As the leaves turn yellow, red and brown, it's time to tighten your belt. Autumn/Winter means taking more transport to avoid the cold, bigger heating bills, and not to mention the cost of Christmas presents and decorations. How are you going to pay for it all? Well here are nine suggestions for saving money this autumn.
If you have a draft coming from your window or door, install draft excluders to save heat. Also consider installing double glazing, loft insulation, keyhole covers, all these will save money on your heating bill.
Avoid eating at cafes and restaurants, cook meals at home and if you're going to be out prepare lunch in advance. We recently posted some money saving tips for home cooking, and it will keep your home warm too.
Cancel Your Gym Membership
Keeping fit is important for your health, but if you're trying to save money, you don't need to be paying a gym. Go jogging regularly, hiking at the weekend, or sort out a five-a-side football match with friends.If there's one piece of equipment you mostly use at the gym, like a treadmill or stationary bike, consider investing in one for your home. How many months will it take before it pays itself off in savings if you cancel your gym?
Ride your Bicycle
You might not be able to get around by bike when it gets icey in winter, but you can still save on transport by cycling for the next couple of months. This will also keep you in shape if you cancelled your gym membership.
Negotiate Your Bills
Whether it's an insurance provider, telecommunications company, or utility supplier, if you're a loyal customer you may be able to negotiate a discount. Look up what deals are available to new customers from your provider or from their competitors, then call up and ask for the same deal. If they say no, tell them you wish to cancel and see if they change their tune.
Plastic shopping bags can be used as liners for small bins, and plastic takeaway food boxes can often be used for storing leftovers in the fridge.
Drop Bad Habits
Cut down on cigarettes, or order a soft drink every other round at the pub. Have an apple in the morning instead of a sausage roll. You'll be healthier and happier, and will have more money in your pocket.
Ignore the Impulse
You see something in the shop that you want; do you just go and buy it? No, don't! Write it down and give it 24 hours. Think it over before deciding if you can afford it. Do you really need it? Or is it just eye-catching?
Watch Your Spending
Using free budgeting software such as our own Money Dashboard, look into what you are spending the most money on each month. Our easy-to-read colourful charts make it obvious where you are overspending, and you can get your finances in perspective and cut back where necessary.