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Aug 29, 2023

20 Money-Saving Tips I Wish I Knew Sooner


Saving money can be a struggle! Life is expensive and often gets in the way of your saving goals. But a few quick tips can really kickstart the process by helping you create lasting habits and make a few extra bucks to boost your bank account. Our 20 tips to save money fast will help you:

  • Save up for a new car
  • Get a house deposit together
  • Save money for your wedding
  • Save money for a holiday
  • Prepare your finances for a baby

And just about anything else you want to save for! So, whether your financial goals are big or small, these money-saving tips will help you on your way. Here's how to save money fast…

Learn to Budget

1. Understand Your Expenses

Before you can begin to budget, you need to know your monthly income vs your monthly expenditures, so you understand exactly what you spend each month. A good way to figure this out is to add up how much money you spend on bills and other regular outgoings. Include all fixed and variable costs in this, counting everything from rent and bills to food shopping and beauty treatments. This will ensure that you keep enough money for both your monthly needs and wants before you start putting money in your savings.

2. Use the 50/30/20 Budgeting Tool

The 50/30/20 rule is an easy budgeting tool that can help you start saving and get out of debt. It works like this:

  • Use 50% of your income on your needs. This includes any fixed costs like rent and bills.
  • Use 30% of your income on your wants. This includes your variable costs such as eating out, gym memberships and subscription services.
  • Save 20% of your income. So, if you make £1500 a month after tax, this would mean you can put aside £300 a month. If your needs and wants don’t equate to 80% of your income then put the remainder into savings too.

3. Have Multiple Bank Accounts

A useful tip for separating your money into bills, spending and savings, is to have multiple bank accounts. That way, you can split up your income as soon as it comes in, which will stop you from overspending. A savings account with a high-interest rate is the best place to keep your saved money, whereas a current account is the best place to keep your spending money. Having your savings in a separate account also minimises the risk of you dipping into them.

4. Download a Budgeting App

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Budgeting apps allow you to be in control of your spending. There are lots of apps out there, but one that we've tried and loved is Monzo. Monzo is an online banking app that has some impressive budgeting features. You can categorise every payment you make, allowing full visibility over your monthly spending. It also allows you to create handy pots to separate your savings.

5. Pay Off Any Debts as a High Priority

Debts often come with high-interest rates, meaning the longer you take to pay them off, the more money you’ll be spending. If you’re saving for something long term, always make sure to pay off your debts first, so you’re not spending unnecessary money on interest. For example, if you have a debt of £1000 with a 14% interest rate (costing £140 per year) and have £1000 put away in a savings account with a 1% yield (earning £10 a year), you’ll be loosing out on £130 a year by not paying off the debt first. We understand that this might not be feasible for some people, as it could take a long time to clear debt and start saving money. So if you need to save for something short term, this won’t work for you. However, if you’re in no rush you should make clearing all debts a top priority.

Make Some Quick Cash

6. Sell Your Old Stuff

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One of the easiest ways to make some quick cash is to sell your unwanted items using online selling sites. You can sell your old books, CDs, DVDs and games with WeBuyBooks, old clothes on Depop or Vinted, unwanted furniture on Facebook Market place and just about anything on eBay. The list could go on and on - click here for more tips to flog your unwanted stuff using online selling sites.

7. Take Up a Side Hustle

If you want to seriously boost your savings, it’s worth considering taking up a side hustle or part-time job. This can be anything from a few bar shifts a week to starting a small online business. All the extra income from your side hustle can go straight into your savings pot! But remember your health is more important than your saving goals, be careful not to burn yourself out.

8. Earn Money by Completing Surveys

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Taking part in surveys is an easy way to make a few extra bucks! You can actually get paid to offer your opinion on something from the comfort of your sofa whilst your favourite TV show is on in the background. Sounds like a no brainer right? Here is all the information you need to get started taking surveys for money.

Store Money Away like a Pro

9. Set Financial Goals

First, you need to think about why you want to save? What’s your motivation? Perhaps you’re saving for a house deposit, your dream holiday, pension or have your eye on a snazzy new car? Whatever it is, keep the end goal in mind when deciding how much you want to save up. It’s also important to be realistic with your goals. Make sure you leave enough money aside for essential payments and social spending.

10. Start the 1p Saving Challenge

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This challenge is all about yearly savings! On day one, you save 1p, day two you save 2p and after 365 days – you should have over £650 saved up!

11. Want to Treat Yourself? Earn it First!

They say you shouldn’t buy something unless you could afford it twice, right? Well, the next time you want to splurge on something out of your spending money, put the cost of the item into your savings too. You’ll save extra money, get into the habit of spending less and make sure you really want the items you’re buying.

12. Automate Your Savings

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If you have a fixed monthly income and have already sorted out your budgeting, it might be worth considering setting up an automated payment from your current account to your savings account every month. By doing this you’ll make sure you’re hitting your saving goal for the month and reduce the chance of spending it.

13. Use the 100 Envelopes Saving Hack

Made popular by TikTok in 2021, the envelope saving technique is a great way to put money away. At best, you could save £5000 in 100 days, or spread this out over the full year.

How it works is you write the numbers 1-100 on 100 separate envelopes, shuffle them up, then every day (or twice a week) pick an envelope at random. Whichever number you pull out is the amount of money you put inside the envelope, so if you pulled the number 6 you save £6, but if you pull the number £100 you save £100 that day. Eventually, you’ll have 100 envelopes full of cash!

14. Pick the Right Saving Tools

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Where you keep your saved money depends on your goals. If you’re saving for something that’s long term (4+years), like retirement or your child’s education, you might want to consider putting your savings into an investment account like an index fund, stocks or IRA. However, if your savings are for a short-term goal such as a holiday, a regular savings account will do. It’s still good practice to get the highest interest rate possible.

You don’t just have to pick one or the other - perhaps you have multiple goals that you want to save for? In which case you can open both.

Cut Your Spending

15. Cancel Unused Subscriptions

It’s surprising how many little direct debits might go unnoticed if you don’t check your bank regularly. Some of them might even be for things you don’t use anymore but have forgotten to cancel, which is a total waste of money! Go through all your direct debits and cancel any that you’re not getting your money's worth for. It’s good practice to regularly check your bank account to stay on top of this.

16. Cut Back on Bills

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Have you got the cheapest deal possible on your bills? Gas, electricity, broadband etc. contribute to a huge chunk of your monthly outgoings, so if you could reduce them slightly you could be adding the difference to your savings.

  • Switch providers - Make sure you’re on the cheapest energy tariff or deal possible. Many companies also offer incentives to switch such as cash payouts or lower monthly payments.
  • Don’t waste energy - how do you spend less on your energy bills? Use less energy! Switch to a smart meter, get LED lightbulbs, turn off switches where possible… you get the gist.

17. Use Loyalty Schemes

Customers are rewarded by many retailers, restaurants and supermarkets for spending money by giving them points that can be converted into vouchers. Some will even offer special promotions for their loyal customers, which is a great way for you to spend less.

18. Shop Savvy

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Turn into a savvy shopper and you could save a ton of money! Simple things like buying things in the sale, picking up supermarket own brands when doing your shopping, planning your meals so you only buy what you need and haggling for a better deal on your phone contract can all help. You’ll be surprised how much money you end up saving at the end of the month.

19. Try a No-Spend Weekend

Most people spend the majority of their money on the weekends, but there are plenty of ways to have fun on your days off without spending a bomb. And just imagine how much extra you could add to your savings!

Some fun and free ideas include going on a walk, having a games night, movie night, visiting a free museum and eating food you have in the house.

20. Put a Spending Limit on Your Card

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If you really can’t stop yourself from spending any other way, you can even put a spending limit on your debit or credit card. This is a great way to save money because you physically won’t be able to go over your budget!

Some of the tips above will be more relevant than others, depending on what you’re saving for. But just by putting a few into practice, you’ll really boost your savings and get a lump of cash together. So go out and save money fast!

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