Seven Ways To Save Money Without Thinking About It
Seven tricks you can use to save money in the background - without having to do much work.
It’s not easy. Life will always find a way of throwing a curve ball at you. So what do we want to do? We want to be prepared; we want that emergency fund ready and waiting in our accounts to save us for when the worst happens.
Or maybe you’re saving up for something big, a car, a house. They’re going to require a big down payment. So below are seven ways of saving money without really having to think too hard about it.
1. ISA Account
An ISA account is an Individual Savings Account. It allows you to save up £20,000 annually tax free, and while ‘tax free’ doesn’t really sound like you’re saving much, it’s a big deal. Usually you’d be paying at least 20% on any interest you earn. So, as an example, if you earn £100 in interest, then £20 of that goes towards tax and you’ve only got £80 left. In bigger scales of money that really adds up.
Take advantage of a tax free account like an ISA to essentially earn an extra 20% in the interest on anything you put in there. You’re allowed an allowance of £20,000 a year, every year. If you manage to save 20k in a year and you stick it all in an ISA then you get to keep all of the interest gained on it rather than the usual 80%.
Some ISAs can be frozen, meaning you’re not allowed to withdraw money from them for, say, three years. This is a good option if you can’t trust yourself to not spend money. Put it somewhere you can’t get to it!
2. High Yield Savings Account
In light of the recent global pandemic, this may no longer be viable, but it’s still worth knowing about. Some accounts will give you generous interest rates for the first little while. Nowadays, even just 3% is a great deal. And the beauty of this is that it compounds, meaning you get interest on your interest. If you leave your money in that account and keep adding to it, a fiver there a tenner here, soon enough you’ll have considerable savings. Bear in mind, this won’t work if you spend the money that’s in there. Like ISAs you can freeze your money for a set period of time. Usually the longer you freeze it the higher the interest will be.
3. Learn to Sew
Yes, it sounds weird and not related to money, but fixing your things rather than buying new things is a great way of saving money. It doesn’t just have to be sewing up clothes with rips in them, it can be learning to fix your bike, for instance, rather than paying someone to do it for you.
The internet is full of resources that can teach you how fix things, and personally I find sewing one of the best. I wear clothes to the bitter end. There isn’t really a point to buying more clothes if I still have ones which are fine.
So next time your shirt rips, rather than throwing or giving it away, sew it up and it’ll go for another few months at least.
4. Off-brand stuff is just as good (aside from meat and toilet paper)
It seems pretty obvious when said out loud, but shop for off-brand items. The vast majority of the time it’s just as good and you won’t really notice, and in the long run it can save an extraordinary amount of money.
There are a few exceptions to this, one being meat, another is toilet paper. If you can install a bidet to save on paper then great! If you can’t, then getting something slightly better than the cheapest stuff available is probably the route you want to go down.
5. Eat Less Meat
Touching on the above point, meat is incredibly expensive. Before I went veggie I spent a ridiculous amount on meat. And it’s just not necessary. Veggie options are just as good, better for you, better for the planet and cheaper. Why wouldn’t you go for that option? Most meat eaters I know are essentially just scared to try a ‘fake meat’, but most of them are pretty good by now, and it’s only getting better and cheaper.
On top of being much cheaper, it’s waaay better for you. So it’s a win win.
6. Learn to love a night in
If you’re introverted then you’ll already know the beauty of this. Nights in are practically free! You absolutely can still get sloshed with your mates if you want, just for a quarter of the price. I don’t know what it’s like wherever you are, but for me in London, one pint is on average £5. If you’re drinking at home, you can get five pints for the same price. Even better than a quarter of the price, a fifth of the price! And you don’t have to pay for an Uber to get you home!
7. Use Robo-advisors
If you’ve not heard of it before, a Robo-advisor is basically an automatic investor app. There are plenty out there, but the one I use is Moneybox. It quietly runs in the background and I don’t notice. It’ll round up anything I spend on my card to the nearest quid and save the remaining pennies – and over, say, a year, that really adds up. I also have it set to take out a tenner once a week – something I genuinely don’t notice. It takes out £50 on pay day every month. But you can set those parameters to whatever you want.
The money goes into the stock market (and you can choose how risky you want your portfolio balance to be), which on average gains 8% a year. If you’re using it for a few years you can really add up the savings, all without actually having to do anything! Once you’ve set up you can forget about it and it just runs in the background, saving you those pennies.
There are plenty of ways of saving money in the background – these are just seven on the ones I use all the time. The trick is to do lots of little things all the time, to the point where is becomes habit. For instance I now turn the kettle and toaster off at the socket because they simply don’t need to be on all the time. Even though it doesn’t save much money at all, it adds up and stacks with other money saving tricks, and soon enough you’ll have saved more than you realized was possible.
If you found even one of these items helpful, let someone else know about this article, they might also find it useful!
Much love x