I’ve often found myself looking for easy ways to save money when finances have been hard. The reality is that saving money isn’t always easy and learning to save money can be a challenging journey. When we first got married, we lived in London and hardly managed to save at all. Then, what we had saved we spent moving away from London! Then, I was on maternity leave and we saved a little but not much. Thanks to some mega car breakdowns, those emergency savings (and then some!) were needed so it felt like we were back at square one again. Now, I have multiple jobs and we’re finally able to save money regularly, making the aim of buying a house one day (in the very distant future!) seem an actual possibility.
Here are 5 easy ways to save money which have helped us!
1. Share more. Waste Less.
I remember a friend once telling me it felt counterintuitive to hold lightly to possessions and share to help save money. But, that it really does seem to work! We’ve made a conscious effort to do this and to not hold onto things we just don’t really need.
For this, I LOVE the Olio app. The aim is to reduce waste and share with our neighbours. If you have food you won’t eat or an item you no longer need then you list it and someone takes it! It’s that simple!
Firstly, it saves waste which is amazing. Secondly, I have definitely saved money using the app. I have had things on my shopping list which I’d love to buy which then pop up on there. For example, last week I was looking at water bottles for the boys and wanted to get a good stainless steel one. They’re around £15+ a bottle! Then, I spotted that a neighbour wanted to give one away. Winner! I’ve also had times when we’ve been able to drastically reduce our food bill because I got food from the app. On weeks where money was tight this also helped us massively to stretch our budget.
2. Buy secondhand
If I can’t get something for free (always the top choice!) then I will always try and buy it secondhand. At the start of the year I decided to commit to buying no new clothes. The pandemic has certainly helped but it’s been over 6 months and I’ve still only bought second-hand!
EBay is my absolute favourite. It’s so easy to search for exactly what I want. I do also love a good charity shop browse. However, my biggest tip, if you want to save money, would be not to browse but to be intentional. It’s easy to actually spend a lot of money if you go browsing a lot. It just becomes a new version of the shopping you tried to cut out! So, I try just to look when I want something specific. And, if I find myself spending too often I delete the eBay app from my phone or turn off search notifications.
3. Get cashback
A friend recommended Quidco to me ages ago and it took me a really long time to stop being skeptical and actually try it. Now that I use it I couldn’t recommend it highly enough. It’s a cash back website so you just click through to the thing you want to buy from the Quidco website and it tracks and you get cash back – it’s literally like free money!
If you want to sign up and via my link here then I’d be super grateful as when you get cash back for the first time I do too! I’ve earned £152.52 over the last couple of years on there by buying things like car insurance and my mobile and going via Quidco.
4. Don’t let anything auto-renew
I found when I didn’t let things auto-renew I sometimes missed deadlines and panicked when I’d forgotten the insure the car! However, it is totally worth making sure they don’t auto-renew, or at least checking as soon as you get that reminder sent through. My car insurance this year would have £500 more with the same company so I shopped around and I got it for less than the previous year AND I did it through Quidco so I got £30+ cash back!
I used to think being a loyal customer was the best way but it definitely pays to be dis-loyal! Places can often offer you a better deal when you suggest you’ll leave, but even more often there’s probably an even better deal out there. Put in the work to do a little comparing between companies is really worth it.
5. Intentionally follow people who talk about money
Notice I didn’t say follow people who talk about saving money… for me I’ve found that by following people who talk more about money in general I have gotten more and more comfortable with talking and thinking about it myself. This has then made thinking about saving money easier! I feel more confident to look in my bank account and think about what I’m spending and saving, rather than just hoping for the best! The same wise and wonderful people who talk about money also talk about budgeting and saving so that has been the next step for me to read/watch and think about.
Here are some bloggers/instagrammers (is that a word?!) who I follow:
- Charlotte at Looking After Your Pennies. She’s also written a fab blog about talking about money here.
- Joel Stevens – @joeldoesmoneystuff on Instagram – who starts really helpful money conversations and sends great emails.
- Clare Seal – @myfrugalyear on Instagram – she shares some really useful tips and has also just written a book which I have no doubt will be really good!
- Cheryl – @frugal_me_free on Instagram and has a blog here – really honest sharing of her journey with money, she has also created planners and has a range of printable which are great.
Anyone else you follow who you think others should too?
What’s your top tip for saving money?