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10 top saving tips

Simple hacks to help boost your bank account

We’ve gathered 10 of the best personal finance hacks – savvy shortcuts to bolster your bank balance1.

If you’ve ever wondered about ways to supercharge your savings, why not look for help from hacks?

Quick and quirky savings tips can act as rocket fuel to your efforts to regularly put money aside. These smart shortcuts could help you think differently about money, and make it work much harder for you.

Or if you’re just starting to save, a number of small savvy steps can together lead to big savings and encourage you to nurture a brilliant new habit.

To find some of the best hacks to share, we asked for top personal savings tricks from you, our colleagues at Barclays, friends and family - and were delighted at the response.

We’ve highlighted our favourites in speech marks below – some are twists on an old invention, others we’ve never heard of before.

And with 10 different tips to try, why not see which one saves you the most over a year?

1. Take the 1p savings challenge

“This is all about scale over a year! Save one penny on day 1, 2p on day 2, 3p on the third day and so on. After 365 days you could end up with savings over £650.”

2. Try a ‘no spend’ weekend

“Set yourself a ‘no spend weekend’ – one every other month if you can. Do activities like going on walks, movie night, board games, free museums. And if you use up any leftover food from the week as well, this can all really make your salary go further every month.”

3. About to splurge? Save the same sum first

“Next time you want to buy a treat from your usual spending money – a £30 dress, say – make yourself save the £30 first. For example stop yourself buying that coffee out (£3 saved), make a few extra veggie meals (£10 saved etc) until you hit £30. Now switch this sum from your current account into your savings account. This way, you’ll save extra, get in the habit of cutting back on spending and give yourself time to make sure you really want that dress.”

4. Put strangely-shaped veg in your supermarket trolley

“Look out for oddly-shaped veg in boxes for discounts (often quite a few pounds cheaper) because many customers don’t like the way it looks. But if you don’t mind your vegetables coming in strange shapes, it’s an easy saving.”

5. Buy lost and stolen goods at police auctions

"Police forces end up with plenty of lost and stolen items they can’t use, so sell them at auction. Items on offer vary wildly – bikes, razors, toys, denture cream, candles. Type the words ‘police stolen goods auction’ into your web browser and look for an auction near you. You’ll usually have to collect the goods in person, so always check location.”

6. Steer clear of monthly insurance bills

“Your insurance premiums might look more affordable in any list of insurance quotes, but there’s often a sting – many firms charge high interest if you pay monthly. This can put an extra 10 per cent or more on to your premiums – that’s a whopping £50 more, for example, for a £500 car cover policy. Pay upfront if you can.”

7. Take a very close look at your tax code

“It might look innocent enough to ignore but your tax code can trip you up – it’ll always pay to double-check you’ve got the right one. If it’s wrong, you could pay too much tax or pay too little and get a hefty bill later on. Millions pay the wrong amount every year. There are loads of HMRC tax tips to check you’re on the right one.”

8. Consider putting £50 a month extra onto your mortgage payment

“Overpay a bit each month and you could chop your mortgage term and save thousands in interest. Imagine you owe £100,000 at 3%. It’d be roughly £470 a month over 25 years. But pay an extra £50 a month and you could save more than £6,000 interest – and pay it off three years early. Always check for early-repayment charges, though."

9. Shopping online? See if you can get paid to buy it

"Once you’ve found the best price with your choice of retailer online, always check to see if cashback is available – try Topcashback, Quidco and other major cashback sites you can find through online research. There’s often a code which can give you a discount on your chosen item."

10. Pay off your pricey debts as a top priority

“Let’s say you’ve got £1,000 on a card at 18% (£180/yr interest bill) and, at the same time, £1,000 in savings earning 1% (giving you £10/yr). If you could pay off the card balance with your savings, you’d be £170 better off a year. It won’t be for everyone’s circumstances as it’ll mean your savings being used up in one go, but you won’t have the interest to pay.”

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