11 Easy Switches To Save €6,000 in 2021
07 Jan 2021
It's officially 2021 and we all have ambitious saving goals for the new year. As we all deal with the mental and physical stress of lockdowns from the Coronavirus pandemic, many of us will also face additional financial stress struggling to save money to achieve our future goals or just to merely survive these difficult circumstances. Some may be saving for a mortgage to buy your first home. Others saving to send your kid (or yourself) to college. Whatever your goals, making simple lifestyle changes make a tremendous difference.
Save money in 2021 by rigorously looking at costly expenses that may go unnoticed. And implementing the following suggestions:
1. Change Gas and Electricity provider
Energy providers offer discounts to new customers to encourage switching. Providers implement this tactic in the knowledge that once this period expires, most people will not go to the trouble of switching. Yet, if you do switch (and it is easier than you think) you can save up to 20% on your energy bill. The household average bill is €1,781 a year for both Gas and Electricity.
Potential savings: €356 p/y
2. Avoid spending on everyday indulgences like Coffee
It’s easy to get carried away with coffee. Most people have a particular taste for coffee. They happily spend money in a cafe to get their hit rather than a quick expresso at work. But, if you avoid this indulgence and bring your own coffee to work, you can save an average of €2.50 per day.
This compounds to large savings over time. If you work 5 days a week this means you're spending €12.50 on coffee alone.
Potential savings: €650 p/y
3. Take your own lunch to work
While many are still working from home, some will still spend money on prepared meals and/or eat out for lunch. When time-pressed, you can feel it's a waste of time making lunches for the week. So you buy lunch instead. Saving time but losing money. This means you’ll usually spend an average of €5 every day you work on lunch alone.
Potential savings: €1,300 p/y
4. Ditch the brands & shop around
The average household spends an average of €97 on food at home (CSO Household Budget Survey 2015/2016). Supermarket brands are often up to 50% cheaper than premium labels and often your not compromising on quality. Many times you’re just paying extra for the brand.
Look at your shopping list and see where you can trade down. Aim to substitute up to 20% of the products you buy. Also, shop at different supermarkets – each have different deals for different products.
Potential savings: €1,008 p/y
5. Scrutinise your entertainment needs
Do you really need both a tv entertainment package and Netflix? Could you ditch the Netflix account for 3 months then return when they have a more updated schedule? Is the Spotify account an absolute requirement? Remember the songs are available on Youtube (if you have a data package with your phone network provider). Examine what's necessary to make you happy and relax during leisure time.
Potential savings: €240 p/y
6. Eat-in more, eat out less
The recent lockdown has shown us how much we spend on indulgences. And while its important to support local business, one must also examine what you can afford to spend money on especially with the future looking uncertain. Recent studies (pre pandemic) show that Irish households spend an average €91 a month on takeaways and fast food. Focusing more on dining in and minimising eating out to special occasions could yield significant savings over time. Develop home meal plans for the week and cook in bulk. Having food ready at home means you're more likely to avoid eating out or engage in impulsive grocery shopping.
Potential savings: €1,092 p/y
7. Have a staycation instead of travelling abroad
Granted travelling abroad will not be on many peoples mind at the start of this year with restrictions, but once travel restrictions ease and we head towards the end of 2021 travelling abroad may enter our minds once again.Whenever we travel abroad, we have the added expenditure of flights. We also wind up indulging more due to the novelty of being abroad. There are lots of interesting places to visit and explore in Ireland if you fancy a staycation. The average person will spend €550 a year on a holiday with this increasing to €2000 for a family of four including flights and accommodation.
Staycations will also vitally help local business who have had their indutries decimated by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Potential savings: €550 p/y
8. Travel more efficiently to work
Getting to work can vary per person. Some drive. Some take the bus. Others use the rail. Needless to say, walking or cycling to work represents the most efficient way of travel. This saves public transportation fees as well as fuel fees for car owners. Work out what is most feasible for you.
If you pay €4.20 a day using the bus then maybe you could cycle or walk if work isn’t too far. If you drive, simple changes can help save money. Look at your driving technique for incremental savings gains. Changes like braking less often, using less accelerator and moving up in gear faster reduce fuel comsumption. Often this can mean a saving of 25% a year on on fuel costs. Then there is always the option of carpooling with a neighbour or work colleague and splitting fuel costs.
Potential savings: €1,090 p/y
9. Choose the best mobile data package and don’t commit to contracts
Thinking short term and choosing a bill pay package can mean you pay much more in the longer term. Recent research shows that bill pay customers spend an average of €42 a month, including the cost of their handset. Pre-pay customers are spending €21 per month on average. If you buy your phone outright and avoid bill pay, a heavy outlay, in the beginning, saves money over time. Some network providers are also more expensive than others. Try to find the best value network provider.
Potential savings: €200 p/y
10. Switch car insurance provider
Unfortunately, it's common in the insurance sector that loyalty is punished rather than being rewarded. Those who do not display insurance switching tendencies can be left with larger premiums. Always price around before you commit or haggle them down from their quoted price. It may also worth considering, does your car justify fully comprehensive insurance.
Potential savings: €150 p/y
11. Make simple energy-saving switches in the home
Household bills can be a hidden expenditure for most of us. We do not see the immediate ramifications of not turning the lights off, leaving the electric heater on in the background, or sleeping with the TV on. Turn off the lights when you are not using them, get in the habit of only using the heating when you actually need it (your body will adjust). Only wash your clothes on full loads (washing machines are heavy on electricity). Turn appliances off rather than leave them on standby.
If we’re diligent, often more than 20% of an electricity bill can be cut by just being more conscious of the electricity you are using. The average electricity bill is €1,034.
Potential savings: €206 p/y
If you would like to get saving in 2021, why not call down to your local credit union and open an account today. Or if you already have an account, set up a direct debit to begin saving for your future right now. If you do not know your nearest credit union, you can find it using our credit union locator.