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How to save money quickly

10 fast ways to build your savings

Cutting back on a few non-essential items could be a quick way to help you save a little more each month

1. Save money without lifting a finger

Set up a standing order with your bank so that a set amount is transferred straight into a savings account on the day after you get paid. You could even split the payment, so some goes into your emergency fund and some towards your savings goals.

You could also drop any change from your purse or pocket each week into a jar – it’s amazing how it adds up. And set a reminder to check your account balance the day before you get paid so you can transfer anything that’s left to your savings account.

2. Get your outgoings organised

You need a clear picture of your disposable income before you can start saving.

To make it easier, arrange to have your bills paid from your account by standing order or Direct Debit straight after you get paid. Most utility providers will let you change your payment date.

3. Set a savings goal

It’s easier to save money when you have something to look forward to. Write down your goals and say why they’re important to you.

If you’re saving for a deposit to buy your own place, for example, you might add ‘So I’ve got my own space and I can decorate it any way I want’. You should also check your goals every month to see how your savings are building up.

4. Make one sacrifice

Cutting out one luxury can give your savings a big boost. Got an expensive mobile phone contract? When it expires, downgrade to a cheaper pay-as-you-go alternative with a modest handset. Try taking a packed lunch to work or uni, jumping on to a bus instead of hailing a cab or trading in your premium gym membership for something more basic.

And if you’re a smoker, quit now for the sake of your health and your finances. Add the money you’d spend on your sacrificed item to your savings pot and you could be well on the way to achieving your goal.

5. Sell stuff you don’t need

There’s money to be made from second-hand goods, so don’t hang on to clothes, books, DVDs, and games you don’t need. Search online for apps that let you scan in barcodes to get an instant price – some companies even give you pre-paid postage labels for sending in your unwanted stuff

And don’t forget that you can sell items to buyers directly through auction and marketplace websites and apps.

6. Write your own rules

Setting some ground rules helps you curb unnecessary spending. For example, you could set a daily or weekly limit on your spending on nights out or lunches. Maybe taking cash instead of cards when you go out will help you avoid impulse spending.

Other rules to think about are substituting supermarket own-brand groceries for big brands, or setting spending limits for clothes and shoes. Just keep track of the savings you make this way and you’ll start to see how worthwhile your rules are.

7. Try the £5 challenge 

Try setting aside £5 for your savings every time you buy something that costs more than £20. This might seem a bit challenging, but finding that extra fiver is a good way to get into the habit of making sensible savings.

For example, you could buy a slightly cheaper alternative, opt for a cheaper delivery option when buying online or cut back on something else that day to complete your challenge for that purchase.

8. Always check in with your sensible side

Get into the habit of asking yourself ‘Do I really need this?’

Resist the temptation to upgrade your phone or tablet for the latest model and always be on the lookout for cheaper alternatives.

This helps you get in to better spending habits and the savings you make will help with your goals.

Also, remember that you’re doing this for you – so you have to take responsibility for your own spending decisions. Having said that…

9. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

There’s plenty of help and advice available online and the Money Advice Service is a good place to start, with lots of free, independent information about managing money and debt.

And you can always ask someone you trust to help by sitting down with you regularly to take a look at how you manage your money.

Having someone cast a fresh set of eyes over your plans can reveal things you hadn’t considered and having a bit of moral support in harder times can be a real help.

10. Adapt when your circumstances change

The amount you save each month depends on what you can afford after essential spending.

So if you need to spend on something unexpected, like a broken home appliance or car, work out how lowering your savings amount can help you absorb the blow.

Likewise, if your income goes up, make sure your savings do as well.

 

Other things to consider

Instant-access savings

You could make your money grow through our current range of savings accounts

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Setting realistic savings goals

Whether you’re saving for a holiday, a house or retirement, setting a goal can help you reach your target faster. We’ve got some tips to help.

Money management

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Develop your money-management skills with our easy-to-follow guides on budgeting, saving, planning for the future and handling debt.