Keeping a savings diary

How to save money today, this month and next year

Whether you’re trying to save up for a holiday, a new car or home improvements, our practical tips should help.

Saving the money to pay for big plans can seem intimidating, but if you start small and save regularly you’ll get there sooner than you think. Read our tips to get your savings plan on track.


  • Try to limit the number of coffees you buy.
    It’s easy to buy a coffee out without thinking about it, but add all those incidental expenses together and you could have a sizeable amount of money to put towards a summer holiday or a long-term savings goal, like renovating your home. Set yourself a short-term target, such as ‘no shop-bought coffees for a month’, and see if that helps you kick the habit. If you set up a separate account and put the money you’ve saved in there, you’ll get the satisfaction of watching it grow. Read our savings tips for more ideas.

  • Cancel subscriptions you rarely use.
    Subscription services for streaming, food, beauty products and more all add up, and it’s worth reviewing them regularly to see if you’re really making the most of them or wasting your money. You can use the Barclays app to review and cancel Direct Debits and standing orders. Make sure to cancel any subscriptions with the company concerned as well to make sure Direct Debits cease.

This week

  • Start a spending diary
    A diary can help you keep track of your finances. The simple act of writing down where your money’s going makes you think twice before spending unnecessarily. Work out the savings you could make weekly – and think about how these could help you achieve long-term aims, such as booking a holiday or buying a car.
  • Cut back on takeaways
    When you’re time poor, it’s often easier to order a takeaway than cook – and it’s also increasingly popular. But by cooking at home instead, you can make big weekly savings. A shop-bought pizza generally costs half the price of a takeaway version, and one made from scratch will cost you even less.
  • Speed up your savings plan
    Start a savings account, if you don’t already have one. Even if you can only put a little bit away every month, it will start a habit that will reward you in the long term. If you already have a savings account, talk to your bank and see if you could switch to one with a better interest rate and, don’t forget, you can set up standing orders easily with the Barclays app.

In one month

  • Compare your insurance policies
    Whether you’ve got car, home, travel or life insurance, you should make sure that you’re getting the right cover at the best price. Shop around, and use reputable comparison sites, to try to get the best deal you can.

  • Check you’re not paying too much for utilities
    It’s tempting to stick with the same provider but it’s easy to switch and you could make big savings. Energyhelpline is one useful resource to help you to compare prices.
  • Sort out your borrowing
    Credit cards can be a useful way to manage short-term expenses as long as you pay them off in full each month. Check whether you could swap to an interest-free credit card to reduce your monthly outgoings.

In three months

  • Think about your rainy day fund
    We all need to access money for unexpected expenses from time to time. You might need to pay for boiler repairs or a new appliance; you might be changing jobs or your car could break down. If you spend £1,000 a month on mortgage or rent, food, heating, bills and other essentials, you should aim to have at least £3,000 in your emergency savings. If money is tight, start small. Saving just £3 a day adds up to £1,095 over a year.

In one year

  • Set new savings goals
    Now that your finances are in better shape, take another look at your savings accounts, and set goals, such as ‘summer holiday’, ‘new car’ or ‘home extension’. Research1 shows that people who set tangible savings goals are more likely to stay on track. Find out how to do this in the Barclays App.
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