How to budget and save money

Money-saving tips

Try some of our tips to help you budget and reduce what you spend:

Budgeting

  • Keep a spending diary for a week and write down absolutely everything you buy - it will help identify items you could cut back on.
  • Use an online budget planner to help you plan your monthly spending.
  • If you bank online, there are lots of apps available that help you keep track of your money.

Essential bills

  • Shop around and switch to the cheapest deal for your gas, electricity, broadband, TV and phone.
  • Apply for a reduction on your water bill and council tax.
  • Paying by monthly Direct Debit will usually get you a discount on your bill.

Shopping

  • Use the mysupermarket website to compare supermarket prices.
  • Make a meal plan, then write a shopping list and stick to it.
  • Make the most of loyalty cards to build up points to spend.

Food and drink

  • Freeze groceries and extra portions of dinner to cut down waste, and eat them another day.
  • Most supermarkets now sell ‘wonky’ fruit and veg at much cheaper prices (and they taste exactly the same!).
  • The Supercook website will suggest recipes to make with the items you have left in your cupboard.

Things to do

  • Get some free exercise – walk or jog in your local area.
  • Make the most of our many parks and open spaces for walks or meeting friends.
  • There are lots of free things for kids in the borough including the Narnia trail in Chipstead, the bird box trail at Earlswood Lakes and school holiday activities.

Buying and selling

  • Use Freecycle to get free second-hand goods locally, including all kinds of furniture
  • Go through old things regularly and sell what you don’t need on ebay or local Facebook sites.
  • Car boot sales are also a great way to buy and sell cheaply.

Did you know?

  • Little changes can add up to big savings over the year  - like turning down your thermostat by 1°C and unplugging electrical items, like chargers, when not in use.
  • If you smoke, Quit 51 is local and can help you to stop.