You’re probably familiar with the feeling of worrying about not having much money to spend this month. How can you make sure that you don’t have to track every penny you spend?
Here we’ll provide a 101 useful saving tips which will help you a lot and will be applicable in your daily life.
Financial saving tips
- Pay off the debts with the highest interest rate first.
- Pay in cash instead of using your credit card or bankcard.
- See if your mortgage interest rate can be reduced.
If you have any personal debts, for instance on your credit card (this often involves the highest interest rate), it is important to take care of that first. If necessary, apply for a new loan with a lower interest rate to pay off the higher debt. This will save you hundreds of pounds a year.
Research shows that people spend more money when paying with their credit card or bankcard. The reason behind this is that paying by card includes a disconnection of emotions in relation to the purchase. Paying with cash causes you to be more aware of your spending habits. Remember to keep receipts, it is also useful if you want to return the item if you are unhappy with it.
When applying for a loan or mortgage, the initial interest rate is high. This is because of the associated risk that you carry by not having an existing rating. (If you do have a poor credit history then sign up for a 30 day free trial with Experian and cancel any open contracts that were improperly closed. This will assist in being accepted for a mortgage or loan).
Another factor that would reduce the interest rate on a mortgage is to make use of your savings account. For instance if you have a £150,000 home and £136,000 mortgage, by using £1,100 of your savings you can reduce the borrowing needed for a five year mortgage. The rate reduces the mortgage repayments by £800 a year.
- Make an overview of your income and expenses.
This is the holy grail of saving tips in our opinion. Saving money starts by mapping your income and expenses. Many people do know how much money they receive each month, but don’t know how much they spend on shopping, travelling expenses or fixed charges. By keeping track of your expenses, you will know how much money you spend and in which category.
- Do not gamble to make money.
- See if the rent of your home can be reduced.
- Get rid of your credit card.
- Set up an automatic savings account.
- Set money aside.
- Open up a savings account at the bank that uses the highest interest rate.
Do you have a subscription to the lottery? Then terminate this immediately. Casinos and lotteries always have a higher chance of winning than you do. This is the reason casinos, in the long run, will earn money because of your visits.
Do you like going to the casino with friends once in a while or to buy a lot from the lottery just for fun? Then we advise you to do this solely for the pleasure and not for the money.
The rental price of your property can be lowered in two cases. This is when you are paying more rent than necessary, or when your income drops. Visit your local citizens’ advice bureau, so you can figure out if you are eligible for a rent reduction and how you can request it.
The interest rate you pay on your credit card is extremely high. It would be wise to pay off your credit card debt as soon as possible and cancel your credit card afterwards. For online purchases abroad, you can open a PayPal account. You can also opt for a prepaid credit card, which you can upgrade.
Banks now give you the option to set up an automatic savings account, a good example of this is Lloyds banking groups’ monthly saver. You can choose for a standing order of £50 a month as an example, which will accumulate to £600 after just one year. Other schemes such as “save the change” by Lloyds banking group, allow for every transaction made with your debit or credit card to have a rounded up figure to be transferred to your savings account. E.g. you spend £25.50 at the shop, the remaining £0.50 will be sent directly to your savings account.
If you’re left with a money surplus monthly you could transfer this to your savings account. This way you will have a buffer, which you can use if something in your house breaks. You do not have to rely on a loan to fix these objects, thus you won’t have to deal with any interest costs. Moreover you will receive interest on your savings account!
Compare several banks and decide which bank is most beneficial to you. Open up a bank account at that bank. Right now Santander and TSB are known to be the most favourable banks for savings. Other banks also offer rewards for switching. For example Halifax, their current offer is a £125 reward to new customers for switching banks.
- Figure out if you are eligible for discounts on your council tax.
People with a low income are able to request a discount on council taxes. For example, you may not have to pay a waste tax or water tax. You can check this by contacting your citizens’ advice bureau or use the benefits calculator.
- Check if your insurance and electricity bills can be reduced.
- Prevent unnecessary insurances.
- Research which social benefits and supplements you are entitled to.
- Buy your fresh foods and non-perishables that have reached their sell-by-date.
- Think of a money saving goal and measure your monthly progress.
- Take your time to do your taxes.
Towards the end of your contract start seeking out other providers, this could be done through comparison websites such as compare the market. Sometimes it does work out to be cheaper by breaking your contract earlier and paying the penalty fee, as your monthly payments would be lower.
Do you really need the insurances that you have right now? As a healthy person well under your thirties, you probably won’t need any funeral insurance.
Check if you do not have double insurance. Are you a member of a trade union? Then you most likely already have a legal insurance. You won’t need another one!
It is important to see if you are eligible for any benefits. By using the benefits calculator. A website created by the government, to advice you on what you can claim, how to claim it and what will happen if your financial circumstances change.
Each shop has a shelf for non-perishable discounted goods and a section of the refrigerator aisle for perishables. The selection changes from day to day, ranging from all the products within the shop. Products that have reached their expiration date (e.g.chicken) will be thrown away at the end of the day even though they are still perfectly fine. Therefore, go to your big supermarket and buy some of the these products, at a cheaper price. You can either cook it on the same day or freeze the perishable products immediately. This will save you a lot of money, as discounts can run up to 30% per item.
By setting goals and regularly checking on your progress saving money becomes an easier task. Estimate how much you would like to save in 10 years to prepare for your children to go to university. The monthly progress of verifying you are actually reaching your goal will motivate you to continue to save more money!
Check extensively what kind of tax exemptions you can profit from. Also check on your previous tax summaries to see if mistakes have been made. Sometimes the government may have deducted too much income tax and you can get a nice amount of money. You can go back to the previous 5 years to make corrections and claim some extras!
Saving tips for transport
- Avoid public transport in your hometown.
- Avoid travel during rush hour.
- Avoid petrol stations on the motorway.
- Make sure you stay below the speed limit.
Only make use of public transport when you travel long distances or when it is really necessary. In your city or village you could easily travel by bike. This will save you a lot of money on a yearly basis and it is also good for your health.
As the average commuter can spend up to £5,000 a year on travel to get to work it is important to seek out cheaper rates to cut this cost. If you are under 26 years of age, over 60 years old or traveling as a family with one child, then the railcard of £30 a year is the most suitable option for you. It offers a 1/3 discount on the original price of the ticket, you must travel in off-peak hours but there are added benefits to these cards – such as discounts for day trips to London.
If you are a regular commuter then you should consider purchasing a seasonal ticket rather than a weekly travel card. As a weekly travel card costs £564 a month from London to Birmingham. Compared to a seasonal ticket which costs £541.50 per month, allowing you to travel back and forth every day. Therefore purchasing a seasonal ticket will save you £22.50.
If you buy petrol by the motorway, this will be £0.10 per litre more expensive than at other petrol stations. On a full tank that will be around £5 more expensive than in your hometown.
This tip probably sounds silly but you will really save unnecessary high fines and your car will use less petrol when you drive slower than the limit.
- Travel in a group of 3 or more on the train by using GroupSave.
During off-peak hours, large groups of 3 to 9 people can receive 1/3 off of their train ticket. This is known as GroupSave and is offered by the majority of rail companies, these tickets can be purchased online as well as at the station.
- Drive a smaller car.
- Check the tyre pressure.
- Cycle to work.
Try to find out if your colleagues drive past the same spot as you and see if they want to carpool. The closer the meeting point is to your house, the more petrol and money you will save. In addition to the financial advantages of carpooling, it is also a perfect way to get to know your colleagues a bit better!
Smaller cars are less expensive when it comes to motor vehicle tax. You also pay less insurance and it will require less petrol because a small car needs less petrol than a bigger car.
When the tyre pressure is too low, you will need 5% more petrol. You can measure this with a compressor on a pump or you can buy a tyre pressure gauge yourself and put it in your car. You can buy this for £5 on the internet.
If you live close to your work, go by bike to work. This will save you money on petrol, it is healthier which will save you extra health costs.
Saving tips for groceries
- Make a shopping list.
- Don’t go shopping when you are hungry or thirsty.
- Go to the market.
- Check which ingredients you already have before you go to the supermarket.
- Do your shopping at a cheap supermarket.
- Do your daily shopping online.
- Don’t buy your personal care products at the supermarket.
- Buy long-lasting products in abundance.
Before you go to the supermarket, make sure you make a shopping list of the things you need. This way you will avoid impulsive purchases and you will only bring the necessary things home.
Don’t go shopping when you are hungry or thirsty, this will make you impulse buy even more.
Products on markets are most of the time less expensive than the ones in supermarkets and sometimes they are even of better quality. At the end of the day, products on the market are even cheaper, because the market vendors want to get rid of their products.
Per year, an average of £470 per UK household is wasted on food that is thrown away, for households with children this figure amounts to £700 a year. This is bad for the environment and for your wallet. Make sure you check which ingredients you already have, before you go to the supermarket.
Go to a cheap supermarket and try to buy more store brands instead of A- brands. Some supermarkets do sell cheap A-brands, try to find them!
Doing your food shopping online is relatively new. That’s why some companies give away introduction discounts. Shops such as Asda and Tesco provide home delivery services but also online supermarkets such as Ocado.
Ocado is currently offering a deal that gives a 30% off of your first online shopping order and free deliveries for an entire year. This deal is too good to miss as many online supermarkets require a minimum purchase before they deliver any goods.
Products for personal care are cheaper at the chemist such as Superdrug than at most supermarkets or other chemists such as Boots. Moreover these chemists often have great offers which you could benefit from. Nowadays, there are also online chemists. For example, Chemist Direct. For current discounts, have a look at chemistdirect.co.uk
Buy long-lasting products in bulk, when they are on offer.
Saving tips for nutrition and drinks
- Drink water instead of fizzy drinks.
- Defrost frozen products in the refrigerator.
- Go out for dinner less.
Not only are fizzy drinks expensive, but they also contain a lot of sugar.
Tap water, on the other hand, is nearly free and also much better for your health. This way, you kill two birds with one stone!
Products such as meat and fish will taste better if you slowly defrost them in the refrigerator. Besides, the frozen products will help keep the refrigerator cool. This way the refrigerator will consume less energy than usual.
Eating out with your family or your partner is fun, but definitely not the cheapest way of bonding. You can easily make a nice three course dinner at home. This home cooked meal and well set table, will be the ingredients for a good evening. You will see that this can be just as romantic as going out for dinner. Not convinced yet? Have a look at our webpage for Groupon!
- Prepare your lunch at home.
Buying lunch or snacks when you are out doesn’t seem that expensive. However, it is if you do it every day. Having a croissant and a sandwich with jam for £3 daily, will cost you £60 after twenty days. You can prepare your lunch at home for less than £1.
- Cook for several days at once and keep the leftovers in the freezer.
- Eat little to no fast food.
- Never throw away your food.
- Have a good breakfast every morning!
This is especially a good tip if you live just by yourself. It is more advantageous to prepare a lot of food than just one meal. Keep the leftovers in the freezer so you can warm up the food later. This trick will not only save you a little money, it will also save some of your precious time. You will only have to heat up the food if you’re feeling hungry! Just make sure the food has cooled down by the time you put it in the freezer.
Everyone knows the negative effects fast food can have on your health. Even though fast food is not that expensive, it will cost you more money than a home cooked meal. Cooking obviously takes more time than quickly ordering a pizza, but you will thank yourself by saving some money this way.
Before heading to the supermarket, write down what you will need exactly. Especially if we are talking about limited durable products. Still bought more food than necessary? Use these leftovers the next day.
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Not having breakfast will make you hungry throughout the day. This way you will be less tempted to buy snacks.
Saving tips for all your purchases
- View all customer loyalty programmes from shops and web shops.
- Do NOT purchase any insurance for your Smartphone.
- Check if there is a season discount.
- Do not make a purchase on credit.
- Have a look at the charity shop.
A lot of shops and brands have loyalty offers that you can really benefit from. It’s often the case that you will get some sort of discount just by creating an account at a web shop. Remember to look for customer loyalty promotions before purchasing something on a website.
Smartphone insurance can be as much as £7 a month, even though most people don’t even need it. It is smarter to spend your money on a good phone case and screen protector.
A lot of products are reduced in price during a specific season. Summer clothing, for example, will get cheaper nearing the end of the summer season. The same goes for other products. Cars, for instance, are cheaper in the month of December. You should check when products are reduced in price on a regular basis. Which could save a lot of money on your purchases!
Do you want something, but don’t have the money to buy it right away? Then wait for the moment you do have enough cash for it. Avoid make any purchases on a monthly repayment scheme! This, in the long run, will be much more expensive than paying the amount in one transaction.
The amount of beautiful items at the charity shop will definitely amaze you! If you are moving places and need new furniture, you could save a lot of money by visiting for instance the British Heart Foundation shop.
- Map which subscriptions you have and if they are needed.
Take a critical look at your subscriptions for TV channels, magazines, newspapers etc. How often do you read or use them? Can you cancel a few? If you only read at the weekends, then go for a weekend subscription or buy a copy every now and then.
- Don’t use the Safari (Apple) browser to buy items online.
- Purchase your items through the Internet.
- Buy clothing on sale.
- Try fixing products before replacing them with new ones.
- Buy a great product with a good offer.
- Make sure you get the minimum order amount for free delivery in your online shopping bag.
- Look for a cheaper phone subscription.
There is a chance that your online purchases are more expensive when you’re using the browser Safari. Think about flight tickets, hotel reservations, cars etc.
Buying items online is usually cheaper than buying things in the shops. After all, web shops don’t need a lot of staff or storage space. It is also easier for you to compare products online and search for the best value for money.
These days, there is always some sort of sale somewhere. You can buy clothes a lot cheaper than the original price. If your favourite clothes aren’t on sale yet, you can choose to patiently wait until they are.
A lot of people don’t hesitate to buy new items when something breaks or doesn’t work properly anymore. These products can be easily repaired, computers often are replaced by new ones too soon. Cleaning up the computer’s hard drive can do wonders and save you the purchase price of a new device.
There are nice offers very regularly, like buy one get one free for shower products, make up etc. Have you been using the same products for years? Then buy them in larger quantities with these kind of offers.
When shopping online, you may notice that you can get your order delivered for free if it’s worth over a certain amount. If you don’t reach that amount, search for another product of which you are sure you will need and add it to you shopping bag. This will save you the delivery costs.
These days, phones have a longer lifespan. When your two-year contract is coming to an end, your phone may still be functioning properly. Why would you purchase a new one if you can still use your current phone? You can just simply search for a phone subscription online that best suits your phone usage. You can opt for a sim-only subscription since this is cheaper.
- When shopping, don’t only look at products on eye level.
Customers look at products that are on eye level more frequently and end up buying them. Salesmen are well aware of this phenomenon. These products carry the highest profit margin for shops. That is beneficial for the shops, but not for you. Next time, make sure you also have a look at shelves above and below eye level!
- See if you can get the product you need directly from a wholesaler.
- Compare every product you buy.
- Sign up for a ‘free to pick up’ group page on Facebook.
- Exchange your unwanted goods with friends.
It is possible to get some products directly from a wholesaler or for wholesale prices. For example, buying your shopping that you use in larger quantities from a shop such as Costco
There are a lot of websites that compare products to help you make a good decision and pay the lowest available price. Such as “compare the market”, “my supermarket” and many more.
Nearly every municipality has its own Facebook page on which people offer products they don’t use anymore for free. There may be some interesting products for you. You can also have a look at used product websites, since there are free products on there as well.
You can plan an exchange evening with your friends, where you can swap clothing or other items. This way, you can save a lot of cash on clothing expenses with each other.
Tips to save energy
- Switch home energy supplier.
- Combine clothes of multiple colours for washing.
- Make use of radiator foil.
- Iron your clothes while they are damp.
- Make use of solar panels.
- Change single glazed windows for double glazed windows.
- Change your lightbulbs.
- Make sure your refrigerator is positioned at least 10cm away from the back wall.
Research conducted by the Consumer association has shown that switching home energy supplier yearly will be rewarding in 70% of the cases. Try to not be seduced by the free presents like tablets etc. As most of the times these prices are included in the fee. Have a look at which home energy supplier is the cheapest and saves the most energy!
This might sound like a strange tip because you think it will change the colours of your clothes. Nowadays, ‘colour run removers’ will keep your clothes from bleeding its colours. This way you can combine clothes with multiple colours and you will never have to run a half full washing machine.
If you use radiators to heat the house, make use radiator foil. The foil will reflect the warmth back into the room and stop it from leaking through the outside wall.
Clothes that are still damp are easier to iron than dry clothes. This way the process will be shorter, therefore saving you time and money.
If you are a homeowner, you could consider investing in solar panels. In most cases you get the invested money back in approximately 5 years and from that moment, the lower energy costs will be even more beneficial.
Invest in double glazed windows could save you £300 a year on your energy bill. What if you don’t have money to change your windows? Hang up thick curtains, they too provide good insulation.
Change your normal light bulbs for LED light bulbs or energy saving light bulbs. Normal light bulbs use a lot of energy and have a shorter life span. Energy saving or LED light bulbs are more expensive to buy, but they last longer and use less energy.
At the back of your refrigerator, the cooling part takes place by evaporating liquid. This process takes a lot of energy and warmth. This warmth will be moderated by the coils at the back of the refrigerator, which will also feel warm. When your refrigerator is standing immediately against the wall, a warmer area is created and the refrigerator will have to use a lot more energy to reach the desired temperature.
- Choose an energy contract with a variable price.
A fixed price with regards to energy costs sounds interesting, because you will always pay the same price, even if energy prices increase. But if prices decrease, the home energy supplier will charge you more than the actual price.
- Use a water boiler.
- Don’t boil a full kettle.
- Always close the doors to your wardrobe.
- Put on a sweater or cardigan in the winter.
- Don’t buy a lot of devices that need batteries.
- Clean the filters of devices regularly.
- Try to avoid stand-by options.
- Turn down the brightness of your screen.
- Install an energy usage manager.
A water boiler will smartly use the necessary energy to encourage warmth. By using a water boiler instead of a kettle, you will save 40% of energy.
By boiling only the necessary amount of water you will save money on electricity as less energy is required, this will amount to a £0.17 every time half a kettle is used.
If you don’t close the doors of your wardrobe, warmth will also get into your wardrobe. This is a waste of energy because the inside of your wardrobe doesn’t need any heating. Therefore, always close the doors to make sure you don’t waste energy on heating up your wardrobe.
Putting your thermostat 1 degree lower will save you approximately £50 a year. Therefore, put on some warm clothes in the winter so that you can turn down thermostat.
Batteries are expensive and some appliances have a high turnover when it comes to batteries. Therefore, it will be in your advantage to buy, for example, a razor for £50 which can be charged. Instead of one for £30 which needs batteries.
Hoovers, dryers, dishwashers and washing machines all use filters. Make sure you clean these on a regular basis. The cleaning of filters will make sure that your devices work more efficiently and therefore use less energy.
Almost all devices have a stand-by option. The plug will still be in the socket and the device is still using energy. Make sure that you do turn off the socket on the wall, when you are not using the device. As a result you will save £28 on a yearly basis on your TV decoder, £13 on your coffee machine and £30 on your computer.
Your screen brightness is as a standard always at its brightest. This will require a lot of energy and is tiring for your eyes. Search on the internet how to turn down the brightness of your television, laptop or telephone.
An energy usage manager gives you an insight in your energy usage. This will be shown on your computer or tablet. With this information, you can see if these saving actions were useful. More advanced energy saving managers will also give you tips on how to save on your energy costs.
Tips for saving water
- Do your dishes in the kitchen sink.
- Take shorter showers.
- Buy a water-saving showerhead.
Doing the washing up in the kitchen sink makes it easier to save water. You don’t have to let the tap run. It is good for the environment and good for your wallet!
Showering for half an hour each time is very pleasant, but costs you a lot of money on a yearly basis. Besides, showering for that long is not good for your skin. About 9 litres of water flows out of a regular showerhead per minute.
A water-saving showerhead is just as pleasant to use as a regular one, but saves 20% on the use of water and energy. An average household saves approximately £187 on a yearly basis with a water-saving showerhead.
Saving tips for holidays and daytrips
- Split up your train tickets when travelling abroad.
- Family trips don’t need to be expensive.
- Check if the ticket for an event is being offered somewhere else for cheaper.
- Don’t book a ‘full trip’.
- Look for free events in your neighbourhood.
- Go camping instead of staying at a luxury resort.
- Rent out your house while on vacation.
- Book your vacation as early as possible.
When traveling abroad by train you can save money by splitting up your train ticket. This means that you for example buy a separate train ticket to Calais in France and from there onwards you buy a new train ticket for the next part of your trip.
Cheap family trips can be just as fun as expensive ones. Play old-fashioned board games with each other, visit a children’s farm or take free tours through London.
There are a lot of websites on the internet that people use to sell their tickets for events which they won’t be attending anymore. Buying your tickets ‘second hand’ from these people can save you a good £10. The most frequently used website for this is Ticketswap. Besides this there are also online auctioning websites where you can sometimes find cheaper tickets. Beware of fake websites though and do some research before spending your money.
By ‘full trip’ we mean a flight, transport and residence that is compiled by a travel agency. Trips like this cost you more than when you do your own research for your travels and book everything yourself. You can find cheap flights via websites like Skyscanner. For accommodation, you can have a look at Bookings.com or Airbnb.
Most towns regularly organise free events. Going out doesn’t need to cost you money. Just check the event calendar of your town every now and then.
By camping, you can save a lot of money on your vacation, sometimes as much as a £100 a night. Camping with friends and family is a lot of fun. The money you saved can be spent on some other nice activities.
If you are going on holiday yourself, you are able to let other tourists stay in your home through several websites. Especially if you live near hotspots, this can create a lot of money. This money may even cover the costs of your own vacation. Airbnb and Wimdu are popular websites for renting out your house.
These days, the early bird discount at travel agencies is much higher than the rebate on last-minute trips. Try booking your vacation earlier!
General saving tips
- Rent out the items you do not use every day.
- Keep your razors sharp for a longer time.
- Find out what benefits you can get at your job.
- Share the Internet bill with your neighbours.
- Reduce the cost of your phone subscription.
- Learn on how to negotiate.
There are several rental platforms on which you can rent out items that you do not use on a daily basis. Are you not going to use your car for a while? Then rent it out via Snappcar. Don’t need your DIY tools at the moment? Put it up for rent via Peerby!
Razor blades don’t go blunt from the shaving itself, but by how and where you store it. After shaving, make sure you clean the razor thoroughly with water and dry it afterwards. You can also rub the razor in the opposite direction of the blades against your jeans for a few minutes. Because of this, your razor won’t be left with a grime and dirt, it won’t oxidize either. By following this trick your razors will last a lot longer.
There are a lot of secondary employment conditions available at many companies. These conditions can vary from a free bike, phone contracts, sports and more. Find out what benefits are available to you.
Ask your neighbours to share the Internet. You will both only have to pay half of the actual amount. Keep in mind that the Internet range is of good quality in every room. You could also use a Wi-Fi repeater if that is not the case.
These days, you can use apps like WhatsApp to keep in touch with your family and friends. There are more chat apps that work via Internet, which means you will only need an internet bundle.
In a lot of situations it would be useful to be able to negotiate. Think about a new job contract, purchasing a car or a house. You can surf the internet to find negotiation tricks.
- Stop smoking!
Not only is smoking (as we all know) very bad for your health, it is also super expensive. Needless to say, it is very hard to stop smoking. It is smart to contact your general practitioner if you do plan on stopping. It can also be very motivational to calculate how much money you spend on smoking per month or on a yearly basis. With all this wasted money you possibly could have gone on a nice trip.
- Do the necessary tasks yourself.
- If you are a student, make use of your status!
- Don’t spend too much money on entertaining your children.
- Look after the children with your neighbours.
- Recycle your bottles.
Tasks like cleaning your house and fixing a flat tyre can easily be done by yourself. YouTube is a lifesaver when it comes to tutorials on how to fix broken things. Ask yourself if you are able to repair something yourself before you get help from a third party.
A lot of companies offer discounts to students. As a student you most likely will be eligible for a discount on your insurance or paying less interest at banks. You even get extra discounts for clothing and trips with some companies. If you are going to buy something, you should ask the company if they offer any student discounts. For instance, New-look offers a 10% discount in the shop once the valid student ID has been presented. This is also valid online.
Kids and especially small children are easily entertained. Having fun as a child, does not necessarily require money. Go ahead and do some crafting with them or play a game of football in the garden.
A babysitter for your children can be quite expensive. Make arrangements with the neighbours about looking after each other’s children. Your kids will get to meet other children from the neighbourhood as well! You can set up a babysitting schedule with families nearby.
Reuse your water bottle, so you don’t have to buy a new one from an expensive kiosk or at the station. You can fill up your bottle with water from the tap.
Did you find it helpful to read all these tips? Do you now know how you can save some extra cash in daily life? Then share these tricks with your friends, so you can all save your money together!