How To Start Saving Money: 38 Tips To Stop Spending & Start Saving

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There are so many different ways that you can save money every day! Today you’re going to learn how to start saving money.

Some you’ll be doing naturally because they’re really just common sense, some that you know you should be doing but never actually do and some that have probably never even occurred to you.

I’m going to share 38 different ways that you can save money and I hope that you’ll get plenty of great ideas so you can start saving money right now!

How To Start Saving Money:

1. Calculate your monthly budget

Work out your monthly budget so you know what, if anything you have spare each month. There’s lots of free budget planners online.

2. Take action if you can’t afford to pay

If you can’t afford to pay your bills, don’t just ignore the fact like a lot of people do – it won’t go away but you can take action to help yourself. The first thing to do is to contact all of the companies you owe money to and let them know that you’re struggling. They’ll be able to discuss your options with you and may be able to sort something out with you straight away.

If you can’t get something sorted then you can contact the Citizens Advice Bureau or StepChange who will give you free impartial advice about your situation.

3. Make sure you know where all of your money is going each month

If your monthly budget is telling you that you should have more money left over than you actually have each month then you need to find out where your money is going. The best way to do this is to keep a spending diary for a month which involves writing down EVERY purchase you make. You’ll be surprised to see where you money is actually going!

4. Pay your debts off in the right order

Use the snowball method to repay any debts in the quickest and most efficient way possible. Snowballing is all about paying your debts off in the right order so that you pay the least amount of interest on your debts and pay them off as quickly as possible.

The best way to do this is to pay the minimum payment each month on all of your outstanding debts and use any extra money you have leftover in your monthly budget to pay more to the debt with the highest interest.

Once the next debt is paid off, move on to the next one and so on until you’re all paid off and debt free (in an ideal world). Then you can then start paying extra on your mortgage or just enjoy having the extra money in your bank account each month.

4. Overpay your mortgage

If you have any money spare each month then it’s definitely worth overpaying your mortgage each month as even a little bit extra can make a huge difference to the overall amount you’ll even up paying and it could reduce your mortgage term.
Make sure you’re on the best deal possible for all of your utility bills

Prices can fluctuate so much from company to company and even the company you’re with will usually have more than one tariff so it’s best to check every six months or so if you’re on the best deal for your family.

It’s really easy to check – just have your bills to hand and use one of the many price comparison websites online to check the best deals. And don’t forget that if you are thinking of switching that you might even be able to get cashback through a cashback websites.

5. Consider a water meter if you’re not already on one

Do you have more bedrooms in your house than people living in it? If you do, the chances are you could save money on your water bills by getting a water meter installed and actually, even if you don’t, you still might be able to save some money with a water meter.

A water meter basically measures the amount of water you use. Your water company will then charge you for that amount rather than charging you a fixed amount which is based on the rateable value of your home. They’re usually free to install and they’re not intrusive or visible (ours isn’t anyway – it’s under the manhole cover in the front garden). Your local water company should have a calculator on their website to help you work out how much you could save

6. Pay by Direct Debit

Paying your bills by Direct Debit ensures that they’re always paid on time and that you get any applicable discounts for paying this way. It also makes life easier as it’s one less thing to think about.

7. Consider going paperless

Lots of companies these days give a discount if you opt to receive online bills rather than paper ones so it’s worth checking if any of the companies you deal with do this.

8. Don’t automatically renew any insurance policy

Never renew any insurance without checking if there are any better deals available first using an online price comparison site. It’s not always worth changing as some companies give you loyalty discounts to stay with them but it’s certainly worth a quick check as you could save a lot by switching. Again, if you are switching then make sure you use a cashback website where possible to save even more!

9. Save money with just one phone call

You don’t get if you don’t ask! Try ringing your credit card companies to see if they have a better rate of interest, ring your TV/Broadband provider and ask if they can reduce your price and even try calling your mobile provider to see if they have a better deal you could be on. The best deals can usually be given if you say you’re thinking of cancelling your account but do be careful not to go too far if you definitely don’t want to cancel.

SEE ALSO: How To Improve Your Financial Situation: 6 Steps To Financial Freedom

10. Would you benefit from a balance transfer?

Do you have a balance on a credit card that you’re currently paying interest on? It might be worth looking at other credit cards to see if you qualify for a 0% deal that you could use to transfer your balance to so your payments are reducing the balance rather than mostly paying interest. Choose carefully though and be wary of applying for more than one card as credit searches can impact your credit rating.

11. Do you wear a uniform for work?

If you wear a uniform for work then you should be able to reclaim back some tax for taking care of it. Speak to your employer for advice on how to do this as you may need a letter from them to confirm that you are responsible for taking care of your uniform. We got a letter like this and sent it to the tax office and then got a rebate.

12. Save money on your laundry

  • Save your washing until you have enough for a full load, even if your washing machine has a half load option. A half load will use less water but most machines will still use almost the same amount of electricity as a full load.
  • Usually the shorter cycles are fine for all but heavily soiled clothes to save energy.
  • Wash at the lowest temperature you can, again this is fine for all but really dirty clothes and is another easy way to save energy and money.
  • Make sure you don’t overfill your washing machine drum – it’s the jiggling about in the soapy water that gets things clean.
  • You don’t necessarily have to use the amount of washing detergent that the packet tells you to. I use about two thirds of the recommended amount and have never had a problem with anything coming out dirty.

13. Save money on your gas and electricity

  • Only boil as much water as you need in your kettle and you could save up to £7 a year.
  • Unplug your chargers when you’re not using them – if they’re plugged in and switched on then they’re using power whether they’re attached to a device or not.
  • Switch off your appliances when they’re not in use becauseleaving them on standby costs you around £37 a year.
  • Fit a cylinder jacket if you don’t already have one – a cheap, easily installed jacket on your hot water cylinder will cut heat loss by up to 75% and save you £10 year.
  • Insulating your loft with just 270mm of insulation could save you £205 a year.

14. Save money on water

Saving water is good for the environment and for you bank balance if you’re on a water meter and the things you can do to save water are really easy to start:

  • Take showers and not baths where possible.
  • Turn of the tap while brushing your teeth.
  • Only use your washing machine and dishwasher when you have a full load.
  • Use a watering can rather than the hosepipe to water your garden.
  • Even better, buy a water butt for your garden so you can use collected rainwater to water.
  • Keep a jug of chilled water in the fridge to save having to run the cold water tap for a few seconds to get super cold water.

15. Use a mobile app that gives you free texts and calls

For those of you who have a Smartphone but don’t have unlimited free texts or calls there’s some great apps around that allow you to get free calls or free texts to other users who also have the app downloaded. The three apps that I use most are Viber, Whatsapp and occasionally Skype.

16. Reconsider your TV package

Reconsider the package you currently have with your provider and decide if you could get rid of any of the channels to save money. Even better go down to the basic package and just watch Netflix!

17. Use this tip before you buy anything

First of all, work out how much your hourly wage is – just for the sake of having a nice round figure let’s say it’s £10 an hour.

Now, every time you’re trying to decide whether to buy something, work out how long you would have to work to pay for it. So if you’re thinking about a family takeaway for around £20, you would have to work for two hours to pay for it. Do you really want to spend money you’ve worked for two hours to earn on a quick takeaway?

18. Change the way you shop to save money

If you currently buy a branded version of something or the shops finest range, try the shops own brand and if you like that, you could try and save further by changing down to the value version or you could stick with the own brand knowing that you’ve already saved. If you’re already buying the shops own brand then try the value version, just once, and you may find you can’t tell the difference and are happy to stick with it.

19. Make the most of store loyalty cards

Retailers are getting wise to the fact that we, as their customers, like to be rewarded for our loyalty and more and more of them are starting their own loyalty schemes. Some companies reward you with money back in vouchers, some with free products and some just offer discounts and special offers but if you shop somewhere regularly then you really should take advantage of the loyalty scheme.

20. Check out voucher sites for discounts

There are so many voucher sites popping up these days that you’ll often be able to find a discount off something that you’re planning to buy, even if it’s just free postage. Rather than search particular sites, it’s easier just to google the name of the company followed by the words discount or voucher.

21. Meal plan

Planning your meals in advance sounds like such a simple thing to do but so few people actually do this. You could save a fortune by doing a quick check of your fridge, freezer and cupboards each week and planning your meals based on what you have in already. You can then write a shopping list for everything else you need and if you stick to that then you’ll save money on shopping, reduce waste as you’ll only be buying what you need and cut out midweek trips to the shop to buy something you need.

22. Get the family involved in meal planning

I think it helps to get the family involved in meal planning by letting them choose a few favourite meals to include in the week’s meal plan. I also have a wall planner to keep track of our meal plans and I get one of the kids to write up my meal plan on there each week for me.

23. Learn when your local supermarket reduces the price of items

I know that my local supermarket reduced the price of food that’s about to go out of date at around 9pm on a night. They reduce it before then but this is the time that they do the last round of reductions where you can pick up some real bargains. I often pop along then and buy things to pop ion the freezer – a six pack of bread buns for 1p and sausages for 20p were last night’s bargains and they’re both in my freezer now ready for when we want them.

24. Use your slow cooker more

A slow cooker uses a similar amount of electricity as a lightbulb so it’s cheaper to use than your oven or hob. It also means that you can use cheaper cuts of meat as they slow cooking process makes everything so tender. And add to that the fact that you can just fling everything in there on a morning and it will be ready by teatime and you’ll see why I think you should use yours more. If you don’t have one then it’s well worth investing in one – you can get them cheaply enough.

25. Learn the difference between ‘Use by’ and ‘Best Before’

I would never recommend eating anything that has passed the use by date on the packaging as the use by date is there to tell you that must use it by that date or risk becoming ill but the best before date is completely different. You don’t need to throw something out because it’s passed its best before date because that just means that the food will start to lose some of its quality.

26. Grow your own

Even if you only have a small garden you can usually find somewhere to grow some of your own food. I choose things that I can grow in containers rather than in the garden itself as the kids play a lot in our garden and I know anything in the ground would get trampled!

27. Make your own lunches

Consider switching the kids to packed lunches if they’re currently on school dinners because you can easily make a healthy and nutritious packed lunch for less than half the price of a school dinner. It’s not just the kids though, make sure you take your lunches to work rather than buying them!

28. Thrifty cleaning

Rather than fill the cupboard under your sink with numerous products for cleaning your home, learn to use vinegar, bicarbonate of soda and lemons. A quick google or Pinterest search will show you lots of tips and tricks for using these three things to make your home spotless without the chemicals.

29. Don’t replace it if it’s not broken

How often have you replaced something that’s working perfectly well just to upgrade to the next model? I know I have in the past but it really isn’t necessary to have the latest model or the newest features – especially when you consider that you probably wouldn’t even use them that much.

SEE ALSO: How To Save Money On Holiday: 31 Clever And Not So Obvious Tips

30. Save on toilet rolls

I always squish toilet rolls a little bit so they don’t spin as easily when you go to pull some off. I started doing this when my son was little as he used to pull loads off at once and I’ve done it automatically ever since.

31. Learn how to drive efficiently to save money on fuel

  • Keep your tyres inflated to the correct pressure. As well as making your car more fuel efficient, it’s also safer for you and your passengers.
  • Don’t use your air conditioning unless you have to – just wind a window down.
  • Turn your engine off as soon as you reach your destination.
  • Drive along speed-humped roads at a steady 15-20mph rather than accelerating between speed bumps and having to brake each time you get to one
  • According to the Department for Transport, if you drive at 70mph you are using up to 9% more fuel than at 60mph and up to 15% more than at 50mph. 80mph can use up to a massive25% more than you would use doing 70mph.
  • Don’t use your car for journeys where you could just as easily walk – popping to the local shops or going on the school run are great examples of when people don’t always need to drive.

32. Consider annual memberships

Some of your favourite places might have an annual membership which will work out cheaper if you plan to visit a few times so it’s worth asking about this. Also the National Trust and English Heritage offer great value annual memberships which allow entry into hundreds of properties across the UK. We pay less than £8 a month for our family English Heritage and we use it at least twice a month for a day out.

33. Plan school holidays in advance

Plan in advance what you’ll be doing over the school holidays so you can take advantage of free and cheap events. Check out your local library and museums sites to see what they’re planning over the holidays.

34. Book hotels in advance

I’m sure that most of us know that train tickets are cheaper when you book them in advance but did you also know that hotel rooms often are too? Companies like Premier Inn and Travel Lodge release their cheaper rooms early and as they book up, the price gets higher.

35. Take food and drink with you if you’re going out for the day

We always pack picnics when we leave home because it can be so expensive to buy when you’re travelling. When we’re away we generally find our closest supermarket and buy picnic things for the day from there.

36. Free Xbox games

If you or the children are members of Xbox live then you Microsoft give you one free game every two weeks (first two weeks of the month and last two) which you can download on to your console – once you’ve downloaded them, they’re yours to keep as long as you don’t delete them as you can’t re-download them again outside of the free period.

To download the free games, you just need to turn your console on and sign in to your Xbox Live account go to the ‘Best on Gold’ icon. Here you’ll find the free game and if you scroll along you’ll find some great discounts on games

37. Cinema moneysaving

It can cost a fortune for a family trip to the cinema these days so take advantage of any family screenings that your local cinema does. Our local cinema is Cineworld and they do a Movies for Juniors morning every Saturday where they show a slightly older film for just £1.50 per person. Give your local a call to see if they do anything similar.

38. Save on batteries

If your children are constantly using batteries for all of their electronics then invest in some rechargeable batteries or even better for the games console controllers you can buy a plug and play battery pack for about £8 that will recharge the controller directly from the console and save a fortune on batteries!