Revealed: Budgeting tips that will help you save hundreds while at home
14th Apr 2020
In the current climate, it’s more important than ever to save. In the past month, searches for ‘budgeting tips’ have increased by 39% - suggesting Brits are looking to be more careful with their money.
In response, thinkmoney has compiled the ultimate list of budgeting tips for those who may be struggling to save at this difficult time. Whether you are working from home, looking after children, trying to keep fit or simply attempting to live as normally as possible, you’ll find all the tips you need right here.
How to save £496 when working at home
Boil the kettle only when needed to save 2.5p per cup How many times have you got up to boil the kettle to make a cup of tea, only to forget and have to re-boil? Each time you do that, you are spending an extra 2.5p . Say you do that three times a day, that’s £27 across the whole year – making that the most expensive cuppa in Britain.
Turn your heating down by 1 degree to save £80 each year
It’s easy to just put the heating on as and when you are cold – particularly if you are working from home and away from a radiator. However, setting your heating on a timer and turning the dial to 1 degree below your usual temperature can save you a huge £80 per year. If you do get chilly, though, there are other things you can do to save money. Only turn radiators on in the rooms you require and move any furniture that may be blocking your radiators to ensure that heat can circulate the room properly. For anyone with a bit more spare time, you could even make your own draft excluders using old clothes and bed sheets for the bottom of doors.
Turn just one unnecessary plug off each day to save £99 each year
If you leave a plug on that is not needed, you are wasting £0.27 . So, if you have one for your TV, phone and other electrical items, that quickly adds up. Just one unnecessary plug left on is £99 more on your bill each year. If you were to leave five plugs left on each day, that jumps up to £491. So, when you finish your work, why not double-check what needs to be left on. Plus, it will make you feel better and allow you to disconnect and relax each night!
Enjoy natural light and save £170 each year
Leaving a light on in your house costs an average £170 per year! So, make sure you switch off any unnecessary lights or lamps. Luckily, we are heading towards the brighter months which means more natural light, which spells good news for our budget. However, there are times where we do need to turn the light on, so why not change your regular bulb to LED? By doing so, you could save a massive £152 off your annual bills, which you could save up for a rainy day.
Stop leaving items on standby to save £30 per year
We’re all guilty of it, but did you know that it can cost you £30 per year due to leaving things on standby? Almost all electronic appliances can be switched off when not in use. We do recommend double-checking as some electronics (e.g. the fridge and freezer) will need to be left on. But just a cursory glance each night could see you saving an additional £30.
Look at switching internet tariffs to reduce your yearly bill by up to £69
It is definitely a great time to get saving and review your household bills. If you feel you are spending too much on your broadband, there are things you can do. Why not look at switching internet providers? By looking for the cheapest deal out there, you could save up to £69 each year. That’s well worth the time spent reviewing your contracts.
Switch off your laptop to save £7 per year
If you are using your laptop each day at home, the temptation to leave it on standby is common. But, if you were to do that for 10 hours each night, you are wasting £0.02 p or the equivalent of £7 per year. While that doesn’t sound like a lot, do that over your working lifetime and you are looking at a cost of £365 - which can actually be the cost of a brand-new laptop! So, if you can switch off your laptop, we recommend you do.
Leave your hair to dry naturally and annually save £13
With more of us at home, there are things you can now do which might not have been possible when getting ready for work – such as, letting your hair dry naturally. A low-power hairdryer uses 73kWh – or £0.035 - for just 10 minutes’ worth of use. If you were to use it every day, that rounds up to £13 per year. Over your working lifetime , that equates to a staggering £150 on just drying your hair.
Parenting hacks to save money
With UK schools closed indefinitely, parents will likely be looking for ways to save money, while keeping the children entertained. Below, are some tips to ensure your money stretches.
Switch off your children’s consoles to save £11 each year
It’s easy for children to play on their consoles and forget to turn them off. But, leaving a games console on standby can cost £0.03p a day – the equivalent of £11.
You could even use this as a learning experience and reward them with the annual savings if they remember to switch off their consoles once they are finished.
Cut laundry loads by one and save up to £14 per year
With the kids at home and, quite possibly, playing out in the garden, you are likely to be washing more clothes. But did you know washing at 30 degrees uses 40% less electricity than washing at 40 degrees? And if you add a cup of white vinegar to the drawer, it acts as a natural antibacterial that allows you to still wash at that temperature. Plus, if you were to do washing over six days as opposed to every day, you could save £14 – down from £97.
Dry clothes outside to save £142 each year
The sun is beginning to shine, so take advantage of getting outside in the fresh air to hang clothes outside. If you use your dryer for five hours every other week, that will cost you an average of £142 each year. But, by drying outdoors, you can save money and enjoy the breeze!
Take advantage of free audiobooks and learning
Audible is providing free audiobooks across six languages on a select number of stories for children. The service will be available for as long as schools are closed, which allows you to keep your children entertained and continue with their education. Additionally, the sites listed below will help keep the ‘home school’ running while you look after the home and your own work.
- Brainpop – offers animated movies for Maths, Science and English.
- Tynker – provides coding lessons for children.
- Creative Bug – offers craft lessons to keep your children engaged.
- Joe Wicks – currently provided free PE lessons for school kids.
Start a tuck shop
A great way to demonstrate the value of money and to also encourage your children with home learning is the introduction of a tuck shop. Set a limit for what can be spent each day (£1 is a good amount to start at) and price up different snacks (try both healthy snacks and treats) and encourage your children to use their hard-earned money at the end of the school day on their treat.
How to take care of your mental health without spending money
In this difficult and unsettling time, it’s easy to prioritise your working and home life above your mental health. With 1 in 4 Brits estimated to experience a mental health problem, you need to make sure you take time out for yourself – now more than ever.
Free access to Headspace for NHS staff
Headspace, a meditation and mindfulness app, has partnered with the NHS to provide free resources to staff who may be feeling overwhelmed in the current situation. Those who subscribe will get access to more than 1,200 hours of meditation and mindfulness content, which you can also use on your phone and on the move to work.
Meditate with Calm
Calm is offering handpicked content, designed to help you navigate anxiety that you may be suffering from due to the current situation.
The app offers soothing meditation recommendations, sleep stories, calm masterclasses and even tips on how to help your children deal with the pandemic.
Free subscription for those who have lost their jobs with Simple Habit
Simple Habit was designed to encourage people to take five minutes of each day to prioritise their mental health, offering online resources to aid with meditation.
This app is free to download or you can pay for an annual subscription of £38.99. However, they are also offering a free subscription for those who are unable to pay due to losing their jobs because of COVID-19. All you have to do is email and explain your circumstances.
Free mindfulness resources with Smiling Mind for children
Smiling Mind offers free resources for mindfulness, originally designed for children and young adults. However, it’s available for everyone and they are providing tips on self-care during this difficult time - perfect for your little kiddies too.
Access to live workouts and classes with Peloton’s 90-day trial
Exercise can do wonders for the mind. If you are able, Peloton is offering new users a 90 day-trial of its subscription as gyms shut down due to the pandemic.
You don’t need any of the equipment and can use the app to join live workouts, including cycling, running, strength, cardio, yoga and meditation.
How to stream TV for free while at home
Our TV is fast becoming our best friends. Luckily, there are plenty of opportunities for you to save money over the coming months.
Save £30 per month by pausing your Sky Sports subscription
With most major sporting events cancelled, Sky Sports is offering customers the chance to pause their subscription. That means you could save up to £30 per month in this current climate, which is the price of a full Sky Sports package. BT customers, on the other hand, are encouraged to get in touch and speak to them about their sports packages.
Watch highlights and classic games with the NFL Free Game Pass
The NFL is offering fans the chance to relive some of the greatest moments in the sport – all completely free of charge. The subscription – usually priced at £39.99 – allows sports fans to stream highlights and download content, as well as watch the draft live and NFL original programme. You’ll have to be quick though, as this is available only until July 31st.
Get access to blockbuster films and TV shows with Amazon Prime’s 30-day trial
At this moment in time, there aren’t many things sweeter than a 30-day free trial. Luckily, that’s what customers can get if they sign up to Amazon Prime. Your Prime free trial starts from the day you sign up and provides you with unlimited access to some brilliant original content, including TV shows and Hollywood films.
Trial Disney+ for 7 days and watch the latest films and TV shows
For a week of peace, and the opportunity to trial the latest entrant to the TV streaming game, you can trial Disney+ for seven days, completely free.
The ‘home of Disney’ boasts Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and educational National Geographic films, plus new releases and classic favourites. Should you choose to keep the subscription once the trial has ended, you will be charged £5.99 each month.
Jonathon Sabinsky, Head of Communications, from thinkmoney said: “In this current climate, it can be hard to budget and save money. However, with just a few changes in your home – such as switching things off – and ensuring you are as energy efficient as possible, you can see savings over the year.”
For more money-saving tips, check out the thinkmoney blog.
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