Saving money is one of those things that we’re always told to do, and we know that it makes sense to actually do it. But when it actually comes around to saving, it can sometimes be tricky, time-consuming, and often result in big lifestyle changes. Here are ten ways to save money with as little effort as possible:
Track what your money is doing
Realistically, before you can save, you need to know what your money is doing. So, if you have it tucked away in an old ISA, premium bonds or in a bank account that doesn’t provide a clear oversight, then your money may not be reaching its potential.
There are a lot of new, digital banks – like Starling – who focus on delivering insight into your spending. Instant notifications, spending habits and a clear overview gives you a better idea of where your money is and could make it a lot easier to save. However, you could always go old school and scan through your monthly bank statements to see where you’re spending your money, tracking anomalies and seeing where you can make cut backs. It may be more work, but it does mean you wouldn’t have to change bank.
Sell what you don’t need
When was the last time you did a good clear out of your home? You’d be surprised by the number of things you own that you don’t use, need, or even want anymore. But one person’s trash is another’s treasure – so why not get paid for them? It’s easier than ever to sell your items on eBay, Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace, so take advantage of it.
Look at benefiting from tax-free savings
Talking about tax-free, did you know that you could save up to £20,000 a year in an ISA without needing to pay capital gains or income tax? Yeah, that’s pretty cool. What’s more, is that this allowance is also applied to Stocks and Shares ISAs, meaning that you can take advantage of the greater potential that you could receive from investing.
The beauty of a Stocks and Shares ISA is that you get to keep all the dividends and profits that your money makes. And in the long run, this can make a huge difference thanks to the mathmagic of compounding. That’s when the dividends and profits of your investments that have been reinvested start generating their own gains and things can start to snowball.
Don’t buy it and don’t bin it
We live in a very fast-fashion, consumer culture at the moment, which results in a lot of unnecessary purchases and even more waste. If you can fix things instead of replacing them then not only could you be learning new skills, but you may be surprised by how much money you can save. Similarly, if you could reduce your clothing allowance by just £30 a month, you could put away £360 each year! Then, say you invested that in a Wealthify Stocks and Shares ISA, you could end up with as much as £7,015 in 15 years1 – and all thanks to not treating yourself to a new shirt each month.
Try shopping around for better deals
Saving is all about having money to be able to put away, so by reducing the amount you spend you should – theoretically – have more money to save. And what better way to do that than by finding out if you could reduce your costs on things you already spend money on? Making sure you’re not paying over the odds-on things like your energy provider, TV subscription service or insurance is a great place to start. There are dozens of market comparison websites out there, pick your poison and go to town comparing – most of these just require a dip in once a year to maximise your savings. If you do manage to reduce your spending here, it could be a good idea to tuck away your savings to truly realise the difference – otherwise, we all know how easy it is to spend that extra £20 each month.
Check your fees and subscriptions
High fees have the potential to kill your savings, whether that’s paying 1% or more on your pension or having to fork out £10 or more each month for your current account. It’s far too easy to let your subscriptions and direct debits carry on rolling over without looking into them. Even if you only go in and look at your subscriptions every three months or so, you could end up saving a small fortune – which, we all know you’ll squirrel away for the future.
If you absolutely don’t want to stop spending money on things – and think that reducing your clothing allowance by £30 seems outrageous – then that’s not a problem. In fact, that could actually be beneficial if you aim to get cashback or roundup the transactions on your spending. There’s a number of websites out there that let you make online purchases and receive a percentage back of what you spent, helping you build up a little pool of cash without even trying. Similarly, you could look at credit cards and bank accounts that provide cashback and turn your everyday spending into everyday saving.
Consider paying off your debt
It may seem counter-intuitive to pay off debts in order to save but considering that the average interest rate for a personal loan in the UK is 9.41%2, debt can really put a dent in your savings. So, it could be a good idea to try and tackle any debt you’ve got.
Save first, spend later
Do you know the best thing about saving first? You can account for it with all the rest of your spending and even set up a Direct Debit that can save it away without you having to think about it. Plus, you can adjust it to an amount that works well for you – can only afford to save £50 a month? Not a problem, just set up your Direct Debit to do just that. If you find that you can save more, simply increase your payments. This gives you a bit more certainty with how much you can save, but also gets you used to living without that little bit of money each month – essentially saving on autopilot!
Get 25% more with a pension
Imagine an account where for every £80 you put in, you’d receive an extra £20 to make it worth £100 you’d open it in a heartbeat, right? Well, you can and it’s a personal pension! Thanks to tax-relief, every contribution you make to your pension gets a healthy little 25% boost – making saving for the future that little bit easier.
What’s more, with Wealthify’s Pension you get to control how your money is invested and how much you put in. You don’t even need to invest each month if you don’t want to. Our low-flat rate fee of just 0.6% lets you keep more of your money, and our experts are constantly monitoring the market to keep your Plan on track. If you’re serious about saving for the future, then our personal pension may be exactly what you’ve been looking for.
Your tax treatment will depend on your individual circumstances and it may be subject to change in the future.
Please remember that past performance is not a reliable indicator of your future results.
With investing, your capital is at risk, so the value of your investments can go down as well as up, which means you could get back less than you initially invested.
- This is the projected value for a Confident Plan (Medium Risk Plan). This is only a forecast and is not a reliable indicator of future performance. If markets perform worse, your return could be £5,624. If markets perform better, your return could be £8,751. Values correct as of 05/03/2020.