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How to Save Money Without Even Trying

When you’re in debt, the first thing you need to do, after you’ve talked to the debt management advisers at Credit Fix [1], is to start a programme of savings.

You can do this the hard way, by imposing full-on austerity measures [2] upon yourself, or you can do it the easy way. Harsh saving methods don’t last long! Painless saving mechanisms tend to stay with you for life.

Here’s just a few of the best ones.

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Cashback

Loads of companies have cashback facilities – you do your routine grocery shopping and once your cashback rewards reach a certain threshold, you’ll get a gift-card or a deposit into your chosen account. Once you’ve set up all your details, all you need to do is shop as usual. Some bank accounts offer this service, although you have to log into your online account and choose current offers from the menu.

Tip yourself

So, you got a small bonus, a tax rebate [4], or you did some overtime. Don’t fritter this extra cash away on frivolities. Make sure you transfer some of your booty into a savings account so it can get to work earning interest rather than disappearing at the make-up counter. It’s easy to get into this habit – every time you save money at the supermarket, transfer that amount into your saver account. It’s surprising how quickly it adds up.

Always compare

Whatever you’re about to order or pay for, take a minute to find it cheaper elsewhere. Whether it’s energy, insurance or washing powder, see if you can find a cheaper option, even if you have to wait for a couple more days for delivery. Looking for voucher codes is also time well spent.

Choose cheaper grocery brands

When you do your grocery shopping, try the own-brand versions of various items. Sometimes you’ll be disappointed, sometimes you won’t be able to tell the difference and sometimes you’ll be happier. Once you’ve found these decent alternatives, stick to them – no effort required.

Get out and about

This doesn’t mean shopping! It means getting out for a walk with the dog and the kids, or heading to the park. You can turn off your heating, lights and TV, pack a flask and some snacks if necessary, and hit the great outdoors. You’ll be saving money and getting fit at the same time.

Do some overtime

This is doubly beneficial; not only are you earning more money, but you won’t have the time to spend it! It can be boring, of course, so do treat yourself once your stint is done – just don’t go overboard and blow your extra wages!

Have a cooling-off period

We’re now used to clicking “buy now” and having our items turn up several hours later. This can be a disaster for people prone to impulse purchases. Set a limit – £20, for example – and any purchase above this amount requires you to wait 48 hours before completing it. While you’re waiting, see if you can find it cheaper elsewhere, or ask yourself if you really need it.

Save some or all of your pay rises

When you get a pay rise, it’s money that you managed ok (ish) without the previous month, right? So why not manage without it for the next few months and send it straight into savings? Of course, if you have big debts, then some of it can go into paying them down ahead of schedule, but do aim to save some of it.

 

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