By Ruth Emery
5 life hacks to save money
Saving money takes many forms within day to day life, but here are some extra easy ways you can save money on a budget without cutting down on spending entirely. Not only do you need to find ways to reduce your regular living costs, but there are other smart ways you can manage your money and better stick to a tight budget.
1) Earn cash by switching your bank accounts
This is a really simple hack to make some serious money. Banks and building societies will sometimes pay you to switch your current account from one provider to their own, thanks to UK bank switching offers. Don’t worry, they will do all the heavy lifting by transferring over your direct debits and standing orders, and the whole process should take less than seven working days. You could earn up to £200, for minimum faff! The following banks all offer rewards for switching, so have a look and see if one of them could be right for your banking requirements:
- Lloyds Bank: £150
- Nationwide: £200
- Natwest: £175
- Santander: £175
- Co-op: Referral deal £50 for you and your referrer
Take a look at your savings account too. How much interest are you earning? You may have been used to earning hardly any interest, after years of rock-bottom interest rates, but savings rates are on the rise, and you could get as much as 2.3% by moving your money. If you’re happy to lock up your savings for a year, you could enjoy an interest rate of more than 4%. Compare the best savings accounts using a free comparison tool online.
2) Compare prices on everything!
You may already be using discount codes and comparing the cost of bills like car insurance and broadband (well done if that’s you!), but what about other things like your weekly supermarket shop, or filling up the car? There are lots of great tools to help you check the cost before you open your wallet. Try Trolley for comparing grocery prices, PetrolPrices to compare petrol and diesel prices, and Treatwell for hair cuts and beauty treatments.
You can also use Savoo discount codes to search for pretty much anything, from bikes and bras to pet food and plants. You can then compare loads of brilliant discount codes to make sure you get the best price – plus Savoo will give money to charity. Even better, every deal you use raises money for charity at no extra cost to you!
3) Borrow, repair, shop pre-loved – and be a food waste warrior
Don’t always assume you have to buy brand-new. Got a broken toaster? Maybe it can be fixed, rather than thrown in the tip and you forking out for a new one. Look on social media or your council’s website to find a community repair shop, which will fix things for free or a donation. Also consider borrowing rather than buying – useful if it’s a large item you only need occasionally, like a hedge trimmer or pressure washer. Check if there’s a borrowing place (often called Library of Things) where you can pick up items for camping, events, gardening or sports. Have a look at the list of available Library of Things locations to find the closest to you.
Another tip is to shop pre-loved items: browse charity shops, eBay, Vinted and Depop for bargains. For cheap or free food (that will otherwise be wasted), download Olio and Too Good to Go on your phone. Check out our article on [Secondhand Fasion Tips and Tricks](https://www.savoo.co.uk/cost-of-living-guide/second-hand-fashion-tips-and-tricks), by fashion expert Alexandra Fullerton
4) Cancel and rebook to save money on holidays
When booking your flights, accommodation and car hire, make sure you use providers that offer a free cancellation policy by checking the terms and conditions. This is handy if your plans change, but it also means you can also take advantage if you spot a better deal and want to save money. You can even cancel and rebook the exact same hotel or car for a cheaper price! Why not set a Google Price Tracking alert for price drops, so you receive a notification when an item is discounted. Set up a price alert in your Google app or browser using these instructions.
I recently saved £150 by cancelling and rebooking a rental car in Spain with Enterprise. Prices fluctuate all the time due to supply and demand, and because I’d been regularly checking the car hire prices, I spotted they had gone down, so cancelled and rebooked. It was quick and easy to do. Put a couple of reminders in your calendar to recheck prices as your holiday approaches in case you can save money too. For more ways to save on your holiday check out the article on [Affordable Ways to Get Away this Christmas](https://www.savoo.co.uk/cost-of-living-guide/affordable-christmas-getaways), by expert travel writer Sarah Bridge.
5) Use credit cards wisely
It can be tempting to use a credit card to get you through the cost-of-living crisis. Many experts will tell you to steer clear of them completely, but I believe credit cards can be a handy tool if used wisely. Here are some instructions to follow for smarter credit card usage:
- Make sure you always pay them off in full each month – or get a 0% card if you need to spread the cost
- Use them to pay for large items, as you’ll be protected by a law called Section 32, which means if the item doesn’t turn up, or it’s faulty, the credit card provider is equally liable
- Buy things on a credit card to build your credit score. This is particularly important if you’re buying a home and want to qualify for the best mortgages
If you’re looking for even more smart ways to save money, check out our Cost of Living Guide for tips for saving money on daily outgoings and ways to save money on bills. You’ll also find plenty more articles written exclusively for Savoo by experts on fashion, travel and Christmas.
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