Personal finance expert reveals the little things you can do everyday to save money

Caroline AllenContributor
Yahoo Style UK

Saving money and getting out of debt can be a difficult road for many people.

In January 2020, the average debt per household in the UK was £60,363, according to The Money Charity, a number that may’ve been bolstered since the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking on Yahoo UK’s The Baby Bump with Lauren Pope, Lynn Beattie - a personal finance expert, also known as Mrs Mummypenny, believes it starts with everyday changes to your spending habits.

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Beattie recommends starting small, with a spending diary or spreadsheet to start tracking what you’re really spending your money on.

It's all about the little changes. (Getty Images)
It's all about the little changes. (Getty Images)

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Contactless and card payments are great, but it’s easy to tap away and forget that it is real money associated to each purchase. That’s why Beattie advises going back to basics.

“Get a bit of paper, a nice new notepad or an Excel spreadsheet if that’s what you’re into and just write down everyday what you’re spending your money on,” Beattie explains.

And when she talks about writing everything down, she really does mean everything. A coffee on the school run, Amazon purchases, all the way up to those bigger household bills and debts.

In order to make the process easier for you, Mrs Mummypenny even writes down her own lists at the beginning of each week, to give you a real idea of how yours should be structured.

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“Do that for a couple of weeks to see how much your spending and on what. You can also spot patterns. Like this morning, I was rushed off my feet and the easiest thing for me to do was to buy my son some breakfast. So, how can you change patterns in your mind?”

There are plenty of different types of spender, from the people who buy things to make themselves feel better when they’re having a bad day (Beattie describes those people as emotional spenders) to those who buy things for convenience and lack time.

After you’ve written down this core information, the real fun begins. Beattie explains: “Once you’ve got this core information you can move into coming up with a plan of how to save some money. And, there are some quick wins.”

Many people in the UK spend too much of their energy bills, and Beattie says that by “doing a comparison” you can most likely save some immediate pennies.

“There are loads of comparison sites out there. If you haven’t switched your bill for more than a year I can pretty much guarantee you’ll be able to save money.”

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The same goes for all other household bills. The financial advisor, who is also the mum to three boys, said that she recently negotiated the price of her Broadband bill and saved £20 per month.

Although hanging on the phone to customer services can be tedious, it’s definitely worth doing to rack up some quick wins money-wise.

Beattie also recommends a site called Top Cashback, which has helped save her £4,000 over the last seven years.

“All this information, it’s out there, you’ve just got to know where to go to source it,” Beattie concludes.

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