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7 things you can live without (and how they could affect your pension)

Saving pennies now could rack up the pounds later – here are a few ideas on how to cut spending and save cash for your pension or other savings. 

With incomes being squeezed, it can be difficult to prioritise saving for the future. There are always other pressures on your money. But it’s equally true that there’s a lot more to spend your money on these days – and cutting down just a bit on ‘treats’ and other outgoings can free up cash for your pension or other savings. 

Here are just a few ideas of where saving pennies now can rack up pounds down the line, whatever your age. 

1. Give up the daily coffee 

For many people, buying a cappuccino or latte on the way into the office is a morning ritual. But ditching the daily takeaway coffee habit could save a surprising amount over the course of a year. 

Giving up a £2.50-a-day coffee could save around £600 a year. Invest in a half-decent coffee machine and make coffee at home for pennies instead . 

2. Skip the odd takeaway or meal out 

Save a few pounds (cash and weight) and break out the cook books rather than takeaway menus. 

Cutting back on one £25 takeaway or your half of a £50 meal out a month (if you’re splitting the bill) will save £300 over the year, as well as being good for your waistline. 

Plus, homemade food is often far healthier than anything you buy.

3. Downgrade your phone contract 

Contracts for the latest flagship phones can easily cost £50 or more a month, so trading down to a much SIM-only deal can save a small fortune while still giving you a comparable amount of data, texts and calls. 

By shopping around, you may be able to shave off £35 or more from your monthly bill. Over the course of a year, that could add up to £420 .

4. Slash that massive pay tv package 

Are you paying for satellite or cable tv channels or a package that you hardly use, like sports or movies? 

A top-of-the-range pay tv subscription can cost as much as £70 or £80 a month . Opting for a more basic package could save around £50 a month. 

Opting for streaming services instead, which are typically around £8 a month, could save over £700 a year. 

5. Axe your gym membership

How many people signed up to the gym each New Year, feeling bloated and over-indulged, with the best of intentions to slim down and get fit, only to trail off a month or so later?

Gym memberships can cost anything from £25 to £50 a month and if you’re not using it – or maybe only going once in awhile – you’re throwing money away. 

There are cheaper ways to get fit. Get your running shoes on instead, hit the local pool, or check out online exercise videos that you can do in the comfort of your own home. You could save £300 to £600 a year.

6. Skip the night on the town

Spare yourself the hangover and the embarrassment of looking over the previous night’s Facebook posts with the odd night in. 

With a night out weighing in at as much as £60, giving your wallet and liver a break once in a while can be a good idea. 

Stay home one extra night a month and save up to £720 a year. 

7. Have some patience with gadgets and games

Are you the kind of person who just has to have the latest gadget or game as soon as it comes out? Maybe you time your phone upgrades around the Apple release cycle? 

The price of phones, consoles and other gadgets all tend to fall quite rapidly after their initial release – so having a little patience and waiting a few months can often be a shrewd move. 

Depending on how many you buy a year, you could save a few hundred pounds. 

The bottom line

Hopefully, this list will have given you a few ideas on how to save money, or at least made you think about the kinds of things you might be spending without realising it. 

Nobody expects that you will live like a monk – and we know that doing everything on this list isn’t realistic – but if you did, you could save around £3,000 a year. You could save this in a deposit savings account or ISA, or consider whether you could afford to increase your pension contributions. 

Retiresavvy is brought to you by Skipton Building Society. This article has been commissioned by retiresavvy and any opinions voiced are the author's own.

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