Money-saving tips from the experts to help you cut your costs

As the cost-of-living crisis continues to squeeze budgets, we asked some of the nation’s money-saving experts for their top tips.

As the cost of living crisis continues to hammer our budgets, many of us are looking for more ways to save money.

We talked to some of the UK’s top money-saving gurus and asked them for their best cash-saving ideas for the tough months ahead.

'Get all the freebies you can'

Jasmine Birtles,

“My best money-saving hack is to get as much as you can for free.

"There are freebies all around if we know where to look.

“I love Freecycle, Freeble, Gumtree, Free Stuff and even the WhatsApp groups that people have in neighbourhoods where they give stuff away to each other.

“Then there is free furniture left outside houses (I have a bookcase and two tables that I picked up outside).

“There’s also free food to be had through the Olio and TooGoodToGo apps, and you can get free meals and free shopping through being a mystery shopper (I used to do this and got free sandwiches and pizzas).

“There are free events happening all over the country and lots of free information about it on the internet and in our free libraries."

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'Monitor your spending'

Faith Archer, Much More With Less

“My top money-saving tip is to keep a spending diary and write down every single thing you spend.

“It really shows where your money disappears, so you can make changes.

“It helps me see how small purchases like drinks and snacks add up and notice when bills are getting bigger, so I can search for better deals. 

“By checking my bank statements against my spending diary, I've spotted regular payments that I can cancel.

“Knowing I have to add purchases to my spending diary makes me much more aware of what I buy, and has even made me put stuff back on the shelves.”

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A woman writing down expenditure in a diary.

'Reward your future self'

Becky O'Connor, Institutional Investor

“My top money-saving tip is for every bit of short-term saving you do, be it for Christmas or holidays, put a similar amount in the long-term savings pot - in your pension or ISA, for another goal in the future.

"There are so many immediate calls on our money in the here and now, it can be very difficult to prioritise the long term.

“So if you can afford to save, try to make a habit where you give an equal amount to your future self.

“You will reap emotional as well as financial benefits because you will feel more secure - that's a great feeling."

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'Consider financial gifts'

Kalpana Fitzpatrick, author of Invest Now: The Simple Guide to Boosting Your Finances

“It’s easy to get carried away when shopping for presents, especially if you have children.

“But if you are buying loads of stuff for the sake of it, then how about you consider a financial gift instead?

“Let’s face it, unless something is on your child’s wish list, it could end up lying around the house as yet more junk.

“You could instead put some money into a Junior ISA (which grandparents can pay into as well), or you could even buy them a stock of their favourite brand.

“OK, so they may not appreciate it until they are at least 18 and can access their Junior ISA, but it will certainly be the gift that keeps on giving.

“As a mum of two boys, I try to make the main gift money into their ISA, and I buy one main gift that they have on their wish list.

“But I don’t buy loads of stuff for the sake of making sure they have lots of gifts to open.

“I'd much rather put the cash towards my children’s future, as well as buying experiences that they will treasure.

“If money is tight, don’t feel pressured to buy things you really do not need.”

'Claim what you're entitled to'

Iona Bain, author of Own It! How our generation can invest our way to a better future

“If you’re on a low income, you might be missing out on benefits and grants.

“Look to see if you’re eligible for a Council Tax reduction too – get in touch with your local authority and see what the options are.

“If you’re a single person you are eligible for a 25% discount on it anyway.

“If you’re in debt, speak to your lenders and come up with an affordable debt repayment plan.

“And if you’ve got credit card debt, think about a 0% balance transfer deal.”

'Draw up a budget'

Felicity Hannah - personal finance reporter for BBC Radio 5 Live's Wake up to Money

"My top tip for anyone worried about their bills in the coming months (and I think that is almost everyone!) is to make like the chancellor and draw up a budget. 

"This is the simplest, easiest thing anyone can do to manage their money better and yet almost no one does it. Just get a bit of paper, or an app if you want to be fancy, and go through your bank statements. 

"Make sure you write down every regular bill. Knowing how much you have going out each month is really important. Then you need to work out what you spend on food, clothing and other variable bills.

"Whatever is left is how much you have to spend each month and you should break it down into a weekly amount, that way you never have too much month left at the end of the money. 

"Whether you're on a low income or you're a high earner, I don't know anyone who wouldn't benefit from having a clearer understanding of what comes in and goes out each month - it's the best way to avoid debt, smooth out your financial month and then achieve goals like saving."


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