how to save money fast uk

How to Save Money Fast in the UK – 13 Easy Wins You Can Implement TODAY

Found yourself in a squeeze and looking to shoot rocket fuel into your personal finances? These tips for how to save money fast (in the UK) will give you some easy wins you can implement today!

What to focus on when looking to save money fast

Two categories will be getting the bulk of my attention today:

  1. Recurring transactions (such as bills, subscriptions etc)
  2. Discretionary spending (this is spending on your “wants” i.e going out to the cinema etc)

Why?

These two categories give you the biggest levers you can pull on your finances to change direction.

If you make a £200 saving on your recurring expenses, that adds up to a massive £2,400 per year! This is because that saving will repeat itself each and every month without you putting in any more effort. A £200 saving is not unheard of either.

Your discretionary spending is the sort of spending you choose to indulge in. This means that you have the most control over it, but requires your strong willpower to consistently “be good” with your spending. I’ve left these lower down the list, so attempt these in order.

This kind of approach helped me to save for a house deposit in 12 months, massively faster than I was initially expecting.

Let’s jump straight in…

How to save money fast in the UK

  1. Cut your utility bills
  2. Check if you can get cheaper insurance coverage
  3. Reduce your phone, internet and TV package
  4. Get brutal on your subscriptions
  5. Cut your cost of borrowing
  6. Check your eligibility for benefits
  7. Swap bank accounts and claim cash
  8. Use a cashback credit card for everyday purchases (not additional purchases – so beware)
  9. Use a cashback website for everyday purchases online (not additional purchases – so beware)
  10. Discount codes
  11. Employer discount codes
  12. Switch your supermarket to Aldi or Lidl to save on groceries
  13. The biggest lever of all: earn more

Let’s go through these in more detail.

Cut your utility bills

Your utilities cover such things as:

  • electricity/gas
  • water
  • council tax

Power. You can easily save some cash on your power supply by running a price comparison on one of the large price comparison website. My favourites are MoneySuperMarket and USwitch. You can use an app like Snoop to keep an eye on your renewal dates – it will also jog you if there are cheaper rates available.

Water. This is one people normally overlook as you cannot switch suppliers like you can with power. However, you might be able to save money with a water meter. Money Saving Expert have provided a general rule; “if there are more bedrooms in your home than people, or the same number, check out getting a meter”. They’ve had instances of readers saving £100s a year, so definitely worth checking. You can find their article here.

Council tax. This is another one people never check to find savings. There are a few instances where you’ll be eligible for reduced rates. Some situations when you can claim a reduced rate is if you’re living alone, you’re on a low income or you’re a student. You can find the full list along with more information on how to reduce your rates from the Money Advice Service here.

It is worth also mentioning rent. This one you’re unlikely to be able to make an impact on today as I promised in the article. However, it is worth keeping in mind that when you’re contract is up for renewal, to search around for cheaper deals if you need to save money. There is a strong likelihood your housing costs are your biggest monthly payment, so you can really move the needle on your finances with this one.

Check if you can get cheaper insurance coverage

Loyalty never pays in this game. I recently had my car insurance renewed, but took it out to a price comparison website to search for the best offer. I was offered a new deal, by the same provider, with a massive £307 saving on what they had offered me directly as a renewal. Ridiculous, but it pays to be disloyal.

Check your car, travel, contents and other insurance using a price comparison site such as MoneySuperMarket. If looking for more complex insurance, you might find discussing options with an insurance broker helpful to make sure you’re not replacing your existing policy with one that has inferior coverage.

Reduce your phone, internet and TV package

Your media package. This is also likely to be one of your highest monthly recurring payments after your housing and utilities.

First, actually take a step back and assess whether you need the current level of media package, phone subscription of internet speed.

If you find you don’t actually use half of the service you have bought, then look to downgrade. This is easy ££’s straight in your pocket each month.

For people who buy the whole package just for the Sky Sports add-on, check out my article on the cheapest way to get Sky Sports.

If you’re looking to completely crash your monthly payment, try switching to Freeview, cancelling your landline package and going for a lower-end package for your internet provider. Once again, a price comparison site like MoneySuperMarket will be your friend here.

Get brutal on your subscriptions

Run through your bank statements and tag up any recurring subscriptions. The classic ones are:

  • Magazines
  • Entertainment services like Netflix, Amazon etc
  • Music services like Spotify
  • Data / storage services like Google or Apple
  • App subscriptions (once again they likely show up as from Google or Apple)

Having multiple subscriptions all running can easily add up to >£100 per month. Stripping these down to the bare minimum or, better yet, getting rid of them, will give you a quick boost to your finances.

Of all of my tips on how to save money fast in the UK, this one has to be the easiest. All you need to do is login to the subscription provider and hit cancel. Boom, £50/year straight back into your pocket with each one.

To really increase the satisfaction on this, make sure to keep a tally of the subscriptions you have cancelled and the previous monthly price. Tot it up at the end and multiply by 12 to get to the yearly saving you’ve just made.

Cut the cost of borrowing

If you are carrying any debt, then reducing the interest rate will put pounds back into your pocket.

Check if you can get a cheaper rate on:

  • credit cards
  • personal loans
  • car loans
  • mortgage

Normally, credit cards, payday loans and personal loans will have the highest interest rates. Look for 0% balance transfer credit cards or consolidation loans (if cheaper than your existing rates). Any savings here will massively help your monthly cash flow.

However, be aware that moving debt from a credit card to a product like a loan may actually increase your monthly repayment even if the total cost is lower. This is because you will be paying back the principal rather than just the interest, whereas if you’ve been paying the minimum on a credit card balance that is likely just paying off a tiny proportion of the principal.

When looking at whether you should remortgage or refinance your mortgage, be sure to run the maths to make sure all fees are taken into account, as sometimes this can negate the benefit. If in doubt, speak to an advisor.

Check your eligibility for benefits

Dependent on your situation, you may be eligible for benefits.

To find out, you can visit the gov.uk website here.

Swap bank accounts and claim cash

With competition heating up in the financial services industry for your business, banks are literally giving away money for you to bank with them.

The team over at Be Clever With Your Cash update their site regularly for the best account switching offers – check them out here.

Use a cashback credit card for everyday purchases

Now, this money-saving tip doesn’t work if you go out and buy more than you normally would.

But if you put your ordinary spending, that you would have normally incurred, onto a cashback credit card, then you’ll be making some extra savings.

Money Saving Expert have put together a round-up of the best deals which they keep updated regularly here.

Use a cashback website for everyday purchases

As with the credit card, this only saves you money if you’re using it for your everyday purchases. No point saving 1% on a purchase if you go out and spend more than you normally would.

The biggest networks are:

Discount codes

If you know you need to buy something online, sometimes you can bag yourself a deal by simply searching for discount codes.

But if searching manually doesn’t float your boat, Honey automatically scans the web for discount codes – saving you time and money.

Employer discount codes

Make sure that you check the discounts you get from your employer. If you can divert any of your normal spending via these discounted providers, you’ll save yourself some cash.

Switch your supermarket to Aldi or Lidl

These discounters are renowned for their low prices. Switching to them will help save some money on your groceries bills.

The biggest lever of all: earn more

Ok, so I was a little mean with this one. It is very unlikely to be a quick and easy win, but it will likely be the one with the biggest impact.

If you want to build up some money in savings, you have to remember the fundamentals.

In order to have some money left over to save each month, your income needs to be higher than your expenses.

All of the tips I’ve mentioned so far help you to reduce your expenses, which is important. But, the one that has truly limitless upside is the income side of the equation.

There are plenty of ideas online for how to increase income, but some ideas (with links) include:

  • starting a second job
  • taking on a part-time job
  • positioning yourself for a raise at work
  • applying for a promotion in your current role or applying externally with a different company
  • freelancing in your spare time with a skill you have developed
  • selling crafts and creations on Etsy
  • starting a dropshipping business
  • matched betting (this is risk-free if you do it properly, but does need money upfront)
  • starting a blog (this is a long term proposition, not a quick win)

Conclusion

The quickest way to give your savings a shot in the arm is by looking at the expenses side of the equation. Reducing these are both within your control and very quick to act upon.

However, make sure that you’re starting to think about building up your income too. A higher-income will give you a better capacity to save more and more money each month, as you keep your expenses in check.

Even though most of these tips take aim at your recurring expenses and so should be a one-time thing, remember to re-run the process every year. This will make sure that you are always getting the best deal on your recurring expenses, and periodically cutting out the wasted subscriptions that you no longer use.

I hope you’ve found these tips helpful for how to save money fast in the UK. Have you got any other tips on how to save money fast in the UK? If so, I’d love to hear them! Drop me a comment in the section below.

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