Hardly a penny to your name in January? If you’re in a cash drought after a spend-frenzy December, then make 2016 about keeping more money in your pocket. No drastic measures are required, just 5 simple changes that will make you smarter with your money:
1. Download a budget tracking app
If being less stressed is on your 2016 resolutions list, then getting on top of your finances will help you on your way. Download a budget tracking app such as Homebudget (€5.99 on iOS and Android) or Mint (free on iOS and Android). Use it to learn your spending habits, become more disciplined with your cash, get alerts when your account goes below a certain level and plan for the future.
2. Join customer reward programs
Before you complete any online transaction, google to see if there are any active promo codes for that website. Use loyalty card stamps and reward card points to get freebies and discounts. Even join customer reward programs like Electric Ireland Rewards.
3. Learn the grocery shopping hacks
Learn the following hacks, known nationwide by Ireland’s most savvy grocery shoppers:
- Don’t do all of your shopping in one supermarket. Shop around for the best offers
- Download each supermarket’s app so that you can check current special offers before you leave the house.
- Shop in the evening when the reduced section is likely to be filled.
- Use online shopping and home delivery to avoid impulse purchases.
- Never, ever shop on an empty stomach!
4. Cancel unused subscriptions
Signed up to a fancy TV package but spending your down time binging on Netflix? Joined the golf club but forget what the green looks like? Make a list of every subscription and membership fee that is being direct debited out of your account every month and ask yourself do you honestly really need it. If the answer is no, cancel it.
5. Be smart with your energy habits
The little LED standby light that glows when you switch off most appliances is eating up to 25% of the appliance's energy. Save up to €46.56 annually by switching your appliances off at the socket.
You can also save €18 per year, if you reduce your tumble dryer usage by even 2 loads a month. Even switching your immersion from bath to sink can save up to €37 per year.
Everything is smart nowadays from phones to TVs so why not use Nest, the smart thermostat that learns your preferences and can be controlled with your smartphone.
Make some of these simple resolutions and from now on, 2016 will look just that little bit better.