In these times of austerity, many Britons are making harsh cut-backs to avoid falling into debt and to make ends meet from day to day. A recent report by Moneysupermarket.com revealed householders are doing everything from skipping meals to turning their heating off in order to save money.
In their survey, titled ‘The Real Budget Report’, Moneysupermarket.com found that 45 per cent of respondents said they did not take a holiday in 2012 because they felt they couldn’t afford it. Whilst there is no denying that making savings to get by on a day-to-day basis is a good thing, it is important to maintain a certain quality of life, too. For many of us, a little bit of clear thinking and clever saving could free up enough cash to get us at least a weekend break away.
7 easy ways to save for your holiday
1. Cut water costs using the “assessed charge”: This is one for people who live alone, and can save them around £100 per year on their water bill. Simply contact your water provider for an assessment and see how much you could save.
2. MOT your car at the council testing station: The council-run MOT centre will charge you full price for your MOT, but because they don’t do repairs on site, you won’t be pulled up for unnecessary repairs as can sometimes happen at commercial garages.
3. Sell unwanted items for cash: If you’ve ever thought “I want to sell my clothes”, shoes and unloved electrical items but don’t know how”, then there really is no excuse to put it off. Numerous online opportunities are available, from social networks to auction sites. If you really don’t like online selling, watch out for a table top or car boot sale in your local area.
4. Check your tax code: Many people have discovered they are on the wrong tax code, and some have managed to save thousands by double checking which code they should be on. There are online checkers to help you decide if everything is in order, and if you have been on the wrong code for a while you could see a rebate of thousands!
5. Buy generic medicine: With all the coughs and colds around, many of us are reaching for Beechams, Nurofen or our other favourite brand of medicinal relief. However, there is no significant difference between these branded medicines, often priced at £2 a pack or more, and the shops own brand tablets which can cost as little as 20p.
6. Shop around for providers: Every company that provides a service to your home is in a highly competitive market. That means that other competing companies will be keen to whisk you away onto their own services, so when your contracts for broadband, line rental, TV services, utilities and insurance are up for renewal, shop around every time to see if you can do better.
7. Use cashback sites: There are a number of cashback websites operating in the UK now, and with 80 per cent of UK householders buying some goods or services online, we can all stand to make some money back. Simply use their referral links before making a purchase from your favourite online retailer and you could snag between 1 and 20 per cent of the sale value back.