Save smart this winter

With autumn slowly sinking in and the thought of the approaching winter not far away, now is a good time to start thinking about how you can save some money.

You don't have to let your spending get out of control in the coming seasons. It's always a good idea to try and save what you can for when life throws those unexpected curveballs and you find yourself needing a bit of cash.

Here are some everyday tips that will help you save money that will either assist in an emergency situation, or go towards something really special!

Shop smarter

It might be about time to end your attachment to a specific brand - and simply shop for what's on special. Plan in advance and make use of multi-buy deals.

If you can't resist shopping for that new winter coat - at least make sure it's one you're getting a good deal on.

Make sure you're part of customer loyalty programs. You can end up being offered special deals and promotions which will all help you save.

Consider your options

Haven't thought about your bank in a while? Maybe it's time to see what else it out there. Choose a bank that works best for you and your savings. Shop around for a good deal where you won't be hit with unexpected charges and fees - and of course look out for a good interest rate.

Likewise for your utilities. Make It Cheaper can help you compare electricity prices, gas prices and phone plans so you know whichever supplier you're with, you're getting the best deal you can. 

Cut transport costs

Do you find yourself spending too much of your hard earned pay cheque on petrol? Think about how often you use your car and why.

Perhaps there is some way you can carpool with a colleague nearby to get to work, or better yet catch the bus or a train - and remember to pack an umbrella for the winter months!

If you're looking at buying a car, try to purchase a more energy efficient option that won't use up so much fuel.

Exercise smarter

Perhaps your gym membership is costing you a small fortune annually. Why not give it up and try a less expensive form of exercise? Team sports are a great idea - fun and fitness all in one.

Buying a piece of exercise equipment may end up being a more cost effective option as you only have to make a one-off payment for something that will last many years.

If it's too cold to face running, walking or swimming outside, you can always do some yoga and pilates at home with a workout DVD.

Posted by Matthew Cole