The rising cost of living dominated the discussion at our coffee morning on the 6th September with our guests sharing insight on how it’s affecting their businesses, their work and their personal life.  

Here’s a round-up of the top tips for saving money that were discussed, plus a few bonus tips collected after the event.

  • The Money Saving Expert website is great for advice on everything from managing energy bills to the best credit card deals to retailers’ special offers.  The guidance on the site is clear, impartial, and easy to follow.  You can also sign up to a free of charge newsletter. 
  • Check all bills regularly to review where money can be saved e.g.,
    • Switching your phone to a SIM only deal at the end of the contract.
    • Cancelling subscriptions taken out during lock-down that are no longer used.
    • Reducing Amazon prime subscriptions to one per household rather than multiple subscriptions.
  • Maximise the value of the services you do subscribe to.
  • Before you click ‘buy’ check Google to see if there’s a voucher code available for the retailer you are buying from. 
  • Ensure you make the most of any money saving benefits you get via work and/or your bank.  
  • Make space for life admin to allow yourself time to review bills and keep on top of your finances.
  • Unsubscribe from all emails that encourage you to spend money.
  • Don’t go food shopping when you’re hungry.
  • It’s easier to compare per unit prices if you do your food shopping online and it’s easier to filter through to the special offers.  
  • Amazon is worth using if you are bulk buying household goods. I’ve just ordered 140 dishwasher tablets at half the price I can get them in the super-market. 
  • Don’t give up on your savings account. Even if you only put a fiver in each month, it will help keep the habit alive. 
  • The Moneybox app is brilliant. It rounds up every time you spend and puts the money in savings account.  It’s a great way of saving a small amount of money each month and provides a good alternative to a regular savings account.  You can stop saving when ever you want but you must give 90 days’ notice of a withdrawal.
  • Track the oil price carefully and join an oil buyers’ club which allows you to benefit from a discount as you will buy in bulk with other residents.  Try your local Facebook group to find out what clubs there are in your area.
  • If you have an open fire, order your logs now and keep an eye out for free of charge supplies of wood e.g., old pallets.
  • If you’re nearing the end of a fixed term mortgage deal, you can switch up to 90 days in advance which may be an opportunity to lock in a lower rate ahead of a Bank of England interest rate decision. 
  • Only heat the parts of the house you use and heat yourself rather than the room around you by using a heated blank (available on Amazon for around £50).
  • Don’t forget to use any flight vouchers you’ve got from flights that were cancelled during the lock down. Vouchers do have an expiry date.
  • If you have an electric car, use the free of charge electric charging points at Supermarkets rather than charging at home.
  • Don’t ignore your store loyalty cards as some make good financial sense. I particularly like my Boots Card because I often get enough points each quarter to treat myself to something I wouldn’t usually buy.  Make sure you’re taking advantage of all the offers and, providing you’re happy with your data being shared, ensure your card is linked to other providers e.g., Nectar and Ebay.
  • Buy second hand – Charity shops, Ebay, Facebook marketplace, Vinted – it’s good for the environment and it saves money.
  • Sell what you aren’t using or don’t need.  Let’s face it ladies, we’re never going back to five days a week of wearing a dress or suit to the office!
  • Dehumidifiers can be used to dry washing as an alternative to running a costly tumble dryer. They are surprisingly cheap to run and when you turn your heating on, they ensure you’re heating dry air rather than damp air.
  • If you drink a lot of tea or coffee, fill up a flask in the morning to avoid repeatedly boiling the kettle.
  • Electric blankets are a great way of heating the bed up before you go to bed (they’re also fantastic for soothing a bad back!)

WIRP coffee mornings are free of charge to attend. They take place online on the first Tuesday of each month at 11am.  There is generally no agenda; people just turn up and have a chat.  They are friendly, relaxed and always useful.  To register for October’s coffee morning, click here.