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Who wants some extra cash? my top 10 saving tips
Member Name: clara29
Advantages: Spend less and earn more!
For the past year the words recession, credit crunch and redundancy have been on my radar for the first time ever. Whilst I have never been the type to go mad on store cards or credit cards, I am definitely the type to spend more than she earns - by accident of course, I honestly don't mean to spend that much on shoes:)
So within the past few months I have made a concerted effort to be more careful with my cash and to really scrutinise where my wages go - and see if I could reduce spending in any areas.
So here are my top 10 tips to spend less and earn more - I hope that these tips might be of some use to you too!
1. My first stop was moneysavingexpert.com. We live in a world swimming with advice on the internet so its hard to know who to trust but I really do trust Martin Lewis. His website is my first port of call for any financial related decisions be they insurance, credit cards, shopping discounts and freebies. Like many of you on dooyoo, you will have read the "ways to boost your income" article advising you to join review sites such as dooyoo and ciao. Which brings me nicely onto...
2. ...review sites. I am a member of dooyoo and ciao, although far more active on dooyoo. Red faced I know, but I joined, scribbled 150 words of tosh and promptly got all my reviews locked! I decided to do what I should have done in the first place, I read loads of reviews around the site and got a feel of what a good review should look like, realised that it was a give and take community, and my reviews improved.
This is important because if you continue to chuck down the bare minimum of nonsensical rubbish then you wont get rated for very long therefore will not accrue dooyoo miles. Simples!
So far I have clocked up nearly £90 in under a year, not to be sniffed at.
3. Join some survey sites. My top recommendations are globaltestmarket, yougov and although I didn't particularly warm to it, a lot of people love lightspeedpanel. If you are the type who doesn't mind completing surveys, then it's a great way to clock up some extra cash without too much effort. Payout thresholds vary (Yougov took me 4 years to get my £50) but if you have the patience then why not?
4. Focus Groups and Market research forums - not always cash payouts but some fun product trials if you are lucky enough to be selected. The best one I have done is with Indiefield testing 6 bottles of wine and getting paid £30 for my 'troubles'!
Focus4people and Saros send me invites quite regularly, but you massively up your chances if you live in London. Most of the time the payouts are between £30-100 but I have seen a few for £300 if you happen to fit that criteria.
The mother of all survey sites is Pinecone Research but unfortunately unlike other surveys sites, you cannot register - you have to be lucky enough to spot one of their banners whilst on another website and click on it before its gone! Apparently the reward amounts are really good so definitely worthwhile if you spot it!
5. eBay - sell your old stuff but also check it out before buying. I pretty much always look on eBay before I buy anything - cosmetics, hair products etc are pretty much always cheaper on ebay (sometimes quite substantially). I buy a lot of books and CDs there too and save a fortune in the process.
6. Lists lists and more lists! Seems my mother was right and not a saddo as I once thought!
From my monthly budget to my weekly shop everything is in a list these days. I have saved around £20 per weekly shop by planning my meals and writing a shopping list, rather than randomly picking items from the supermarket shelves. I also find online shopping quite a useful way to stick to your budget (although you do incur a small delivery charge).
7. Savvy shopping - my local Quality Save / Home Bargains store has loads of branded items for a fraction of the price, from household to beauty items. You have to be lucky but if you are fairly flexible then you can almost always pick up something useful.
In the supermarket I have started buying own brand or even value basics - okay it can be a bit trial and error, but sometimes the difference in taste is negligible whereas the difference in your wallet is not!
8. Free samples websites - I get a newsletter 3 times a week from free-samples.co.uk and most of the time it's a sachet of lotion or a free teabag here and there, but sometimes you can get lucky. My best freebies have been a full size bottle of Pantene conditioner, a free bottle of OPI nail polish, free Sally Hansen nail treatment and a full sized Bold 2 in 1 gel.
Not bad for free!
9. Discount vouchers
You can cut the cost of eating out massively but checking out the discount websites (such as www.vouchercodes.co.uk)
Pretty much always on the site are Zizzis, Pizza Express and La Tasca vouchers which can be found all over the country.
10. Finally my most recently discovered tip is to use cashback sites. There are a few out there but I use Topcashback. I check it before buying anything online, and have so far racked up £160 for 4 purchases. The best cashback tends to be on insurance products (2 lots of insurance have paid out £50 each and they were on the most reasonable quotes in the first place). You can even get cashback for buying on ebay!
So that's it, my top 10 tips which have definitely helped me save some pennies and make some extra ones too. Hope they are of some help till your lotto numbers come up :) x
Summary: My top 10 tips for looking after my wallet!