Shockingly, 1 in every 4 UK families has less than £95 in savings!
A toxic combination of rising costs and stagnating wages makes saving money and building a buffer more of a luxurious extravagance than a necessity in 2018.
The scary part is when you have so little, all it takes is a broken boiler or car repair to knock you over the edge and kick off a spiral of debt.
You know you ‘should’ have savings, but how on earth are you meant to save money when every penny you earn goes straight out again?
With rates of interest so low, you can be forgiven for thinking the whole thing is a pointless exercise in futility.
As it happens though there are lots of simple ways to save money on the things you do, from clothing to holidays, to food.
That’s why I created this simple simple list of 31 easy ways to save money anyone can do.
Oh and a freebie of course 🙂
31 Simple Ways to Save Money That We Should All Be Doing
On their own each of these tactics is fairly limited, but combined over the long term they add up to a huge difference. Some require a bit of effort, but all are very simple to incorporate into your life.
Have a look through this list, and make a note of those you can start applying to your life. Before you know it you’ll be saving a whole bunch of money!
1. Set Goals
Set goals that speak to you. You might be the type of person who sets an abstract goal such as, saving as much as you can.
Or maybe a specific amount is more motivating to you. It helps to have a goal in mind for why you are saving. Use the reason behind that goal as your inspiration when you feel like giving in!
2. Get Emotional
Psychology has shown that getting emotional about your savings can increase your chances of saving more. The brain is superb at remembering events so vividly that it feels like we are physically in the moment again.
The trick? Give your money goals deeper incentive by relating them to emotionally charged memories and mental pictures of future scenarios.
The more closely you can tie these feelings into your money goals, the higher chance you will have of achieving them.
So create a vision board, place items around you that remind you of your goals, and spend a few minutes every day visualising as clearly as you can, how it will actually FEEL when you achieve your goal.
Read my step-by-step guide on How to Set Achievable Goals.
3. Use Mindfulness
It’s all a matter of mind over money! Things like impulse buying or mindless spending can seriously derail your saving goals.
Remember that the fleeting moment of buying an item doesn’t last long, and you might regret spending money afterwards. Intend to save your money and remember why you started in the first place.
4. Think Ahead
Plan your budget in advance. Things do pop up unexpectedly sometimes, but most of your bills and expenses are predetermined.
Think ahead to any upcoming expenses and plan for them. You’ll feel much more in control of your money management with some prior planning.
5. Automate Your Savings
If there’s one sure-fire way to ensure you save something, ANYTHING, it’s automation! Seriously, never underestimate the power of simply having money moved automatically from your earnings before you even see it.
There’s been a massive growth in the last few years of smartphone apps to help us all save and budget better through automation. Two apps that help you do this magnificently are Chip and Squirrel.
Squirrel – You put money into an account, this app splits it for you, into commitments, spending, and saving. It then releases funds back into your bank account the day before a bill is due/ Any leftover money is for spending and you can choose to transfer it to your account in one go or weekly.
Chip – This handy little app aims to make the process of saving as pain-free as possible. Linked to your chosen bank account, it analyses your spending and decides what you can afford to put aside, then it does it for you! And the best part? Chip even pays you up to 5% interest for referring friends to the service!
Set one of these up and let it help you get started straight away on building that savings buffer.
6. Don’t Forget to Use Cashback Sites
Get cash back for things you’re going to buy anyway! It’s free money at your disposal, and there’s nothing better than that.
Start using these cashback sites right away and get money back on your everyday purchases. Just last week I got £70 back for purchasing pet insurance with Petplan 😀
7. Cancel Automatic Renewals
Are you paying for things you aren’t using? It’s really easy to forget about those automatic gym memberships or video subscriptions that come out of your bank account every month.
Check your account for monthly memberships you aren’t using. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself if you’ve used that membership in the last 3 months. If not, it’s time to let it go and save yourself the cost of the monthly fees.
8. Haggle on Bills
Ah, good old haggling, this is such a simple way to save money quickly. Companies are pretty cut-throat these days and they don’t want to lose you as a customer. Remember you (and your money) are extremely valuable to them!
Since there are other companies that would love to gain you as a consumer, they know they can potentially reel you in with better rates than your current service provider.
Shop comparison sites for helpful information to save money by switching companies, especially if you are nearing the end of a contract.
9. Switch Mortgage
The good news about refinancing your mortgage with another bank is that banks are competitive. Use this to your advantage by shopping around to find the best rate!
Choose from a few different banks and sit down with their mortgage lender, or some banks even offer online applications for your convenience.
No matter how you decide to apply, you can shop around for a better mortgage rate. This means shaving down your monthly mortgage payment and even paying off your mortgage more quickly!
10. Transfer Credit Card Balances
Another really practical way to save money quickly here: Find out about how you can transfer your current credit card balance to another card with a lower interest rate.
We know that interest rates can be quite shocking, sometimes at 20% or more! If you find a lower rate on a credit card, inquire about transferring your balance. You may end up saving hundreds with a lower rate.
Many credit cards offer an introductory period to pay off the amount at little to no interest for new customers. This gives you an opportunity to buckle down and pay off some debt!
11. Switch Bank Accounts
Does your bank offer anything for being with them? If no, you should be switching. There is no point staying with a bank or service because of loyalty. They don’t care about you only your money so you should too!
Banks like Santander, TSB, and Nationwide all offer high-interest current accounts where you can earn a little something on the money you put in there.
Some banks are even offering up to £250 to switch. Find out which banks are offering cash to join them, and then use your new account. In addition, check if your bank offers a referral scheme.
Currently, you can earn money by referring friends to switch to Nationwide (and they earn something back too, sweet!).
Since you’re following all of these money saving tips, you’ll probably need a new account anyway to store all of your funds in 😉
12. Use Your ISA
Put your money in savings, tax-free! Earn interest on your money, and when you file your taxes, you don’t have to claim any of the interest earned on your savings.
13. Cut Travel Costs With Railcards
You can save £100’s per year on rail travel with discount railcards.
Young people aged 16 – 25 can get the young person railcard for just £30 for the year. A neat trick means you can save even more by applying on the day before your 25th birthday, so you can keep using the card for another year!
The Disabled Person’s Railcard costs just £20 for one year and can be used on any fares except season tickets. As a bonus, any adult travelling with you will also get a third off the price of a ticket.
Students use your NUS Extra card to get 12% extra off the 16-25 railcard!
14. Take Your Own Cup For Coffee
Starbucks & Costa Coffee both offer a 25p discount for customers who take their own cup. Cafe Nero offers double reward card stamps. So save money while you get your morning coffee, bonus!
15. Get Family Subscriptions
While we are talking about simple ways to save money, don’t forget the obvious! Many companies offer a discount on services if you purchase a family plan instead of individual plans.
Lump together your family’s bills into one, and save lots! There are many family subscriptions to save you money, be sure to enquire about them!
16. Take Adantage of Loyalty Schemes
The stores you already shop in offer a loyalty program and all you have to do is sign up. The stores you frequent the most are offering deals for members only.
Grab a membership card at your favourite supermarket and pharmacy, but don’t forget about clothing stores, makeup shops, gas stations, and more!
17. Look For Money Off Coupons
Coupons are everywhere. Whether you clip them or find them online, they come in handy for saving money! Check supermarket magazines, newspapers, Facebook groups, and social media accounts of your favourite stores.
Websites like these can save you money on the things you buy. Check them out for exclusive offers and discounts.
18. Use Shopping Voucher Sites
Dealsqueen offers deals and discounts in hundreds of stores!
Dealsdaddy is a site to check out before you shop online. Save yourself lots of money before you shop with store vouchers.
19. Get Cashback on Your Shopping
Fancy getting paid to shop and take pictures? These companies are the answer to your dreams. Simply do your shopping and earn cash back. Shop, send a picture of your receipt and get cash!
10. Compare Grocery Item Prices
Use Mysupermarket to compare prices at the grocery stores near you. You can find the best prices on your groceries every week!
21. Pack Your Own Lunch
No list of simple ways to save money would be complete without the basics such as packing your own lunch. Mindless spending at lunchtime really adds up.
If there is one place you can easily cut back on it’s buying a lunch every day. Pack your lunch and save potentially hundreds over the course of a year!
22. Save Money By Meal Planning
Save money by planning your meals and cooking ahead. Some days, you come home from work exhausted, and you reach for a takeaway menu.
You have to think thrifty if you are going to reach your money-saving goals! Prep your meals for convenience and for saving big money!
You’ll have all of your meals at your fingertips, which means not spending extra money.
23. Make a Shopping List
Going to the supermarket and buying items you don’t need is inevitable without a proper list! Impulse buying adds to your bill. So make a list and stick to it.
Since you’ve already decided to meal plan, making a list already makes sense and will keep you on track.
24. Look For The Yellow Stickers
Yellow stickers can pop up on any item! They are like little golden gems. There is an abundance of discounts on food items at markets. Retailers use these stickers to quickly get rid of items going out of date.
If you are going to use them quickly, they are worth it! Try to stick with bargains you need and use, or else, it isn’t really a bargain, is it?
26. Get Paid To Shop
Companies will pay you to pose as a shopper while you shop or dine out! Sounds like a dream, but it’s true. Try restaurants as a mystery shopper to be reimbursed for your meal.
26. Save on Gift Cards
This is a no-brainer. You can save up to 30% on fully loaded gift cards. If you received a gift card you aren’t likely to use, then you can also sell your gift card to a willing buyer.
Try a site like Zeek to buy discounted gift cards.
27. Make Your Own Takeaway (Or Share)
Ordering takeaway a number of times a week really adds up, so get the ingredients to make your own! Or, if you do order food, then split it and share it with a friend.
28. Save Money On Parking
Parking in the city seriously adds up. You can find cheap residential parking, private garages, and more with apps like:
29. Get Stuff For Free
Need something? You can almost bet that someone near you is getting rid of that something! There are lots of ways to connect with others who are giving away free stuff and that is certainly beneficial to you! Here are some platforms to get free stuff:
Freegle: It’s free to sign up and you can get rid of junk you don’t need or pick up something you do!
Freecycle: Get free stuff and feel good about it. There are more than 9 million members here, who wish to give away their belongings for free. Recycle and reuse something that is no longer useful to someone and save our landfills in the process!
Swapz: This is the UK’s biggest online marketplace where you can swap items with the people in your community! There are thousands of listings of people buying, selling, and swapping.
Facebook swap groups: You can find a Facebook community for nearly anything these days. Check out groups on Facebook where you can find people to swap items with. One woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure.
30. Get a Cash Rebate On Your Work Uniform
You can claim tax relief on the cost of your work uniform. Don’t forget that you can also get a tax rebate on the upkeep of your working clothes and shoes, such as professional cleaning and repair, or replacing your work uniform.
31. A Sneaky Trick For Getting Vouchers
Retailers hate when you fill up your online shopping cart, and then close out the screen. Many shops will email you to remind you of what you forgot and since they don’t want to lose the sale, it’s likely they will send you a shopping voucher. Score!
Don’t Just Stop at Saving Money!
I’m all about taking your earnings into your own hands and think it’s far more fun to watch your money add up through side-hustles, than having to scrimp and save for every penny.
So moving forward I want you to think about how you can MAXIMISE on the money you do have, and how you can bring in even more.
Check my posts on ways you can make extra money:
- 100 Ways to Make Money From Home
- 13 Best Super Simple Ways to Make Money Right Now
- How to Make An Extra £1,000+ Per Month
TIP: Try ‘Extreme Couponing’ Techniques like in this YouTube video
You never have to be in the position of worrying about money ever again if you are proactive and take steps to ensure you always have multiple sources of income.
Use the steps above to save big on your everyday purchases, and take every opportunity to earn a kickback or commission wherever possible.
Check Referral Schemes
Check if any of the services you currently use offer a referral scheme for introducing friends and family. For example, Three currently gives you £25 if you refer someone who signs up. They also get £25 so it’s a win-win!
Most adults don’t meet the savings requirements that financial gurus say is necessary. Financial buffers are your safety net for emergencies.
You’ll feel much more at ease when you have 6 months’ worth of funds in the bank!
Being smart with your money can only lead to more money in the long term. Respect your money, save it, grow interest on it, and spend it wisely.
You will be much more comfortable in the future when you know you have a cushion of money to back you up.
Do you have any simple ways to save money that we should add to this list? Tell us in the comments.