Sort out your cash issues now and you can look forward to splashing out. Money guru Jasmine Birtles gives a month-by-month guide to freeeing up the £££s
Snap up half-price Christmas goods in sales now
Cards, wrapping paper, decorations and even food (puds, nuts, booze) will keep until next December and costs a fraction of the price if you buy them this month.
Make an offer on a new home
Fewer buyers are willing to house-hunt in the cold weather, so there’s less competition (and fewer bidding wars).
Slash your food bill in half
Discover wholesale websites like approvedfood.co.uk and foodbargains.co.uk. Get cut-price drinks, cereals, oils, and more. Ten Cadbury Creme Eggs for £1 (off season) is our favourite deal!
Get a stocks and shares ISA
Now’s the time to start an ISA (a stocks and shares ISA gives a better return than a cash one). It’s the start of the tax year so you’ll get 12 months of tax-free savings.
Overpay a little on your mortgage
If you paid off a mortgage of £112,000 with a 5 per cent interest rate in 15 years rather than 25, you would save £36,600 in interest alone. So each year you’ll be richer by £3,000. It’s a great tax-free investment.
Take a free summer holiday
Join a house-swapping site such as lovehomeswap.com (£100 joining fee), and exchange with people worldwide.
Get into group buying
If you’re travelling by train with friends, check out nationalrail.co.uk for group discounts. Every little helps.
Get your heating sorted
Summer is the cheapest time to get your boiler fixed or replaced, put in insulation and generally get the house winter-ready.
See if you’re eligible for a warm front grant
It can help heat and insulate your home, saving up to £6,000. Visit energysavingtrust.org.uk.
Get annual travel insurance
The best time to buy travel insurance is two weeks before your trip. Don’t use the tour operator, go to confused.com.
Fix your utilities
Gas and electricity companies put prices up in the autumn, so fix yours now. Go to energyhelpline.com for painless switching.
Get your holiday money from the ATM when you arrive
It’s the cheapest way- and always take it out as local currency.
Deck out your garden
Outdoor furniture and accessories are heavily discounted at the end of August so get down to B&Q or Homebase.
Get a 0% credit card for Christmas
It can take a few weeks, so got to moneyfacts.co.uk now for an offer.
Make money from renting your spare room
This can earn you a tax free sum of up to £4,250 a year. Rent to a foreign student if you can’t bear someone there all the time. Or try mondaytofriday.co.uk for part-timers.
Ditch your car
Join a site like liftshare.com or blablacar.com to share your journeys or simply hire a car for an hour or so when you need it with zipcar.com. If you can’t bear to lose your own car, make money from renting it to neighbours through whipcar.com.
Learn the art of complaining for money
Write letters asking for financial compensation until companies cave in. It’s particularly effective with late trains- if your train arrives more than an hour late, you’re entitled to a minimum of 20 per cent of the cost of the ticket. For details, visit traindelays.co.uk and for getting great tips on the art of complaining, see moneymagpie.com.
Get paid to shop
Sign up to the Qidco app (quidco.com), which not only gives you money-off vouchers for shops and restaurants, but cashback when you shop in certain stores. It even gives you money simply for going into shops- even if you don’t buy anything!
Send ecards instead of printed ones
Jacquilawson.com offers unlimited ecardsfor a year for a £7.25 annual subscription.
Book train tickets for next year before prices go up in January
Right now you can get the cheap offers directly from rail companies like eurostar.com or your local train operator.
Get a new car
Business tends to be quiet during this period between new plate releases, so dealerships offer heavy cuts to maintain sales. There are some great bargains to be had and you can definitely haggle.