Saving can be a big mood boost, especially in the winter months when we need it the most.
But reaching a savings goal can become challenging if you’ve already got other financial commitments that absorb most of your income. We look at little ways to save that can help you hit your goal.
1. Cancel those subscriptions
Did you sign up for a free trial with the intention of cancelling before you got billed – and then forgot? Unfortunately, most people fall into this trap and end up paying for a subscription that they don’t use. Start off by checking to see if you pay for anything you don’t use and cancel it.
2. Bottle up the pennies
Start saving your loose change by putting it in an old jar or bottle. You could just save copper coins, or maybe all change less than £1. You'll be able to give your change a purpose and could be surprised at how much you end up saving. You could have different jars for different goals.
Some banking apps like Monzo and Revolut can auto-save for you, using an option to round up your purchases to the nearest £1. For example, if you spend £9.15 the app will round it up to £10 and put 85p for you in a virtual savings account. You won’t notice the “missing” change and it can build up quickly.
3. Save in the sales
If you’re going to make a purchase, then try to wait for the sales if you can. Certain times of the year (such as January) are a good time to grab some bargains because most stores put on sales then. Don’t impulse buy though. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it.
You’ve heard of cutting out alcohol for January but how about cutting out any unnecessary spending? Ditch online shopping or takeaway coffee and pledge to only spend money on essentials for a whole month instead.
5. Turn the heating down
Winter usually feels like the time to dial the heating up. But by putting on a jumper instead and turning the heat down by just one degree, you could save £80 off your annual heating bill. Turn it down by two degrees and save more. Feel happy knowing you’ve helped the environment too.
6. Switch energy supplier
Find cheaper energy deals that you can switch to. It might seem like a big hassle, but switching suppliers can be a lot more straightforward than you think. Research shows that utility bills are at their lowest in 3 years, so switching could help you to save some big money.
Instead of throwing away the wrinkly looking vegetables in the fridge drawer, use them. Food like this is ideal for natural composting that can help transform your garden. It’s inexpensive and good for the environment. Read this step-by-step guide on how to create your natural compost bin.
8. Get free food (and help reduce food waste at the same time)
Certain apps allow businesses and people to advertise any food they have that’s going to waste. Users can either pay a reduced price, or collect unwanted food for free. Olio is an app which aims to help people cut down on food waste. It’s free to use and allows users to distribute food that would otherwise be thrown away. You can use it to pick up free food or give it away yourself. Just make sure you keep it contact free when getting your items, and always arrange to collect it in a safe way.
9. Join a coffee shop loyalty scheme
If you can’t give up your coffee fix from your favourite chain, then consider joining one of their loyalty reward schemes. It’s nice to be rewarded for something you would do anyway.
10. Sell unwanted items
If you have things at home that you no longer need then look at listing them for sale. Use free portals such as Facebook Marketplace or apps like Shpock, Vinted, and Wallapop. You can pop the money you make into your savings jar. Decluttering and saving at the same time - it’s a win-win.
11. Buy second-hand
There are some great bargains to be found on resell sites and charity shops. From vintage items to curtains and furniture, you could save money by buying second-hand. Only buy what you need and would have bought somewhere else anyway. You’ll feel good about getting a bargain and giving something a home that may have ended up at the tip.
12. Swap your car keys for trainers
Get into the habit of walking or cycling instead of always getting in the car. Maybe once or twice a week, set yourself a goal. Your wallet won’t be the only one thanking you - your health will improve too.