Save MONEY - Work at HOME
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Easy ways to save money

woman with piggy bank

Where can I get money?

Finding extra money is a two step process - as well as using one or more of the easy ideas for making money on this site, you can also free up extra cash by looking for economies in your spending.

With a little thought and effort, you can make savings which are the equivalent of a good pay rise or part-time income.

Even if your lifestyle appears frugal on the surface, there are usually some ways in which you can reduce your expenditure further. The smallest of daily savings will mount up over weeks, months and years into a worthwhile amount.

When most people start trying to reduce spending, they look for major savings in outgoings and when they can't find any, they lose heart and give up.

Small savings on the other hand are much easier to find and incorporate painlessly into your daily life. Here's a before and after spending diary page for a typical workday for Sally, a hypothetical commuter. The example doesn't include the cost of her rail fare, but again savings can be made by purchasing a season ticket and travelling off-peak where possible (see below).

The changes to her day don't have much of an adverse impact on her quality of life, but they do have a big positive effect on her spending!

Daily Spending Chart

Before
After
Time
Description
Cost
Time
Description
Cost
07.30
Catch bus to station
1.50
07.20
Ride bike to station
Free
07.45
Paper and coffee at station
3.00
07.45
Bring coffee from home (flask) and pick up a free Metro
0.05
08.45
Coffee from vending machine at work
0.30
08.45
Coffee from flask at work
0.05
10.30
Coffee from vending machine at work
0.30
10.30
Coffee from flask at work
0.05
11.30
Take away coffee and Danish pastry
3.00
10.30
Coffee from flask at work and supermarket pastry
0.70
13.00
Take away sandwich and soft drink
3.00
13.00
Home made sandwich and supermarket soft drink
1.00
15.00
Coffee from vending machine at work
0.30
15.00
Coffee from flask at work
0.05
16.30
Coffee from vending machine at work
0.30
16.30
Coffee from flask at work
0.05
18.30
Catch bus from station to home
1.50
18.30
Ride bike from station to home
Free
Total
13.20
 
Total
1.95

Small changes equal big savings

Although the chart might not be what you'd spend every workday, it does show how much you can spend on incidentals without even noticing it. It might take a bit of effort to make sandwiches and remember to do that extra shop at the supermarket for snacks and multipack soft drinks, but it does pay dividends. Obviously, in this example if you didn't have a bike, you'd need to factor in the purchase cost but on the plus side, think how much fitter you'd be!

woman with train ticketEven making simple changes like this would save over £50 a week multiplied by - say 44 weeks that you're in work equals a yearly saving of £2,200. At basic rate tax that grosses up to equal a pay rise of almost £2,800. More than enough to cover the cost of a new bike.

Sally (pic left) could also look further at how she could save on transport costs. For example, at the moment she commutes into town using a yearly season ticket which is the most economical way of travelling by train at peak hours. However, if she talked to her boss about working flexible hours so she could perhaps travel outside peak times, take advantage of cheaper tickets and even incorporate a couple of work at home days.

Living a Frugal Lifestyle

Most people incorporate a few money saving ideas and tips into their lifestyle, and are happy with the savings that it gives them. Increasingly though, a significant minority of people are taking up thrifty living as a lifestyle choice. It's often an extension of a 'green' lifestyle - an aversion to waste of any kind - and can offer a great deal of satisfaction as well as saving loads of money. It's also kinder to the environment , re-using and re-cycling items saves money, natural resources and carbon dioxide emissions.

Some green entrepreneurs make money by salvaging and selling anything from old bikes to furniture and garden equipment. In urban areas, the skip has been a traditional source of salvagable stuff but don't forget to ask first!


Money Saving Tips

Cancel your gym membership.

Clear clutter out of your car boot and remove bike racks, carriers and roof racks when you aren't using them. Carrying extra weight and wind resistance around wastes fuel.

Ensure your car tyres are correctly inflated - underinflated tyres increase rolling resistance and burn more fuel.

Turn off the aircon and open a window instead!

Buy a Pay as you go mobile.

Buy own-brand goods.

Don't buy designer goods.

Book advance airline and train tickets.

Save energy wind power

By reviewing your living expenses, like your mortgage, debts and phone costs and by shopping around you can make the informed choices that can save you cash.

Review your Mortgage

Our homes are one of the most expensive purchases we are likely to make, so it makes sense to get the best possible deal on the repayments. If you are paying the full standard variable rate (SVR) on your mortgage you could save yourself money by changing to a more competitive mortgage. With the succession of interest rises recently, fixed-rate mortgages have become popular - it can be helpful for budgeting.

But remember these mortgages are usually set for a limited period of time. We are becoming used to shopping around for services, and this should include mortgages. There is no need to feel tied to your bank or building society, they are offering a service and you need to find the best for your situation.

You should always check carefully for any financial penalties that may be incurred before changing lender.

Check your Bank Account

It is worth checking that your current bank account is the right one for you. A recent survey revealed that 52% of those with a bank account are missing out on earning up to an extra 3% interest on their bank balance, or are paying more than 12% too much interest than they need to on their overdraft.

You can still change banks even with an overdraft, as your new bank will move the overdraft into your new account. When you transfer some banks offer a low, or even zero interest on your overdraft for a specified period.

Check out the current accounts offered by the various banks and building societies with the online comparison sites. It's a very competitive market, so take advantage of the many offers available and start saving money.

Cut your Fuel Bills

By making the right choices with your energy services and how you use them in your home, can help you save money and help conserve our planet. All the fuel we use, such as electricity generated from coal, oil or gas, releases carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere contributing to global warming. By insulating your house and reducing your heating costs you can have a significant impact on the amount of energy you use and save money into the bargain.

Energy-saving Grants

There are lots of grants available from the local authorities to help with such energy-saving improvements in your home as:
loft-insulation, draughtproofing, cavity wall insulation and hot water tank insulation.
Each authority will have its own criteria regarding the types of help it offers, and about the conditions that need to be met in order to qualify for help. It is always worth enquiring whether you are eligible for financial help with these energy saving improvements.

Gas and Electric Providers

The domestic energy market is a very competitive one, and it's easy to change your supplier to take advantage of a better deal. Before you decide make sure that as well as a competitive price the supplier is offering a good service. You can easily check on one of the many energy comparison sites online to help you make the right decision. On average, you can generally save £150 by switching your supplier, but it is dependent on where you live and how much energy you use. Customers can usually gain discount by opting for a direct debit payment. It's important to monitor that you are not overpaying, so keep a check on your payments and if necessary ask for a reduction.

Double Glazing

Improving the glazing in the home is the most popular way to save energy and Upvc frames require considerably less maintenance than wooden windows. Double glazing can help reduce heat loss and works by trapping a layer of air or inert gas between two sheets of glass, creating an air barrier. Professional double glazing can be very expensive, however, if you're working to a budget and need to save money you can achieve results with the inexpensive do-it-yourself kits which are now available. The insulating properties won't be as good as replacement windows, but you can still reduce drafts and keep your home warmer for just a few pounds and a couple of hours work.

Insulation

Another proven way to save energy and money on heating bills is to insulate your home. Up to a third of your heating is lost through the roof, ceiling and walls. Efficient loft insulation can help you to save 20% on your heating bill. The insulation should be a minimum depth of 150mm (6 inches) - and preferably 200mm (8 inches). Wall insulation can reduce the heat loss in your home by two thirds. If your hot water tank does not have sprayed foam on the outside fitting a thick insulating jacket will reduce your water-heating bills.

Energy-saving Bulbs

Low energy, energy efficient and energy saving light bulbs can save you money and energy. They use about 25% of the electricity of tungsten filament ordinary bulbs and generally last eight times longer than ordinary bulbs. If we all made just this small change to our lighting needs it would have a big impact on the UK's emissions. A recent study found that if every household in the US replaced just three ordinary light bulbs with energy-saving bulbs and used them for five hours a day, it would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 23 million tonnes.

Turn it down

Turning your central heating controller down by just one degree centigrade will save energy and cash, generally 10% on your bills.
Fit a seven day timer, making it possible to adjust your heating requirements for weekdays and weekends. Ensure you fit thermostatic radiator valves to all your radiators to prevent heating rooms you are not using.

Save Money with UK energy saving tips

Get Greener and Save Cash

Start saving energy today, save yourself cash and become more environmentally friendly at the same time. With gas and electricity prices on a seemingly endless round of increases, it's a great time to review your energy deals and take a look at how energy-efficient your home is.

We are all becoming more aware of our planet and the resources we need to conserve. By making the right choices about the energy services we need, and how we use them can save money and at the same time help protect our planet.

Much of the power we use in our homes, is generated from fossil fuels and so causes the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This is one of the main gases that contributes to the problem of global warming. Domestic carbon dioxide emissions account for one quarter of the UK's total. If we all improved the insulatation in our homes and reduced our heating costs it would have a major impact on the amount of energy and CO2 used.

Reduce your Fuel Bills

Gas and Electric Choices

The domestic electric and gas market is a very competitive one, and it is now easy to change your supplier to take advantage of a better deal. Most importantly, you should check that the supplier is offering a good service as well as a competitive price.

To help you make the right choice there are many energy comparison sites online, such as uswitch. If you decide to change your energy provider make sure you take a meter reading on the day you change supplier. Arranging to pay your bills by Direct Debit can also cut your costs, as most energy companies offer special tarriffs, also prompt payment can often bring a discount.

Reduce energy wastage by turning off appliances, such as televisions and computers, instead of leaving them on standby. For example 85% of the energy used by a DVD player is wasted when it is on standby. Washing your clothes at 30 degrees C uses 40% less electricity.

Heating

Turn your heating down if you canTurning your central heating thermostat down just 1°C will save money and energy. You will hardly notice the difference and it can save up to £30 a year.

Also fitting a seven day timer is also recommended. This makes it possible to adjust your heating requirements for weekdays and weekends. Ensure you fit thermostatic radiator valves to all your radiators to prevent heating rooms you are not using.

If your boiler is 15 years old, replacing it with a newer model, like a high efficiency condensing boiler, could save you over 20 percent on your fuel bills.

Check that your hot water cylinder thermostat isn't set any higher than 60ºC/140ºF to prevent energy waste.

Green Light

Energy-saving bulbs save money and also help to conserve energy. They last eight-ten times longer than ordinary bulbs and use about a quarter of the electricity. It has been calculated that if every household in the US replaced just three of its ordinary bulbs with energy-saving light bulbs and used them for five hours a day it would cut down emissions of carbon dioxide by 23 million tonnes.

Insulation

Insulating your home is the way to save energy and money. Around one third of your central heating is lost through the roof, ceiling and walls. Effective loft insulation can save 20% of your energy bill. Lofts should be insulated to a minimum depth of 150mm (6 inches) - preferably 200mm (8 inches).

Wall insulation can reduce the heat loss in your home by two thirds.

Fit a thick British Standard insulating jacket, (at least 3" thick) to your hot water tank, if it does not have sprayed foam on the outside, this will save your water-heating costs by cutting heat loss by around 75%.

Glazing

Nearly a fifth of your home's heat can escape through your windows. Double glazing is the UK's most popular energy-saving measure, and also helps you cut down on noise and maintenance if you replace wooden frames with Upvc. By trapping air between two panes of glass, double glazing creates an insulating barrier that can halve heat loss through windows. Modern energy-saving glass cuts down on heat loss even further, helping you to save even more.

Energy-saving Grants

There are grants available from your local authority to help implement energy-saving in your home, such as loft-insulation, draughtproofing, cavity wall insulation and hot water tank insulation. It is worth enquiring whether you are eligible for financial help with these improvements. Each authority will have its own rules about the types of help it offers, and about the conditions that need to be met in order to qualify for help. Often, you need to be in receipt of a benefit or pension but if you don't ask, you don't get!

These energy saving tips are simple to follow and will benefit your pocket and the environment - both guaranteed to give a domestic eco-warrior a warm glow!

Save Water - Reservoir

Save Water - Tips

Save Water and Save Money

Getting a water meter installed free by your water company will save many householders money by saving water. Water meters measure usage so you only pay for what you use, as opposed to being charged a flat fee according to the size of your house.

Does having a water meter installed save money?

The answer is dependent on your personal situation.
Water meters measure usage so you only pay for what you use, instead of being charged a flat fee according to the size of your house. If you live alone in a large, high rateable house and are economical with using mains water it is very likely to save you money. But if you have a larger family and your dishwasher and washing machine are on repeatedly and you take lots of baths, etc, then it might prove more expensive.

Also, be aware that you will be responsible for any leaks on your side of the meter. If you already have a meter remember to regularly check for any leaks by turning off the water, and then taking a couple of readings a few minutes apart. If the readings are different it's likely you have a water leak

Water Meter

Just having a meter fitted tends to give you more incentive to become water efficient, when you know you are paying for what you use, so this benefits the environment and generally saves you money too.

Be careful to check the cost on the water company's website before switching, as once you've got a water meter it can be difficult to switch back. Some water companies give customers the option to have the water meter disconnected after the first 12 months - check with your water company before installing a meter.

On average metered households tend to use around 10 litres of water less a day than unmetered customers, because they are more conscious of what they use.
The greatest saving is for single people living in large, high rateable value houses, but most of us can save money especially if we follow a few water-saving tips:

  • Have a shower rather than a bath - 35 litres of water compared to 80 litres - beware power showers use more
  • Fit your toilet cistern with a water saving device, a free 'Save-a-flush' if it has a 7 litre flush or greater - this bag of granules can save up to 1 litre of water per flush. If your toilet has a 9 litre flush or greater insert a 'Hippo' to save up to 3 litres per flush. If there's room in the cistern, a housebrick will perform the same job but make sure it doesn't foul any of the valves or fittings.
  • Do you need to flush everytime someone pees? If it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down!
  • Use a water butt to collect rain water for the garden. If your area has a hosepipe ban in the summer, consider using 'grey water' to water your garden. Either connect a hosepipe to your bath outlet pipe or empty your bath by siphoning it via a hosepipe onto the garden or into a water butt.
  • Don't leave the tap running when you brush your teeth - it wastes almost 10 litres a minute - use a glass instead.
  • Keep a jug of water in the fridge rather than running the tap until the water is cold.
  • Fix that dripping tap, not only is it annoying, but it can waste up to 140 litres of water a week.

There may be the option to have the meter disconnected after the first 12 months, if you do find it isn't saving you money - check with your water company before installing a meter.

These water saving tips are simple to follow and will benefit your pocket and the environment - both guaranteed to give a domestic eco-warrior a warm glow!


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