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Are you looking for ways to save money this year? Well, you’ve come to the right place, as I’ve got 50 different ways that you can keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket.
The more money you save, the more money you’ll have to invest or put towards your other goals.
1. Ask for a discount
If you don’t ask you don’t get! You’ve got absolutely nothing to lose by asking for a discount – the worst that can happen is that they say no.
I never used to be brave enough to ask for discounts in person, so I tried online first. We were in desperate need of blinds in our bedroom, so I found a company that I liked the look of, added the order to my basket, and before I paid, I sent a quick message to the company via their Facebook page asking if they offered any discounts. Within a few minutes, they’d messaged back with a 10% discount code!
It’s also possible to negotiate a discount with your service providers. Dan, from Financial Wilderness, has a great article on how to negotiate with Sky and Virgin Media and talks you through how to do this.
2. Eat out less
If you eat out four times a month, cut it down to three. If you eat out twice a month, cut it down to once a month. Eating out can be very expensive, especially if you’re eating out as a family. There are so many great ‘fakeaway’ recipes around that you’ll be able to cook one of them at home and feel like you’re eating a meal from a restaurant.
3. Insource services
If you outsource some of your tasks, try to find some time to do them yourself. Get up an hour earlier in the morning to clean so that you can reduce the amount of time you need your cleaner. Better still, assign some chores to the kids. This will have the added benefit of preparing them when they branch out on their own and will have to keep their own house in order.
Other tasks you can try to do yourself include walking the dog and tending the garden. Both are relaxing to do and you’ll be increasing your activity levels too.
4. Cut your own hair
There are thousands of tutorials on Youtube showing you how to cut your own hair. Give it a go and you might be surprised how well you do. We used use the hairdresser at a cost of around £80 per month. Now, my husband cuts all of our hair!
5. Plan your meals
Meal planning was a game-changer for our family and it has made mealtimes much more enjoyable for us all. I’m no longer stressed about cooking, as all I need to do is look at my meal plan for the week to see what’s for dinner that night. We’re saving money and we’re wasting less food. We’re more healthy as a result too.
6. Give handmade gifts
Gifting is expensive business, especially if you have a large family. I save a huge amount of money by making gifts for friends and family and I can use that money to put towards savings. Not only am I saving money, but I really enjoy creating lovely things to give to people and they are always much better received than mass-produced shop-bought items.
Have a look at Pinterest for ideas. There are loads of crafty pages on there and you’ll find something lovely you can create.
7. Grab birthday freebies
What could be better than a little freebie treat on your birthday? You can grab yourself loads of freebies just by signing up to free loyalty cards or newsletters. Here are just some of what’s on offer:
Download the app and get a free doughnut on your birthday.
Download the app and join the loyalty scheme. On your birthday you’ll be rewarded with a free cupcake or doughnut.
Frankie & Benny’s
Register with Frankie & Benny’s rewards and choose from one free meal on your birthday when another main meal is purchased or a bottle of free prosecco.
Sign up for the ‘Love your body’ loyalty card and on your birthday you’ll get a free £5 to spend online or in store.
8. Go SIM only
If your phone is in good condition then there’s no reason at all to upgrade to a fancy new version.
Our whole family ditched expensive mobile phone plans in favour of cheaper SIM-only deals and we save £80 every single month by doing this. Not only are we saving money but we actually get a bigger data allowance too!
Just google ‘SIM only deals’ and hundreds of deals will come up. You can even port your current mobile phone number over too.
9. Use cashback shopping apps
There are so many ways to save on your supermarket shopping and using cashback apps is one of them.
By using cashback apps you can bag yourself cheap and free food and they are so simple to use. Simply download and open the app to see what is on offer and in what shop. Head to the nearest participating shop and purchase the item, making sure to keep the receipt.
When you get home, simply scan the receipt and the product barcode and wait for the cash to hit your bank account. You can do this with multiple items.
My favourite cashback app is Shopmium, but there are many others such as Checkoutsmart, Quidco Clicksnap and Topcashback snap and save.
10. Cancel your gym membership
So many people pay for a monthly gym membership but then never actually make it to the gym! I was one of those people. I did it for years and wasted around £1,000.
Cancel that membership if you’re not using it and take up running or cycling instead. Or if you prefer workouts, take a look on YouTube. There are so many free fitness classes on there and you’re bound to find one that suits your needs and keeps you motivated.
11. Always shop with a list
NEVER go shopping without a list. Studies show that if you shop without a list you’re more likely to spend more money and add more unhealthy snacks to your basket.
Take five minutes before you leave home to go through what you need from the shops and write out a list.
12. Create a budget
A budget will help you better manage your money and this means that you will waste less money. If you’re new to budgeting, take a look at how to create a budget.
Having a budget in place will completely change your life. It will help you to keep track of where your money is going, help you pay off debt, and help you reach your financial goals.
13. Get cashback on your purchases
You can get cashback for so many of your purchases online. You can even get cashback when you switch service providers. For example, when I switched broadband provider last year, I went through the cashback site Topcashback and I managed to get £80 cashback. It took me two minutes and I would have been switching provider anyway. Other great sites are Quidco and Oh My Dosh.
14. Don’t shop when you’re hungry
I think we probably all know that we spend more if we shop when we’re hungry. I’m the world’s worst for doing this and I’m trying really hard to stop.
Take 15 minutes to sit down and have a sandwich before you head out to do your grocery shopping and you’ll save yourself a small fortune. If you can’t do that try to make sure you grab some fruit as you’re heading out of the door.
15. Have more meatless meals
Meat is expensive and you’ll save money if you incorporate one or two meat-free meals into your week. For example, if a shepherd’s pie is on the menu, swap the mince (£3.75) for a tin of green lentils (55p). Green lentils have quite a meaty texture and they’re much more healthy for you. Over the course of the year, you’ll make quite a saving.
16. Get paid to complete online surveys
You won’t get rich by filling out surveys online but you can easily make around £30-£40 each month.
My favourite survey site is Prolific as the website is so user friendly and the surveys are usually quite interesting, but there are many other reputable and well-known survey companies. Take a look at my post on completing surveys online to see how to get started.
17. Take in a lodger
If you have a spare room, consider taking in a lodger. While this won’t make you rich, it is a great way to earn a decent amount of money each month with very little effort.
The government has a rent-a-room scheme, allowing you to earn £7500 tax-free for letting out a furnished room in your home. This amount is halved if you share the income with a partner or someone else.
18. Start matched betting
Matched betting is a brilliant way to earn some decent extra money. I put it off for so long as I was so convinced it was a scam. But I’m really glad I eventually gave it a try, as I made over £18,000 in my first year. It’s totally legal, it’s not gambling, and all of your profits are tax-free! You can read about my matched betting journey here and you can sign up with Profit Accumulator to get a free trial to see if it’s for you.
19. Drive a more affordable car
If you’re driving around in an Audi and you’re struggling to find the money for your rent, then something isn’t right.
I know it’s hard to downgrade your car but it’s one of the best ways to save money, especially if you have that car on finance. There is nothing more freeing than not having a huge car payment to dread each month. Consider buying a car with cheaper running costs and cheaper insurance.
20. Look for free activities
Keeping the kids entertained can be very costly. Try to opt for free activities instead. Geocashing is great fun and has the added benefit of keeping you active too. Just download the app and find the treasure. Kids and adults love it.
If the weather is a bit pants, try one of the free online escape rooms instead. We did this as a family a few weeks ago and it kept us entertained for hours! Movie nights at home are another firm favourite in our house. We grab some cheap snacks, make some hot chocolate and snuggle down with a good film.
21. Track your spending
Get into the habit of logging your expenses daily. I do mine on an expense tracker, but a piece of paper or notebook works just as well. The more intentional you are about logging your expenses, the easier it will be to stay on track with your budget.
I promise you – if you don’t do this on a daily basis, you will be less inclined to keep up with it as t’s such a hassle to look back through receipts that go back weeks.
22. Downsize your house
Undoubtedly more difficult than the rest but this is one where the savings can be huge.
Downsizing means less upkeep, and reduced expenses, including your mortgage payment and bills. You could put the money you’re saving into overpaying your mortgage, meaning you’ll be mortgage-free years earlier, thus saving thousands of pounds in interest.
23. Stop buying books
Now, I’m not saying to stop reading. But instead of buying brand new books, consider visiting the library instead, or buying them second-hand from the charity shop.
Books aren’t cheap and if you are buying two or three each month, visiting the library instead can save you in the region of £25.
24. Make saving fun
Saving isn’t always easy. When you’re in it for the long haul, it can be easy to lose motivation. That’s where using visual charts works wonders! We paid off £21,000 in 8 months and I honestly don’t think we could have done it so quickly if we hadn’t used charts to track our progress. Even the kids got involved by colouring in a block on the chart when we’d made another debt repayment. Debt Free Charts offers all of their gorgeous debt repayment charts for FREE and that’s exactly what we used to track our progress.
25. Have no spend days
Having no spend days is a great way to save money. You decide you’re not going to spend any money at all on non-essential items for a certain amount of time.
You can choose to do a whole no spend month, a few days per month or maybe one weekend out of every month. You’ll soon find that you become quite competitive about it!
26. Use money-saving browser plugins
If you are making purchases online and you don’t use a money-saving browser extension then you’re missing out.
These browser extensions work by automatically adding discount codes to your bill at checkout or earn you cashback and they are super easy to install.
My favourite is the Kindred browser extension, as you can install it with just two clicks, you shop online as usual and it just does its work in the background while saving you money. Even better is that it allows you to choose between 1-100% of what you save to donate to your chosen charity. So not only are you saving money but you are raising money for charity too!
27. Negotiate insurance bills
Insurance is a necessary expense, but it’s essential that you review what you have in place regularly as your circumstances and needs change. Even if your situation remains the same for a long time, it’s good practice to shop around regularly to see if you can find a better deal.
28. Switch your gas and electric
It doesn’t pay to stay loyal to your service providers and if you have been with any of your providers for over two years then there’s a strong probability that you could be saving money each month.
A week or two before your gas and electricity renewal, go online and search the price comparison websites to see if you can find yourself a better deal. This may seem daunting but it is actually very easy to do and should only take you a few minutes.
I have done this many times and I am now with So Energy who are brilliant. Their customer service is amazing and I am saving money monthly with them. If you find they come out tops for you then you can earn £40 if you join via this link.
If you do decide to switch, there will be no disruption to your service. In fact, you won’t even know it’s happening!
29. Make do and mend
We are so used to chucking things away and replacing them when they break. Some people even do this if the item is fully working but is just a bit old or they just fancy a change.
This is so damaging for our environment and it is often a terrible waste of money. Yes, some things are totally beyond repair but much of what we throw away isn’t.
Try to get electrical items repaired before you head for the bin, and go get those shoes re-heeled instead of heading off to the shops to buy a new pair.
30. Sell your clutter
You’ll be surprised at how much money you have tied up in the clutter lying around the house. Go through your things one room at a time and put aside everything you don’t value or use. You can sell these items on eBay, Facebook marketplace or Gumtree.
Not only will you be making money but you’ll be much more calm and relaxed living in a clutter-free home.
We were able to pay hundreds of pounds worth of our debt off by doing this.
31. Make your own coffees
The odd shop-bought coffee is fine but if you’ve got a serious coffee habit going on then you need to address it.
If you grab a fancy coffee on the way to work each morning, you’re probably spending around £60 each month on coffee alone.
Try limiting yourself to one or two each month instead or think about investing in a machine that makes the coffee the way you like it. It’ll pay for itself in no time at all.
32. Quit smoking
Smoking is one of the most harmful and costly vices you can have. Studies show that the average smoker in the UK spends £3,300 on cigarettes. That is the cost of a family holiday! If that doesn’t spur you on then spare a thought for the NHS. Smoking-related illnesses cost our NHS £2.5 billion annually.
Ditch the habit and watch your health and bank balance flourish. There are many groups and therapies that can help you to quit and if you contact your GP they’ll be able to point you in the right direction.
33. Grow your own food
Growing vegetables from seed can make a limited budget go a long way. By spending a few pounds on seeds, plants, and supplies in spring you’ll produce vegetables that will yield pounds of produce in the summer. There will be less popping to the shops too, which will undoubtedly save on some of those little impulse buys.
34. Pay for things in cash
Studies have shown that those who pay for purchases in cash spend less than those who pay by debit card.
Try paying for most things in cash and see if you end up spending less. Consider using the ‘cash envelope’ system. Label envelopes with your budget categories, ie, food, fuel, fun money, etc, and add the allocated amount of money for each particular category to the corresponding envelope. For example, if you allocate £300 per month to your food budget, add £300 in cash to your ‘food’ envelope. Once that money has gone, you can’t take more money from elsewhere. You will need to wait until next month to allocate that months’ money to the envelope.
35. Start investing
Although investing means parting with your money right now, it means huge savings heading your way in the future.
Investing is the number one way to grow your money, due to the magic of compound interest, and the earlier you start, the more your money will grow.
Simply saving your money in a regular bank account will actually cost you money because of inflation. You need to make your money work for you instead.
If you’re new to investing, Freetrade or Trade 212 are great, user-friendly platforms and if you sign up to Freedtrade using the above link, you’ll get a free share up to the value of £300. If you sign up to Trade212 via the above link, you’ll receive a free share worth up to £100 in value. Both are well-known and trusted platforms.
36. Buy more second-hand items
Purchasing used items of furniture, clothing, games and more is one of the best ways you can save money.
I started buying used when we were paying off our debt and I haven’t looked back. I love finding a bargain online. I tend to use Facebook marketplace and eBay, but Gumtree and Freecycle are great too as you can pick up great items there for free!
37. Book activities in advance
If you are able to book activities in advance, there are huge savings to be made. If you have children, theme parks are often a big hit, but they can leave a big dent in your wallet too. However, if you are able to book even just a few days in advance you will be able to make savings of around £10 per person.
Similarly, many well-known attractions, such as The London Eye, offer a pre-book and save option. You can save as much as 20% by doing this.
38. Check your benefit entitlement
Millions of people aren’t claiming benefits that they’re entitled to simply because they don’t know they’re entitled to them!
Check out the brilliant (and aptly named) website ‘Entitled to‘ see if you’re missing out on any benefits that you could be receiving.
39. Rent clothes
If you love your designer labels and spend a lot of your money on buying expensive clothes, renting them instead could be a cheaper option. Companies like Selfridges have a ‘rent your wardrobe’ project. Instead of spending over £1,000 on a dress, you can rent it for a few hundred pounds.
Another great website offering this service is My Wardrobe HQ. They offer gorgeous clothes and accessories to rent for as little as £8. Simply choose your rental period, pay for it, wear it, then return it in the pre-paid envelope.
40. Swap clothes with friends
Swapping clothes with friends is fun and free!
If there are a few of you, you could host regular clothes swapping parties. By making a regular thing of it, it means that you won’t need to buy items of clothing for quite a while.
41. Negotiate your bills
You can make huge savings by doing this. Never auto-renew any of your bills. Companies expect you to do this and so many people just accept price hikes without a fight.
Bills that you can negotiate include your car insurance, mobile bill, pet insurance, credit card bills and internet service bills.
Before you are due to renew, simply look online for a better deal and call your provider with your findings. Most times, they will try to match what you’ve found. If they don’t, then ditch them.
42. Don’t drive to work
Instead of driving to work try to cycle or walk. You’ll save yourself money and will keep yourself fit at the same time. If your place of work is too far to walk or cycle to, have a look at how much it will cost you to use public transport. It could very well be cheaper than using your car.
43. Swap cable for Netflix
If you have cable TV, you’re likely to be paying at least £40 per month. You can drastically reduce this by switching to Netflix or Now TV. I cut cable completely when paying off debt and haven’t looked back.
44. Turn the thermostat down
Turn your thermostat down by just 1 degree and save yourself approximately 1% on your energy bill. Pop on a wooly jumper or dressing gown and you won’t even notice you’ve turned it down!
45. Get a pre-pay certificate for regular prescriptions
If you have to regularly take medication, the cost can really add up, as the cost of a prescription today is over £9!
A great way to reduce the amount you spend on medication is to buy a Prescription Payment Certificate (PPC), which can easily be purchased online. It is £30.25 for three months or £108.10 for a year. Once you’ve paid the PPC fee, you can get as many prescriptions as you need.
46. Connect with savvy savers to keep you motivated
There are so many places online that you can find people with the same interests and goals as you. I love Instagram and Facebook for finding likeminded people. When I was paying off my debt, Facebook groups full of other people doing exactly the same as me helped to keep me motivated and on track.
There are now more than ever money-saving forums and groups. There are even podcasts on every subject under the sun. Perfect for listening to on your daily commute!
47. Pay off debt
There’s no doubt about it – having debt is a huge drain on your finances. The majority of people are just making the minimum repayments on their credit cards. This is one of the costliest mistakes you can make, as the debt will take years and years to pay off and will cost you thousands of pounds in interest.
If you borrow £3000 when you’re 21 and only make the minimum repayments, you’ll be almost 50 before it clears. Making the minimum payment keeps you in debt longer and makes the cost of debt soar. Pay an extra £20 per month, or more if you can afford it, and you’ll reduce the number of years you’re in debt and the total amount of interest you’ll pay.
48. Order your glasses online
If you have to wear glasses, you are probably used to spending a large chunk of your money in this area. But it doesn’t have to be so.
You can take your eye test at any optician but instead of purchasing your glasses through them, you can ask them for your prescription and then order your glasses with an online optician at a hugely reduced cost.
I personally use Glasses Direct and they are amazing. I just add my prescription details into their system, choose a pair of frames I like, and wait for them to arrive. I made a mistake once and they replaced them completely free of charge.
49. Learn to say no!
Sometimes, to reach our financial goals, we need to learn to say ‘no’. If we constantly say yes to ourselves and our family and friends, there will be no money left for saving. Set yourself a limit each month for fun money and stick to it.
50. Recycle your mobile phone
When we upgrade our mobile phones, many of us pop our old phones in a drawer and then promptly forget about them. But by doing this, you’re losing out on some extra cash.
Companies like Envirofone and Sell my Mobile will buy your old phones from you for cash. Not only is this good for your pocket, but it’s better for the environment too. You’ll also have the added benefit of less clutter in your home.