The UK is now on the path to post-COVID freedom but there’s still quite a way to travel until the journey’s end. In other words, most people can still expect to spend quite a bit of time indoors. If that sounds like you, here are seven tips to save money and help you put the time to good use by improving your finances.
Clear out your food stocks
Take a lesson from commercial kitchens and create an inventory of your food stocks. This may sound excessive at first. After a while, however, you’ll see how much it pays off. Food waste is bad for your pocket and bad for the planet. Commit to using up what you have (or just throwing it out) and then shopping mindfully.
As a bonus tip, remember that dried, canned and frozen goods have the same nutrients as fresh ones. They may not be as good if eaten raw/uncooked but they’re generally fine for cooking and baking.
Buy a soda maker
Soda makers, also known as fizzy water makers, add bubbles to regular water and, hence, to flavoured water. Making your own fizzy water can be a lot more economical than buying either fizzy water or fizzy drinks. As a bonus, you control the ingredients so you can make them a lot healthier too. You’ll also be helping to reduce plastic waste.
Make sure your contact details are up-to-date
Even in the third decade of the 21st century, companies will still routinely send important information out by snail mail. Missing these letters can be expensive and that’s before you consider the risk of someone intercepting them. Double-check that all your contact details are up-to-date everywhere.
Note when your contracts are due to end
Check all your contracts from utilities to mobile phones and entertainment services. Make a note of when any lock-in period comes to an end. Then schedule in time to research the best new deal. While you’re about it, see if you have any subscriptions running you could cancel now without missing them.
Review your insurance cover
Have a think about whether there are any insurance policies you don’t have but probably should. If you think you can’t afford them then try looking on the internet for alternatives. For example, if you can’t afford full pet insurance, you might still be able to afford a care plan at your local vet’s.
Check your credit records
You should be doing this periodically anyway but if you haven’t been able to find the time then now is good. While you’re about this, check and see if you have any open credit lines you don’t use (e.g. old credit/store cards) and close them properly.
Similarly, if you have credit lines with small balances try to pay them off as quickly as you can and close them properly. Boosting your credit score is always good and can help you in all kinds of ways.
Find your pension(s)
If you’ve had more than one job, the chances are that you’ve had more than one pension. You’re going to need to track them down sooner or later, so it might as well be sooner. If you’ve been in defined contributions schemes, then you might want to consider consolidating them.
You should obviously do your own research before making any final decisions. As a rule of thumb, however, the fewer pension pots you have, the easier it is to manage them. If, therefore, you have a few mini-pension pots from various short-term jobs, it might be sensible to consolidate them.
By contrast, if you’ve only been in a few schemes and are happy with them, then it might be just as well to leave them as they are. Just make sure that you keep your contact details up to date so you can be informed of any changes.
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