I’m quite a frugal spender – I like to shop but I try to keep my purchases small and low cost to enable me to save as much money as possible. My flat is currently up for sale and we’re hoping to buy a house together soon, which means saving up as much as we can to add to our deposit! Everyone has their own ways of spending and saving their hard earned cash, but here are a few things that work for me personally:
Lets start with something boring – bank accounts! I have both a current account (for everyday spends, wages, bills etc) and then a savings account, which I top up monthly and then it isn’t touched. I try to put a certain amount into my savings account each month, so see what you can afford to put aside and then pop it into a savings account.
After a year, you would have earned a little bit of interest (rates are only about 1.5% right now) but that’s still free money right there! I always use Money Saving Expert to find out what the best interest rates are. And once the interest is paid it adds a nice little sum into your savings, which will then grow even more next year! So even if you start by just saving £20 a week, it will build up in no time and you won’t even notice it.
Creating a personalised budget is always a good idea. Whether you want to reduce your overspending or perhaps want to work out a quicker way out of debt, budgeting can be a motivational way to help you achieve your long term goal. You could make yourself a spreadsheet showing your income and outgoings, or try using a budget planner which gives you a detailed spending breakdown.
Go through your bank statements and if you don’t use your gym/TV/cinema subscriptions any more, then cancel them. And if you’re paying more than you’d like to be for TV/broadband/mobile bills, look at changing your provider or plan to get a better deal.
Mobile bills can be expensive, but look at sim only deals which can mean saving hundreds over the course of a year as you’re not paying for the handset – you only pay for the package of minutes, texts and data. You can just carry on using your current mobile and get a cheap sim only deal rather than upgrading to the latest phone on an expensive contract. You can simply pop your new sim into your current mobile and immediately start saving the pennies! Sim only deals start from only £3.99 a month and you can get a rolling 30-day contract or sign up to 12 months or more.
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. The Google Shopping tab can be really useful to compare prices when searching for a specific product. MoneySuperMarket is a great site to use when finding the best deals for things like insurance, energy etc, and MySupermarket is handy to see which supermarkets have the best deals on when food shopping.
And when shopping online, always look for a discount code! They can be really easy to find just by looking on Google or sites like MyVoucherCodes. And if you haven’t already, sign up to a cashback site such as Quidco. When you purchase something online via their website, you will receive a bit of cashback, which quickly adds up and you can then just withdraw it. Plus, you get £10 free when you sign up using my Quidco referral link.
Have you ever thought about buying things second hand for a fraction of the original selling price? Apart from being easy on the pocket, another benefit of buying second hand is environment sustainability. Buying pre-owned is eco-friendly and this recycling system helps everyone in the community and prevents waste (and saves you money!). If you’re setting up your own home, there are enormous savings to be made by buying your furniture second hand. The stuff I bought when I moved into my flat was always clean and in good condition and I quite like the quirky charm that comes with older furniture!
There’s loads of ways to easily sell unwanted goods these days – Facebook, Depop, eBay, Shpock etc. I’ve recently been selling loads of stuff on Facebook Marketplace – people on there will literally buy anything! Old furniture, bedding, clothes, shoes, homeware etc. You’ll be amazed how selling a few of your old things can add up to a sizeable amount of cash. If you need to post any items you’ve sold, try using Parcel2Go which will find you the cheapest courier instead of just going to the Post Office.
If you’re not a fan of selling stuff online, then I would also recommend trying out car boot sales, although you don’t tend to get as much in earnings. If you’ve lots of stuff to sell, I’d recommend selling your nicer things on eBay and Facebook Marketplace, and then taking the left overs to a car boot sale. Check out my top tips for selling at car boot sales and start planning yours!
I know that saving money isn’t at the top of everyone’s mind, but every one would like to have more spare change, so I hope you find my money saving tips useful. Comment below if you have any others!