Save on sat navs
Sat navs typically cost between £60 and £290. With smartphones increasingly having faster processors, sat nav apps are becoming a more viable option than previously thought and are cheaper alternatives to the standalone machines. Although there are paid-for apps, Waze is a community-driven free app for Android, IOS and Windows. Being part of the Waze community means both you and other users can report accidents, hazards and road alerts and the app even lets you know where the nearest petrol stations are. For safety reasons it would be worth investing in a cradle for your phone.
Join the coffee club
Pop into your local coffee shop once a week for a couple of drinks and over a year the spend mounts up to around £250. However there are several places where you can get a free hot drink by becoming a ‘member’, which is also free. Joining Waitrose* or Ikea* entitles you to a hot drink whether you make a purchase or not. Spend £5 in Waitrose and your membership awards you a free newspaper as well. John Lewis's deal is even sweeter; their reward card allows you a free hot drink AND cake of your choice once a month.
Electronic books for less
Typically a book costs around £5. Over a year this can easily mount up to £150. However if you have an e-reader, for example a Kindle or Kobo, there are a tens of thousands of books available for free**. These include the classics like Oliver Twist, David Copperfield and Les Miserablés, as well as modern-day books ranging from cookbooks to thrillers. You can find a list of the ‘top 100 free Kindle books’ on Amazon. If you don’t have an e-reader, you can download the Kindle app for free on most smartphones and tablets. You won’t find top selling books for nothing, however you can sample a free audiobook of your choice with Audible, but remember to cancel the offer prior to the end of the 30-day trial, otherwise you will be charged for future months.
Spending on software is so last year
Purchasing software to write letters, create presentations and spreadsheets can easily set you back around £90-£100. Having more than one computer means you spend extra buying additional licenses. But www.openoffice.org offers all these for free.
A smart move, on the move
SmartBands, also known as Activity Trackers, typically cost between £70 and £129; logging your movements and sleeping patterns on a wristband that connects to your computer. However with your smartphone there are several free apps offering alternatives, including Nike+ Running, the ‘Runtastic Pedometer Lite’ for tracking steps and the Sleepbot assessing your sleep.
* Written by Marc Lockley – a negotiation coach and money saving expert. Marc tweets @negotiator1
* Restrictions apply
**Free books may vary