Hands up who wants to save money? Everyone, given the chance, wants solutions to help their money go further.

Some good financial habits can help your hard-earned money stretch further than the first week of the month and a bit of money-saving knowhow can go a long way!

Why not start the new year as you mean to go on and take a look at some of our useful tips to help you get more bang for your buck.

1. Set yourself a budget

A budget is an easy way to help your salary go further, especially if you find that you spend all of your pay in the first week and have to count down the days until your next payday.

Budgeting doesn’t have to be difficult, and you can easily create a budget that will help you to manage your household expenses, pay back your debts and save for the things you enjoy.

Getting sensible with your money will help it stretch further, and a budget is a simple way to help you get a firm grip on your finances.

2. Stop wasting food

Food is one of our highest monthly outgoings, but how much of it gets wasted each month? If you tend to spend a lot of money in the supermarket each week, only to leave it go to waste in favour of takeaways and eating out – this could explain why your money isn’t going as far as you’d like it to.

Food planning might sound like a millennial tool, but it can help you to save money on food, stop waste and maybe even help you shed a few pounds.

Another consideration is to switch from fresh to frozen. Not only is frozen food cheaper, but it drastically reduces food waste too as you only take from the freezer what you need. Don’t be fooled into thinking frozen food isn’t as nutritious or tasty either.

Frozen food is going through a bit of a renaissance at the moment, helped along by chefs such as Miguel Barclay and his £1 meal recipes. Check out his YouTube channel for some frozen food inspiration. You’ll be amazed!

3. Spend on experiences, rather than things

Which do you think makes you happier, experiences or things? It is, of course, experiences. People who spend on experiences tend to be happier than those who spend on things, as they give long-lasting enjoyment and memories as well as a positive association with earning and spending.

Instead of wasting your salary each month on clothing or computer games, put the money away to save for a holiday instead.

The experience will be much more worthwhile and will leave you with far better memories than another item of clothing or video game that could probably do without.

4. Switch your suppliers

When was the last time you changed your energy supplier? Are you paying over the odds for your Sky or broadband bill? Perhaps it’s time that you did a bit of haggling.

You’ll be surprised at how competitive energy suppliers can be at the thought of losing a customer, so if you play your cards right, you could secure a reduction in your monthly bills without a change to your service.

It’s worth doing a search of other suppliers to see what they can offer you. At the very least, it’ll give you some ammunition to haggle with your current supplier, and at most – could get you a cheaper deal and better service.

5. Feel the benefits of active travel

If you have yet to come across the term ‘active travel’, you’ll be hearing about it soon enough. The government is encouraging local authorities to introduce active travel initiatives to help people get healthier, while also helping the environment.

The term refers to using more ‘active’ forms of travel such as cycling and walking to get around.

Even if you did this a couple of times a week, you’d get in some much-needed exercise and save on your typical commute costs. If you live too far away to commute, think about using active travel on weekends instead.

6. Make the most of online discounts

Thanks to the internet, it’s possible to save money on almost anything online. From dining out to shopping discounts – it seems like there’s an endless list of places to make savings online. Instead of accepting the first price you find online, do a bit of digging.

A search on another website or Googling ‘discount code for xxxx,’ could help you save anywhere from 10-30% off the price you would have paid. Sign up for newsletters when you land on a website and it’s likely that you’ll get an introductory offer code to encourage you to buy something.

Additionally, shopping through sites such as QuidCo could earn you cashback on your purchases. Finally, creating filters for your emails that will keep all offers tucked away in a special folder, will help you to resist the temptation of overspending whenever a good deal comes your way.

7. Make the most of free entertainment

If a large proportion of your wages goes towards entertainment, why not look for free options instead. You can get a surprising amount of tickets to see films, theatre and other events for free – you just need to do a bit of digging first.

If you really want bang for your buck, take advantage of the free trials that exist for services like NOW TV and Netflix. If there are several people in your household, you can all take it in turns to make the most of free trials to give yourselves a couple of months of free entertainment.

Eventbrite and Facebook are great sources of free events, so take a look at what’s happening near you and fill your diary!

8. Getting more bang for your buck with the ESMI Rewards scheme

Reward schemes are another excellent way to save money with little effort on your part. Also known as ‘cashback’ schemes, reward schemes work by providing a shopping portal to your favourite retailers which offer you money back on the things you buy.

Worked out as a percentage of your earnings, cashback can be a great way to save for luxuries or even for Christmas and special occasions. Reward schemes can work by getting you more for your money on purchases like mobile phone and broadband contracts, insurance and more.

At ESMI, we offer our own incredible rewards scheme which can help our customers to get rewards on everything from grocery shopping to travel bookings.

Rewards can be earned online and in-store, and all you need to do to participate is to take out an ESMI policy. You can share access with three other people, helping your family and friends to earn rewards too. All it takes is a couple of additional clicks and you could soon start seeing the rewards pile up.

Why not start making your money go further by signing up for ESMI and ESMI Rewards and get your year off to a great start.