Smart (and rewarding) spending
We asked for your advice on social media when it comes to smarter shopping - and you were bang on the money. These five handy tips will make sure your hard earned pennies and pounds go that little bit further.
Be a smart shopper
Shopping out of season is a fabulous way to save money and it's possible to grab some bargains if you're prepared to think ahead. Focus on the wardrobe staples you know you'll almost definitely still want to wear next year to avoid collecting items that are never separated from their sale tag. Another great tip is to organise swap parties with friends, as Kirsten Murphy suggested:
Kirsten Murphy: "Have swap parties with your friends & swap clothes, make up, etc that you have that doesn't suit - this is great to do in January after Christmas"
There are lots of websites that actually give you money for buying products and services - online and sometimes in-store too. By following the link on these sites to selected retailers, your purchases are tracked and cashback is paid directly to your account, making it an easy way to cut the cost of things you were buying anyway.
Discounts and vouchers
Newspapers and magazines are still a great place to find money-off coupons and many of you suggested checking these regularly. The internet was also a popular suggestion with lots of discounts and vouchers available for food, fashion, goods, travel - the list goes on. If you know what you want to buy, always check to see if you can get it cheaper anywhere else first.
Utilities and other household costs were highlighted as a good opportunity to save money. Many people recommended switching providers regularly to chase better deals, using online comparison websites to help when necessary.
Linda Sallie Guest: "Every 12 months we look at the bills and see if there is a cheaper provider."
Home is where the heart is but for most people, a mortgage is one of the most expensive outgoings on the household budget. So if you don't have any other debt and there's an opportunity to pay it down more quickly it's worth taking, as long as your mortgage allows overpayments.