money saving tips for 2021

Money Saving Tips: 21 Ways to Save in 2021

The events of 2020 have given many of us a different perspective on day-to-day life. Even though this year has undoubtedly been fraught with uncertainty and challenges, it can’t be denied that there are some silver linings to be found. Where some have reignited an interest in a long-neglected hobby during lockdown, others have connected with nature. Some of us have realised that we make a Bake Off-worthy banana bread or that yoga really is worth all the hype. And many of us have gained a renewed sense of gratitude for the little things we take for granted.

The new circumstances we find ourselves in haven’t just forced us to change our routines, but also to alter our spending habits. According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, UK spending has fallen to 90% of the level expected in normal circumstances. There is also some evidence of ‘forced saving’ whereby consumers have been unable to spend in the usual ways and as result, some have actually saved money during the pandemic.

Brits are feeling the ongoing impact of COVID-19 throughout all areas of their lives, including in their pockets. With many businesses closed for prolonged periods of time, furlough, redundancies and changing restrictions, the pandemic has resulted in many of us having to re-evaluate our finances. With a growing number of people thinking more carefully about how we spend our money, it may also be a good time to start thinking about how we can save it, too.

Is saving on your resolutions list for next year? Great! You’ll be taking one big step towards making your goals for the future a reality or towards building a nest egg for a rainy day. Even if you haven’t given saving much thought, having a bit of extra cash to hand is always going to be a welcome surprise. So, take a look at our money saving tips which will help you make your money go further over the next 12 months. Here are 21 ways you could save money in 2021

  1. Fakeaway

Do you know how much you spend on takeaways every year? According to KPMG the average Brit spends £451 on takeaways every year, with Londoners spending upward of £700 annually. Cutting your spend on take out food could leave you quids in. Why not try making more pocket-friendly versions of your favourite takeaway meals at home? There are plenty of ‘fakeaway’ recipes online to try from all over the world. Japanese ramen noodles, Nepalese dumplings, Roman-style pizza… take your pick!

2. Coffee / Tea Flask and water bottle

The convenience of coffee shops and bottled water can’t be denied. But those £3 lattes and £1 bottles of water add up over the months. A quick way to save money would be to invest in an insulated coffee/tea flask and a reusable water bottle so you can take your own refreshments on the go. It’s better for the environment, too.

3. Meal Prepping

Meal prepping delicious and convenient meals might help to curb the temptation to order in and also limit those lunchtime sandwich trips to the local café or supermarket. It could also make your grocery shop go further by reducing waste. Batch cooking large meals and freezing individual portions is another handy way to get the most out of your weekly shop.

4. Challenge yourself

We see so many challenges online and on TV, from dance or sporting challenges to pranks. Why not get involved in a challenge that could help you save money? The bingo challenge, the round up challenge and the 1p saving challenge are just some of the options you could try if you want to commit to saving throughout 2021.

5. Transport

Our usual methods of travel may not always be the cheapest, especially for commuters. Do the maths on alternative transport options to see if public transport, cycling or even walking/running could save you money throughout the year.

(Note: If using public transport, remember to stay safe. Only make essential journeys and don’t forget your face covering!)

6. Shop around

Before making a big or small purchase, take some time to see if you could get a better deal elsewhere. You may be surprised to find big price differences between retailers.

7. Cashback sites

Getting money back when you shop? It’s a no-brainer! Sites like Topcashback and Quidco are free to join and give you cashback on a wide variety of purchases.

8. Kick those habits

Quitting or cutting down on bad health habits such as smoking or drinking alcohol is a great way to reduce your spending but also give your mind and body a boost! The average cost of a pack of cigarettes in the UK is nearly £10 – that could be money towards a new home or holiday of a lifetime.

9. Work it out

Gym memberships, exercise classes and personal trainer sessions tend to burn through your pocket quicker than they burn calories! If you really want to limit your spending, try home workouts instead – that’s certainly something we’ve all become accustomed to over the past year.

10. Free days out

Getting out and about at the weekend can be costly, especially with little ones to keep entertained. Try opting for more free days out instead. Have an adventure exploring outdoors, take a nature reserve walk or enjoy a home-made picnic in the park. If rain stops play, both big and little kids can enjoy a ‘cinema day’ at home.

(Note: Whilst COVID-19 restrictions are in place, it may be worth visiting the website of anywhere you plan on visiting to ensure all COVID-19 guidelines are met. Be responsible and safe.

11. Coupons / vouchers / loyalty cards

Don’t throw away those cereal boxes or receipts too quickly! Keep an eye out for discount codes and vouchers and make the most of them. For example, some cereal boxes offer 2-for-1 entry to attractions and your McDonald’s receipts hold the key to a cheap meal on your next visit.

(Note: COVID-19 restrictions may limit your ability to visit these places. Again, check online ahead of any planned visits and always adhere to safety guidelines.)

12. Make do and mend

They say “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Well, the opposite also applies: “if it is broke, DO fix it.” With shopping at our fingertips, it’s all too easy to replace something that is no longer working. Look into getting electrical items repaired before you replace, it could save you money. The same goes for clothes and shoes. You can even teach yourself to repair certain items via books or online tutorials, saving you even more

13. Renegotiate bills

Don’t be afraid to ask for a better deal. Where you can, try and renegotiate your costs such as phone bills and household expenses. Haggling is something many of us are hesitant to do, but it can pay off.

14. Get rid of non-essentials

When was the last time you had a good look at your monthly outgoings? There’s that subscription that you never use, that Direct Debit you forgot you had and the gym membership card that’s lurking somewhere in your house… Take a look and see if there are non-essential expenses that are using funds that could be better placed elsewhere.

15. Swap

Thanks to Marie Kondo, de-cluttering is very much on-trend at the moment. Despite the old mantra about trash and treasure, many of us overlook the option of swapping items with our family and friends. Books, clothes and accessories can all easily be swapped or traded, saving both you and your loved ones some money, whilst reducing the amount of waste going to landfill

16. Apps and discount clubs

There are discount sites, apps and clubs for every interest. Discount clubs such as Wowcher and Groupon give members access to discounted items, holidays, days out and meals. Tastecard could save you money when dining out, while Treatwell could cut down your monthly pampering bill.

17. Connect with savvy savers

Online forums and social media groups are a great place to find money saving tips or get a heads up on the latest discounts and deals. Plus, don’t forget about local selling groups where you could grab yourself a bargain.

18. Switch up your shopping habits

Do you shop at the same supermarket every week? Are you in an online shopping rut? Changing the ways in which you shop for food, clothes and other essentials could save you money. Try different supermarkets and experiment with own brand items. If you have a lot of mouths to feed, could bulk buying help you cut your speding? For everything else, don’t forget about local shops, charity shops, car boot sales and second-hand items.

19. Review your debts

Managing debts can be costly, with charges often adding to the amount you owe. If you have any debts, is there anything you can do to help make them more manageable? For instance, could you transfer a credit card balance to a provider offering 0% interest? Or, if you’re paying off an overdraft, some banks may be able to offer you a better deal on fees.

20. Review your tax bill

Remember to keep an eye on your tax bill. Double check that your tax code is correct and be clear on any tax relief you are entitled to.

21. Keep an eye on energy usage

Energy can be one of the most significant outgoings for busy homes. Making sure you’re getting the best deal from your provider (or switching providers), trying a smart meter or making improvements to improve the efficiency of your home could all cut down your bills in the long-term. And, if you’re not using it, switch it off!

What next?

Once you’ve become a cost-cutting whizz, what will you do with the money you’ve saved? If this year has taught us anything, it’s that life is full of surprises. We never know what the future holds, so it’s always best to be prepared.

Putting some money aside for the future is always a good idea. Even if you don’t have big goals or plans for the future, having a financial safety net for those unexpected rainy days will give you and your loved once peace of mind. Saving regularly over the long-term is a great way to make the most of your money and plan for whatever the future holds.

At Shepherds Friendly, we have a range of savings plans, all created with the aim of protecting and growing your money. And we’ve not forgotten the little ones; we also have our Junior ISA which is a children’s savings account, so you can start building them a brighter future.