If you get a feeling of dread every time you open your bank statement, then it might be time to change your monetary ways! Especially if you’ve got a big expense coming up, like buying a house, paying for a wedding or having a baby. We’ve come up with some tips to cut spending and start saving, from TikTok challenges to yellow-sticker searching. Take a look at our top 20 creative ways to save money in 2023 below.
Budget, Budget, Budget
1. Work out your outgoings
Before you can set a budget, you need to work out exactly how much money is coming in and going out every month. Then work out how much of your spending is essential (bills, rent, mortgage payments and the like) and how much is non-essential.
2. Follow the 50/30/20 Rule
Now that you know how much you’re spending, you can start to set a budget for the month. We’d recommend following the 50/30/20 rule. This is pretty much the Holy Grail of money saving tips. It suggests that every month you spend 50% of your wage on needs, 30% on wants and 20% goes straight into your savings. Take a look through your wants (like gym memberships, beauty treatments, meals out) and decide how to spend accordingly.
3. Try A Cash Diet
If it’s too easy to whip your card out and purchase things on a whim, no matter how hard you try to budget, then why don’t you try a cash diet instead? At the beginning of the month, get some envelopes and write “food”, “fuel”, “nights out” and any other outgoings you might have. Then put the exact amount of cash you plan to spend on that item for the month or week. That way, you can see exactly how much you’re spending and how much you’ve got left.
This is also a great idea for nights out. Only take out the amount you want to spend, so there’s no mindlessly tapping your card and buying a round for everyone - something we’re all guilty of! Once you hit that last tenner, you know it’s time to jump in a taxi home.
4. Check your subscriptions
Are you subscribed to Disney Plus but only use it every couple of months? Is it worth paying £7.99 a month? If not, cancel and save yourself over £90 a year. If you can’t go without your subscriptions, it may be worth seeing if anyone else in your family or friendship group has a subscription which you could piggyback off. Perhaps you use your Mum’s Netflix account and she can use your Amazon Prime account. After all, sharing is caring.
5. Check your direct debits
In the same vein, it’s easy to sign up to something and forget all about it. Log in to your online banking to check your direct debits. You might find that you’re still paying for a gym membership that you thought you’d cancelled months ago!
6. Prioritise Your Debts
Before you start saving, you should pay off any outstanding debts, starting with the highest interest rate first. For example, if you put £1,000 into a savings account paying 2% interest versus paying off a £1,000 debt with 10% interest, you’ve earned £20 and lost £100. That puts you at a loss of £80.
7. Open A Savings Account
Of course, if you’re trying to save, you’re going to need a savings account! Some people might question why they can’t just keep their savings in their current account, and while that is an option, savings account often offer better interest rates so you make slightly more money. You can find out more about the different types of saving accounts here.
8. Saving Challenges
Saving money doesn’t have to all be done through the bank! There are lots of TikTok-trending money-saving challenges you could try. Here’s some of our favourites:
- 1p Saving Challenge - start off saving 1p on the first day, 2p on the second day, 3p on the third and so on, increasing the amount you save each day by 1p. This should eventually leave you with over £650! Not bad for a few pennies here and there!
- Envelope Challenge - get 100 envelopes and label them with the numbers 1-100 before folding them up so you can’t see the number. Randomly draw an envelope and that’s the amount of money you have to save that day.
- The £5 Challenge - every time you get a £5 note, don’t spend it; put it to one side and save it. See how much you can save in a year.
9. No Spend Weekend
Whilst it’s nice to go out and do something with your friends, it can get expensive when you’re doing it every weekend! Try and have a no spend weekend at least once a month, where you don’t spend any money. That doesn’t mean you have to sit in the house bored either. Invite friends over and have a games night. Challenge yourself to cook a meal using only the food in your cupboards. Head out into the countryside and enjoy a long walk with the dog. There’s plenty that you could do and it’s probably more productive than nursing a hangover all weekend.
10. Pick Up A Money-Saving Skill
Learning a new skill and saving money? It’s a win-win! Think about the skills that will be most useful to you, not just right now, but in the future too. Learning to stitch will mean you can keep wearing your favourite trousers, rather than buying a new pair. Or if you like to think of yourself as a coffee connoisseur, why don’t you learn to make a proper coffee at home rather than hitting up Starbucks. Or if you spend more on getting your nails done than you care to admit, why not invest in a gel nail lamp and do it yourself.
11. Quit an Expensive Habit
In addition to learning money-saving skills, you should drop money-draining habits. That could be smoking, drinking, takeaways or any other vice.
Make More Money
12. Sell Your Old Stuff
Sometimes, your savings are looking straight at you. Over the years, you’ve probably ended up with a whole lot of stuff that you don’t really need. Now is the perfect time to sell them and give your savings a boost. Unwanted furniture could be sold on Facebook marketplace, clothes could go on Depop, and you could sell any unwanted games and figurines to us here at WeBuyGames. Got LEGO® to sell? WeBuyBricks offer competitive prices on your unwanted LEGO®.
13. Fill In Surveys
Another way to earn some extra cash is by filling in paid surveys. These surveys can encompass everything from pop culture to politics. There are various different sites, which might pay you with vouchers for popular highstreet stores or cash. It’s an easy way to make money with minimal effort. You can find out everything you need to know about paid surveys here.
14. Monestise Your Hobby
If you love painting, pottery or other creative pursuits, you could be missing an opportunity to make some money from your hobby. Consider selling your creations online or at local markets, that way you can have fun and make money at the same time.
15. Three Times Rule
If you can’t afford to buy 3 of an item, then you can’t afford it. This rule will stop you eating into your savings to buy something you might find you don’t use in a few months time. And if you do really want it, it will encourage you to save more money until you can afford it three-times over.
16. Pick Your Supermarket Carefully
It’s surprising how much money you can save just by swapping where you do your weekly shop. Have a look round and scout out where the best deals are on the food and items that you buy the most.
17. Yellow Sticker Meals
If you’re able to wait until around 6PM to do your shopping, most supermarkets will put out the food that’s due to go off that day at a discounted price. That could be microwave meals, sandwiches, sweets and all sorts of other things. These reduced items will be marked with a yellow sticker.
18. McDonald’s Receipt Trick
Next time you treat yourself to a McDonalds, look for a 12 digit code at the bottom of the receipt which you can enter on the website to fill out a survey. In reward for filling out their survey, McDonalds will then give you a 5 digit code which you can show in store to get a Big Mac and chips for just £1.99. And if you fill out a survey for Subway, you can get a free cookie!
19. Buy Pre-Loved Clothes
Save money and the environment when you buy your clothes second hand. Secondhand doesn’t just have to mean vintage stores and charity shops if that’s not your style, you can use apps like Depop, Vinted and Facebook Marketplace to find more recent clothes that people are selling. Some might not even have been worn! Ebay Brand Outlet is another great place to look, as it sells clothes from stores like River Island which they have been unable to sell.
20. Unsubscribe, Unfollow, Mute
If you’re an impulsive buyer, do your best to remove the temptation to shop. Unsubscribe to brand emails. Delete the ASOS app of your phone. Unfollow that influencer.