It often seems that no matter how hard you try to save, you always find yourself with too much month at the end of the money.
You want to enjoy your hard-earned money but still behave responsibly with it.
Hopefully, these hacks will be able to help you be smarter with your spending and make saving slightly less painful.
Be smart about when you buy/renew discount cards
Discount cards will always be an amazing thing to have but unfortunately, they tend to expire after a period of time e.g. NUS card.
However, if you’re clever about when you renew them, you can have them for an extended period of time.
For example, with an NUS card, there are options to buy one lasting one year, two years or three years. If you renew your NUS card during your final year of university for another 3 years, you’ll find yourself with access to student discount for another 3 years post-graduation! You can also apply this method to the 16-25 railcard.
Make money when spending money
This is every shopaholic’s dream. Believe it or not, there are ways to make money on your purchases without selling them.
My favourite is to use Quidco. It’s a website offering cashback on your purchases. After signing up, search to see if the retailer is offering discount via their site. If they are, it’ll redirect you to the retailer’s site and you can do your shopping. Make sure to use a browser without an ad-blocker so they can track your purchase.
Another way to get cashback on your purchases is to use a current account through banks such as Halifax and Natwest which offer this feature.
If you have friends or family members that can share a subscription with you, this can save you money.
Services such as Spotify, Netflix and Apple music make it possible to share subscriptions and will often be less than the amount you would pay for an individual subscription.
There is no shame in using vouchers. Companies offer them to entice spending, so why not use it to your advantage.
If you’re going out to eat, search to see if the restaurant is offering any discount.
When you’re shopping online, before you proceed to pay, just do a quick google search as sometimes there are voucher codes available that the site hasn’t advertised but still sometimes work.
If you know you need a specific item such as a laptop or TV, think about if you can delay the purchase until a sale period.
For example, Black Friday and January sales are a perfect time to buy high-priced items as stores tend to do huge offers on a vast amount of items. You can find yourself saving a significant amount of money.
Make sure to sign up to loyalty schemes from stores you shop at regularly.
Some stores such as Boots and Superdrug have a good loyalty scheme. You earn points each time you shop and then you receive vouchers, often on items you buy giving you an opportunity to save money on these items.
Set up your direct debits for after payday
It may seem disheartening to see all that money leave in one go just after you’ve been paid, but it helps you to know how much money you actually have for the month.
You can then budget with what’s left and it prevents the panic of not having enough money to pay for your bills.
Using an app like Yolt if you have multiple accounts with different banks come in very handy. You can put in your direct debits and set up your budget including savings. It will then show how much you actually have to spend across all bank accounts for that month and can help you plan for the month.
Set up an internal standing order
Have an amount that you transfer to your savings. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount but if you have this set up it’ll mean that even if you’re having a tight month you would still have saved something for that month.
It gets you into the habit and anything extra you can also add to your savings is a bonus.