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If you're already looking at your bank balance, crying 'I just don't understand where it's gone,' then you need to read this.

With the cost of holidays increasing and the end of winter signalling the start of the summer holiday season, Caxton FX has conducted research into the day-to-day items we overspend on, and, with a little willpower, highlights where you can save up to £358 in just a month. By making eight simple changes, here’s how to get your finances in shape.

Cut the coffee: At £2.45 a cup, Costa cappuccinos, or the equivalent, soon add up. Five takeaway coffees a week equates to a rather expensive £12.25. Commuting without caffeine can be tough but keeping a lid on your coffee jitters until you can prepare a cup in the office could keep your wallet feeling healthier. Alternatively, there are now an array of travel mugs in the shops that would enable you to make a cup of coffee at home and take it on the road with you; not only would you save money but you know your coffee has been made exactly how you like it and you didn’t even have to queue for it. Savings = £53.08 a month.

Cut your transport costs and walk (where possible): We know that not everyone lives in London, however where possible, walk to work, it's free and could easily save you £30 a week. If walking isn’t your thing, there are Barclay’s bikes scattered across the city ready to rent and ride, with prices starting from £2 for half an hour, helping you to work on your physical and financial fitness in one fell swoop. Saving = £130 a month.

Buy your holiday money now: The pound is particularly strong at the moment and experts predict that it won't be long before the euro makes a comeback. Purchasing currency in advance locks in the exchange rate of the day. Instead of storing cash in your home, look into using a currency card, which is a safe and secure alternative.

Make the most of company perks: Ask your employer what company perks and benefits they offer. Many offices across the country contribute to their staff health care and you could end up saving £30 on your annual eye test, plus the cost of glasses.

Just say no: How often does a 'swift half' after work turn into a costly headache the next morning? Saying 'no' a few times a year will do wonders for your bank account, as well as your wellbeing. Cutting back on three drinks a week could save you £13.50. Believe it or not, there are plenty of non-alcoholic activities waiting to be discovered; on a sunny day get the office out and down to the park to play a game of rounders. Not only will it be beneficial to your holiday savings pot but also your holiday body. Saving = £58.50.

Make lunch! On average, workers spend £5 a day on their lunch. Kick the habit of heading straight to Pret A Manger every day and prepare your own gourmet lunch; all you need is a loaf of bread (as crusty as you like), some smoked salmon and a fresh avocado. As well being tasty, healthy and easy to prepare, you could save up to £20 per week. Saving = £86.60.

Embrace online auctions: Turn those unwanted or unused items hanging in the wardrobe or lingering in the garage into extra money for your next shopping spree or holiday. Regularly selling your unused garments, electronics, kitchenware etc. on Ebay could have you earning an extra £30 a month.

Shop around: Whether it is grocery shopping, utility bills or flights – it always pays to shop around and find the best possible deal. With airfares ever increasing, flight comparison websites are an essential tool when it comes to planning a trip. Try new flight comparison website Compareandfly.com to get the best price for your next flight.

Image credit: Thinkstock


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Feeling broke so soon after payday? Here's our guide to saving £358 per month
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