How to save money on your spending

Cutting back on your spending is the best way to save money. Here’s how to save on the things you have to pay for, such as your household expenses, plus tips on how to spend less.

Cutting back on your spending is the best way to save money. Here’s how to save on the things you have to pay for, such as your household expenses, plus tips on how to spend less.

Written by
Alex Hasty
13 OCTOBER 2021
4 min read
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Why save? 

Having substantial savings can help you take the holiday of a lifetime, put a deposit on your dream home or simply give you a feeling of security.
Saving more can involve:

Of course, the best way of saving is to avoid needlessly spending. But if you also save more on what you do have to spend, you’ll have more spare cash to put away into savings. Here we look at how to save money on your spending.

Saving money on your bills

The obvious place to look for savings is on the bills you just can’t avoid – like your utility bills. A good place to start is to use our calculator to see if you’re paying more for your bills than your neighbours.

Another way of avoiding overpaying is to not let your insurance policies auto-renew. While car insurance and home insurance providers are no longer allowed to offer you a price that’s higher than a new customer would pay, they won’t necessarily be offering the best deals at that time.

It can pay to shop around for car insurance and home insurance in particular.

Top tip

Don’t leave it to the last minute to get quotes for renewing your insurance policies – the best deals can often be found around 21 days before the date your policy ends.

Reduce the interest you’re paying

If you don’t already pay your credit card balance in full every month, see if you can do so, to bring the balance down faster. This should mean you pay less interest. It’s also worth seeing if you can switch to a 0% balance transfer card. While you might have to pay a balance transfer fee, you could reduce the amount of interest you pay overall.

If you know you have an unavoidable expensive purchase coming up, like a new boiler that you haven’t saved for, see if you’re eligible for a 0% purchase credit card. This way you can spread the cost of your purchase without paying interest – just be sure to pay off what you owe before the interest-free period ends.

If you sometimes dip into your overdraft, it might be worth seeing if you can find a current account that will give you a small interest-free overdraft.

Cut out unnecessary spending

If you don’t regularly check your bank statements, it’s worth checking to see if there are payments you’ve forgotten about. 

With busy lives, it’s easy for things to slip by. For example, did you opt for that free Amazon Prime subscription trial that’s now turned into a monthly payment you’re no longer benefitting from? Could you put up with a few adverts and revert to an unpaid version of Spotify? Could you go running outside instead of paying for a gym membership?

Before you make a purchase, ask yourself if you really need something. You can only spend the money once – is this really what you need to spend it on?

Tips to cut your spending

  • Give yourself a spending allowance – per week or per month – and don’t go over it. One good way of doing this could be to have a separate bank account for your spending.
  • Avoid going food shopping when you’re hungry, as you’ll tend to buy more. Take a pre-written shopping list with you, so you don’t buy more than what’s on the list.
  • Work out your hourly rate of pay and calculate how long you’d have to work to afford what you want to buy.
  • Consider the practical cost of buying clothes. Compare, say, a pair of shoes that you’ll wear every day to a party outfit you might only wear once. It might help you think differently about what you buy.
  • Don’t buy online straight away. Leave the item in your online basket overnight and see if you still want it. You may even find that the retailer gives you a small discount to encourage you to complete your purchase.
  • Don’t save your card information on websites. Typing in that long number might give you more time to think about whether you really want to buy the item.
  • Unsubscribe from emails from retailers that could tempt you to spend.
  • Have no-spend days each week, or a week every month when you don’t spend money on anything other than bills and necessities like food.
  • ‘Gamify saving’. If you’re in a relationship, you could see who can save more (you or your partner) in a month.
  • Use discount codes and vouchers. Before you make a big purchase, it’s always worth doing a quick online search to see if you can find a better offer.