Money Saving Tips From Experts
Holly talks to some experts about ways to save money, set yourself budgets and count pennies, because, as Simply Red said in the 80s, money’s too tight to mention.
It sometimes feels like money just disappears.
A lunch deal here, a bus ride there, a Saturday morning coffee, a Sunday afternoon cinema trip. It sometimes feels like money just disappears. Daily living expenses can mount up, and it’s easy to quickly find yourself out of pocket. But what happens when the price gets even higher? A new pair of trainers, a summer holiday, an electricity bill or your monthly rent. Big costs can cause a lot of stress, and unfortunately, whether we like it or not, they are a part of life.
Managing the money we have is something pretty much everyone has to do. From being given money in birthday cards to persuading your parents to sort you out with pocket money, to eventually getting a minimum wage job… we’ve been making decisions about how we spend money from a very young age. So why do we find ourselves struggling?
We have experience of spending it, but how much experience do we have of managing it?
Well, we have experience of spending it, but how much experience do we have of managing it? If we are not taught by our teachers, siblings or parents this crucial and invaluable life lesson and instead expected to navigate this fundamentally key skill ourselves, it’s easy to see how it can go wrong.
I think we can all agree that the road to financial happiness has twos sides: don’t spend more money than you earn and save money for the future. Yup, makes sense. But that’s also a lot easier said than done. Bristol is a beautiful city, but unfortunately everyone else agrees. Rent in Bristol has risen by 18% from 2014 to 2015, the highest increase in the country, and buying a house is a luxury very few can afford. Youth unemployment is still at its highest, unpaid internships are the norm, zero hour contracts exist and if you do claim benefits, then it’s normal for payments to be delayed. On top of that, it is becoming increasingly harder for students to afford higher education, as tuition fees rise and maintenance loans scrapped.
Not only does this cause fear checking your bank balance, but it can also lead to a serious problem with debt. Borrowing money from mates, applying for a credit card, extending your overdraft, getting a short-term loan- are all methods used in an attempt to save you from your current bad situation. But unless you have a large pay cheque around the corner, with the intentions of repaying your debts instantly, then it will often only exacerbate the situation. Hidden bank charges and shocking APR% rates add to the damage.
Money can be a source of worry and disagreement, but it’s important to remember that whatever it is, it is never the end of the world. By taking certain steps to manage your finances, and seeking help from reputable organisations, it is possible to find the confidence to tackle any problem. I interviewed six different people to hear their top tips on saving money:
Chloë Janssen-Lester, Cash Pointers Project Community Partnerships Lead
If you’re struggling to pay your bills think about contacting your utilities companies and seeing if they have any ways to help – many of them can. For example, Bristol Water has a number of schemes to help people struggling with bills. The Water Assist scheme can reduce water bills for people with low incomes, even if they have no water bill debt at all. Contact Cash Pointers for help making an application today.
Try and get food that’s been reduced from Tesco or wherever it is you shop. Go during the evenings when they tend to be reducing stuff and grab a load of it that you can freeze put straight into the freezer. More often than not, the food is absolutely fine and it saves you loads.
Billie May Rogers, Cash Pointers Apprentice
My advice for young people managing their money would be to never ignore a bill, It’s ok to ask someone if you don’t understand what the bill means, they can be quite confusing. Don’t allow yourself to build up debt by a misunderstood letter because you never asked for help. To every problem there is a solution and there are people out there to help in these kind of financial situations.
Grace Shutti, Rife Magazine
Money Dashboard is the reality check you don’t want but need. It links securely to your online banking and shows you where you’ve been spending your money (if you’ve used your card). It will make you realise how much money you’ve spent buying chocolate bars or on clothes when you could have easily saved that money for something more substantial.
Andy Irwin, Cashpointer Project Worker
My top tip is to never accept the word of a salesman. By all means consider their offer, but go and look it up online using sites like moneysaving expert and the sales site of the company themselves. Learn how to search using comparison sites and then use third party cashback sites like Quidco to enhance the saving afterwards. The savings are staggering for gas, electricity, telephone, broadband, TV and mobile phones if you are prepared to search and know where to look and how to wait.
Carrie Parnell, Citizens Advice Worker
So long as you have basic ID, anyone should be able to get a basic account with a debit card, and have the ability to pay direct debits. The bank has no overdraft facilities, which means you can never be overdrawn and more importantly, you can never be charged for being overdrawn. You should also prepare budget sheets, income and expenditure. Be realistic, and make sure you know where you financially stand.
Do you have a money saving technique that you swear by? Give us a shout and let us know on Facebook or Twitter. If you’re experiencing some financial difficulty, or even if you just want to talk to someone in person about the best way to manage your money, then get in touch with Cashpointers via Rife Guide