Money is tight nowadays. While the 100 largest companies of the London Stock Exchange on the FTSE100 keep gaining, the rest of us are straining, struggling and trying to find two pennies to rub together. We’ve got an energy crisis, supply problems due to a perfect storm of international calamaties, and an economy that’s still recovering from a pandemic. No one is happy about the price of everything from bread to petrol going up, and so, we’ll all have to skrimp if we’re middle or working class. But some people are better at spending less money than others, so we’ve gathered all the information we could get from those mystical beings and are passing on their wisdom to you. Read on for all the best tips on saving money.
Learn some skills
What keeps this economy going is the little things. You’ve heard businesses say that they’ve got all these innovative and detailed products and services, but the best selling item is the simplest thing, usually because it fixes a common problem.
Do you want an example? Getting your oil changed. A lot of money is accumulated for the simple semi-annual tasks that need done but aren’t common knowledge. Your driving lessons now come with an identifier for where everything (oil, brake fluid, windscreen wash, etc.) goes for a reason. Because it’s simple enough to change your brake fluid, oil and windscreen wash yourself.
Don’t be intimidated by the fact that you might need a jack. A lot of cars come with one, which means with a handy YouTube video, you can change your oil, brake fluid, tires, etc.
Speaking of YouTube is your goldmine here, as is TikTok. TikTok will show you very quickly how to get something done, but YouTube will go into depth. Start learning skills on everything you would ordinarily get charged for: car repairs, haircuts, a decent meal, etc. You might even find something you have a passion for.
As a bonus, you could even start charging for your services and become the cheaper alternative for friends and family.
Learn to haggle
You might think that haggling has gone out the window with the rise of capitalism and mega corporations, but that simply isn’t the case. For one thing, not everything you buy will be from a corporation. You can use reasonable haggling to get a better price on items you’re buying from other people or smaller businesses.
There are a lot of instances where haggling is a viable option. Buying a car for example is one. Your man needs a commission and can always gain permission from their manager, if they have one. So, if you’re saying you cannot afford the car, so you’ll have to leave it or bring the price down, they’re likely to take you up on it.
But it also goes for things like mortgages and insurance. Do your research before you go to make a deal. Then make the call to the insurance call centre or talk to a mortgage lender and inform them that you have better offers. They can either match or you’ll go with them. It’s worth doing this to improve anything else coming out of your budget, like gas and electric bills.
Look for cheap or free activities
If you have little ones in the house, in particular, you’ll need to embrace the idea of manufactured fun to keep them entertained and save money. You can cut back on the toys, that they never look at anyway, and keep them amused when their action figure suddenly doesn’t seem so action-packed.
Look up rainy day activities and see what will catch their attention. Break out the paints or the board games or play some co-op video games. Mario Kart never goes out of style. Look at what your community is doing for sunnier days. Everyone is putting on events that will help the kids make friends, and if they’re not free they’re for pennies. It’s the cheapest childcare.
And then there are lots of free days out to take advantage of. Visit the local museums, bigger parks, botanic gardens, etc. Get back to nature by going for a walk or hike, wandering down a nice trail or braving the cold waters.The Guardian has a list of places you can go for a free day out here, and aside from petrol and a picnic, your wallet shouldn’t be affected.
However, we’d like to add your own city. They’re all famous for something. If you’re in Edinburgh, you can enjoy the literary heroes of the past just wandering around. If you’re in Manchester, you can enjoy the modern music heroes. In Birmingham you can have a Peaky Blinders tour, etc.
This one is a two for one deal in itself. People who love charity stores are like vegans. How do you tell they’re charity store lovers? They’ll soon tell you. It’s very easy to become a charity store lover. The thrill of finding a bargain is addicting.
Finding clothes is one thing, but what is a lot more rewarding is finding furniture and décor. Fast fashion extends to the home, which means a lot of last season’s items are on charity store shelves, and you don’t have to worry about them being the right size.