Working for yourself is a tricky business, especially when you do the sort of job like blogging that is uncertain in terms of work load and income! I’m lucky in that I have another steady freelance income but I really do need the two to make any sort of living! We want to try and buy a bigger home when our fixed term expires, and hopefully I’ll have enough years of income at a good rate under my belt to do enable us to apply!
After receiving a whopper of a gas bill for the last quarter we really need to tighten our belts and make sure we’re in a good financial situation, and hopefully save a bit of money too:
Check Bank Statements
Check our accounts for standing orders and direct debits that are no longer needed. You’d be surprised at how often there are things on there that you’ve forgotten about! I also once found a direct debit for £2 a month to a book subscription service that I don’t remember signing up to, and it had been running for almost a year! £24 a year isn’t much but it does all add up!
Find out what our credit ratings are and then make an action plan to make them better. It’s always seemed a little backwards to me to pay to find out how good your credit rating is, but now Clearscore exists, and lets you check your credit rating completely free of charge, for ever! It’s worth bearing in mind any sort of joint credit is still linked for 6 years, even if you not longer have an account open, and if something doesn’t look right you can get it sorted sooner rather than later.
Use Reward cards & cashback sites
Make the most of our reward cards. I hardly ever check the balance on my reward cards, but happened to look at my Co-operative reciept today and it has £16 of points on and I only started using it in November, and we don’t even do our main shop there! I’ve also signed up with Quidco to get cashback on lots of popular online retail sites.
Plan our meals weekly. Something I dabble with and want to get a lot better with this year. I work out how many of us will be home for dinner each night of the week (Sam works some evenings) and then scour the cupboards for what we already have. I have an a4 sheet taped inside each food cupboard with a list of contents, marking them off as I use them so I can see at a glance what I have and what I need to buy. Often I will make a double sized portion so that we can keep or freeze some, which works well for meals for me when Sam is at work. So this also saves money on electricity/gas cooking costs as I just reheat in the microwave! We do our big food shop at Tesco, who have a good online meal planner.
Never Auto-renew Insurance Policies
If any of your insurance policies are up for renewal never just let them automatically renew! We saved just over £100 this way on our car insurance last year and hope to save on both car and home insurance this year. Also don’t forget to transfer any credit card balances to a new interest free credit card when you can!
If you’ve got any more ideas to save, please fling them my way! Because the house I really want is double what our current one is valued at!
This is a collaborative post, all words and opinions are my own.