10 Weird things you can do to save money
Here at Plum our mission is helping people be better off any way they can. A big part of that is building up your savings. Saving money is super important, but also super hard. Many of us are already squeezing every last drop out of our incomes and can’t see how we could possibly manage to set any savings aside. But, where there’s a will, there’s a way, and sometimes you just need to think outside the box.
So we’ve collected some weird and wonderful ways to save for you — these ideas might not work for everyone but could save you thousands over a year.
1. Go au natural
Did you know that Brits spend an average £93.37 a month on hair, beauty and grooming products? If you quit makeup (if Alicia Keys can do it…), stopped shampooing and styling your hair and went right back to basics, you’d be over £1000 a year better off. What's more your skin and hair might be better off for it.
2. Make your own toiletries and cleaning products
So maybe completely au natural isn’t quite for you, but you can still save money on toiletries by making your own. Did you know that vinegar and bicarbonate of soda make a killer oven cleaner? Or that used coffee grounds make an awesome exfoliator? You can make your own soap, shampoo, toothpaste, washing up liquid… you name it, you can probably make it for way cheaper than you can buy it, not factoring in what you decide your own time is worth, of course. Added bonus, you won't be using any chemical nasties and being doing you bit for the environment. Triple win!
3. Don’t buy clothes
Hold on, we don’t mean adopt that naturist lifestyle, tempting though it may be. The average person only wears 20% of the stuff in their wardrobe, and the more you have in there, the more you forget what you have. I can't be the only one who has bought something near identitcal to what I already have...
Make sure you wear what you have already, if it's not yourfavourite black top, you will always pick the other one and if you never wear it, sell it. When stuff actually does wear out, get it mended. It costs a fraction of replacing the item, and you don’t have to go through the drama of finding another pair of jeans you love as much as that pair. If you must replace something, try charity shops. People give away all sorts of goodies that would cost a bomb if you bought them new.
4. Pick a bath buddy
Did you know that the average annual cost of two people having a daily bath is over £400? That’s money down the drain! Sharing bath water will cut your annual costs in half just like that. If you’re worried about being the one who always gets the sort of cold wash, then just share the tub at the same time. Light a few candles and you've got yourself date night and a saving!
5. Turn your grocery shop into a race
Everyone loves a little competition, right? What if you turned your food shopping into a race against time, and yourself? Make a list before you go, and see how quickly you can make it round the aisles, challenging yourself to beat your personal best each time. With competition as your motivation you won’t be tempted to diverge from the list and pause over any impulse offers you want but don’t strictly need.
6. Or, only shop from the reduced section
It’s a well known fact that after a certain time of day, supermarkets will mark up items soon to date expire as reduced and move them to a special section. By lurking suspiciously in the aisles of your local supermarket in the evenings and late at night, you’ll quickly pick up what time the reduced stickers come out and get first refusal on everything going. Lots of stuff freezes well too so it’s not even like you have to eat everything you buy in one sitting before it goes off, not that we are going to stop you.
7. Limit your loo roll consumption
Everyone overuses loo roll and it’s so unnecessary. Limit anyone who uses your supplies to a set number of sheets per visit to make each roll last longer. Better yet, give it up completely! Use newspaper, junk mail, pictures of your mother in law. You could even buy a ton of cheap facecloths from a pound shop, wipe away, and wash them on a very hot cycle with bleach to keep them fresh and reusable. People will probably even think you’re fancy. If all else fails, just take it from the office, everyones doing it.
8. Coupon literally everything
We have all seen the programmes where people save hundreds on their shops, and how hard can it be to clip a few coupons? You could organise them all into folders, plan your shops, stockpile mayonaise the possibilities are endless.
9. Befriend your neighbours
To some of us it’s common courtesy to exchange small talk when you see the guy next door. To some of us, it’s the worst social nightmare imaginable. But, your neighbours can be a great source of stuff to borrow that saves you money when you need it. Giving your lawn its annual mow? Borrow a mower from Terry down the street. Throwing a party? Borrow a sound system from that weird lady upstairs who thinks 4am on a Tuesday is an appropriate time to blast Justin Bieber. If you can hear it three floors away, you know they’re quality speakers, and it’ll save you hundreds!
10. Find an easier way
This all sounds well and good, but what if there was an easier way to save money that didn’t involve becoming all that effort? Well, it's your lucky day. With Plum you can save automatically. No need to budget. No need to change your habits. Harnessing the power of technological wizardry, it’ll monitor your income, bills and spending, work out what you can safely put away and move it into a savings account for you.
“But what if I need money for a night out, or… something more responsible and grown up?!” we hear you cry. That’s fine! Plum will automagically adjust to your spending patterns, and you’ll have immediate access to the funds in your savings account. So, you can have that splurge when you fancy it safe in the knowledge that you won’t have to get up to any funny business.
Start saving hassel free here.