Making payments

January money hangover? 7 tips on how to save money every day

Source: iStock / Stadtratte

Easy come, easy go: no sooner do you get paid than your hard-earned money has been spent. But where does it all go? Comparis has compiled a list of seven tips on how to save money by making small changes in your everyday life.

1. Avoid expensive snacks

With sandwiches, pizza, kebabs and other snacks available on every corner, it is genuinely hard to resist all the food on offer around us these days. And we are often forced to eat out. But let’s be honest, having a burger on the way home really isn’t necessary. Nor is that pricey bar of chocolate at the petrol station shop. If we buy an energy drink for 1.60 francs every day and a pastry costing 2 francs twice a week, the cost quickly adds up to over 500 francs a year. Eating at home is usually healthier anyway.

2. Keep food waste to a minimum

Swiss households throw away a million tonnes of food each year. This is the equivalent of over 600 francs per person per year ending up in the rubbish bin.. It doesn’t have to be this way.

How to save money on food:

  • Think about what you actually need and make a shopping list.
  • Shop regularly for products that spoil easily, such as meat, fish and vegetables.
  • Check the food in your fridge on a regular basis. If you see something you know you won’t use, you can put it in the freezer before it goes bad.
  • Remember that many foods are still good even after their expiry date.

3. Avoid unnecessary electricity consumption

The TV is constantly in standby mode, the WiFi is on even though we are not home all day long, lights are left on in rooms we are not using and the refrigerator door is left open for several minutes – all this makes your electricity bill higher than it needs to be. It's worth changing these habits. A household that reduces its electricity consumption by 1,000 kWh per year can save around 200 francs annually. And it's good for the environment, too. A few more tips to bear in mind:

  • Only switch on electronic devices and lights when you need them.
  • Switch to energy-saving LED lights.
  • Defrost your fridge and freezer regularly.
  • Wash your laundry at low temperatures.
  • Use a lid when you cook.
  • Make an effort to use low-tariff electricity.

4. Beware of supposed bargains

SALE signs in shop windows are a magnet for bargain hunters. But sales often entice us to purchase things we don’t need or clothes we don’t like after all once we get them home and see them in the mirror. These sales don’t save us money – quite the opposite: someone who spends 500 francs instead of 1,000 francs on a new TV even though the old one works just fine has 500 francs less in their account.

How to avoid bargain traps:

  • Think about what you need before you go shopping. Make a list.
  • Ask yourself, do I really need this? Would I buy it at the full price?
  • Check the original price, especially of electronic items. Would that TV really cost 1,000 francs in another shop?

5. Make good use of special offers

Many products we use on a daily basis are frequently on special offer. In particular, non-perishable items such as household cleaning and personal care products, pasta, grains, vinegar and oil are worth buying in large quantities when they are on offer. Keep plenty of supplies on hand and add items to your shopping list when you start using the last bottle or packet. You can stock up when these items are next on special offer and save hundreds of francs per year.

6. Review your insurance policies

The thing with insurance policies is that you take them out once, pay once, then forget how much they actually cost. But this is precisely where you can make considerable savings. It's worth checking whether a cheaper health insurance deal is available for the following year. Since all insurers must offer the same cover for basic insurance, you can't lose.

It can also pay you to review your supplemental insurance policies. Anyone who has supplemental health insurance and only uses the annual 300 francs fitness centre benefit but pays 30 francs per month in premiums would be better off without the insurance.

Generally speaking, if your car is more than four years old, it would be more cost-effective to switch to partial casco insurance. It is also worth checking your policies carefully on a regular basis to avoid doubling up on insurance or being overinsured.

The same applies to trip cancellation, liability and pet insurance. Prices often go down without you noticing. So it's well worth comparing.

7. Don’t be too hasty to throw away broken items

Often, the things we buy end up in the bin as soon as there's a problem with them. The vacuum cleaner broke? Toss it out. And yet many items can be repaired with little effort. There are plenty of repair manuals and explanatory videos online. If you don't trust yourself to do it, check out specialist online platforms offering amateur repair services. Some cities even have regular repair cafés (website in German, French and Italian only). At these meetings, volunteers offer advice on and help with repairing broken products. It's an opportunity to learn something new, give broken products a second life and save 200 francs on a new vacuum cleaner.