The new year is here, and for many of us, that means it’s the perfect time to start making some positive changes in the way that we live our lives. For some people, the new year is a new chance to start a diet and lose some extra weight. Other people make a resolution to stop smoking or cut down their drinking habits.
One resolution that most Brits can afford to make this year, however, is the decision to cut costs and improve their finances. Even if you’re not struggling to make ends meet, it’s always a good idea to check out some ways that you can keep extra cash aside for the future. That’s why we’ve put together this list of easy ways to improve your finances in 2020.
Keep Your Receipts
Some purchases are easy to keep track of. When you take out a loan for your new car, you can easily see how much you’re spending for it each month. However, one-off expenses are easy to overlook when they’re only very small. If you’re only spending a pound or two on some extra treats for the kids when you’re out grocery shopping, it’s easy to forget all about it.
However, keeping track of all of your expenses will ensure that you’re the first to know when you’re developing a spending problem. Keeping your receipts, or tracking your costs with your online banking system will help you to figure out where you’re overspending.
Try a Loose Change Jar
Just because it’s 2020 doesn’t mean that you can’t use some old fashioned strategies to save more money. After all, sometimes, it’s the traditional methods that work the best. Keeping a loose change jar where you can store your 1p, 2p, 5p, and 10p coins is a great way to build money over time. While it might not seem like it’s making a huge difference to your finances, saving that extra change gives you a small amount of extra cash you can put into your bank at the end of each month.
Eventually, you’ll end up with a few extra pounds that you can put towards your savings account, emergency savings, or even another expense that you don’t want to take out of your bank.
Cut Water and Electric Bills
Another old-fashioned strategy that still works to save you money is to cut your electric and water bills. These are the expenses that a lot of UK families spend a great deal on, for reasons that they can’t quite fathom. However, you don’t have to simply accept terrible bills for your utilities. Instead, you can stop leaving your electric gadgets on standby when they’re not in use, and make sure that you turn your lights off in rooms that aren’t occupied.
You can also reduce your water usage by taking a quick shower instead of having a bath, or using the water that you cooked with previously to quench the thirsts of plans around the home.
Make your Own Coffee
If you commit to doing one thing different in 2020, make sure that you stop drinking takeaway coffee from expensive cafes and chains. Although these coffees can be a fantastic treat from time to time, they’re usually packed full of sugar and other fattening substances. What’s more, a good coffee can cost you £3 or more every time, which means that you end up spending a fortune over the weeks. Instead, learn how to make your own coffee at home, and take it with you in a thermos wherever you go.
Even if you have to spend all your Christmas cash on a coffee machine so you can ditch your bad habit, you’ll save a fortune in the long term by replacing on-the-go coffee with the stuff you can make at home for yourself.
Finally, if you want to make a difference to both your budget and your waistline in 2020, try walking more. Vehicles are extremely expensive to maintain, own and keep topped up with fuel. At the same time, public transport isn’t always as reliable and affordable as we would like. However, there are times that you can save money in the new year just by using your legs and walking to wherever you need to be.
Although you won’t be able to walk several miles every day without plenty of extra time on your hands, you can make sure that you’re not jumping into the car for every five-minute trip.