Finances

* Check the rate you get on your savings regularly and change to a better rate on an account that’s right for your needs.
* If you have a mortgage, again check it regularly, particularly if it is a variable rate without tie-ins. We cannot give advice so do consult someone qualified.
* If you come into any money, pay off your most expensive debts first (those with the highest interest rates or penalties - perhaps a credit card or overdraft)..

Saving Money

· Make sure you visit the Oscar site regularly, we are adding new offers and discounts weekly and they are all specifically designed for the 050s.

· Switch and save on your energy bills – make sure you are getting the best rate from the available suppliers through the Oscar site

· Change to energy saving light bulbs in your home - and stop burning unnecessary electricity by leaving computers, mobile phone chargers and tv’s on standby.

· Remember to turn your lights and appliances off before you leave for holiday to ensure you return to lower electricity bills.

Transport

· Walk whenever you can, it keeps you active and reduces energy costs

· Check out public transport routes to see if there is a cheaper alternative - rail and bus passes can be obtained to reduces costs further (over 65s travel free on buses)

· Shop around for petrol - petrol prices can be viewed online to est which is the best deal in your local area, supermarkets are often amongst the cheapest consistently.

· Use the car air conditioning sparingly, it may make you feel cooler, but it won’t last for long - it eats fuel and makes your engine less efficient.

Holidays

· Check out what is on your doorstep - we have some fantastic countryside, beaches and historical places - as well as some of the best scenery for enjoying your chosen activity - whether this be walking, biking, sailing, fishing or horse riding.

· Join the National Trust – annual membership starts at just £36 for a single adult or £59 for a couple. Members get free access to all NT sites, advance notice of events and activities across the country – for a whole year.

Entertaining

· Try organising a local treasure hunt to get friends and family involved
Instead of going out - try eating in with friends - whether it is a simple BBQ or a 3 course dinner, if you take it in turns to host, you can enjoy good food in different surroundings every week.

· Skills or knowledge exchange - start with your friends and exchange recipes, health tips, gardening tips, computing skills - build it into a regular monthly club and invite others along with particular skills or knowledge - a good way of meeting new friends and learning as you grow your network.

· You can also set up an exchange in the local school or church hall - books, plants, toys, clothes etc - what’s old to you is new to someone else.

Reduce food bills

· Get the most from your shopping budget by making the most of the discounts that the stores provide - but remember it’s only a good offer if they are enticing you to buy more when it is something you would buy and use regularly

· Shop at the end of the day - when you can buy “on date” products at less than 1/2 price

· Reduce or eliminate the amount of pre-packaged or prepared food that you buy - it is cheaper and often healthier and as timely to prepare food to your own taste.

· Grow salad, tomatoes and root vegetables in tubs on your patio - they are not as hard as you think to grow and much more fun for the grandchildren to harvest with you.

· If you live in or close to the countryside a 1/2 hour walk at any time of the year can produce food for free if you know where to look.  As well as the more obvious fruits and nuts that are edible and available almost all year around - if you visit your local woodland, you could be treated to some wild garlic flowers, elderflowers and sweet chestnuts - if you find out where to look…  Mushrooms are in abundance throughout the year - but take advice on what and when to pick.