Ever tried to save money only to find yourself quitting before reaching your goal? You're not alone. Many people struggle with reaching their saving goals, and that's why we've put this list together to help you get better at saving money. We don't expect you to use every saving tip on the list, but adding one or two to your lifestyle could be pivotal in reaching your goals.
Here are our top 20 tips to help you get better at saving money:
When it comes to saving, the first step is to know how much you earn. This includes money you receive from your day job, side hustle, family, friends and other income sources. Recording your income helps you determine how much you truly earn and how much you can afford to put towards your savings.
A budget is an estimation of your outgoings and incomings for a particular period. For example, you could have a budget for the year, which estimates how much money you will receive in that year and how you plan to distribute it. Distribution simply means how you allocate money to expenses, savings, emergency and fun activities, for example. Your budget could be on a piece of paper, a spreadsheet or a budgeting app. When creating your budget, we recommend following the 50/30/20 rule. Allocate 50% of your after-tax income to your needs such as your rent and electricity bill, 30% to your wants such as new clothes and 20% to your savings.
Whether you are saving towards a house deposit, an emergency fund or even the latest PlayStation, it's important to have a saving goal. A saving goal helps you to be more intentional and proactive about setting money aside regularly. When setting goals, break your long term goals into smaller, manageable milestones, and celebrate your achievements when you reach each milestone. An example of a milestone could be saving up half of your house deposit. Savings apps could also help you keep track of your milestones and achievements.
Most banks will allow you to set up a standing order to move money from your current account to your savings account regularly. You can do this on the payday of every month. Automating your savings reduces the temptation to spend money you should be saving and helps you be consistent with your savings.
For some people, it is usually better to pay off any outstanding debts before saving money. But, this largely depends on two things - how expensive the debt is and how much it is. Suppose you have £4,000 outstanding on a credit card charging interest at 19%. It will cost you £760 a year to pay back the debt. The income from your savings is unlikely to match this return, so it may be wise to pay off the credit card debt and other expensive debts before saving. The only exception to this is if you are using credit cards to improve your credit score. Additionally, you could be owing a considerable amount of money to private student loan companies, for example. In this case, you should still try to save some money while meeting the minimum loan payment requirements.
Try as hard as you can to live within your monthly income. We know Kim Kardashian's lifestyle is quite enticing, but we can't live like her if we don't earn as much as she does! On a more serious note, spending within your monthly income keeps you from putting unnecessary expenses on your current account or credit card.
Meet with a financial adviser to determine if combining your debt obligations could lead to lower interest payment. There are many financial advisers in the Koody Community. You can pop in for free and ask a question about consolidating your debts. You'll be surprised at how many people have something useful to say to you. Some of them might even be financial advisers.
Suppose you spend £10 each day on Deliveroo or UberEats. At the end of one month, you would have spent £300! By eating more homemade food than takeouts, you are saving money and cultivating a healthy diet. Here's a meal prep for beginners guide to get you started.
Before buying an expensive non-essential item, wait 30 days to determine if you still need it. For less expensive non-essential items, wait 24 hours to decide whether it's still worth your money. By the end of this waiting period, determine if you still want to make the purchase. If you find that you no longer want the item, you can add the money to your savings.
You know that incredible feeling of getting a designer jacket for half price because it was on sale? Only this time, not just for designer items but for other big purchases too. Be on alert during Christmas, Black Friday and any other period the stores you're interested in are doing massive discounts. This tip only works for non-urgent purchases.
Entertainment platforms like Netflix have plans where you can share the subscription with up to 4 people. You get to pay a lower amount for the same value as an individual subscription. When doing this, be sure only to share subscriptions with people you trust. Since you'll be sharing your password, remember to use a password that is markedly different from your other passwords.
When shopping, fill your basket with a mix of known brands and store-brand items. Store-brand items are usually cheaper than popular brands. Doing this will save you a few pounds.
According to Money Advice Service, the UK average for an electricity bill is £58 a month, the average broadband bill is £30.30 and £56 for gas. You can reduce your bills by switching to cheaper providers. For example, suppose you want to switch energy providers regularly but don't want to deal with the hassle of switching. In that case, you can use an auto-switching electricity service. Additionally, simple things like turning off the radiator when the house is warm, turning off appliances when leaving the house or becoming a one car family could help you save money on recurring bills.
A £0.99 coupon might initially not seem like a lot because it really isn't. But imagine saving £0.99 on five purchases in one week. That's £5. If you do that consistently for half a year, that's £130! Little drops of water make a mighty ocean, don't they? Before you go out shopping, check for coupons available on company websites and newspapers.
This one is easier said than done. We've all been there. But if you can commit to sticking to your grocery list, you should be able to do it. You need to train yourself to resist the urge to spend money on miscellaneous items. An excellent way to do this is to write a shopping list, calculate the exact amount you need and only leave the house with that amount. If you are shopping with a debit card, transfer the exact amount you need to the card account before leaving home. This should keep you disciplined and prevent you from spending money on things you don't need.
We don't know which is more tempting, online window shopping or on-site window shopping. Since we've dealt with the latter by agreeing to stick to our shopping lists, for the former, one option is to remove our card details from the online store. This helps in resisting the temptation to buy everything we desire online and definitely saves money.
Regular savings accounts require you to put some money away each month with interest paid yearly. They typically offer higher interest rates than the traditional fixed, notice or easy-access savings accounts but have stricter terms such as limiting the number of withdrawals you can make in a year and the maximum amount you can save in a month. They are a great way to cultivate a good saving habit. You can have a look at top regular savings accounts here.
Want your salary to go further? Have a "no spend" weekend every month. Instead of going out for drinks, brunches, or dinners, try activities such as movie night, long walks and visiting free museums or parks.
Wonky or strangely-shaped vegetables are usually cheaper than regular vegetables. They might be uglier, but you still get the same nutritional value. Regularly adding wonky vegetables to your shopping basket can reduce the amount you spend on fresh vegetables.
Cashback is a service that lets you get money back on goods, services, and travel through exclusive partnerships with brands and leading retailers. For example, if you spend £50 at Tesco and get a 10% cashback, that's a free £5 in your pocket. Read our blog post - 12 Creative Ways to Make Money Online - to learn more about how to get cashback.
We know the article says 20, but we wanted to add one more super important point!
In the words of John Wooden, "Without proper self-evaluation, failure is inevitable." It is recommended that you examine how well you did with your savings at the end of every week or month. By doing this, you'll not only discover your shortcomings, but you'll also be able to devise means on how to improve on them. Auto-saving and budgeting apps can make the process of self-evaluation less tedious.
And that's a wrap! If you enjoyed reading this post, please let us know by leaving a comment below! Also, you can be a part of a much bigger conversation here - join our community!
Every month, we send out a newsletter that curates the best personal finance content in the UK. We share the most popular community questions, real-life stories, how-to guides, top personal finance news and tips to help you stay on top of your finances.