And it wasn’t on something like a luxury holiday, a car, or a suite of furniture. Because being a savvy spender means you can find bargains everywhere.
So how did I save? Well it all started with a quiet weekend at home, and a bit of research on my laptop.
I wasn’t happy with the amount I was paying for my home telecoms. Plus, as I’m also a big football fan, I was getting frustrated at the amount I have to pay to watch live Premier League games.
Sure, you could argue that the high monthly prices for these services are pretty standard. After all, we need to pay for phones, broadband and TV. But if you look hard enough the savings are out there on them too.
So, here’s what I did:
1. My current TV and broadband deal is with Virgin Media. While researching I noticed a competitor had a pretty attractive offer, so I called Virgin, threatening to leave. In return they gave me a loyalty half-price offer of €45 unlimited TV and broadband for 6 months – saving me €270.
2. I also switched my mobile from a €30 a month Eir deal to a Virgin Media deal costing just €5 a month
3. Then, I searched online for a good-value sports TV package and discovered Pigsback.com had a 5-month NowTV deal that saved me €258.
So, as you can see the savings are out there if you go looking for them. In fact, I think I could have saved more on TV by switching to Saorview, and then simply use apps like Netflix instead.
So, can you find savings too?
Absolutely. The secret to my savings strategy lay in being willing to change my behaviour and research better deals. So, if you have the will to save, it’s easier than you think.
Getting over your Irish shyness
The first thing you need to be aware off is the Irish shyness when it comes to bargaining. It’s simply just a cultural thing so there’s nothing wrong with it. If you think something is too expensive or could be better value, challenge it. All the seller can say is no, right?
Our spending habits are based on personality
Apparently, we learn our behaviour with money as children by watching our parents’ relationship with it. Added to that is that some people are simply more cautious while others are risk takers and spendthrifts. Taking a look at how you behave with money can be uncomfortable but can also give you some insight as to how you could change your spending habits. So, don’t be afraid to look over your bank statements, analyse what you’re spending your money on and see where you could save.
Set some savings goals
Setting goals, like the ones I did regarding my TV and broadband is the surest way to make savings. It focuses your mind and gives you a real sense of achievement when you make your savings count. Even writing things down will help you commit to taking action.
Shop around for the best deals
Let Google be your friend here and don’t be afraid to challenge your existing providers. Tell brands you’re loyal to that you’re considering leaving them if they can’t match a better offer from a competitor. Discover new websites that aggregate the best deals for you. Figure out the best-value transactions.
Take a realistic approach – life is for living too
Of course, you need to live your life too, so there’s no need to sacrifice everything you love in order to save money. That’s not being savvy either. The trick is to figure out what you enjoy spending money on, then find ways to spend less money doing it. For instance, going for a jog in local park instead of the gym. Or, shopping around on several hotel-bookings sites instead of the one you always use. The savings are out there.
Enjoy all the benefits like me
By doing all these things, it will help you to find ways to have all the things you want but spend less. I’m not saying that’s always easy. But it can be done.