Whether you’re booking a holiday or you have lots of weddings to attend next year, there are many reasons why you might want to save money quickly.
Thankfully, there are plenty of tips, tricks and budgets you can try. The best part? You don’t have to sacrifice everything you love to change your finances. Here’s our guide on how to save money fast.
Do you know how much money you spend each month? Working out your monthly expenses is the first step to saving money.
Print out your bank statements from the last few months and use a highlighter to split your expenses into categories. The categories could include:
If your bank has an app, see if it has its own category feature. That way, you can organise your expenses on your phone without the need for a printer and highlighters.
Working out exactly how much you spend can be a challenge. It’s hard to face these numbers head on, especially if you struggle to manage your money.
But by getting this part out of the way, you can overhaul your finances and save for the finer things in life.
It can be difficult to save money when you’re in debt, especially if you have loans or credit cards with high interest rates.
While you’re busy saving money, your debts can be getting larger and larger.
Before you set money aside for the future, consider using that money to pay your creditors instead.
Wondering which debts to prioritise? Some people start with the smallest debts. This approach can give people the confidence to work their way up to larger debts over time.
However, focusing just on the amount you owe can be counterproductive. Money Saving Expert, Martin Lewis, recommends starting with your high interest debts first.
He says: "If you've got lots of debts, list them with the highest APR first. Put all your spare cash towards getting rid of that highest interest rate and pay minimum payments on the others.”
Remove the temptation to spend everything you have by transferring a portion of your income into savings on payday. Set up a monthly standing order to do this for you. That way, you won’t have to think about it.
Try to spend what’s left after saving instead of saving what’s left after spending. Make saving your main priority and you’ll be amazed how much easier it becomes.
Some apps will automate your savings for you by rounding up your purchases to the nearest pound and transferring the difference into a separate pot.
If you were to spend £14.11 on your card in a supermarket, these apps would move 89p into your savings pot. Some apps offer more flexibility than others, so it’s worth trying out a couple to decide which works best for you.
This can be a smart way to save money without having to put any effort in at all.
Before going food shopping, have a look in your cupboards, fridge and freezer to see what you already have.
You might find a packet of mince in the freezer, a tin of kidney beans at the back of the cupboard and a couple of peppers in the fridge. Buy some onions and chopped tomatoes and you can make a chilli without having to spend more than £1.
Never shop on an empty stomach. If you’re hungry, you may feel more tempted to stock up on convenient snacks rather than cheap ingredients that can be cooked at home.
Are you paying over the odds for your broadband? If you’ve been with the same provider for more than a year and your price has increased since your contract began, there may be better deals available.
Use price comparison websites to see if you can find a better offer. If you do, don’t be afraid to use this information to haggle with your current provider.
If they refuse to reduce your payments, it should be fairly easy to switch as long as you’re no longer tied into your contract. Most people manage to move to a cheaper broadband deal without any interruption to their service.
When a retailer emails you to let you know about an exciting new offer, they’re not trying to save you money. They’re trying to make you spend it!
Keep this in mind next time you click a link in a promotional email or use a voucher code as an excuse to buy something you didn’t realise you wanted before. If you struggle to resist the temptation, go through your inbox and unsubscribe from all the retailers’ newsletters.
If you need new clothes and have expensive taste, check eBay and Depop before parting with your cash. You may find items that are as good as new for a fraction of the original price. Many items still have their original tags on!
One of the downsides of buying second hand clothes online is that you can rarely return them if they don’t fit. This is where charity shops can come in useful. You’ll be able to browse hundreds of t-shirts, jumpers and jeans that are ‘new to you’ and try on your favourite items before making a commitment.
Are you getting your money’s worth from the gym?
Divide your monthly membership fee by the number of times you’ve been in the last month.
Are you happy with that figure? If not, use this as motivation to go more often next month or cancel your membership completely.
Many gyms offer flexible memberships, making it easy to cancel in seconds. You can always rejoin in a few months.
Free trials are sneaky. If you have a habit of signing up and forgetting to cancel in time, set a reminder on your phone or calendar every time you try a new product or service.
Is your wardrobe overflowing? Do you have a tech drawer filled with old gadgets? Have a clear out and sell anything you’ve not used or worn in the last year or so.
How long do you think you can go without spending money on clothes, takeaways and nights out? You could set yourself a ‘no spend challenge’ where you’re only allowed to spend money on necessities for a specified time period.
It can be a lot easier to find motivation to do (or not do) something when you turn it into a game.
Although no spending challenges can give you motivation, you don’t have to follow them all the time. Even if you’re stuck for cash, you deserve to enjoy yourself.
Some expenses may be extremely cost-effective. Netflix and Disney+, for example, are far cheaper than going to the cinema every week and seeing a musical once a month.
Buying a bottle of wine and snacks from the supermarket might be avoidable, but it’s cheaper than a takeaway or night out. Finding balance can make your money goals easier to stick to in the long run.
It can be easier to achieve your goals if you’re surrounded by like-minded people.
By talking about your money saving efforts with your friends and family, you may find others who are on a similar journey. You could share tips, tricks and budgets with each other and celebrate when you achieve your goals.
You may even inspire a friend who is struggling for money to try and overhaul their finances too.
Although there are lots of ways to save money fast, the internet is filled with get-rich-quick schemes which can do you more harm than good.
If someone is promising to help you save or make large amounts of money in a short space of time, question whether they might have an ulterior motive. Many scammers take advantage of those wondering how to save money fast. The last thing you need is to fall victim to their tricks.
If a money saving or money making hack seems too good to be true, it usually is. Don’t let anyone pressure you into investing in something you don’t fully understand and never give people your passwords or PINs.
If you think you’ve fallen victim to a scam, get in touch with your bank or card company as soon as possible.