6 in 10 say finances are out of shape [1]

We’re a couple of paydays into 2018 and many of us are still feeling the pinch after our Christmas spending, new research from Nationwide suggests.

Almost half of Brits (48%) have less than £100 spare each month and one in four1 of those surveyed didn’t think they’d have their accounts back to normal and out of the Christmas hangover until at least May.

Sound familiar?

If you’ve felt the hit from the festive period over the last couple of months and are wanting to get your finances in better shape, we’ve been looking at ways to make small weekly savings that – over the year – will add up and should put some more cash in your pocket.

Lunch

Are you a fan of grabbing a meal deal for lunch? As convenient as it is to grab a sandwich on the go, it could be costing you more than £780 a year.2

A good way to make some savings is by bringing in a pack-up lunch from home each day. If you have a microwave at work, you could bring in leftovers from last night’s tea or get creative with different salads and sandwiches. It’ll need some forward planning and prep time, but it could definitely help with the savings.

Friday night takeaway

Last year we spent an average of £80 a month on takeaways3, which is a whopping £960 a year!

And, as nice as it is to order some tasty food at the end of a long week, it’s worth thinking about alternatives if you are wanting to get your finances in better shape. Why not save a takeaway for a once a month treat, rather than once a week? Or, you can get some good dine in for two meal deals from different supermarkets, which can work out cheaper.

Nights out

We all like to let our hair down from time to time, but with costs of alcohol on the rise, the money spent on a night out can easily creep up.

A good tip is to withdraw the amount of money you have to spend (with a little extra for emergencies or a taxi home) and then leave your cards at home. That way, you won’t get tempted to put extras on there and have the regret the day after when you see your bank balance

Alternatively, you could get people together at somebody’s house.

Supermarket shopping

Last year the average family weekly food shop came in at £574, which adds up to just under £3,000 a year (minus extra spends for times we do bigger shops – like Christmas).

Supermarkets are geared up to get us to spend our money – with the offers at the till, the fancy packaging and the buy one get one frees, so it’s a good idea to know what you have to spend, so that you can stick to it. Think about what your budget allows for, then withdraw that amount in cash and leave the cards at home.

It’s also worth shopping around to get the better deals and consider dropping the brand names, as many supermarkets have alternatives that are just as nice.

We hope you find these tips useful. It would be great to hear from you about what you do to make small savings over the year by commenting below.

1 Statistics taken from the Nationwide press release – https://www.nationwide.co.uk/about/media-centre-and-specialist-areas/media-centre/press-releases/archive/2018/2/27-january-jackpot  referring to their seasonal poll, which surveyed 2000 UK adults, for the Society’s spending report

2 This has been worked out based on a £3 meal deal, bought for 52 weeks (£780)

3 Statistic taken from: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/brits-spend-1000-year-takeaways-11383893

4 Amount taken from: https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/blog/how-does-your-household-spend-compare-to-the-uk-average