23. Don’t pay full price for theatre or theme park tickets
If you are prepared to tolerate the unwieldy website and hit-and-miss customer service, lastminute.com regularly boasts some amazing deals for London’s theatres and the nation’s theme parks. At the time of writing you can see top West End show The Producers plus a two-course meal for less than £20 a head, a saving of £60 per person, and tickets for Chessington World of Adventures cost from £12, a saving of nearly £50 for a day out for a family of four.
24. Beat the ticket touts
Ticket touts earn their living by getting hold of tickets that are ‘otherwise unavailable’. Well, here’s the news: they are available to everyone when they first go on sale. You just need to know when they go on sale. Simply sign up to for the free ticket alert newsletters from the main agents to ensure that you’re first in the queue.
Links: Ticketline; Ticketmaster
25. Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses
Trying to keep up appearances is little more than a costly illness. Remember, you cannot judge someone by what they have because you don’t know how they got it. Chances are they’re in more debt than you are.
Link: This is Money’s guide to getting out of debt
26. Trade down your car
So, you bought an American sports utility vehicle (SUV) that nets 15 miles to the gallon on a whim. Obviously we’re all very impressed – especially by the personalised number plate. But can you honestly justify the ongoing expense? If not, get rid of it. Then visit a car supermarket, where you can choose from thousands of cars at knock-down prices. If you’re a true money saver, consider an ex-rental model which you can pick up for a fraction of the cost of a new one.
Links: Daily Mail find a car service; Cargiant
27. Ask yourself: do I really need this?
Imagine the scenario. It’s lunchtime and you’ve got an hour to kill. You find yourself in a department store and there’s a sale on. You pick up a beautifully packaged selection of barbecue tools and associated garden paraphernalia. And it’s half price. Now, stop! Ask yourself: Do I really need this? Exactly. Now, put it down and walk away.
Link: This is Money’s money savers’ guides
28. Walk/cycle to the station/work
It maybe a bit of hippie notion to many people but it’s free.
Link: Cycle Campaign Network
29. Get off the station before your usual stop and walk
We may be creatures of habit but isn’t it worth tinkering with the routine if it’s costing more than £50 a month in unnecessary fares?
Link: Living Streets
30. Cut down your drinking
A few beers after work a few nights a week is a financially debilitating state of affairs. Set limits and stick to them.
Link: Calculator: Pleasures v treasures
31. Pack up smoking
Never mind the health implications, the guilt and the smell, your 20-a-day habit is costing you nearly £2,000 a year. Pack it in.
Saving: Nearly £2,000