My Top Tips & Ways to Save Money ♥

Hi all. I’ve been thinking of doing this post for a while now, an update to this post I did almost 2 years ago now (time flies eh?). I’m sure you all know I’m quite a frugal spender, and I like to keep my purchases small and cheap. But I don’t feel that I lack anything materialistic in my life, in fact, I am fortunate enough to have a bedroom full of stuff. But this is all thanks to my thrifty ways, so here’s my top tips to save yourself some money! Although I must say I’m no money saving expert, and everyone has their own way of doing things, these are what works for me personally.

  1. Savings Accounts – Lets start with something boring, bank accounts! If you’re a grown up, you should really by now have a savings account to start using for your future. This is different to a regular current account, as you will earn interest on your savings. I would advise for you to have both a current account (for your everyday spends, wages, bills etc) and then a savings account, which you can top up monthly. I put about a quarter of my wages into my savings account each month. However, I live at home so have small outgoings. But whatever you can afford to put aside each month, put it into a savings account. After a year, you would have earned interest, probably of only about 2%, but that’s free money right there! And building up over a year can put a nice sum into your savings, which will then grow even more next year! If you save £10 a week, it will build up in no time.
  2. Budgeting – Don’t be afraid or worried about looking at your bills. It’s a great idea for you to work out your exact outgoings each month. If you’re a computer geek like myself, make yourself up a spreadsheet listing all of your outgoings (utilities, rent, phone, gym etc). Then you will be able to work out how much you have left over, and then work out how much you can spend each week on food, going out etc. Don’t forget to put a bit in your savings! It’s always best to face bills head on, don’t ignore them, as they will not disappear. Keep track of everything going out of your bank account. 
  3. Spring clean your finances – If you don’t use your gym/magazine/cinema subscriptions anymore, then cancel them. Don’t waste money on something you don’t need anymore. Also, if you’re paying more than you’d like to be for TV/internet/mobile bills, look at changing your price plan to something more affordable, if possible. Do you really need that Cosmo subscription and pay £40 a month for a gym you rarely attend? 
  4. Shop around – A very simple one really, but if you’re looking at making a purchase, big or small, always shop around. There are big price differences between stores, so don’t always go for the first place you find. You will only feel terrible when you find the shop next door do it for £20 cheaper! MoneySuperMarket is a great site to use when searching for things like insurance, holidays etc.
  5. Discounts – If you’re shopping online, always first look for a discount code. You will probably be surprised by the savings you can make just by entering a few digits at the checkout, so try not to forget! You could use dealsdaddy.co.uk to find the latest voucher codes! 
  6. Cashback – This is something I’ve mentioned a couple of times before, and if you haven’t already, sign up to a site such as Quidco. When you purchase something via their website,  you will receive a portion of cashback, which can be from 1% to much more! My best deal so far has been for my business insurance, which cost me £62. But by shopping via Quidco, they are giving me £75 cashback for starting a new policy as a new customer! So I’m in profit, as well as getting free insurance! Almost every online store is available on there, such as clothing sites, perfume shops, and buying train tickets and holidays.
  7. Holding out – Most of the time, unless I really want something, I wait until it’s reduced in price or is on special offer. Waiting a little bit longer can save you plenty! Especially if it’s an item you don’t really need, but really want. If you wait a few weeks, then you may find it’s put in the sale, on special offer, or find a discount code. My moral is, if there’s no discount at all, don’t buy it! And do you really need to go out every weekend, with a new outfit?
  8. Stocking up – This leads me onto my next point, mainly referring to make up and toiletries. If something is on special offer (Boots often does 3 for 2 on all make up) then I will wait and buy my make up then. Even if I haven’t run out yet, I like to have an item or two spare for when I need it. I begrudge running out of shampoo and conditioner, and going to Boots to buy at £5 a pop, and the next week they’re buy one get one free! But special promotions come round quite often, so don’t feel you have to buy tonnes to save money! The special offer will come back!
  9. Selling on eBay – Despite Royal Mails increasing postage prices, selling on eBay can still make you a pretty penny. And if you prefer, you can always use a website such as Parcel2Go which will find you the cheapest courier instead of Royal Mail (always compare prices!). Always make sure you list your items properly, with clear photos and an accurate description and title. I always start my items at 99p as they will gain the most interest. I find no one looks at items starting at £5! And remember, it’s always free to list items for 99p or less. 
  10. Selling at carboot sales – If you’re not an eBay fan, then I would also recommend carboot sales. But don’t expect the same prices! At carboots, I find most items of clothing range from 50p each for tops, to about £3 for nice dresses, so you won’t make loads. I recommend selling your nicer things on eBay, then taking the left overs to a carboot sale. People will almost always buy womens clothes, whatever the style! You can sell anything and everything at boot sales too, so make a box of unwanted stuff, and keep building up your collection until you have enough to make a stall out of. I usually make about £50 for my boot sale stalls, selling things that would have otherwise gone in the bin.
  11. Buy second hand – There used to be a bit of stigma around this, but I think it’s drifted out now. But buying someone elses unwanted goods doesn’t make you a peasant. If you’re setting up your own home, there are enormous savings to be made by buying your furniture second hand. And personally, I buy a lot of clothes from eBay, which has never caused me any problems. The items I’ve bought have always been bargains, and always been clean and in good condition. But you can always wash things, and they’ve rarely been worn usually anyway! I buy tonnes of dresses on eBay for 99p, just search prices low-high to get items in ascending price order. And if they don’t fit, it’s not a big deal, as you haven’t wasted much, and can usually sell them on for a profit. And have you seen my amazing carboot sale buys?!
  12. Returning items – I used to have a friend that thought it was weird and a bit tacky to return items that didn’t fit her to the shop. So she didn’t return the items, and just never wore them! I don’t really understand why, as almost every high street store will accept returns no problem. So please, if you decide when you get home an item isn’t really for you, or it doesn’t fit, just return it! Some places like New Look can be a bit difficult when returning sale items, but they will usually give you credit to spend on something else instead. There’s no point keeping something you wont wear. I see loads of stuff new with tags going on eBay which is this season. I always wonder why they don’t just return them! Even if you’ve lost your receipt, ask the shop if you can get a credit note instead. 
  13. Freebies – Check out websites like Magic Freebies that list daily freebies that can be sent straight to your door, or a voucher can be printed off. This can allow you to try a product for free, before spending money on the product.
  14. Competitions – I’ve given you tips on how to find and win competitions before, but if you can win stuff rather than buy it, you’re saving money! I’ve not had to buy myself an iPad, a smartphone, and many dresses and cosmetics due to winning them instead!
  15. Upcycling – You can see some of my DIY projects on my blog, but it can save you money if you already have an item, and it just needs repairing or revamping. Don’t throw things away such as wooden furniture, no matter now darkly stained or unstylish you think it is. It can almost always be sanded down to its natural colour and then painted and styled to make it as new again. Also, always repair your clothes if buttons etc have popped off! 
  16. DIY – Similar to the above, if you often splash out on things like haircuts, manicures, decorators, car washes etc.. Do It Yourself! I trim my hair myself and take care of it using bargain hair oils and treatment. I even colour it myself and it’s in better condition than ever! Manicures can be done at home, and I’m sure you could paint your own wall and wash your car? Or we have a wee little lad down the road that offers car washes in summer for £1 (his prices have gone up from 50p! Genius!). If there’s something you pay others to do, such as make a birthday cake, it can often be cheaper and more fun to do it yourself!
  17. Going out – Probably a lot of people spend a fair portion of their wages on entertainment and going out in the evenings and weekends. If you go out to eat often, check out restaurant vouchers for super cheap meals! You can often find 2 for 1 vouchers, or special priced menus if you go during the week. And when you go out on a night out, know what you will have to pay for taxis, and then only take out a set amount to spend on drinks. If you take out all your money, you will probably spend it.
  18. Borrowing – Don’t get sucked into borrowing money from payday loans unless you’re really desperate. Ask your bank for an overdraft agreement if you must, but make sure you know the fee’s and charges that apply. Also, don’t lend money to your friends and family if they are not reliable enough to pay it back. If they often want to borrow, make sure they pay it back before you lend more!
  19. Save the change – At the end of each week or so, empty out your purse. If you’re anything like me you will have about 50p in change (1p, 2p, & 5p’s). Try putting this money into a jar or piggy bank, then go back to it once its full and take it to one of those change counting machines at the supermarkets. I recently emptied my piggy bank and it had £14 in it!! You can then withdraw that as cash, after they have taken a small commission from it. Don’t throw your pennies away.. keep them! 
  20. Don’t spend it all on payday – It’s nice to treat yourself once in a while, but don’t all your spend money just because you’ve been paid. People can find themselves out of money halfway through the month because they overspent, so don’t get caught out and spend sensibly.
  21. Buy a cheaper brand –  Sometimes, you don’t always need to buy the finest quality brand when a cheaper alternative is available of the same thing. Whether it’s nail polish, beer, or baked beans, you should try other brands to see if they offer better value for money.
  22. Birthdays/Chirstmases – This is a time when you may need to dip into your savings slightly, so it’s nice to know you have money saved up incase you need it! But I also suggest buying things throughout the year for family members and close friends if you don’t give eachother strict ‘to buy’ lists. You may see something perfect for them on special offer in August, so why not buy it and save money and keep it somewhere safe until Christmas day! It saves on the last minute Christmas shopping stress too.
  23. Holidays – If you’re going abroad, check out where the cheapest places are to change your Sterling into foreign currency. Some places offer low rates and charge a commission on top, so search online to find better rates and no commission to pay. And don’t forget to book cheap travel insurance, I’ve got it for as low as £7 for a whole year before! 
  24. Phones and Bills – If you pay your own bills for things like energy, make sure that you’re being charged correctly and that you’re on the cheapest tariff. For your mobile, you can download apps which add up your data, call, and text useage. You can then compare it to your tariff allowances and you can see if you’re overpaying for a phone you don’t use as much as you could. When it comes to your renewal date, check around for a better value offer. Also, do you really need Sky TV these days? Freeview has so many channels, that paying £40 a month for a few extra channels seems a bit outrageous. 
  25. Make a little extra –  If you’re talented in anything, such as making your own jewellery, mending clothes, or even washing cars, then why not sell yourself and pocket a little extra cash on the weekends and evenings! Every little helps.
  26. Benefits – This is a bit of a touchy subject to some, but if you’re on a low income or unemployed you’re likely to be entitled to some form of benefit. If you’re entitled, there’s no reason for you not to claim these. Even if you’re only out of work for a few weeks, you could receive over £50 a week just in Job Seekers Allowance, and could possibly have your rent paid for. If you’re on a low income (and over 25) working tax credits can hugely boost your income. Have a look at the benefits calculator to see if you’re entitled.

These tips may all make me sound like a stingy old witch, but I haven’t got any debts (except student loans.. weep), enjoy my cheap goodies, and have only recently found a ‘proper’ paid job which I am using to save towards my future. So I think to be honest I save quite a large amount of money by following these little steps everyday, which add up to a fair amount. Like I said, I’m no expert on money, but I just though I’d share my top tips 🙂 I was going to be writing this post anyway as an update to my previous one, but also this is an entry into 30 Ways to Save £1!

I know that saving money isn’t at the top of every young persons mind, but I think every one would like to have more spare change, and I hope you find my tips useful 🙂 Let me know if you have any others! 

16 Comments

  1. April 16, 2013 / 6:49 pm

    great post 🙂 I do most of those things

  2. April 16, 2013 / 6:51 pm

    Amazing post and so helpful! 🙂

  3. April 16, 2013 / 7:00 pm

    such a great post thanks for the tips! x

  4. April 16, 2013 / 7:37 pm

    Love this post! You’re so controlled for holding out, if I see something I like I just have to have it!xx
    zoeyinwonderland.blogspot.co.uk

  5. April 16, 2013 / 8:20 pm

    Great advice, I actual first found your blog when you posted it on moneysavingexpert I think on a poundworld thread lol.

    Cheap&Chic

  6. April 17, 2013 / 12:13 pm

    Great advice! x

    amylysette.blogspot.co.uk

  7. April 17, 2013 / 8:03 pm

    Thanks for the tips! They are very useful.

  8. April 17, 2013 / 8:37 pm

    Great post and such easy things to take care of! My major downfall is spending a few ££ here and there on meal deals and magazines, all builds up! x

  9. April 28, 2013 / 4:21 pm

    19. It's better to take your coppers to a bank because they don't charge commission.

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