25 Easy Ways to Save Money
If you’re feeling a little strapped for cash this month – and who isn’t! – here are 25 easy ways to save some money. Or find some, as the case may be.
No matter if you’re looking to save money fast, or simply need a little bit of extra cash now, these tips should help you get through your financial dry spell.
Easy Ways to Save Money
Sell your books
For all my fellow book lovers out there, who buy way too many books – although can you really have too many? If you need a little extra cash this month have a long hard look at those shelves and think: ‘Do I really need it?’ If you have a book on your shelf that is over 2 years old and you still haven’t read it – you’re not going to! Head to Ziffit, WeBuyBooks, or MusicMagpie and sell those books.
Head to the Library
And if you’re feeling bereft at the loss of your books for cash, head to the local library as they likely have the books you’ve just sold in stock for free!
Delete Shopping Apps
This was a big one for me last year! If you’re spending too much money on ASOS or Etsy or Amazon, delete the apps from your phone. New Year sales are in full swing and it’s all too easy to add things to our basket thinking we need them. You don’t!
Write it all down
Before you start thinking ‘budget’ in big red letters, just write down every expenditure you have for the coming month and from the previous month. You probably think you have more money than you do, and then when the reality hits it hits hard! Suddenly you’ll spot expenditures you don’t need. Like subscriptions to apps you hardly use, and high expenditure on takeaways or coffees. From there it’s easy to make cuts without even thinking about setting your budgets for the week. Although…
Budgets can help you. If you’re a super-organized person who needs deadlines and strong messages to stop your spending, then set yourself a budget! I personally like weekly budgets i.e. you have £100 for this week. But when it’s gone it’s gone.
Get a Monzo Card
Tracking your spending can really help. If you’re not into Excel and like it all at your fingertips then get a Monzo card. There’s a tiny expense to get set up (£5) but then you get a card, an account, and the chance to monitor all of your expenditures in real time. The app also uses alerts and colour codes, as well as budgeting tools, to tell you when you’re overspending and how to cut back.
If you’re not liking the sound of Monzo as you already have too many separate accounts then download Yolt instead. Yolt tracks your expenditure across multiple banks and categorizes your spending so you can see it all in one place. Seeing is believing in the case of overspending!
Make your own lunches
If your office is open and you’re commuting to work save some pennies by making your own lunch. It may be boring to have a sandwich rather than a Wasabi or a Leons, but it will be better for your wallet in the long term. Also, an extra tip, bring your own drinking products to work so you can fulfil that ‘I need a hot chocolate’ craving without the added £3+ expense.
Swap Sainsburys for Aldi
The big supermarkets may have Aldi price matching, but nothing beats the savings you’ll make at an Aldi or a Lidl compared to Sainsbury’s, Tescos, or ASDA. Sure, you won’t be getting the big brands you recognize but do you need them? A fortnightly shop in Lidl will cost me between £20-25, although at Sainsbury’s or Tesco it will cost me between £70-90. That’s a massive saving!
No Lidl nearby, remove the brands
If you don’t have a Lidl or Aldi nearby, try your best to stop using big brands. Supermarket own-brand products may have a bad stigma, but for the most part, they taste great.
Meal Plan and take a list
Before you shop – in-person or online – be sure to make a meal plan for the week (or fortnight, in my case) and shop accordingly. This will hopefully help you to reduce food wastage and overspending on things you don’t need.
Head to Freecycle or Facebook Marketplace
If you need something desperately but are struggling to find the cash for it, head to Freecycle (groups on Facebook by location) or Facebook Marketplace. Half the time you can find the product you need barely used (if that) for half the price! Or free.
Nights in not nights out
Whether it’s possible or not to go to a club or a restaurant right now, it will likely be better for your purse to have a night in any way. Save money by making dinner for friends and family – if they’re able to visit – and put music on in the background if you want to dance. It might not be the same, but it can be just as fun.
Coupons and Discount Codes
If you’re buying or renewing memberships or making a large purchase, be sure to search for a coupon or a discount code first. You might not find one, but I recently got 40% off a large purchase after one search.
Check your TV License
Slightly controversial, but if you’re just watching Amazon Prime, Disney+, and Netflix on your TV or laptop, then you don’t technically need a TV license. If you’re watching BBC, ITV or C4 – live or otherwise – you do though, so check first!
Turn off the lights
If you’re paying bills then be sure to save yourself some money by turning off lights and other electricals, not using the heating as much – i.e. have it on for an hour to warm up the house and then shut doors to conserve the heat. Be wary of how much water you’re using as well. Do you need a bath? Or will a shower be cheaper?
Whether you’re walking to work, walking to the gym, or walking to town. Stop driving or getting the bus, and save some pennies by using your legs.
Get a Railcard
If you do have to travel places, be it for work or for social visits, by train then be sure to get a railcard. You have various kinds from the 16-25 railcard, the 26-30, and beyond. They really do help to save you some cash!
Sell your unwanted clothes
If you have clothes that you no longer wear, others might then sell them on Depop or Vinted. Listing five items for £5 will lead to that takeaway you really want! Or top up your oyster for a week. Or paying for the Lidl’s shopping trip.
Save your change
Be it via an online app that automatically puts aside the change, rounded up to the nearest pound into another account. Or doing it manually. If you buy something for £1.89 then the 19p will be put into a pot for another day. Do this on every purchase and you’ll be surprised by how much ‘change’ you can save for another purchase.
Put yourself on a 30-day no-spend challenge where, unless absolutely necessary – like you’re rent! – you can’t buy anything.
Bring your own snacks
If you’re going to the cinema to see a movie or meeting up with your friend for a walk around the park – bring your own drinks and snacks. It may seem like a minor expense, but a drink and popcorn at the cinema will set you back anywhere from £7 to £15. And an ‘I’m hungry’ comment with friends could lead to an £8 McDonald’s.
Buy cards in bulk
This is more of a ‘saving money in the future’ tip, but if you buy a load of birthday cards at once – the 29-50p ones from Card Factory – you can save a lot of money later when you realize you’ve forgotten your Great Aunt’s 80th and need a card asap. The corner shops one’s range from £2 to £4.50 in my nearby store! These cards can be a life and pocket-saver.
Shop your own wardrobe
When was the last time you got all your clothes out, washed and ironed them, and put them back? For me, never because who would do that regularly?! But if you do it once a year you’ll be surprised by the clothes you find that you haven’t worn in a while, and still really like.
Finally, do you love it and do you need it?
Every time you go shopping think about these questions: do you love it and do you need it? If the answer is NO to either question, don’t buy it.
And those are 25 easy ways to save money. I hope it helps and that you’re able to pinch the pennies this month.