You would think households are flush with savings from the last few years… but you would be wrong – any bit of extra money has gone on inflation and the cost of living increases..not easy for most families. You can never have enough savings. So what’s the easiest way to save? Spend less ! It doesn’t have to be difficult – one of the biggest stumbling blocks people meet arises as a result of setting unrealistic goals. You don’t need to go without your day-to-day essentials in order to save money; but tightening up what meets your definition of “essential” can certainly help. Here John Lowe of identifies five things you can feasibly go without today, to help you save money fast….

  1. The daily coffee

It’s the number one recommendation when conversations like this arise. If you’re spending €3 each workday morning on a takeaway coffee, that’s €65 per month – or over € 780 per annum or € 1,600 per annum gross. To earn that if you are a top rate taxpayer, you would have to earn over € 134 per month gross.. and that’s just for the coffee ! Consider getting your caffeine fix at home and taking it with you in a travel mug. If you really can’t sacrifice your daily café trip, at the very least, bring a keep cup – many places now offer discounts to people who don’t require a disposable coffee cup.

  1. Bottled water

In a similar vein as above, but a much easier option: there should be no need to buy bottled water in Ireland – it’s one of the biggest marketing coups of all time! Invest in a safe, reusable bottle or canister and drink tap water to your heart’s content. It’s probably better for you anyway. Look for tap water in restaurants – it’s fashionable again and you will save money.

  1. Takeaways

With services like Deliveroo and JustEat meaning you can get anything to eat, from anywhere in your locality, without leaving your chair, takeaway food has become easier and easier to source – and rely on especially over the last few months. Of course it’s nice to treat yourself on a Friday, but takeaways are not the cheap option they once were, nor are they the healthiest. Set yourself the challenge of cooking in batches and preparing your health-driven meals at the weekend – and see how much money you save, not to mention your health.

      4. New clothes

This is obviously a short-term fix: can you go without adding to your wardrobe between now and the end of the year ? Only buy what you need ‘til things return to normal – if there is a normal. Second hand clothes shops and charity shops should not be overlooked either. You’ll find top class hardly worn clothing of every kind to satisfy the costumier in you.

  1. Get ruthless about the weekly/monthly shop

If you know how much you usually spend on grocery shopping, make a note of it; if not, take a look back at your recent receipts. Then cut that figure by 10% and stick to it. If that means buying own-brand products, switching to a discount shop for certain items like household cleaning, or cutting out unnecessary purchases like sugary snacks or drinks, so be it. Then, commit to making a list before stepping into your local supermarket only after you have checked your pantry and fridge to see what you need… Be strict with yourself: if it’s not on the list, it doesn’t go in the trolley. I guarantee you will save money.

There are many other ways to save money but whatever you do, start !

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