How to save money this spring
8 fun ways to give your finances a fresh start
Spotting the first signs of spring approaching after the long, cold winter months always feels like a cause for celebration. And as we come out of hibernation with renewed energy, why not take the opportunity to consider some new ways of living that come with a variety of benefits?
Make a fresh start this spring with our suggestions on how to save money, whilst getting more fresh air and exercise, and enjoying the company of family and friends at the same time.
Walk or cycle more
As mornings become lighter, why not leave for work or school a little earlier and enjoy a walk or cycle in the fresh air rather than using the car? There are lots of benefits to this morning ritual – for your health, the environment and (given the cost of fuel) your purse too.
Save on energy
As the weather gets warmer you’ll find you don’t need to put the heating on as often, or for as long. Save even more money by turning the thermostat down. You can also save more energy (and money) by pegging out your washing rather than using a tumble drier. And you could even use the opportunity to review your energy deal – if you’re out of contract, changing suppliers can be easier than you think. Read our How to save money on your utility bills article for more inspiration.
Create a beautiful garden (for free)
If you dream of a beautiful, well-stocked garden but don’t want the expense of buying new plants from a garden centre, why not swap cuttings with your friends? Many plants are relatively easy to grow from cuttings and spring is the perfect time to try.
And if you like to put freshly-cut flowers on your table through the warmer months, plant a few bulbs now. They’re cheaper than buying flowers and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you’ve grown them yourself.
Grow your own fruit and veg
Whether you use an allotment, your garden or even a windowsill, growing your own fruit and veg can save you money, provide you with delicious organic, zero-food-miles treats and boost your mental health. Start planning now, so you’re ready to plant out as soon as the frosts have subsided. Later in the year you could boost your coffers even more by offering any surplus produce for sale either from the pavement or at a fair (as long as you aren’t trading regularly as a business, there should be no tax implications), or turn it into jams or chutneys to sell or give as presents later in the year.
Plan a camping holiday
With exchange rates at their current levels it makes even more financial sense to holiday at home, rather than abroad. Camping trips are often up there with the best holidays, as you get to experience some amazing places and make fantastic memories with family and friends. Just remember to pack for all eventualities – sun, rain…
Take financial stock
The financial year ends on 5 April every year, making early spring the ideal time to review your finances and consider any actions you should be taking to make your money work as hard as it can.
You could consider topping up your ISA, or opening one if you don’t already have one. The annual ISA allowance stands at £20,000 for both the 2018/19 tax year, ending on 5 April 2019, and the 2019/20 tax year starting on 6 April 2019. So you could put money into your ISA before the 5 April 2019 deadline to make the most of your 2018/19 allowance, and from 6 April 2019 onwards get a head start by topping up in order to benefit from the 2019/20 allowance. Why not check out our 5 ways to get the most out of your ISA allowance article to find out more.
Have a clear-out
Then the days get longer it’s traditionally time to have a spring clean. As well as cleaning, washing and dusting, look for belongings that you no longer need, but which could have a value for someone else – one man’s junk is another man’s treasure, as they say.
You can get money in return for all sorts of unwanted goods, and it’s reasonably easy to sell things on the internet, without even having to leave your home. From unwanted DVDs and clothes to larger items like bikes and furniture, having a seasonal clear-out can be good for your soul as well as your purse. And remember, even if you don’t want any money for your belongings, then you can still get the feel-good factor by donating your unwanted items to charity.
Shop the sales
At the end of winter, shops are keen to shift the last of their winter stock to make room for the latest new items. From luggage to a new coat or warm boots, you may not get much use out of something right away but if you see something you like at a price that’s right, consider buying it – it’ll still look new when you have the chance to use it later in the year and you’ll have saved yourself a packet!
Now that you’ve got some inspiration about how to save money this spring, it just remains for you to pick which ones appeal to you most and enjoy them – and the financial benefits they’ll bring!
Before making financial decisions always do research, or talk to a financial adviser. Views are those of our mentors and customers and do not constitute financial advice.