Daily tips for first-time savers

Here are some of the ways you can start making a real difference in your finances – without having to think about it!

Making a decision to start saving can be a very big step towards building your ideal future, or even that of your child. Whether you’re saving for a one-time purchase, like a computer or a new TV, or just building a rainy day fund to make sure you’re safe no matter what happens, there are many ways to incorporate saving techniques into your daily life.

Out of sight, out of mind

After budgeting for essentials, decide on how much you want to set aside each month. Then, set up a direct debit to go into a savings account, or a savings vault within your own account, the day after your payday. Make this an amount that is comfortable for you – for example, if you tend to only have £200 left over at the end of the month, set aside £100 into savings so you can still allow yourself the occasional iced coffee and takeaway order.

We all tend to spend whatever we have. By paying into your savings at the beginning of the month – rather than pledging to set aside whatever’s left – you’re more likely to not spend that amount on things you probably don’t really need. You could even put a little extra aside with a micro-saving app that rounds up every purchase and squirrels away the difference. The less time you have with that money in your hands, the less likely you are to spend it.

This can be done for paying off any debt you have, as well. Even if you can only afford to contribute a small amount per month, setting up a direct debit payment into your credit card or loan will put you on a steady course to being debt-free.

Loyalty cards & memberships

By signing up for loyalty cards at your favourite retailers, you could be saving hundreds of pounds a month on your weekly supermarket shop, general household goods, toiletries or the occasional luxury treat. Large supermarket chains like Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Co-Op and Waitrose have very good membership systems where you can not only save on the items you buy but also accumulate points to convert to vouchers for future purchases. It almost makes you wonder why these memberships are free!

Beyond supermarkets, places like Boots and Superdrug have great points systems, and Boots in particular tends to be quite generous with sporadic double points campaigns. You acquire points on purchase and those points then convert into money you can spend in-store. You can accumulate enough points from your monthly purchases of shampoo and deodorant so that, when springtime comes and hayfever kicks in, you can stock up on allergy medication – for free!

Discount-tracking browser apps

The online shopping equivalent of binders full of coupons, discount-tracking browser extensions can save you a fair bit on everything from the occasional luxury treat to your weekly supermarket shop and even on bus tickets. Apps such as Honey, Pouch and Karma are free to download and add to whatever internet browser you use. They’ve become a staple tool for online shoppers everywhere – saving you not only money but also the time of effort to manually look for promotions and discounts. You simply install the extension and ask the app to look for discount codes during the checkout process; it will apply every code it can find until it lands on the one that saves you the most money.

Look into reward systems

Chances are, you’re a part of discount and rewards systems that you’re not even aware of. Nationwide rental agencies and banks often have members discounts and promotions available for their clients on anything from food to clothes to hotels, so make sure to sign up to their newsletters and keep an eye out.

Save on your weekly food shop

There are many small ways you can save money on food and household essentials just by going to the store. Stores like Aldi or Lidl sell great quality products under their own brands for much less than standard store brands, and, if you’re looking for more of a daily treat, slightly more high-end supermarket chains such as M&S and Waitrose usually have amazing deals on their yellow “reduced” stickers. As these stickers tend to go on when items are close to being pulled off shelves due to expiration dates or excess stock, they don’t last long and it’s usually not wise to base a large shop off these deals, but it’s worth a short trip to the store to see what they have that day. You could grab a delicious dinner for your whole family for much less than you ever expected to spend!

Thinking about how to save can be stressful but saving itself doesn’t have to be. You don’t have to benefit from a large income to start putting some money aside and you don’t have to collect binders full of vouchers to save on daily essentials and occasional treats. Each of the tools we listed above probably won’t save you hundreds just on its own, but you’ll be amazed at the difference combining them can do. Not to mention that, with brand dedicated apps and digital phone wallets, you don’t even have to carry a handful of physical membership cards with you when you shop!

We hope this list helps set you on the path to spending less and saving more, while helping to remove the stress of having to think about it.

Saving for your child?

If your child has an existing Child Trust Fund, you can help them save for their future by topping up their account.

Top up a CTF

If your child doesn't have a Child Trust Fund...

You can still help them build a nest egg by opening a Junior ISA and making contributions.

Junior ISA

Saving for yourself?

A Family Bond is a great way to kick-start a long-term savings plan. By putting in just £25 a month (or £270 a year) for at least 10 years, you won’t pay any tax on the final lump sum.

Family Bond

 

Our products invest in stocks & shares which means the value of your money could go down as well as up, so your child could receive less than has been put in.