It can feel difficult to grow your savings without having to constantly cut back on the things you enjoy. If you’re struggling to free up cash to save, here are some ways to reduce your spending without feeling like you’re missing out.
1. Check your utility providers
Use comparison websites to see if you could be paying less for household expenses like electricity, gas and broadband.
According to Ofgem, there’s a difference of £334 between the average standard variable tariff and the cheapest tariff basket.¹ So there’s the potential for big savings on your electricity alone.
But even saving a small amount each month can really add up over the course of a year. If you’re able to switch to cheaper deals, try putting the amount you’ve saved each month into your savings account. You could set up a standing order so you don’t even have to think about it.
Get more tips about managing your bills.
2. Reduce your spending at the supermarket
Food shopping is one of the biggest weekly expenses for families in the UK. From setting a budget, to planning your meals and storing your food, there's a range of things you can do to cut your spending.
Another place you may be able to cut back is spending on eating out. It’s often spoken about, but even having 1 less coffee a week can save you more than £100 over the course of a year. If you often buy take away, you could try the same thing with 1 lunch, or dinner, a week.
3. Cut fuel costs
Fuel is another large cost where some small changes could help to reduce your weekly spend. Here are some ideas:
- look for the best prices – according to PetrolPrices this could save drivers of petrol cars more than £220 a year²
- accelerate gradually – this saves you needing to use more power than necessary and can also reduce the chance of having to brake heavily
- remove any excess weight from the car
- lower your windows rather than using the air conditioning when it’s hot
- check the pressure of your tyres regularly to make sure they’re at the right level
4. Cancel unnecessary subscriptions
It’s easy to sign up to different online services and then forget about them. These could be costing you money every month.
Take a look at your transactions and make a list of all the subscription services you’re paying for.
Are there any you don’t use? Start by cutting those. Then look at those you do use – are there any you could do without? You could try cutting those temporarily to see whether or not you miss them.
Find out more about saving money on your subscriptions.
5. Search for discounts
When shopping online you’ll see various deals and promo codes. Sometimes you may have to do something like sign up to a newsletter to receive 10% off your next order, other times there may be a promo code you can find that will offer you a better deal.
It can pay to do a bit of research. There are some sites you can visit to see some of the latest deals, such as MoneySavingExpert’s discount vouchers list.
Like with your bills, if you’re able to, you could add any money you save to your savings accounts.
6. Review your debts
If you’ve got a personal loan, credit card, overdraft or mortgage, you’re likely being charged interest. Depending on your situation, you may be able to minimise the amount of interest you’re being charged and reduce your monthly repayments.
Credit card debt
A balance transfer will often let you transfer the balance from one credit card provider to another, offering an interest-free period. If you’re able to clear your debt within that interest-free period, you could potentially save a significant amount of money in interest payments.
Personal loan, overdraft and credit card debt
A debt consolidation loan may offer a lower interest rate than overdrafts, credit cards and store cards. Or, if you have multiple debts, a debt consolidation loan may help you bring them all together and create a clear repayment plan.
Keep in mind, while you may be able to reduce your monthly repayments with a debt consolidation loan, you may end up repaying more in interest over the long-term.
Find out more about how debt consolidation loans work.
If you have a mortgage, you may be able to switch, or remortgage, to get a better rate. Switching occurs when you change rates with your existing mortgage provider. Remortgaging is when you move your mortgage to another lender.
There may be fees and charges to pay when switching or remortgaging, so make sure you understand what these are before you make a decision.
7. Look into tax relief and benefits
If you're a PAYE taxpayer, there may be ways you can make savings on your taxes. For example, you could be entitled to tax relief on a uniform you need to buy for work. There are also deductions available if you give to charity, or make maintenance payments, in some circumstances.
Find out more about tax relief.
See what other benefits you may be able to claim.
Creating a clear path to build your savings can help you reach your goals. For more ways to build your nest-egg, read our guide on how to save money.