It’s not always easy to know how to manage expenses when your loved one only has a small pension. Once retired, income can decrease significantly, and it can be difficult to save money without having an additional income such as part time work. Luckily, many solutions exist to compensate, which is why in this article we have compiled 10 of the best and most effective ways to save money!
1. Write Down your Expenses
Writing down expenses – no matter how big or small – is a good way to find out how much money your loved one has in their pocket every month. The first step is to establish a monthly budget and how much money will be going out.
Writing everything down is essential if you want to avoid unnecessary purchases. Note everything down in detail, because spending £1 here and there can add up to a lot of money at the end of the month. This technique alone could allow savings of 10% or more each month.
Cultural tip: Buy a “kakebo.” In Japan, all the families use this diary daily, in which the “housewife” records all the expenses, the income, the items needed for the house, and the savings that can be achieved.
2. Sign up to Free Customer Reward Schemes
In the last few years, loyalty programs have been popular in retailers as an efficient way to save money while you spend it. No matter where in the country you are, you’ll find plenty of retailers who are willing to reward you for shopping with them. Collect every card possible and be sure to check regularly for any extra coupons that might be available before shopping. Here are some examples of great advantages of loyalty cards:
- Regular gifts and extra discounts (birthdays, holidays etc.).
- Rewards beyond a certain number of purchases or an amount of expense.
- Guaranteed percentage discount on certain products.
3. Write a Shopping List and Stick to it
Suggest to your loved one that they prepare a shopping list before going to the supermarket. The important thing is to stick to the list, people who write a shopping list (and stick to it) spend less money (and time) than those who decide on the spot what they want to buy.
Over a one-year period, the savings achieved could reach hundreds of pounds! Having a shopping list ready before arriving in a supermarket is strategic because it avoids impulsive purchases and allows you to buy only what you need. Remember to open each cupboard and the fridge before preparing your list so your loved one knows exactly what they need.
Supermarkets aim to sell as much as possible, that’s why stay vigilant when shopping and keep your eyes fixed on your list to avoid unnecessary purchases!
4. Read More
Reading is one of the cheapest – and most beneficial – hobbies around. Most towns have a library available to everyone – so why not take your loved one along and check out some books?
Spend some free time in a comfortable place at home, for example by the fire with a blanket and a nice cup of tea. In comparison to the cinema or going out, books are cheap (especially if you buy them in a used book shop).
Good books can be totally captivating, allowing you to experience life through the eyes of exciting characters or learn new things you would never otherwise know.
5. Stop Wasting Food and Money by Planning Meals
Creating a meal plan may seem a little boring, but it can save a lot of money. Make a list of favourite dishes, plan one or two meals a day, and shop according to the planned dishes.
There’re no strict rules so your loved one doesn’t have to eat a specific dish on a specific day. They simply pick a dish every day from the list of available meals that can be made with the pre-planned ingredients available in the kitchen!
This system allows your family member to not overbuy ingredients and reduces the amount of food wastage. It’s also possible to plan meals that are not too expensive to reduce the price of the weekly shop even more.
6. Save at the Shops with Offers and Vouchers
Not everyone has enough time to collect vouchers and then go to the supermarket to use them before they expire. However, it is easy to establish a system for targeting products that you consume on a regular basis.
To maximise buying power, group all vouchers in a folder and check them before going out shopping. Identifying your needs and keeping average prices in mind is the best way to quickly identify a bargain when it comes along!
7. Buy Own-Brand Products as Often as Possible
Is it really that important if your cereal is Kellogg’s or Sainsbury’s own? Try the cheaper options and you might be surprised by how similar they taste to the big brands. In most cases, you will not be disappointed, and you will save money easily.
8. Borrow from the Library
If possible, borrow books instead of buying them. Signing up to a library is usually free or discounted for the elderly and the collections are often well supplied. In some cities, books can be borrowed online, and if a book is not available, it could be transferred from another library. A lot of libraries nowadays also offer a service where DVDs can be borrowed, which is a much cheaper alternative than buying DVDs or taking a trip to the cinema.
If your loved one really enjoys owning books, try to purchase from a pre-owned book shop. Used books may not give you the same pleasure as a brand new one. But, considering that you can buy a used book for almost half the price of a new one, it’s a small sacrifice worth making. Check out Gumtree or eBay if you want to find affordable used books.
9. Rent out Unused Space in your Home
Does your loved one an extra bedroom that’s not being used? Rent it out on a site like Airbnb or Spare Room for students. If your loved one lives near a popular, tourist or student area, doing so could bring in a lot of extra money per month.
The advantages of renting a room or a studio to a student are more profitable than you might think. For many homeowners, a property becomes too big once reaching retirement age. But, if moving isn’t an option, choose to rent a room out.
10. Reduce your Energy Usage
Most people simply pay their monthly electricity bills without a second thought. By taking a few simple steps, energy consumption could be significantly reduced and therefore monthly bills will be cheaper. Even better, by reducing energy consumption, you’ll succeed in reducing pollution created and thus minimise impact on the planet.
Turn off the lights when they’re not needed, there’s no reason to leave lights on in an empty room. If you think your loved one is likely to forget, hang a reminder near light switches and the front door.
Avoid using heating and cooling when it’s not needed. If you’re loved one is feeling warm, open the windows or use a small fan. To stay warm, dress appropriately or use an extra blanket. Ensuring a property has good insulation will also reduce heating usage. If you can invest in improving the home, consider replacing the old inefficient insulation with modern, energy-efficient insulation. This will save money over time by keeping a property at the right temperature for the cold season.
Save Money at Home
Voila, with these few tips saving money will become second nature! If you’re looking for something affordable to help your loved ones stay secure when they’re at home, the Careline Alarm service could be right for you.
Careline offers affordable price packages and to save even more money, why not invest in one of our key safes. A key safe can save money on repair costs if the emergency services need to force entry in the case of an emergency. For more information, you can get in touch with our Customer Service team on 0800 101 3333.