Ideas to change your spending habits

Here’s some recommendations

With the cost of many things increasing at the moment, it can be tricky to think of ways to cut down on everyday spending. There are things we spend money on without thinking. Changing your buying habits might help you save money more easily.

Here are some suggestions of things you could do to reduce your spending each month:

  • Energy – Energy prices are on the rise; it may be time to look at switching your utility provider or look into your energy usage. We’ve got some tips on how making small changes can help reduce your energy bills.

  • Travelling to work – The price of fuel is at an all-time high, why not think about alternative ways to get to work? Public transport is one option that might help with saving, especially if you’re savvy with season passes. You could also think about incorporating some exercise into the commute, if it’s possible to walk or cycle this could be a great way to stay active and save at the same time!

  • Childcare – Childcare costs can be so expensive; it may be worth checking with your employer to see if they offer a childcare voucher scheme. If this isn’t an option, you can find out if you can get some support with childcare costs.

  • Cooking – Dust off that chef’s hat and get creative. Preparing your lunch in advance will help you to avoid spending money on lunch at work. You could also give batch cooking a try, it’s a great way to generate less waste and means that you can enjoy your home cooked meals again the next day!

  • Meal planning – Planning what you will eat for the week is a great way to save some money. Think about planning meals before going shopping or use a portion planner to help with not over buying. Reducing the meat content is another great way of reducing the cost of your grocery bill. M&S have teamed up with Tom Kerridge to create a value meal planner and shopping list to help you get started!

  • Spend notifications – Being aware of what you’re spending could be a great way to stay on top of your outgoings. In our M&S Banking App you can receive spend notifications each time you make a purchase. It’s worth checking if any other banking apps you use also offer this feature, so you can track your overall spending each month.

  • Standing orders and Direct Debits – Now is a great time to have a review of what is going out of your accounts each month. There might be something that you no longer need that could be paused or cancelled, it's always worth looking at.

Now you’ve thought about some of the big things, it might be time to look at the smaller, everyday costs:

  • Gym subscriptions – Are you still sticking to that New Year’s resolution? If yes, great! But if not, maybe it’s time to swap the subscription for some home workouts and a run around a local park.

  • TV and mobile subscriptions – In the world of ever-expanding TV subscription services, now is a good time to review how many you have verses how many you still use, the same goes for our mobiles. We would all be lost without them but are there cheaper options available?

  • Coffee – Many of us need that morning hit of caffeine, but this can be expensive, why not make your coffee at home and use an insulated cup? A great way to save money and help the environment.

These are just a few ideas that might help to reduce some of your monthly outgoings. Just using a few of them could make a big difference.

If you are struggling with the rising cost of living, we’re here to help. Take a look at our hub for more helpful tips and resources.

Colleague tips

Listen to some of our colleagues tips on ways to change your spending habits.

Video Script - Matt's tip

My top money saving tip is to bring your own food to work with you. You could try cooking a little more in the evening and saving any leftovers for lunch the next day. Buying food at work each day can really start to add up over time, and you could see a big difference by doing this even for just a few days a week. If you wanted to save even more, try bringing your own tea and coffee, as this can help cut additional expenses when popping to the coffee shop.

Video Script - Alice's tip

With energy prices being so high, I don't want the energy that I've paid for to go to waste. Therefore, I've been around the house and put draught excluders on doors, and I make sure I close all the curtains at night. Next on my list is reducing the time in the shower to save energy and water. I have a four minute shower timer and I'm challenging myself to beat it.

Video Script - Tomos's tip

I’ve found meal planning really useful over the past few months. Having a set list of ingredients for meals and planning what snacks you want across a week or month can really help keep the purse strings tight. We've all been guilty of popping to the shops for some milk or loaf of bread only to come out with a bag full of items. So, meal planning helps avoid this by making less trips to the shops. Along with cost saving, there's also the benefit of reducing food waste and being able to eat more healthily.