Tips to help you move to your next property
So you’re looking to save money to buy your first property or want to upscale to something bigger or move to a better area?
Here’s some tips that, if applied, could generate oodles of cash in your bank account.
Try some of these tips out because it will all go towards helping you reach your financial goals and bring you closer to that threshold of owning your next property.
Sticking to one particular supermarket for your main shop and petrol purchases where they offer points earned on those purchases can bring great savings in the form of loyalty vouchers.
Using a Tescocard or morrisons points card can earn you lots of points. In addition these supermarkets often issue bonus points for spends over certain amounts, for instance spend £30.00 to gain 3,000 extra points. Get 5,000 points and you get a £5.00 spending voucher. That’s equivalent to a free bottle of fizzy wine or similar.
Find wines you really like and watch them. Over time you should see deals occurring like 25% off 6 bottles or maybe a big reduction in that particular bottle.
Example: Nice NZ white usually £12.00 gets reduced to £6.00 and then the buy 6 get 25% off deal also comes around… Nab 30 because you’ll be paying £4.75 for a £12.00 bottle of wine. That’s a 60% reduction. That’s a great saving over wine club prices too.
Saving £5 notes/£2 coins
We’ve all had those new plasticy £5.00 notes and big £2 coins. Now there’s a new £1.00 coin alike the old threepenny bit.
Why not allocate a special moneybox or container to save these in. Tell yourself that if you ever get one in your change you will never spend one but save it instead. When the moneybox is full or when you need a windfall open the boxes and count how much you’ve got. After time you could have saved enough for a new TV, Games Console or even a family holiday.
Garage/Boot sale declutter
Go on a de-cluttering splurge. Gather together all your old toys, clothes spare car parts and old tools. Fill 2 boxes. One for stuff to dump or recycle and one for resale.
Fill a charity sack with things you feel would be suitable and you’re left with the stuff you can sell. In the UK we tend not to have a garage sale but we usually have a car bootsale event quite close.
It may mean getting up early on one weekend morning but generally people will buy mostly anything at these events and you’re unlikely to come home with any of your unwanted items. Just a lot of cash if you’re lucky. Freeads, Preloved and Gumtree websites are also a good place to sell your surplus stuff.
Ebay toys and clothes
Toys and quality clothes that your kids have outgrown can be resold easily on eBay.
Have a decluttering session and start photographing and listing. You just need a good supply of packing stuff like cardboard, brown paper and sellotape and a post office nearby to be able to get involved in selling online. It’s easy and low risk of not getting paid.
Cut price shop goods
Lets face it. The large supermarkets have a monopoly on what we pay for our everyday goods and there’s likely to be an element of price-fixing going on.
There’s such a variation in prices for goods that are on the face of it, all the same item. Example: Croissants in one supermarket, 45p each. In another you get 5 for a £1.00. In your local bakery they are 79p each. It’s always swings and roundabouts in the major supermarkets so to make as economic a shop as possible you’d have to be price-watching 5 of the major sellers and visiting them all, which is very unpractical.
There are some low cost euro-supermarkets who generally keep all their products low cost. They do this by stocking a fraction of the product lines that the majors stock. So you can save an awful lot of money by just shopping at one of these outlets.
In addition you’ll find that some Poundshop and Bargain type outlets will also stock foodstuffs. They may be near sell by date or damaged packaging items or they may be perfect but generally you can find the same items in these outlets at even cheaper prices than your cheapest supermarkets. I’m not saying that you’d satisfy your entire weekly shop in this way but essentials such as bottled water, soft drinks and dog food will be extra low price.</p
Not a good investment as they don’t increase in value by earning interest at all.
What they are good for is a pigeonhole where you can dump some money for a short period of time on the basis that it’s not super-easy to get your hands on the cash and you could win money from the monthly draw that takes place. Let’s say you’re saving for a holiday, car or a fund to pay off an upcoming tax bill. Stick the money in a premium bond account each month (Purchase bonds) and you never know you could win something back and some of the cash prizes are substantial.
Reduce splendour (the things you enjoy)
We’re all used to a bit of austerity. It’s being imposed on us by our bosses and politicians every day of the week at present, but are we really exercising some austerity on our own spending?
Could we save £20 a week for a holiday by not doing something that we do by habit? Could we buy one bottle of wine less? Make a curry on saturday instead of buying a takeaway; Walk to work one day instead of catching a bus or taking the car; Don’t habitually buy a new T shirt or top every Saturday because that’s what we always do… wash and iron an old one you haven’t worn for years instead.
Go out 3 times a month instead of 4; rationalise your TV and Internet spending. Do we need all those packs on the cable or satellite subscription when a Freeview box would likely deliver around the same level of viewing satisfaction. Take 2 holidays a year instead of 3 and spend the time maintaining your garden, painting your house or going on day trips to familiarise yourself with what is close to you instead.
No to standby
Get into the habit of not using the remote controls to place your TV or DVD players on standby when you go to bed.
Switch stuff off at the main switch or the wall socket. Leaving stuff on standby still creates a current drain from those devices thus leading to a cost being incurred.
Save money on conveyancing
When you finally are able to get your hands on the deposit and extra funds needed to move to your next home you’ll likely find that you’ll also need a pot to dip into to pay removal and legal costs.
Legal costs in the form of conveyancing fees are an unavoidable part of the house buying or selling process. Your property transactions have to be legally processed properly and by a professional and this is what is known as the conveyancing process.
Use price comparison websites
We’ve all seen the adverts so we know who the main companies are that offer these services. If you’ve never tried one of these sites out you should know that they are offered sizeable discounts from the major insurers and utility providers to promote their products.
This is because there is a large markup on the products in the first place levied by the insurers and utility wholesalers. Register you details with such a comparison site and you’ll benefit from being informed every year when your insurances become due and you will be invited to process a quote application again.
You really can save around a third of what you’d pay if you were to apply direct to those listed companies so give them a try.
Review your monthly expenditure
Print out your bank statement. Is there anything on there that could be reduced or eradicated?
Do you need that level of life cover you took out 20 years ago because your mortgage was higher or could you get away with a lower premium and payout amount today as you’re close to eliminating the mortgage – or do we need it at all?
Is it worth paying out for that high level of pet insurance when if you make a claim they’d disregard 2 thirds of the claim because of the age of the animal anyway. It could be better to set aside the same amount in a savings account like a premium bond so you could draw from it if needed. A lot of these policies are rubbish and you don’t get to realise that until you have to make a claim, rendering the fees you’ve paid over the years to have been a waste of money.
Bank and interest charges. Are you paying higher rates because you should be with a better bank? Are you paying unnecessary high interest costs on loans and credit cards when you could transfer balances to an interest free card with a long introductory duration (12-15 months say).Do a review and highlight and act upon the areas where costs can be eliminated or reduced. Do the same with your cash. If you usually draw £50 a week to cover your cash expenses try living off £10 less in a week etc.
Fix your own stuff
We all know that it’s expensive if we have to get somebody to do a job or mend something for us.
With the wealth of information available on the internet from sites like Youtube you could learn from videos how to fix things and consider doing jobs that ordinarily you’d have to pay somebody to do.
Example: My tumble drier broke down. I go to an electrical repair shop to book an appointment for them to call and repair it. The man says ‘ It’s likely that it’s the condenser from the way you’re describing the fault…We’ll have to collect it at a charge of £75 minimum’. I think, Condenser eh! A check online finds that they’re less than a tenner to order so I take the chance. I go on Youtube to learn how to get the sides off my drier and fit the replacement condenser in minutes.
The drier works a treat and I’ve saved £85 at least.
Important Note: Messing around with electrical items can usually harm or kill you if you don’t know what you are doing so take this information very lightly and always seek the help from a qualified person in matters that could cause death.
Gym membership out
Gym membership you don’t use much could be reduced or eradicated. Can you join a cheaper gym, use it on a pay as you go basis or maybe purchase one piece of gym equipment that will enable you to exercise at home?
Analyse what you do in the gym. If you spend most of the time on the running machine, doing weights or on the exercise bike you can do all those things from your home.
Buy a pair of running shoes and some shorts and start running in the park or somewhere you are comfortable with.
Similarly, using an actual cycle is healthier as you’re in the fresh air. Weights from as little form as a set of dumbells can be purchased and used at home.There’s an abundance of new technology equipment that doesn’t take up the space of full workout gym equipment like a workbench and that can be equally as beneficial as keeping you trim and fit.
It’s a no-brainer. Make a meal instead of eating out. Make a nice pot of soup from vegetable packs you can buy from your supermarket for around £2.00 and will last days. Take sandwiches in to lunch at work instead of buying those daily pub lunches.
Go to cheaper restaurants instead of expensive ones. Have a takeaway instead of a sit-down meal. Make sure you have a good filling cereal breakfast so you wont be as hungry at lunchtime. See if you can do this and get away with a snack bar for lunch instead.
Reduce TV packs
TV, Phone and Broadband subscriptions can be reduced. Could moving over to a different service satisfy your TV viewing needs just as well but for less money? Can you use a usb box, freeview hub or similar to replace your expensive TV subscription.
Do you need as many channels? Are you paying for the music pack but never watch it? Can you get the same programmes from another supplier service like BT for much cheaper? Do a review. See what you can get and switch.
Look for deals on recurring bills (home insurance –vax)
Insurance is far more competitive than it ever used to be which is a good thing because there is now more choice and many offer better levels of service.
Some companies provide incentives to their customers to join or stay with an offer.Example: My home insurance was up for renewal. The renewal price was good anyway but they incentivised me to renew with them by offering me a free Karcher Window Washer pack worth £85.00. So I renewed with that company and now have the cleanest windows in my street.
Recommended – look for offers and deals on renewing utilities as these companies want your business.
Do your own jobs at home
Why pay somebody to cut your lawn, wash your car, trim your hedge and branches?I know people who do this. Let’s look at the costs of some of these routine jobs:
Lawn cut – £20
Hedges trimmed and branches lopped – £25
Windows cleaned – £25
Car wash – £5.00
With the exception of your windows, where you may need ladders you can do all these jobs yourself. What’s more, they’re recurring jobs that need doing every 4 weeks or so in the summer so annually there’s some serious cost saving to be enjoyed if you do these jobs yourself.Extending this you could consider doing your own painting and decorating, small repair jobs interior and exterior cleaning and maybe even car repairs and serving.Why pay your garage £35.00 to change your wiper blades when you can buy and fit a set yourself for a tenner?
Dogs grooming is expensive too. I have 3 and they would cost £30 each to have them professionally washed and cut. Consider doing it yourself. You can get a set of clippers over the net for around the cost of a single grooming session.
They usually come with a video tutorial how to do it so get watching and start grooming. It’s therapeutic and as long as you don’t harm your dog it’s a great way to bond closer with your animal and save money too.