20 Ways to Help You Become a Super Saver
If you have aspirations to be financially free, retire early or you just want to get in control of your finances, a good place to start is by managing your expenses. Having money left over at the end of each month gives you the option to, say, build your emergency fund, pay off any debt, invest or save for something big like a car or a luxury holiday. Here are some of Sprive’s favourite money-saving ideas.
Managing your money
- Automate your savings– Sprive recommends that you have 6 months of emergency cash sitting in a high interest savings account. To help build this nest and to prevent you spending on things you perhaps don’t need, set up a standing order from your current account on the day you are paid. This way you are essentially paying yourself first. Even if you are able to save a £50 a week, over the year this amounts to £2,600 which can make a difference.
- Clear your debts– have a look at your outstanding debts, e.g. credit cards, store credit and start working on paying off the outstanding balance. Start off paying off the debts that are charging you the highest interest rate first. This will avoid interest building on those debts, which will allow you to have more cash to help you be debt free sooner. If you just have your mortgage outstanding, please read our article on the benefits of paying of your mortgage here.
- Track your spending– it is easy to lose track of where you are spending your money. The more awareness you have of your expenses, the better decisions you are likely to make around your spending habits. No longer do you have to spend hours tracking this via excel spreadsheets. Use apps like Yolt, Money Dashboard and Emma to help you manage your money.
- Transfer your debt – if you are making large interest payments on debt, it might make sense to transfer it all onto a credit card with 0% balance transfer. These credit cards will give you opportunity to repay any debt at no extra cost. You just need to make sure you pay off the balance before the end of the promotional period.
- Set goals – a good way of making a significant change is to set yourself a more long dated goal like where you want to be in 5 years. This helps focus your personal finance decisions around this and have something exciting to strive towards.
- No spend month – pick a month in a year where you decide you will not spend anything except on household bills and essentials e.g. groceries. This can boost the amount you can keep aside and help balance out months where you haven’t saved as much.
- Pension – even if you are a while away from retirement, you should look to maximise your pension pot. Making the most of your pension contribution brings you tax relief benefits and helps you increase your retirement income. Money advice service has a useful article, should you want to learn more.
- Loose change– whilst you might think saving the pennies is really not worth it, you’ll be surprised how much it adds up. Make a point of gathering loose change every week and start collecting. Apparently the country has £1.5 billion saved in coin jars, so if you’re not already doing this then join the club.
- Live on one income– this only applies if you have another income within your household. If you are a joint household then you can try to see if you can live on one person’s income and then save the other. It provides a real safety net if one person has the misfortune of losing their job. This type of lifestyle may give you the confidence to look for a higher paying job or negotiate a pay rise to further boost your finances.
- Cashback credit cards– these credit cards pay you every time you spend on them and can save you £100s a year. Some of the top paying cashback cards can pay up to 5% as part of their introduction offer. Just try and make sure you don’t overspend and that you are able to pay off the balance at the end of the month to avoid any interest charges.
- Supermarket and store cards– many large stores give you rewards for your spending such as John Lewis / Waitrose and Amazon. Obviously select stores that you shop often at and do your best to keep your spending behaviour the same as before you got the cards. Cards that give Nectar points can accrue to £100s of pounds of savings in a year.
- Twitter / Social Media– check if the online stores you like to shop at have a twitter account. Many retailers such as ASOS and Amazon let their followers know of latest deals that are available on the website.
- Discount codes and cashback sites – make sure you sign up to cashback sites like Quidco and TopCashback. It is free to join and can earn cashback at many of the online stores you are likely to shop at. Apps like Vouchercloud are great for finding discounts and coupon codes.
- Switching to cheaper brands– try switching down to cheaper products e.g. supermarket own brands and keep doing so until you are unhappy with the change. You might just find that by doing that you’re actually saving hundreds of pounds a year without a real change in your lifestyle.
- Cheap Flights– use online tools like Cheapflights, SkyScanner and Kayak to find the best deals. Just make sure you take into consideration costs to check in baggage as you can often find that low cost airlines are charging more for luggage than the cost of the flight.
- Groceries– a great tool for saving money on your weekly shop is mySupermarket. They compare the price of a basket of goods across 14 supermarkets and can save you up 30% on each shop.
- Petrol – there are plenty of apps that show you the cheapest petrol station to fill up your tank near you which could save you a couple of hundred pounds a year.
Eliminate unnecessary spend
- Review your direct debits– spend 15 minutes looking through all the direct debits and standing orders that are coming out of your account. You might find yourself seeing payments that you can’t justify, don’t need or have just forgotten about such as streaming services or gym memberships.
- Reduce food waste – if you plan every single meal and you can really reduce the amount of food waste. Also try to understand what food can be frozen. You can make extra food and freeze the additional portions of food that you don’t use. This will help you not only spend less on your weekly shop but can help you reduce the amount you spend on takeaways.
- Don’t let contracts auto renew– it often pays to switch provider at the end of a contract, so do make sure you shop around whether it’s your energy provider, mortgage, insurance, mobile provider or any other contract you are tied to.