20 easy money saving tips to make you richer, including no spend months and saving challenges… – The Sun

FROM setting yourself savings goals to using cash more often, these are some of the secrets to making yourself richer.

We’ve rounded up 20 easy tips from best-selling money authors and personal finance bloggers.

Sam Beckbessinger, author of Manage Your Money Like a F***ing Grown Up


Sam Beckbessinger, author of Manage Your Money Like a F***ing Grown Up

We hope that these ideas help inspire you to improve your finances.

The key to saving or making money isn’t a quick fix, but slowly finding ways that suit you to help transform your finances.

It takes hard work and dedication – and crucially, it needs to be something you will stick to.

That’s why it’s important to set yourself a goal for why you want to make ore save more money.

We’d love to hear about your tips too, email us: money@the-sun.co.uk.

Manage Your Money Like a F***ing Grown Up by Sam Beckbessinger

Our first three tips are from Manage Your Money Like a F***ing Grown Up


Our first three tips are from Manage Your Money Like a F***ing Grown Up

1. Build a money dashboard so you can see your finances

A money dashboard, or budget, is when you write down all your finances to see what you’re spending each month

This should include your income, bills and any debts you owe – the more detailed it is, the better.

You can also tailor your dashboard to suit your needs.

For example, you can break it down even further by including sections on spending, if you want to see how much cash is going on eating out, or on clothes.

Or if you’re saving for something in particular – for example, a house or holiday – you can also include a section which shows how much you’re setting aside each month for that particular goal.

But the very minimum it should show is your total money in, and total money out. 

Once you’ve got a better idea of your finances, you can then work out the areas where you can slash costs.

Sam Beckbessinger, author of Manage Your Money Like a F***ing Grown Up, goes through the step-by-step process of setting up a dashboard in her book.

One way she recommends displaying your data is using an online spreadsheet that you can update each month.

Another tip is to highlight anything you’re not happy with in red so you can clearly see where you want to cut back.

2. Create a money challenge board

Set yourself little challenges that are easy to achieve, but could add up to some serious savings.

Sam recommends creating a page of challenges and ticking off one or two at a time.

Try and base these on things where you know you could be saving cash.

For example, it could be something like taking a packed lunch into work, or saying no to an impulse spend.

Other challenges could be cancelling a subscription or having a no-spend weekend.

3. Go through your regular payments

Now you’ve got a better idea of your money, check your recurring bills and see what you can do without.

This includes everything from direct debits to subscription services and old insurance policies that you may not need.

In her book, Sam says you can refer back to your dashboard to see how much you’ve got coming out on regular payments.

Multiply this by 12, and that’s how much that particular product is costing each year.

Martin Lewis recently revealed how you could save hundreds of pounds by auditing your regular payments.

Money: A User’s Guide by Laura Whateley

Laure Whateley is the author of Money: A User's Guide


Laure Whateley is the author of Money: A User’s Guide


4. Cut the cost of bills that you can’t get rid of

There are some bills you can’t avoid paying – but that doesn’t mean you can’t save costs.

In her book Money: A User’s Guide, journalist Laura Whateley rounds up several ways to slash your outgoings.

For some bills – typically energy, broadband, mobile and insurance policies – the best way to cut down costs are by using comparison sites.

Here are some of the most popular ones:

Which bills are increasing?

FROM broadband to energy bills, households will soon be paying more for these services as major providers hike prices.

If you don’t want to leave your current provider, you can try haggling to get a better price.

You should aim to audit your bills every time your current contract ends, notes Laura.

Another thing to be aware of is exit fees – check if you’ll need to pay before switching.

In cases where you can’t switch provider, such as water bills, check for other ways to save.

For example, switching to a water meter could help you slash your bill –  potentially by hundreds of pounds.

A rough rule to remember is if there are more or the same number of bedrooms in your house than people then think about getting a meter.

Or if you claim Universal Credit, you could save £270 on average through the WaterSure scheme.

5. Set up saving pots to split up your money

By setting up pots, you’re essentially splitting up your cash to lessen the risk of you spending it.

For those who use physical coins and notes, you can do this by literally putting money into jars in your home.

It helps to label these, so you know why you’re saving this money – for example, whether it’s for an emergency or for a big spend like a holiday.

Another way to use the pot method is by setting up virtual jars through an online bank.

In her book, Laura suggests checking out Monzo or Starling.

With these, you can either manually put money into pots, or you can set them up so the banks manually add funds from your salary each month.

Another way they can top up your fund is by rounding each purchase up to the nearest pound and putting it into your savings.

Before you sign up to any online bank, check whether they are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and whether it comes under the protection of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

The latter protects savings up to £85,000 if your bank goes bust.

6. Use cash more often to avoid reckless spending

Experts suggest that if we can physically see our money, we’re less likely to spend it.

Laura notes how you’re much less inclined to think about a purchase if you’ve just tapped your money away via a contactless device or card.

She said: “We find it psychologically more difficult to part with cash, so are less likely to overspend when we have to pay with notes than when we use contactless.”

If this trick works for you, it could be a good way to curb your spending habits.

Obviously, if do decide to withdraw money, always make sure you have enough in your account to cover bills and other essentials – plus extra for emergencies.

The Real Life Money Journal – Clare Seal

Our next three tips come from The Real Life Money Journal by Clare Seal


Our next three tips come from The Real Life Money Journal by Clare Seal


7. Set yourself a savings challenge

Saving challenges are a great way of getting into the habit of putting money aside.

There are plenty to choose from, and you can tailor them to what you can afford to save.

Some of the saving challenges mentioned in The Real Life Money Journal by Clare Seal include the penny-saving challenge and the 52-week saving challenge.

The 1p challenge sees you put 1p aside on the first day of the new year and add an extra penny each day for 365 days – giving you £668 by the end of 2021.

With the 52-week saving challenge, you start by putting away £1 on the first week, then increase this to £2 the following week, and so on.

By the end of the year-long challenge, you’ll have saved £1,378.

There are plenty of other saving challenges to get stuck into – here’s what happened when Sun Money journalists tested some out.

8. Download apps to help save money

If the idea of going through your finances seems daunting, there are plenty of apps out there that will help you manage your money.

A majority of the apps use “Open Banking” rules, which came into force in January 2018, to assess your spending.

This means banks and other financial services providers have to share your personal details safely and securely – as long as you give your permission.

Plum and Chip are some of the apps recommended in The Real Life Money Journal, and The Sun also picked them out as part of our round-up.

Others that you may want to consider are Cleo and Emma.

If you’re thinking about downloading an app, check they’re registered with The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or the Open Banking Directory.

9. Workout your motivations

It can be easy to get bogged down in numbers and spreadsheets, but try not to forget why you’re trying to save.

Try and set little reminders around your house too, to stay motivated – for example, you could put a post-it note on your mirror.

In her book, Clare says: “Simply transferring an arbitrary amount of money over to a different account each month for the sake of watching it grow might give you a nice, satisfied feeling but often that’s not enough to encourage a sustained commitment to saving.

“Instead, giving your money a purpose can push you to prioritise saving over spending, and the satisfaction when you hit your savings goal is huge.”

The Meaningful Money Handbook by Pete Matthew

We've also look at tips from The Meaningful Money Handbook by Pete Matthew


We’ve also look at tips from The Meaningful Money Handbook by Pete Matthew

10. Spend less than what you earn

It might seem obvious, but spending less than what you earn is key to not running into debt.

Creating your money dashboard can help you see exactly what income you’ve got going into your accounts each month.

In his book, The Meaningful Money Handbook, Pete Matthew also highlights how budgeting is the key to managing your finances.

He says: “When deciding how much you should spend on what each month, you should make sure that every single pound is accounted for.

“I call this Budgeting to Zero.”

11. Do a weekly review of your finances

Now you’ve got a better idea of what you should be spending, it should be easier to monitor your finances.

Pete suggests doing a weekly check-up of your money to see how you’re doing.

This way, if you’re not on track to keep your spending at the levels you’d like, you can do something about it.

He uses the example of a monthly food budget of £200, but when you do your review, you’ve spotted that you’ve already spent £70 in the first week.

As you’re one quarter of the way through the month, you should’ve spent around £50 at this stage.

But this doesn’t necessarily mean cutting back in the following weeks.

For example, you may have spent more due to stocking up for the month, meaning your next spends will likely be lower anyway.

We’d never recommend cutting down on food, instead you can try and claw back costs by going for cheaper brands – we discuss this more below.

12. Build a rainy day fund for emergencies

This is a sum of money, held safely in a bank account, that can be accessed in a time of emergency.

If you’ve got the disposable income to spare, it helps to start building this up sooner rather than later.

For a starter emergency fund, and if your outgoings are less than £1,500 per month, Pete suggests setting aside £500.

For someone with outgoings of more than £1,500, try and put away £1,000.

But anything is better than nothing, so just try and save what you can afford.

The No Spend Year by Michelle McGagh

Michelle McGagh documents her no-spend year in her book


Michelle McGagh documents her no-spend year in her book

13. Try a no-spend month

Personal finance expert Michelle McGagh managed to save an impressive £22,000 by going a whole year trying not to spend a penny.

The only money she did spend was on her bills and a minimal budget for food.

If this seems a bit radical to you, you could always try a no-spend month to save cash.

The amount you could save depends on how much your bills are, but broken down, Michelle’s mammoth saving works out at £1,833 per month.

Money Saving Book by Holly Smith

Holly Smith is a self-confessed coupon queen and regular blogs on her own website


Holly Smith is a self-confessed coupon queen and regular blogs on her own website


14. Check cashback websites

Coupon queen Holly Smith recommends using cashback websites, such as TopCashback and Quidco, every time you shop.

Writing about them in her Holly Smith’s Money Saving Book, she says they’re an easy way to make money on spends you would’ve made anyway.

Cashback websites allow shoppers to earn money through shopping or signing up to a new phone deal or switching energy suppliers.

Simply buy your item through their website and registered purchases will automatically add cashback to your account.

The Sun recently spoke to one couple who saved £25,000 in 2020 by using cashback websites and making money-saving swaps.

15. Use price comparison websites

Holly notes that the quickest way to make sure you’re getting the best price for a product is to use comparison websites.

She recommends checking Price Spy, Kelkoo and Idealo.

By entering a barcode or product description into these websites, you’ll also save time on having to manually check different retailers.

Another tip is to check prices using Google Shopping.

Holly said: “Type in the model number and it will bring them up in Google

“Always check the delivery price too as that can bump up the cost.”

16. Check for the best discount codes

Another way to save cash is checking for discount codes on Google.

But a quicker way flagged by Holly is downloading an app that’ll do the work for you, such as Honey or Pouch.

Both of these work as an add-on to your internet browser and come into effect when you’re on a website and go to check out.

If you’ve got them installed, they’ll go through every discount code that could possibly work and apply them to your basket for you.

17. Take advantage of freebies

There are plenty of ways to find freebies, depending on what you’re looking for.

Holly even suggests asking companies to send you a freebie if you’re ordering something from them already.

This worked for her when she Lush sent her loads of free soap samples after she left a note asking for freebies in the “additional notes” part of her order.

If you’re a parent, Holly also recommends joining free baby clubs for the best offers – we’ve got a round-up of freebies for parents here.

Finally, you can also ask to become a product tester through sites like Savvy Circle, run by Procter & Gamble.

These types of sites will email you when they’re in need of new testers, and you could be sent something to try out, if you meet certain criteria, in exchange for a review.

We also recommend keeping an eye on websites like Magic Freebies for the latest giveaways.

The Money Guide To Transform Your Life by Lynn Beattie

Personal finance blogger Lynn Beattie has just published her first book


Personal finance blogger Lynn Beattie has just published her first book


18. Use a meal planner to save money on food

If you struggle to reign in your spending in the supermarket, we’ve rounded up some tips from money blogger Lynn Beattie, as mentioned in her book The Money Guide to Transform Your Life.

One of her suggestions is using a meal planner to work out what food you need for the week – but make sure you stick to it to avoid impulse spending.

Lynn has created a handy template for you on her Mrs Mummypenny blog, with meal ideas that cost less than £40 per week for a family of four.

If you have fussy eaters in the family, she says it also helps to have a stash of your favourites that you can rotate to avoid food waste.

19. Don’t be afraid to buy dupes

We all have our favourite brands, but ditching them for cheaper dupes could save you money.

Aldi and Lidl are known for their copycat products – we’ve tested them out to see how they match up against their branded equivalents.

Lynn also praises Aldi for being cheap in her book, and says she is a regular shopper.

This echoes recent findings by Which? that showed Aldi took the crown for cheapest grocer as part of its annual study.

Another way to cut back is to “downshift” which is where you swap out a branded good for a supermarket-own version.

If you like what you’ve tried, then stick to it and you could save up to £1,500 a year, according to MoneySavingExpert.

20. Swap takeaways for DIY food kits

Another way to save cash on food is to swap out takeaway for receipe kits.

At one point, Lynn says she was spending £240 per month on takeaway food.

She now prefers cheaper options like boxes from the Mindful Chef, which charges between £25 to £30 for four meals a week.

You can also save money by buying individual ingredients straight from a supermarket and making your own “fakeaways” from home.

We spoke to one man who saves £3,360 by getting busy in the kitchen and making his own kebab and Chinese food from home.

For more guides, we’ve rounded up eight Martin Lewis money-saving tips that could save you £9,243.

Here is a mammoth 50 ways to save money including best apps.

And we’ve rounded up 16 tips to slash your supermarket shopping bill by HUNDREDS of pounds a year.

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