Do you want to save money in 2021? Here are some tried and tested top tips that will easily save you money over the next 12 months.
Written in collaboration with Plusnet
Why bother spending hours of your life figuring out how to save 20p off the price of something?
It barely feels like saving money and is just wasting your time.
You can easily save hundreds of pounds a year simply by shopping smartly and avoiding overly complex deals.
A recent study by Value Broadband and wireless operator Plusnet found that the average shopper was throwing away more than £ 1,500 a year on confusing products and services that they either didn’t want or need.
The Yorkshire-based brand also combines simple messaging with its no-nonsense approach. This is why we decided to work with them to bring you some super simple tips to live by to save now and spend later.
Using these actionable tips will not only save you money, but also keep your finances in check.
1. Price match at the best price
Of course, you want to make sure you’re not spending more than you need to. To save you time, numerous retailers, including John Lewis and Curry’s, offer a price guarantee.
After you buy, if you see another store offering the same product at a lower price, they will refund you the difference.
However, don’t rule out researching completely before shopping. Use comparison tools like idealo or camelcamelcamel to check seasonal pricing.
For example, barbecues and fans cost more in summer and Christmas trees cost more in winter. Depending on the time of year, it can be worth waiting a few months for a larger purchase.
2. Select the correct broadband and save
There are many broadband providers who add unnecessary extras that you ultimately never use. Really think about what you need from a broadband provider and only pay for one that offers it. Don’t get all the fancy add-ons that end up costing you more.
Plusnet offers a simple, no-frills product range from € 22.99 per month.
3. Get your money back
You could easily have money there that you don’t know about. You might have pennies in the back of the sofa (check there later), but you could have old forgotten savings accounts with hundreds in them.
There are some places to check.
Take a look at My Lost Account which can be used to track down old bank accounts.
The Pension Tracing Service can help you find pensions from previous jobs (you may not need them now, but your future self will thank you).
Use your personal gateway tax account to check on the Gov website that you have the correct tax code and see if you can also claim back overpaid taxes.
Also, contact one of your previous utility companies to see if you received credit when you switched. Money is not always returned when you go and can be there waiting for you.
4. Stop paying for expensive television
How many channels do you actually watch when you pay for subscription TV? Take a few minutes to watch your family’s favorite programs. I’m guessing you have almost 100 channels but you are seeing fewer than 10 of them.
Instead of spending money on expensive cable or satellite television, replace it with cheaper streaming services. NOW TV (essentially on-demand Sky), Netflix, Amazon Prime, and TV Player can do the same thing as your current provider, but cheaper.
When streaming over the internet, make sure you have good quality broadband. Starting at € 22.99 for a 12-month contract, Plusnet offers a simple range of broadband products so you know that you are not paying for things that you do not want or need.
5. Earn money back with everyday shopping
You can make money back on pretty much all of your daily online purchases.
Whether you’re running a grocery store, the kids had another growth spurt and need more clothes, or getting a quote for cheaper insurance, you can earn cashback.
On websites like Quidco and TopCashback you can find the retailer or service provider you want to use, click through and shop as usual. It doesn’t cost you anything anymore, but you get back a percentage of what you spend.
All cashbacks are tax-free, meaning all savings go straight into your pocket. It’s like free money.
6. Don’t borrow to buy
Are you planning to do DIY around the house? Do you need a set for your child’s one-time school project? It’s a waste to buy something if you only use it a few times and it ends up in the back of the shed and collects dust – so don’t.
Save money by borrowing instead of buying. Ask family or friends if they could lend you what you’re looking for for a few days.
If you don’t have a partner to borrow something from, try Fat Llama. You can rent almost anything on the website.
(On the flip side, if you have a bike that you rarely use or a camera that collects dust, why not rent it out yourself to make a few pounds?)
7. Spend more
What?! I suggest spending more money? How does that save you It’s easy.
I find it easiest to explain it with my daughter’s school shoes. I spent £ 20 on a pair from a bargain store. You did the job and looked good. The problem is, they didn’t last. Not even halfway through tenure did they fall apart, and no amount of shoe polish could make them look new.
To be fair, it took me a bit of time to master this tip and bought myself another cheap pair. The same thing happened. By the end of the academic year, I had spent £ 60 on shoes.
The next year I went to a more expensive shoe store. I shuddered when I paid more than double the cost of a pair of cheap shoes, but they held up. They were the only shoes I had to buy. Although it meant spending more upfront, I saved money over the year.
What other things are worth spending more on to save more?
8. Take care of your things
You can have your car serviced every year knowing that it is working smoothly and you are essentially saving money. The same applies to many things around your home.
If you have a bike, turn to that one too. Check the brakes, tighten the bolts, air the tires and check that the wheel is properly aligned. It doesn’t take long (find a YouTube video to help) and it means your driving is safer.
Also, don’t ignore your fridge freezer. It uses electricity 24 hours a day so you want it to work well. Make sure you regularly thaw it and vacuum any dust that builds up on the back. They help your device live longer and work more efficiently.
Charging your phone for a few hours is better for the battery than charging it overnight. According to the Energy Saving Trust, you can also save 30 euros per year in energy costs. I know I was guilty of this, but it’s a good way to save.
Keeping things running more efficiently means you won’t have to replace them as often and you’ll save bills over time.
9. Make use of birthday gifts
Are you going out to eat to celebrate your birthday? Why not get a free birthday treat while you’re there?
Sign up for newsletters with some of your favorite shops and restaurants and you might find a nice birthday treat in your inbox.
From meals to free drinks and sweet treats to cash vouchers, there are tons of birthday gifts available.
10. Improve your credit score
Keeping track of your credit history is a great way to save money. You may just think it’s a high score vanity, but keeping everything in order will pay off.
If you are in need of credit, possibly wanting to reschedule, or borrow some money for whatever reason, a higher score usually means you will be offered a lower interest rate.
This, in turn, means you will pay back less over time. You can even check your credit score for free with Credit Karma and Clearscore.
11. Choose the correct wireless service provider
It’s easy to get trapped in an expensive business with a cellular provider with the number of options available. You get really better value for money if you buy a separate handset and just one SIM deal, which avoids a lot of unnecessary costs.
Plusnet offers a SIM-only contract with unlimited minutes and texts for just £ 7 a month and you can even keep the same number as before.
Saving money in 2021 doesn’t have to be complicated. There are simple ways to avoid unnecessary spending and complex business so that you can keep your finances in check and save now to spend later.
Do you have other easy ways to save money? Let us know in the comments below.