With the cost of living crisis showing no sign of easing up, it’s important to make sure you’re not overspending on easily avoidable costs.
Maybe you keep on wasting face wipes, or perhaps you’re not paying off your mortgage in the cheapest way possible.
It’s these savings that seem negligible but add up to reduce your overall spending and put you in a better place financially.
Some lifestyle switches are so easy to make, you won’t even notice a change.
So if you’re sick of paying a premium for your gym, or you want to give your home some interior love for winter without paying out your eyeballs, you’re in the right place.
Here are some everyday hacks that will help save you money.
Overpay to save on your mortgage
Paying a bit extra each month can cut your mortgage term and save you thousands of pounds in interest payments.
For instance, if you had a home loan worth £150,000 with an interest rate of 3% you would pay £711 each month for 25 years. But if you pay a bit extra, say £100 a month, you would save £11,835 in interest and clear your debt four years and three months earlier.
But remember to check with your lender to see if any early-repayment charges apply.
Wave goodbye to wasted wipes
How many times have you grabbed for one wipe and ended up pulling out the whole pack thanks to the awkward design?
Say goodbye to wasted wipes with a rubber band. All you do is place a secure rubber band next to the opening of the package and make sure that it is pretty snug.
Interior styling on a shoestring
It need not cost an absolute fortune to give your home a fabulous new look from top to bottom – make the most of big brand clearance centres and you can save some serious cash.
According to interior designer Emma Merry, some of the best places to find bargains are Neptune Outlet, West One Bathrooms Clearance, West Elm Clearance and Heals Clearance.
Get more burn for your buck
Love smelly candles yet tired of tunnelling causing it to burn down the centre, leaving hard wax around the outside?
But, waste not want not – wrap that leftover wax in a tea towel and bash it to bits with a rolling pin, then reuse that wax in a burner.
Have a candle in a jar? Don’t worry, getting the wax out is easier than you think: just fill your candles with boiling water and watch as the heat melts the wax, causing it to bubble to the top.
Then, once the wax has cooled and hardened, simply apply pressure, pop it out and drop it onto your burner for some more lovely aromas.
Get fit for less
If you are planning on signing up for a gym membership, make sure that you do it at the end of the month, when the sales team is trying to close last-minute deals to reach their targets. This is the best time to ask to get a deal.
If you don’t plan to swim, then there is usually no sense paying a monthly fee. Maintaining a pool tends to drive up monthly club costs and memberships fees and can quickly leave you out of pocket.
If it’s fitness classes that you are most tempted by, consider getting just a class card so that you’re only paying for the instructor and space when you need it.
Get your timing right
Fed up with being fobbed off when you complain about poor customer service? Don’t suffer in silence – just make sure you do it at the right time to make your feelings known.
Always call the organisation at the start of the day or around 10am, not at a busy time during lunch when everyone else is calling.
Never phone five minutes before the lines close for the day with a long, complicated issue as it’s unlikely to be resolved.
What’s more, set a deadline for the company to respond – 14 days for a letter is fair. Make a note of the date so you can increase the pressure if it is missed.
Multi-tasking kitchen tools
Find it hard to break open jars of pickles or pesto?
This trick makes opening those pesky jars easier and means that no sauce goes to waste – all you need to do to break the tight air seal on difficult-to-open jars is use the sharp end of a bottle opener. It’s effective and requires very little elbow grease.
Bargains in a flash
There is no reason to pay top dollar for expensive brands – especially when you can find discounts of up to 80% so long as you know where to look. Flash sales are exactly what their name suggests – time-limited sales for members only.
How these websites work is simple. They order stock from designers and retailers after the sale has closed, enabling them to pass on the biggest savings – and with free membership and discounts of up to 80 per cent, shoppers are now logging on in their thousands. The only drawback from these sites is that delivery can take up to four weeks, but many shoppers will think it is worth the wait.
Worth a look is Brand Alley which sells big-name fashion and beauty products for a fraction of the price. Recent sales have included Gucci, Reiss, Le Chameau, Michael Kors, Joseph Joseph and Le Creuset.
Plump up your packing with a pillow
If you’ve ever booked what you believed to be bargain flights, only to discover your luggage will cost more than the flight itself, you’re not alone.
One way to get more luggage onto your flight – without having to pay over the odds for extra baggage – is to pack an empty, zipped pillowcase to fill with extra clothing.
Many airlines will allow you to bring a pillow aboard and, as long as the case is closed ‘like a bag’ and doesn’t contain banned items, it wouldn’t be a security concern.
However, some airlines may count it as a personal item, so check what pillow size is appropriate for your airline to avoid additional fees – when that’s exactly what you’re trying to avoid.
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