse every teabag and spend your winters shivering under a pile of blankets.
While saving money does mean that you’ll need to be willing to compromise from time to time, it doesn’t have to make your life miserable. We’ve put together some quick tips for how you can improve your financial situation in 2020, so you can start the new year on the right track.
1. Pay Less for Power
First things first, switching electricity and gas suppliers could help you to save some serious money – particularly if you haven’t switched for a while. A lot of people start off with a great deal from their energy supplier, and then simply stick with the same company year after year. However, energy suppliers have a habit of moving you onto more expensive tariffs as time goes on. Check out what kind of tariff you’re paying for now, then head online to use a comparison website. You’ll be able to enter a few details about your energy usage and potentially find some great deals from different companies in your area.
2. Invest in your Maintenance
Want to make your most expensive purchases last longer? Invest in them. For instance, if you want to stop paying a fortune on your heating during 2020, now might be the time to look into taking out a personal loan so you can buy those new double-glazed windows that you’ve had your eye on. Alternatively, if you want to stop over-spending on your fuel bills, it might be time to consider investing in a more efficient car that doesn’t use as much petrol or diesel.
Sometimes, spending some extra money now can save you a fortune in the long term. What’s more, paying for what you need with a loan allows you to spread the cost of your upgrades out.
3. Spend Less on Water
If you don’t have a water meter, then you could potentially save a lot of cash by switching to one. Usually, it makes sense to switch to using a water meter if there are fewer people in your home than there are bedrooms. If you have a meter and you’re also receiving UK benefits from the government, then you may also be able to have your bills capped too.
While you’re looking for ways to save on your water, don’t be afraid to talk to groups like the citizen advice bureau for any other benefits or help you might be entitled to.
4. Swap one Item a Week
One of the main reasons that so many struggle with money, is that we get set in our ways. Just as you might have forgotten to switch away from the energy company that’s been charging you a fortune, you may be buying the same products every month, without thinking about them. Next time you go shopping for food and essentials, see whether you can switch one item that you usually buy for something less expensive.
Eventually, you’ll get to a point where you’ve replaced almost all of the items in your typical shopping list. Although you might decide to switch back with one or two items, the chances are that you’ll find most of the replacements to be just the same.
5. Get rid of Subscriptions
While some subscriptions can be great, like the Netflix subscription that allowed you to get rid of your expensive television and phone packages – others are a waste of time. Unfortunately, we often forget to cancel subscriptions, which means that they continue to run month after month.
Go through your bank account and ask yourself which of the subscriptions you’re paying for you actually use, and which you can afford to get rid of.
6. Move your Mortgage
Finally, if you’re spending a fortune on your housing every month, now could be the perfect time to look elsewhere for your home loan. Changing your mortgage provider is one of the easiest ways to save money these days. Not only can you reduce the amount that you’re paying each month, but if you switch to a company that gives you a lower interest rate, you could find that it’s easier to pay your mortgage off faster too.
Some mortgage repayment plans also come with extra bonuses, like free legal help to get you switched from one company to another. If you’re not sure who to go with, look into using a broker.