CHANGING your routine can kick start a savings habit and help you save over £550 in just one month.
Small trades like going without coffee to go, giving up fast food deliveries, and walking instead of driving can help you build a rainy day fund.
If your 2022 resolution is to get your finances in order, these tips from the AJ Bell investing platform might help you get started.
Some exchanges won’t work for everyone, but if you pick the ones that apply to you, you can still save hundreds.
The amounts you save will also vary depending on your current expenses.
We’ll tell you which trades to make to help you save hundreds of pounds in a month.
Stop buying lunch at work – £60
When you’re pressed for time, it can be tempting to buy a meal or grab a quick lunch at work.
But it’s much cheaper – and possibly healthier – to do something at home.
Eating your own lunch at work could save you up to £60 a month, according to AJ Bell.
It’s based on someone buying five meal deals a week at £3 a pop.
Cut out the coffee – £90
A coffee can help start your day – but the cost adds up quickly if you buy one every day.
Someone who goes to a cafe for their £4.50 cup five days a week could spend £90 a month on the habit.
You could get a mug or water bottle so you can make coffee at home and take it with you.
Many coffee chains have their own loyalty programs, giving you a free drink after buying a certain number.
So if you’re planning on continuing your caffeine intake, make sure you get the freebie you’re entitled to.
Some will also give you coffee on the house when you download their app and keep an eye out for specials.
Walk or cycle more often – £83
This won’t be possible for everyone, depending on how long you commute and when you work, but if you can walk or cycle to work, it could save you some money.
You can always check to see if your company has a cycle-to-work program, which lowers the price of a new bike and spreads the payment over your monthly salary.
AJ Bell estimates that someone with a 30 mile round trip to work in an unleaded petrol car, driving five times a week, could rack up £83 just by commuting.
Ditch the takeaway – £75
There’s nothing wrong with indulging in a takeaway, but it could cost you £75 a month if it became a weekly habit.
Making it a once-a-month indulgence instead can make a big difference to your budget.
Turn down your thermostat – £100
With skyrocketing energy bills, it’s never been more crucial to consider how you can reduce your gas and electricity consumption.
We’ve already reported that turning your thermostat down just one degree can help you save money.
In fact, it could cut your energy costs by up to £100 – and you probably won’t even notice the difference in temperature.
If you are concerned about rising bills, you should contact your energy supplier to see if they can help you.
There are programs to help households struggling to pay for heat and electricity.
Check that you are getting all the benefits you are entitled to and if you might be able to access the warm house discount or cold weather payments.
Quit Smoking – £80
Everyone knows that smoking is bad for your health and your wallet.
Quitting the habit could help you save £80 and reduce your risk of disease.
The average cost of a pack of cigarettes is £10, so someone consuming two packs a week would see the costs rise quickly.
It can be difficult to give up cigarettes, so contact your local NHS Quit Smoking Team for free support.
Do a Great Shop – £20
Doing a big weekly store can be expensive, but it’s cheaper than going to convenience stores on a regular basis.
Smaller stores like Tesco Express and Sainsbury’s Local are often more expensive than larger ones.
You’ll be able to make the most of more budget options and better deals, and it could save you £20 a month.
Savings are based on buying five additional £1 food items each week.
Date Night at Home – £60
Swapping a meal and the movies for a special dinner and a movie at home can help keep your expenses down.
Nights out can cost you £60 a month, based on dinner and two cinema tickets.
Obviously, it’s fine to indulge on special occasions, but consider swapping a restaurant for a home-cooked meal once in a while and you might add to your savings.
Cancel your gym membership – £40
Many of us sign up for the gym with the best of intentions, but it’s a big expense, especially if you’re not making the most of it.
Canceling your subscription could save you around £40 per month, depending on the cost of your subscription.
If you want to go to the gym but still want to exercise, you can find free or cheap classes online.
You can also join a local sports team or running club, which may charge a fee, but will likely be cheaper than your gym membership.
If you want to keep going to the gym, you can check if there are cheaper membership options.
For example, you might be paying for the gym, lessons and pool – but if you’re just swimming, a pool-only membership is a better deal.
There are also budget gyms, so you might want to check your area to see if exchanging can save you some money.
Before canceling your membership, be sure to check the type of contract you have.
Some gyms require you to give notice before ending your membership, and others may lock you in for a period of time.
Canceling your membership outside of the terms of the contract may result in additional charges.
Meal prep – £20
Preparing meals in advance can help you save money because you’ll always have something ready to eat rather than splurging on takeout or last-minute ingredients from an expensive store.
It is also often cheaper to buy wholesale from the supermarket.
Batch cooking and freezing spare portions will also reduce food waste and help you get the most out of your supermarket spending.
AJ Bell estimates meal prepping could contribute an extra £20 a month to your savings.
Use vouchers and loyalty cards – £20
For example, if you shop at Tesco, you can get lower prices if you sign up as a Clubcard member.
Other stores have their own perks for shoppers, such as Nectar Points at Sainsbury’s which can be spent on groceries or redeemed for other treats and outings.
A previous survey by The Sun found that people with a Tesco club card paid up to 50% less for the same items as non-members.
“Make sure you’re aware of all your favorite stores’ loyalty programs and also keep an eye out for any coupons you can use,” AJ Bell said.
“Technology has made smart spending easier than ever; there are apps that find discount codes for online purchases, give you cash back for your purchases, and help you keep track of all your credit cards. loyalty.”