With the New Year drawing near, there is no better opportunity to better ourselves than with a few progressive resolutions. Considering financial analysts are expecting Britain to remain in a state of post-recession and mild austerity in 2013, it’ll be wise to make these changes economic. Whether it’s saving money or making money, here are a range of useful changes we can make to our lives that’ll help free up some much needed extra cash.
According to the Gift Cards & Vouchers Association, £240m a year’s worth of vouchers goes unused by Brits, with 6pc of all gift vouchers going unspent. It may seem rather bizarre that we’d refuse the gift of a chance to reduce the costs of prices for what we pay, but this is exactly the reality.
Make the most out of vouchers, reward points, loyalty cards and the like. From Sainsbury’s Nectar to Tesco Clubcard and Boots Advantage, you should be getting involved and making the most out of them.
A final word on these schemes is that they can be better value when converted to points, rather than being cashed in at the till.
It may take more of a drive to get there, but discount supermarkets such as Lidl or Aldi offer a great and cheap selection of cut-price food and products. By using these German supermarkets you could end up saving bundles each year.
The only thing other supermarkets will have instead are a greater deal of vouchers and loyalty cards. It’ll be up to you to discern which is the more financially beneficial.
Sell Unused Household Items
From the treadmill we once bought but can never to be bothered to use, to the beautiful carpet that can’t seem to really fit in with the rest of your house, selling your unused or unneeded household items is a great way of freeing up a bit of cash.
What’s great about selling nowadays is that it can all be done online with ease. From Ebay to Amazon, things can be sold quickly, safely and conveniently. It took me two days to sell my iPhone on Amazon for example, and whether you’re looking to sell mobile phones or laptops, it can all be done online.
If you have something that you think could be sold, simply go online and search it to see what prices it’s being sold for. It’ll then be up to you to measure its financial worth against its practical worth and calculate whether or not it should be sold.
This may not be the most ideal way of saving money or the most eagerly anticipated New Year’s resolution. However smoking regularly costs stacks of money.
Quitting a 20 pack-a-day habit can save nearly £2000 a year! Furthermore, a recent report published by the British Medical Journal has shown that a 10 pack-a-day (since the age of 20) smoking retiree could have saved a staggering £62,000 in their pension pot had the money spent on cigarettes been invested at just seven per cent interest. In fact, it’ll cost a minimum of £36,000 just to cover the cost of smoking 10-a-day from retirement, until the rest of the retiree’s life.
Those figures should be enough to demonstrate the financial burden of smoking!
- License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pound_Sign.svg?uselang=en-gb
Robert Richards is a British freelance financial writer with finance articles on everything from how to sell mobile phone cases for bundles to how to make money online.