18th October 2013 at 3:59pm
Spending and saving are two sides of the same coin.
More of one can mean less of the other.
Financially savvy spenders
But what if you could combine them, and be a financially-savvy spender?
Weâ€™re becoming increasingly switched on to new ways of being financially efficient.
Hereâ€™s the top five tactics UK web-users adopted to stretch their finances last year, in our survey:
Don’t spend what you don’t have
It might seem obvious but the first way to save money is to not spend what you donâ€™t have in the first place.Â In particular, avoid running up debt on credit cards and store cards to maintain your spending habits.
A whopping 56% of us took this simple measure.Â By avoiding card debt, you can sidestep the high interest rates associated with this typically expensive means of borrowing.Â In fact 8% of us did this for the very first time.
Most of us have loyalty cards. They are increasingly available from our supermarket to our coffee shop. But how many of these lie dormant?Â This is cash in everything but name and 50% of us realized this in 2013 and got using them.
Discounts and deals
Itâ€™s perhaps no surprise that online users valued the discounts and deals that are available online.Â In fact 48% of us used online channels to find the best deals last year.
But, not only that, 8% of us used online selling channels likeÂ ebayÂ for the very first time to realize some much needed income by selling things we simply didnâ€™t need or use any more.
Watch out for debt
Whilst credit cards offer great flexibility and sometimes tremendous insurance value, the flip side is that as debt grows so too does the associated interest
However, 40% of us now pay off our credit cards in full each month giving us all of the flexibility, all of the reassurance and far less of the cost
40% of us now pay off our credit cards in full each month
A hidden cost in the monthly budget is those insurance policies (eg house or car insurance) that were fantastic value when first taken out because you shopped around.
But as time passed, the premiums went up and they werenâ€™t such a bargain anymore.Â To avoid this happening, it pays to have a regular audit of all your policies.Â Which is exactly what 36% of us did last year.
As a final thought, why not really go to town?Â Bring out the hidden accountant in yourself.Â Set a weekly or monthly budget and stick to it.Â Last year 8% of us did just that for the first time, andÂ this toolÂ will help get you started.