There are many ways in which we waste money without even realising it, often in the name of getting fit or dieting, having a better home or general improvement of our selves and our lives. However, you don’t have to achieve your aims – try some of these money saving ideas for 2015 to create the life, body and home that you want.
Pay as you go gym is the perfect way to get fit without wasting money. It recognises that many of us buy a gym membership in a fit of good resolution at the start of the year and then find that we’re signed up for a minimum time period but just don’t get the use out of it to justify the monthly expense. Avoid the guilt and find yourself a pay as you go gym instead – many gyms offer ‘pay as you go’ gyming, where you have a personal code that you show each time you go so that you only pay for the gym time you use.
Pensioner bonds have been introduced at the start of this year and offer interest rates that are far superior to anything you’ll find with a high street savings account – 2.8% for one year and 4% for three years. Each bond has a maximum investment of £10,000 and these savings are only available to the over 65s but if you fit the criteria then it’s a great way to maximise your savings in 2015.
Go green with the government’s Green Deal scheme – the first round was opened last year and the June round closed within just six weeks as it was so popular and the £120 million pot of funds ran out almost straight away. The next round of the Green Deal is released in April with another £120 million available. This comes in the form of a loan that can be used to pay for energy saving improvements for homes, which are then repaid through your energy bills. The improvements include insulation, boiler upgrades and double-glazing, which could end up saving you hundreds of pounds a year on your energy costs.
Ditch the TV licence because with all the streaming websites we have these days do you really need one? If you object to paying the annual £145.50 that the TV licence costs then you don’t have to – you can simply watch all your favourite programmes via BBC iPlayer, Channel 4 on Demand and ITV Player instead as these are free to use. And don’t forget sites like Netflix, which are much more cost effective than buying DVDs.
Don’t just do a dry January. While the trend for Dry January is a great idea for health reasons and detoxing the excesses of the festive period, if you’re looking at the financial benefits of a month without booze then it might be worth extending your self discipline through other months of the year too. Why not have a Dry March or a Dry October instead? The Office for National Statistics has released figures that estimate we spend about £15 a week on alcohol so you could save £60 for every month you do dry. It has even been suggested that a Dry January each year could eventually contribute £20,000 to your pension, if you saved the money.