1. Open a savings account. Or even better, an ISA account! We currently have one ISA account, with Lloyds Bank which we both put money into. This is currently our only savings account. It's easily accessible and currently offers 0.55% tax-free gross interest (which increases with larger sums).
2. Set a monthly allowance. Decide on an agreeable amount that you will keep back from any income, each month. We are pretty new to this, but it's a really good idea, and I know that we will think twice before making any purchases.
3. Set a spending limit for birthdays and Christmas. Know how much you are willing to spend on each recipient before you start buying any gifts. This will help you from over-spending on people. Just remember, it's the thought that counts!
4. Use a pay-as-you-go sim card. For the last few years, I have purchased second-hand handsets and used a PAYG sim card. I've never had a contract phone in my life, and I'd like to keep it that way! I currently have an O2 sim card where I top-up £10 per month (optional) and receive more than enough texts and web allowance. This works really well for me. If you're adamant you want a contract phone, make sure you do your research and get yourself a good deal!
5. Cancel your TV licence. Don't be too alarmed; this is a smart move. We didn't renew our TV licence in 2013, and we haven't looked back since. We used to have Sky+ HD, then we switched to Freesat, then we switched to BT Vision, but then realised we couldn't get our TV aerial to work to receive Freeview channels. So, we cancelled our BT Vision subscription and kept the Youview box. This box allows us to access many on-demand services, free of charge. Since you only have to pay for a TV licence if you watch live TV, we cancelled ours and now save £145.50 per year! Just think about it, when do you actually watch live TV nowadays? You can get so many online on-demand services free of charge!
7. Well-planned weekly grocery shops. Now, although I can drive, I always opt for the online grocery shopping. I find this much more productive. You can take a few days, if you like, to finish the shop, and can edit and add until the day before your order arrives. Also, supermarkets are often sending out money-off vouchers you can use, which is always a bonus. I find weekly shops make for much less food waste. There are only the two of us, after all, so fresh fruit and veg doesn't get eaten as quickly as in a family home, and if there is too much, it will spoil and have to be thrown away. If you ever find you have some leftover veg that needs to be used up, make some soup! Homemade soup is the best. Pop it all in the slow-cooker if you are going to be out most of the day.
8. Sell items on eBay. Yes, it's good to donate to the charity shops as well, but you should try to sell some of your best, newer items on eBay, as you can put the money you make towards a replacement or pop it in the savings account.
9. Get fit at home. Unless you really need the equipment at the gym, just check out all the great work-out videos available for free on YouTube! Or if you're after a new DVD work-out, why not split the cost with a friend and do the work-outs together? You'll save a lot of money this way, rather than signing up at a gym.
10. Loyalty cards. Use loyalty cards wherever possible. There are so many available and each of them offer different beneficial schemes. I currently use a Nectar card, Superdrug's beauty card, Boots' advantage card, Tesco's clubcard, and a few others.
Please share your money-saving tips below!