New Year 2009 began with finanical difficulties around the World. This New Year the situation has only slightly improved and all too many people seem anxious about their jobs, future and financial situation.
I know that we have seen many economic downturns in the past but maybe it is just for that very reason why the current global economic situation is so frightening. Most of us have read about, or experienced, job cuts, economic recession, loss of homes, the collapse of the banking system, redundancy and more.
With this in mind many people will be starting New Year 2010 off by trying to economise, put a little money aside and find employment.
So what are the best ways to save some cash.
Things You Will Need
To understand your financial situation
A common sense approach.
A Plan of Action
It is essential that you know your budget and spend accordingly. You must work out your basic budget. Many of us only have a rough idea of our outgoings and this can lead to problems.
Set a budget that takes account of all the essentials, such as taxes and energy bills, and also include any extras such as, clothing, toiletries, travel costs and dental bills. Although these may only be occasional expenses they can be very necessary.
Start to be money aware. Make sure that you know exactly what your grocery shopping costs you each week, or month, and that you are getting the best deals around. Often we stick to the tried and tested shops, without realising that their prices have increased and they no longer offer good value. You may even find that you need to use a few different shops, for different goods, in order to bag the best bargains.
Many own brand supermarket goods are just the same product as well known brands. They are usually as good, if not better, as brands that are much pricier. Often the only negative difference is the labelling.
Do not be a sucker for well known brands and designer labels, but be a smart shopper and try other brands. Just buy one item until you know that you and your family like the product, or else you could end up with a cupboard full of unwanted items.
Step 4Not too much.
Do not try to keep a full store cupboard, unless you know that you will use everything within its recommended use by date. If goods end up out of date and inedible it is just as waste of money.
Only buy special offers such as BOGOFF, buy one get one free, if you know they have a long expiry date and will not waste, and that it is a product that you would buy anyway.
Make do and mend.
Start to think as your parents or perhaps grandparents had to. Check out secondhand shops for nearly new goods or materials that you can utilise. Do not be quite so ready to throw something away, instead see if it can be repaired or restored.
If you have lots items, such as of books that will not be read again, sell them on. There are many sites on-line where you sell such items or try to sell them locally.
Leave the car at home
How about leaving the car at home occasionally and walking more often? This will benefit your health and weight as well as your bank balance.
Perhpas you could find a suitable colleague to share the journey into work with.
Compare and swap?
Are you paying over the odds for products amd services, such as health and life insurance, homeowner's insurance, energy bills, broadband services and credit card providers.
Check out the best deals online and swap if and when it is appropriate to do so. It is possible to not only save money, when you swap, but receive a special offer deal to entice you to do so.
Make sure that you also use comparison sites in order to get the best offer for purchases such as televisions and washing machines.
Step 10Use Cash back sites online.
If you shop on-line remember to use a reputable cash back site. Many of these will give you cash back which is up to 10% of the value of your goods. This can be left to accumulate and then put into a bank account, or used towards something such as Christmas.
Look at ways that you can economise and save money such as:-
Stopping smoking or at least cutting down.
Only buy sweets, chocolates, cakes and biscuits occasionally.
Turn the central heating thermostat down a notch or two.
Turn of unecessary lights, such as in unoccupied rooms.
Install energy saving light bulbs around your home.
Use the economy programme on your dishwashwer and automatic washing machine and set the temperature a little lower.
Dry washing outdoors whenever possible and avoid using your tumbledrier.
Take a shower instead of a bath.
If you have any savings, or are starting to save, shop around for the most competitive bank rates available. After all you work hard for your money, and you also work hard at ways to save some cash, so it makes sense for your money to work hard for you.
If you are lucky enough to have a large amount of cash to invest, spread it around a few different banks so that, if the worse should happen, and a bank collapses, you will not lose everything. In England I think it is up to 35,000 in each bank that is safeguarded.
Once you start thinking about saving money you will be surprised at just how much you can save. The first step though has to be getting to grips with your finances.
Make sure that the whole household is on board, as it is no good you scrimping and saving, only for someone else to blow a huge amount of cash on a nonsense item.
The bonus with an economy plan, such as the one shown here, is that you can personalise it to suit your household and you will probably help the environment also.
Have a great 2010.
Tips & Warnings
Never compromise your health and safety to save money.
Remember life is for living and do not become obsessed with finances