20 January 2014

We wrote a blog post called 10 tiny little ways you can save money without even noticing. Go and read it if you haven't already. We'll wait here.

*twiddles thumbs*

Back? Excellent.

We write a lot about saving money for a career break, because we know that a. You're gonna need some and b. You probably don't have loads.

But we also know that you don't have the time nor the inclination to change your life massively in order to save money. So relax, there's nothing dramatic like giving up drinking here - just 10 more tiny little ways you can save money. Without even noticing.

  1. Reset your thermostat. Make the heating come on half an hour later in the morning and afternoon, and go off half an hour earlier in the late morning and at night. You've cut your heating bill by 2 hours a day, which is 14 hours a week or 366 over six months. We don't know how much money that equates to because we don't know what kind of boiler you have, who your supplier is or how often you take a bath with a friend, but it could be a few hundred quid.
  2. Freeze your leftovers. You've got a tupperware box in the back of the cupboard. Chuck your leftovers in there, stick it in the freezer, and you've got another dinner for next time you come home late / drunk / tired. Also, by freezing your leftovers instead of eating them, you will be less fat.
  3. Turn the shower setting down a tiny bit. Then a week later, turn it down a tiny bit more. Not only will it save money by not heating the water as much, you'll have a quicker shower if it's not super hot. Added bonus - it's better for your skin and your immune system so you will look and feel wonderful.
  4. Get off your arse and look through the fridge before you go to the shops. That way you won't end up buying stuff you already have, like too many onions that will go off before you've eaten them all, or another incredibly expensive cheese that has a shelf life of about 5 minutes.
  5. Leave the aggressive driving to the boy racers. Accelerating gently and braking smoothly is the quickest and easiest way to maximise your fuel economy. And your fellow road users won't think you're a knob.
  6. Pump up your tyres. Again, it maximises fuel economy, and it only takes a couple of minutes and a pound or so at your local petrol station. Look in your car's manual for what the pressure should be. The machine is really easy to use, but if you're scared, ask the most attractive nearby driver (or a member of staff) for help.
  7. Wrap your discount coupons around your credit/debit card. How many times have you left [massive impersonal supermarket of your choice] and realised you had one of those 'Save Xp off your next shop' coupons stuffed in your wallet / handbag / pants? If you wrap it round your card before you put it back in your wallet or purse, you'll remember it for next time.
  8. Try to cancel your phone contract. If you've been with the same company beyond your minimum contract length, phone them and ask to be put through to cancellations. This team have the best deals - not just with new phones but with better plans as well.
  9. Reach to the back when buying perishables. That's where they put the stuff with the longest sell-by date - so it's less likely to go off, even when you get it home to your mouldering fridge. Less wasted food equals less wasted money.
  10. Turn the lights off. Not when you're still in the room, obvs. If you want to leave a light on when you're out so burglars think you're home, leave an internal door open so the light shines from more than one window. If you're out a lot, plug a lamp into a socket timer (looks more convincing when it switches itself off too).


For inspiration as to what to do with all that lovely cash you've saved, have a look at some fab career breaks here.