Warning: Late repayment can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to moneyadviceservice.org.uk

  • Help
  • 5 ways to reduce your spending in London

    5 Effective ways to reduce your spending and still have fun

    Have you ever felt guilty when you were about to withdraw a large sum of cash from your bank account?  Perhaps you wanted to buy yourself a dazzling perfect pair of shoes you spotted online.  Or you just decided to treat yourself to the latest phone or a swanky new bag. Whatever it was; you still felt really guilty for withdrawing your own money and are probably looking for a way to get rid of that feeling.

    The best way to remove the feeling of guilt is to deal with the reason. The reason you feel that way is because your conscience is telling you that you need to manage your money a lot better.

    Here are some of the ways you can save some money in London and still have a great social life

    1. Hustle your way around London’s expensive travel zones

    If you work in the central part of London and live in the inner parts of the city, you can easily cut down your travel expenses by opting to take the bus.

    For example, if you live in Bethnal green you could get bus 8 directly to central locations such as Chancery Lane, Liverpool Street and even Tottenham Court Road.

    There are so many benefits of getting the bus instead of the tube; you’ll be able to grab a seat where you can muse over your thoughts, read a book or catch up on a TV show you missed from your smartphone or tablet.  You’ll also come into work with a clear mind having escaped the antics of rush hour on the tube.

    2. Keep a spending diary

    A spending diary is the best way of monitoring what is going in and out of your bank account.

    To get started, check your latest bank statement and identify the purchases you made which you could have avoided. Go over each direct debit payment and cancel the ones you don’t need.  It will be worth looking over existing gym memberships, dating sites or paid TV subscriptions.  If you aren’t benefiting from these, chances are you don’t really need them.

    3. Plan your meals in advance

    Plan a set of meals you want to prepare for the coming week.  Head over to Pinterest for some inspiration on top notch tasty dishes to boost your cooking skills.

    Set a day aside every week (ideally the weekend) to do your food shopping.  Make a shopping list and buy the ingredients you’ll need to make the meals you’ve planned.  Once you’ve cooked the meals, place them into microwavable bowls and when they have cooled down enough, put them in the freezer.  For food you’ll like to eat on the same day, place these in the fridge.

    On the other hand, if you already have a range of items in your fridge and are confused about what to cook with these, check out myfridgefood.com and be amazed as you discover food ideas that are tailored to the ingredients you have available.

    4. Sign up for free cinema tickets

    Have you ever heard the saying ‘the best things in life are free’?  Well, bagging a free cinema ticket will confirm just that!

    You can register for free film previews and watch movies that are soon to be released. These film previews are usually a way of getting the public’s opinion about the movie. They focus on getting a wide range of people who match their target audience.  Chances are you’ll need to give your opinion about the film afterwards.  But that is a small price to pay for a free viewing.

    Head on over to fmuk.org.uk and register for more information on how to attend a free film preview.

    5. Earn money from cash back sites & friend referrals

    Did you know that you can earn money back on the things you buy online?

    Sites such as topcashback.co.uk are one of the many making it possible to get something back from your everyday purchases. The payout may take as long as 8 weeks but you still get something back and that’s what counts.  They also have a refer a friend scheme in place so you cash in when you share the good news with your mates.

    At the end of the month you will be pleased that you have managed your finances better. You’ll soon realise that you don’t have to overspend to enjoy yourself.