Being smart with your money doesn’t have to mean not spending. When you are making a purchase, either big or small, it is always worth shopping around to make sure you are getting the best deal.
Why do you shop where you do?
Is it because you pass the store on your way home? Or perhaps your work hours mean that making it to a different store is difficult? Whatever the reason, are there any ways you could overcome this if it meant making some savings? For example, shopping online and having your groceries delivered can be time-saving and can stop you making impulse purchases. You could split any delivery charges with your housemates which might work out cheaper than a taxi or extra bus trip.
We can often be persuaded that branded items are better but this is not necessarily the case. Why not try the supermarket own brand equivalent to see if you notice the difference? It might seem like a small saving but these can add up over time.
Use the money mantras
Martin Lewis of MoneySavingExpert suggests asking yourself these simple questions before parting with your cash:
- Do I need it?
- Can I afford it?
- Can I get it cheaper elsewhere?
If the answer to these questions is no, then think again!
Remember your student discount
Many online and high street retailers will now offer some level of discount with a valid NUS extra card. You can find details about the card and the discounts available on the NUS Extra website. This might help you to save some money on some of the everyday costs you have. Try not to get too carried away though and use the money mantras before you buy!
Read the small print carefully
When comparing financial products such as a mobile phone contract or bank account, read the small print carefully to make sure that you understand exactly what is included or excluded from the cost. Don’t assume that all offers are the same. Look out for things such as extra charges, contract length and cancellation policies to weigh up which particular offer best suits your circumstances. For further help, take a look at the Money Advice Service website.