Getting on top of the household finances now could set you up with a bit of extra cash to enjoy by the time the schools break up at the end of July
Keeping the family entertained over the long summer break can be expensive, Kyle Mavris, a NatWest Branch Manager, has compiled his tips on things you can do now to put an extra £500 in your pocket by the holidays:
Save energy at home
With the weather improving and the nights drawing out, now’s the perfect time to look at what energy you’re using and where you can make savings. The Energy Saving Trust has great practical tips on how to reduce usage. Simple things like turning your gadgets and appliances off stand-by mode, cutting your energy use in the kitchen, spending less time in the shower and even just remembering to switch the lights off can all help make substantial savings.
Monthly estimated saving: £14.40
Estimated savings over four months: £57.60
Based on The Energy Saving Trust savings. £30 per year savings for taking appliances off standby, £50 per year savings in the kitchen, £80 per year savings in the shower, £13 per year savings on lighting = £173 savings per year.
Cut food waste
The cost of food waste is a staggering £700 a year for a family of four, according to Love Food Hate Waste. This is mainly because we cook or prepare too much, or we don’t use our groceries in time. Fresh vegetables and fruit, and bakery items such as bread and cakes are the worst household offenders. Stick to a shopping list and keep track of what you’ve got in the cupboard to help cut waste.
Monthly estimated saving: £58.30
Estimated savings over four months: £233.20
Based on Love Food Hate Waste savings for a family of four
Spring Clean your Finances
If spring fever gets you in the mood to clean the house, don’t forget to tidy up your direct debits as well. A typical family spends £70 a month on monthly payments for things they no longer need or use (based on UK average). If you haven’t been to the gym in months, why not take advantage of the warmer weather and find a free alternative, like going for a walk or jog.
Monthly estimated saving of ditching one gym membership: £30.70
Estimated savings over four months: £122.80
Pay your bills and earn cash
We all have a number of regular household bills each month, but some financial institutes offer current accounts where you get a certain percentage back on a range of household bills including council tax, gas, electricty, water, phones, TV and broadband. There is no minimum or maximum amount of eligible bills that can be included or the amount you can earn – all you need to do is pay your bills by Direct Debit through the account.
Monthly estimated saving: £10.50
Estimated savings over four months: £42
Sell your old phone
Research suggests that British households could be sitting on billions of pounds worth of old, unwanted phones, which are doing nothing more than collecting dust. In fact,the average household now has two old phones sitting around which could fetch a good price on most mobile phone recycling websites. Get rid of clutter and make some cash in the meantime.
Estimated value of selling one unused smartphone: £126
If you master the above, you could build up a nice pot of more than £500 between now and the school summer holidays starting at the end of July. And we’ve even come up with some ideas of how to put this money to best use over the summer…(not that you’ll need it!)