10 tiny tweaks that can save you up to £4,000 a year

Some small changes you can make to your habits that could have a big impact on your yearly finances.

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The Independent Online

In case you missed the headlines about how stretched millennials are: not many are managing to save.

But there are some small changes you can make to your habits that could have a big impact on your yearly finances.

The Independent asked Martin Lane from www.money.co.uk and Connor Campbell, a senior market analyst at www.spreadex.com to give us 5 daily saving tips each.

1.            £1,234 – that’s the ‘Costa’ coffee each year

If your twice a day latte fix costs you a daily £5.14, over the course of a year this totals to £1,234, Martin Lane warns. 

2.            Make you own lunch

Whether it is an artisanal sandwich from Pret or a meal deal from Boots, lunch time is likely to make a notable dent on your bank balance.

“Even if you just spend £3 a day that can end up being £60 a month, money you could easily save if you made your own lunch. It may be more hassle, but buying your own ingredients is not only cheaper, but healthier as well! “ Campbell told the Independent.

3.            Avoid multi-buy promotions

Promotions often lead us to buy things we were not planning to in the first place and lead us to spend more money than we intended.

“Whilst a buy one get one free pack of mega mints may be tempting, if you didn’t want them in the first place you are just wasting money,“ Campbell said.

4.            Can’t find your gym card? It’s a sign you’re not getting your £600 worth

New resolutions lead us to sign-up at the gym, but come mid-February and our membership card is likely to be already lost. 

Unused gym memberships can cost us around £600 a year, according Martin Lane’s estimates.

“This is another unnecessary drain on your finances. If possible, cycling to work is a great alternative killing three birds with one stone: It eliminates the need for gym membership, keeps you fit and reduces your travel costs. Running is another great option and free – you could set up a club with colleagues to generate some healthy competition,” Lane said

5.            Who wants to be a millionaire? You could be at least £108 better off

The odds of winning the lottery jackpot have increased from one in 14 million to one in 45 million following Camelot’s introduction of 10 more balls. 

But at £2 each, only two play per play, these tickets will cost you £208 a year, according to Martin Lane.

6.            Shop around

No-one wants to spends hours trying to find the cheapest deal.

But a few minutes of web research will make it easier to see if the place where you do your shopping is giving you the best deal.

“This is especially true of supermarkets; it may be a pain, but spicing up your food shopping by popping into other stores can really save you money,” Campbell said.

7.            Don’t shop on an empty stomach

Try to avoid doing your shopping on your way home from work when you are tired and hungry, Campbell advises.

“Of course it’s tempting to grab what you need for one meal and be done with it, but getting food on an empty stomach is only going to lead to overspending on items that you don’t really need,” he said 

8.            Use your freezer and save £1,530 a year

We throw away seven tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year, costing the average family with children £700 a year, according to money.co.uk expert estimates.

“Try putting your sliced loaf straight in the freezer when you buy it and buying frozen fruit and vegetables to avoid excess waste. If you check the labels you’ll find that some brands of milk and cheese can be frozen. For an even bigger cost saving, take leftover meals to work the next day for lunch. This could save you up to another £830 a year,” Lane told the Independent.

9.            Don’t lose your bottle – it could save you £475 a year

Drinking water every day is essential for good health, but bottled water may have a detrimental impact on your pocket.

We drank 30 million litres of bottled water in a year back in 1980. This increased to a staggering two billion litres last year, costing us about £2 billion, according to Martin Lane,

“Head for the tap and cut out two litres of bottled of water a day to save yourself almost £475 a year,” he said.

10.          Pull on a jumper

It might be tempting to turn up the heating as soon as it gets cold, but layering up first can decrease your gas bill, according to Connor Campbell.

“It may sound simple, by pulling on a jumper can save you a few pounds on your gas and electricity bills at the end of the month,” Campbell said.