As much as we won’t like to admit it, many of us out there aren’t too great with our money. You never see that burst pipe under the sink or flat tyre coming until it’s right there in your face.
The thought of saving for the unexpected can be agonising, especially when you’ve got half an eye on treating yourself to one of life’s little upgrades. But in reality, there’s a multitude of ways to save that may never have crossed your path, meaning you can be prepared for the very best and worst in life.
At Quidco, we’re all about finding the best deals and saving you money. So without further ado, here is our list of the top six ways to start saving money fast.
Refresh your bills
When we think about our typical, regular spending the first thing that always comes to mind is the dreaded ‘b’ word – bills.
It’s all too easy getting cosy with the same transactions leaving our accounts every month and simply accepting that’s how much our bills cost. But here lies one of the quickest and easiest ways to slice up your spending from right under your nose.
1. Get comparing
Price comparison websites (we have one of our own called Quidco Compare, here) are fantastic for helping you identify which regular bills you could be saving big money on.
If we use Quidco Compare as an example, when you visit the website, you can look at prices and services from hundreds of providers, covering everything from pet, home and car insurance, to energy and broadband.
It’s incredibly easy to use too. Simply choose the bill you want to get a comparison quote for. Type in your current provider and fee. Have a browse through the tariffs and pick one that ticks all of your boxes, then complete your purchase.
And if you do use Quidco Compare, you’ll earn some cracking cashback as well as savings on your bills!
2. Find the best deal for your phone
It’s pretty much guaranteed that everyone has a mobile phone these days, and having the right phone tariff is more important than you might think.
Many of us, myself included, tend to stay loyal to one network for years at a time, which has its pros and cons.
If you’ve been a customer for a while and are looking to change to a new plan, see if you’re entitled to an upgrade.
When you choose a new tariff, analyse the amount of data, texts and calls you’ve made over the last few months (you can do this easily through your network’s website) and make a judgement on how much you will need for the future. Signing onto a plan with a reduced amount of data can save you heaps of cash.
Our top tip is to grit your teeth and hold out for the best deal when going for an upgrade, especially if you’ve been a customer for a long time.
There’s usually always a certain amount of leeway for loyal customers when negotiating the price of a tariff, so get chatting to someone on the phone or online and secure your perfect plan!
If you’re interested in seeing what other networks have to offer, a great place to check out is Carphone Warehouse. You can get great deals and earn cashback with Quidco by clicking following this link and clicking here.
ISA, ISA baby!
3. Crack open a cash ISA
ISAs come in all shapes and sizes, each offering different ways of helping you save and earning you money.
At the start of every tax year (April to April) every person in the UK over the age of 16 is allowed to save up to £20,000 in an ISA.
The most straightforward ISAs to get stuck into are cash ISAs. They are tax-free savings accounts which means you’ll never have to worry about losing out on any interest you earn.
They are very simple. You purchase a cash ISA, your money stays safe and earns you interest. The trouble is, interest rates are currently so low, that the highest rates in the country are about 1.3%. This means if you put £100 into a cash ISA, you would only earn £1.30. This is where stocks and shares ISAs some into play.
4. Invest in a stocks and shares ISA
Firstly, it’s worth mentioning that you don’t have to commit all of your £20,000 ISA allowance into just one form of ISA; you can break them up into a mix of cash ISAs, stocks and shares ISAs, and so on.
Stocks and shares ISAs are wold’s apart from cash ISAs. With a cash ISA, you are saving. With a stocks and shares ISA, you are investing.
This means you’ll be sending your money on a rollercoaster ride through the world of investment. Sometimes the value of your money will go up, sometimes it will come down. It can bring you some huge financial rewards, but does put you at risk of financial losses.
It’s all about what you want to get out of an ISA and what you’re comfortable with. At Quidco, we have some fantastic, reliable partnered brands that offer stocks and shares ISAs for you to invest in.
If you purchase a stocks and shares ISA with Shepherds Friendly, you could earn hundreds in cashback! To check out their ISAs and cashback offers, following this link by clicking here.
Budget your way to speedy savings
5. Start budgeting and set yourself spending limits
Keeping track of your spending and effectively budgeting are two crucial ways to help you save.
If you haven’t got mobile banking already, it’s definitely worth some serious consideration. Banking on your phone has come a long way since its primitive ways of blandly displaying your balance and making payments using a little use-at-home card machine.
Most banking apps these days have sophisticated budgeting functions that categorise your payments into things like groceries, bills, entertainment, and so on. This allows you to see how much you’re spending in certain areas.
If you’re surprised at how much you’re spending on something like eating out, for example, then maybe consider some ways you can jazz up your home cooking and avoiding going to so many restaurants.
You can also set maximum spending budgets too. This allows you to set a spending target for each month, follow your spending as you go along to see if you’re in budget, and receive alerts on your phone when you start getting close to your limit.
If you don't already have mobile banking and are interested in getting involved, thinkmoney is a top spot to look into for accounts that specialise in budgeting and help with spending.
You can get cashback with Quidco as well when you open a new account. Find out more by following this link and clicking here.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure
6. Declutter for cash
Although it sounds cliche, the chances are you’ve got a whole treasure chest of stuff knocking about in your attic or wardrobe that could easily be turned into cash.
Take some time to sift through your wardrobe and be real with yourself. If you haven’t worn it in over a year, you no longer like the style of it, or, (this one’s a bit tougher) it no longer fits, it’s time to swing the scythe and make some money.
You don’t even have to leave the house thanks to websites like Ebay. Simply grab your old clothes (preferably ones without holes or stains), take them to a room with some good lighting, take some pictures on your phone, then post them online and say hello to savings!
Ebay isn’t only great for selling, you can save on pretty much anything and find great bargains when you shop online. There’s great cashback to be earned with Quidco too. Find out more by following this link and clicking here.