Ten ways to save without realising!
If you're having trouble finding enough spare cash to save, just follow these top ten tips!
In times like these, putting some cash aside into a savings account can be tricky. So here are ten simple ways to save without even noticing!
1) Get cashback!
Whenever you make a purchase online, make sure you use a cashback website such as Quidco, TopCashback or GreasyPalm. These websites will pay you money every time you do your online shopping via their links. So whenever you earn your cash back, transfer it straight into your savings account!
To find out more about which cashback sites offer the best deals, read Grab some free cash today.
Similarly, you could use a cashback credit card - the American Express Platinum card offers an impressive 5% cashback on all purchases for the first three months (up to a maximum of £2,000 spend). Of course, in this instance, the cashback you get will go straight onto your card to be used for further spending - but if you want to use this money for other purposes, you could transfer the cash equivalent into your savings account.
2) Use a sweep facility
Some banks/building societies, such as First Direct and Abbey, will offer this service, which means that once a month, any spare cash left in your current account will be moved into a higher rate savings account. This can be a great way of saving with minimal effort - just make sure the rate on your savings account is competitive, otherwise it may not be worth doing.
3) Set up a direct debit
Even if you don't have a sweeping facility, you can easily set up your own direct debit to transfer a set amount of money into your savings each month.
A good way to do this is to work out your incomings and outgoings each month by using a budgeting calculator. You'll then be able to see how much spare cash you'll have left once all of your debts have been paid - and therefore how much you can realistically afford to put into your savings. Even if you can only afford to spare £20 a month - every little helps.
It can be a good idea to set up your direct debit for pay day. That way, you won't even notice the money is gone and you won't be tempted to spend it instead.
If you'd prefer not to commit to setting up a regular direct debit, you could simply transfer whatever you have leftover at the end of the month - but you'll need to be disciplined and remember to do it.
4) Save the change
If you bank with Lloyds TSB, you can sign up to a saving scheme called Save The Change. This simply means that every time you use your Lloyds TSB debit card, it will round up the amount you've spent to the nearest pound and transfer the difference into a Lloyds savings account! Brilliant!
The only downside is that both your current account and savings account will need to be with Lloyds - and this means you won't necessarily be getting the best rate of interest on your savings.
5) Use a high interest current account
Everyone needs a current account but why settle for one paying little or no interest? The Alliance & Leicester Premier Direct Current Account offers a whopping 6% AER for the first 12 months! That's more than most savings accounts offer!
So if you kept an average balance of £1,000 a month, you'd earn £48 in interest as a basic rate taxpayer over the year. And that's without lifting a finger! You can read more about this account in A cunning way to get 6% on your savings.
6) Make cut backs!
Do you really need to buy your coffee every morning from Starbucks? What about that M&S sandwich you buy every lunchtime?
Start bringing your own coffee to work and make your own sandwiches. Then put any money you would have spent on coffee/lunch into your savings account.
Similarly, start cycling/walking to work (or anywhere else for that matter) instead of taking public transport/driving (if possible). Then work out how much you're saving and put the spare money into your savings.
7) Use your pay rise wisely
The chances of a pay rise in the current climate might seem slim. But if you're lucky enough to get one, try to live off your old salary and transfer the extra cash into your savings account.
8) Loose change
If you hate having loose change rattling around in your wallet, pop it all into a large jar. You'll be amazed how quickly it fills up - and when you successfully fill it to the brim, count it out. You might be surprised how much is there.
A trick I used to do was to 'pretend' to buy a lottery ticket by putting £1 into a box every week. After a few months, I may not have won millions, but I still had a nice surprise when I counted out my money.
9) Supermarket sweep
If you've used any money-off vouchers at the supermarket or taken advantage of any buy-one-get-one-free deals, work out how much you have saved in total (your receipt should tell you) and put that amount into your savings account.
10) Use your library
Start using your library for book borrowing - if there's a particular book you want to read, borrow it from your library and put the money you've saved into your savings! Simple! Read more about library benefits in Six ways your library can save you money.
Compare all sorts of savings accounts with lovemoney.com