Zen’s Top 12 Money Saving Tips

Top 12 Money Saving Tips

Christmas is coming (marked by the already jam-packed Christmas aisles in the supermarkets). You may be wondering how you can be savvy and save this year? Here’s 12 top money saving tips covering all things cars, cold weather, Christmas and just some generally cracking tips at the end.

We’ve gone a little tip mad!

Car Tips

This isn’t necessarily a tip, but it’s something to think about: if you decide to lease a car instead of buying one, this will save money on a new car. As the cost of the car comes from the depreciation value at the end of your contract rather than how much the car costs upfront, you’re able to afford upmarket cars: it’s not unusual to find a £40,000 model available for less than £300 per month!

You can check out our article on how leasing works and how it can save you money on a new car.

Top 12 Money Saving Tips

1. Keep your tyres inflated

There’s a couple of reasons why inflated tyres can save you some pennies.

Ensuring your tyres are well inflated extends the life of the tread, meaning you can get a bit more bang for your buck before forking out for some new ones.

According to the RAC, tyres under inflated by 15psi (psi stands for pound-force per square inch) can use 6% more fuel.

The lower the air pressure inside a tyre, then the greater the area of tyre in contact with the road becomes. This increases the rolling resistance – the friction between the rubber and the road. And, as this increases, more power is needed to keep the car moving.

As well as under inflated tyres, you also need to be aware of over inflated tyres.

Over-inflating can wear your tyres down quicker, and also more unevenly (the middle of the tyre will wear down far quicker than the sides as the contact patch is more concentrated).

Tyres warm up after a bit and naturally inflate a little more whilst in use, so keep this in mind when inflating your tryes.

Moral of the story: check your tyre pressure regularly!

2. Charge your EV for free

Yes, you heard it right. You can charge your EV for absolutely free.

How? With the handy help of Zap-Map. Zap-Map is an app and digital platform that lets electric vehicle drivers search for available chargers. There’s still a few free chargers across the UK – so make the most of them!

Want a freebie? Just follow these steps:

  1. Open Zap-Map (on desktop or in the app)
  2. Search a location
  3. Go into filters and select ‘payment’
  4. Choose ‘free to use’

This will save money on a new car as you won’t be spending as much on fuel.

3. Always plan your route

Even if it’s a place you drive to often and know like the back of your hand – be it the route to work, your local Ikea or the Christmas road trip to your in-laws – there may be a better route to save on fuel/energy. Google Maps’ eco-friendly routing calculates the most fuel/energy-efficient route based on your engine type.

Interested? Just follow these steps:

  • Open the Google Maps app on your phone
  • Tap on your profile picture -> go to ‘Settings’ -> ‘Navigation settings’
  • Scroll to the ‘Route options’ section and select ‘Prefer fuel-efficient routes’
  • Underneath, select ‘Engine type’ -> tap your engine -> tap ‘done’.

A green leaf will show up to highlight this eco route. You’ll also see the percentage of how much fuel/energy you could save with this route. Great for your pockets, great for the environment.

Cold Weather Tips

International Day of Charity - John Tracey

4. Drive gently when your car is warming up

It’s 7:30 on an Autumn morning. You’re setting off to work in the dark. You’re cold and so is your car. You’ll need to have a little patience (*cue Take That*), as your engine will take longer to warm up in the colder months. This means that more fuel is needed to get your car to the correct operating temperature.

Ways to improve fuel efficiency in cold weather:

  • Combine your errands into one car journey and walk when you can
  • Try keep your car in a warmer environment like a garage
  • Drive off slowly and gently, to limit the initial use of fuel

5. Use pizza to heat your house

Okay, well maybe you can’t literally use pizza to heat your house, but you can use the heat from the oven after cooking a pizza to make your kitchen a bit toastier.

What’s the point in wasting some perfectly good hot pizza air? If you own a fan or electric oven, just leave the door ajar once you’ve finished cooking (whatever your food of choice may be!) to heat your kitchen up a little.

6. Get some radiator reflectors

Radiator reflectors really are a no brainer!

They’re cheap to buy and reflect the heat coming off your radiator back into the room, rather than letting some of the heat escape via the wall the radiator is fixed to.

You can get your hands on some reflective foil insulators from various retailers like Wickes, Screwfix, and B&Q.

Interested? Watch this quick tutorial on how to fit your new radiator reflectors.

Christmas Tips

International Day of Charity - John Tracey

7. Buy your Christmas presents through cashback sites

Now this tip came from the money saving king himself – Martin Lewis. 

With cashback sites, you can sign up for free and then get paid for going through them to buy items from various retailers.

It’s an extra step when online shopping, but it’ll be worth it when you see the pennies adding up! For example, if you shop at Halfords via Quidco you can get 4% cashback. Pretty good, right?

Have a nosey at this article for further info on the best cashback sites.

8. Book your Christmas travel in advance

UK train companies tend to release tickets around 12 weeks before the travel date, when they’re usually at their lowest price.

So, if you already know your Christmas trips, why not get ahead of the game and book your tickets now? Get comfy with a good book (accompanied with a mince pie or two) and enjoy a Winter train journey!

9. Send Christmas e-cards

It’s time to go paperless. You can design and send Christmas e-cards for free this year. A quick search of ‘free Christmas e-cards’ will bring up a whole list of websites.

Pssst… Want an extra tip?

Turn old Christmas cards into gift tags. This one probably won’t be much help this year, but you can get saving your cards this Christmas to do this sustainable, DIY hack for Xmas 2023.

General Tips

International Day of Charity - John Tracey

10.  Always have a bottle of water on you

If you’re looking for a really simple way to save money, always take a bottle of water out with you. This should stop you from spending money on bottled drinks and coffees whilst you’re out and about.

Small spends like this can add up over time. Say you spend £2 a day, 5 days a week on a drink. Over a year, that’s a whopping spend of £520. Taking time to evaluate your small spends over the long term really helps to put your spendings into perspective and creates a great opportunity to save money.

11.  Swap your halogen lightbulbs to LED ones

When it comes to halogen bulbs Vs LED bulbs – LEDs are the clear winners. LEDs last considerably longer and use less energy when on. So, lighting your house with LEDs will cost you less.

LEDs may have a higher upfront cost, but the long-term benefits are certainly worth it!

12.  Tidy up your subscriptions

We get it – it’s easy to forget to cancel a subscription. But it’s also super easy to do regular checks of the direct debits linked to your bank account, to avoid spending more than you need to on a service you no longer use.

Make yourself a brew and log into your online banking – it’s time to say goodbye to those unused subscriptions!

We’re here to support all our customers. If you’re struggling to make your payments then please get in touch as early as possible.

Find all the info you need on the financial assistance available to you over on our Money Matters page.

Or if you’re in need of a little financial guidance check out MoneyHelper, a government-backed impartial advice service.

If you’re looking for some new wheels, check out our maintenance package which relieves the stress of unexpected repairs, plus a whole lot more.

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