Over 60 Ideas To Make Money Work For YOU!

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past couple of weeks, it’s that people LOVE some money-saving chatter. I think January is always a time when we look to get organised and do some decluttering and that translates as well to finances as anything else, even more so given the state of the world these days.

When I went on Instagram Stories just before Christmas sharing some ways I’d saved money by a little financial audit, it was so popular I turned it into a blog post. In turn I then had so many messages from people sharing their own ideas that I decided to crowd source on Instagram for people’s best money-saving advice/ideas to make money work best for us and oh my goodness my phone was on fire!

I really wanted to keep the momentum going and capture it on here as quickly as possible. I’ve tried to categorise it somewhat into different groupings and I’m quite convinced that absolutely everyone could find something to help them. Happy reading!

FOOD
  • Batch cook and freeze extras to save both time and money and avoid food waste
  • Cupboard groceries are often cheaper in the world food aisle – I’ve definitely encountered this paying anything from 80p to £2 for a tin of coconut milk!
  • Buying “high end” frozen meals which are cheaper than takeaways for those lazy days
  • Meal planning – food waste used to cost us a fortune
  • Weekly meal planning
  • Order Pasta Evangelists, freeze them and eat when I fancy a takeaway, it’s cheaper and quicker
  • Shopping at Aldi/Lidl
  • Swapping from branded food to cheaper options. Being creative with food you already have in
  • London centric but there is an FB page called reduced food London which has all the bargains for example 3p for loaves of bread etc
  • Harder said than done but shop at Aldi/Lidl and eat less meat
  • Limit eating out
  • Buy a coffee machine instead of coffees out
  • Buying from local greengrocers/butchers
  • Separate account for food shopping it helps me budget each week and meal planning too
  • Cutting down on meat consumption we greatly reduced our food bill this way
  • Bulk buy when you can and if you have space
  • Instead of buying coffees out buy nice ground coffee and caffetiere (can use to froth) or a mocha pot
  • Shopping seasonally
  • Try cheaper brands of groceries than normal, try one a week, they add up and swap back if you don’t like them
  • Olio app for local restaurants leftover food
  • Buy fruit and veggies from Aldi, treats and brands from other supermarkets
  • Do a food shop online saves me at least £20 a week as I don’t impulse buy
  • Meal planning make sure to take into consideration what’s already in and leftovers etc
  • Food shopping online rather than in the shop means you don’t buy things you don’t need
  • Budget and meal plan for dinners, batch cooking saves a lot of money also try different products (non-branded items)
DISCOUNTS/CLAIMING BACK/THRIFT
  • Re: the government work from home rebate, you just have to work one day at home this year and can claim
  • One tip to check out for married couples is if one of you earns below the personal allowance you can transfer some of it to your spouse who can then increase theirs! Means their personal allowance can increase and they can pay a bit less tax on income so less to the tax man and more in your pocket
  • Facebook market place/Next Door for furniture so many bargains
  • Shopping second hand if you can
  • Upcycle furniture rather than chuck it out to buy new
  • Library for newspapers and magazines which you can also get online instead of buying them
  • Swap and borrow things in your friends network instead of buying
  • Borrow travel books from the library and use them on holidays
  • Ask people you know who are doing a degree for their student discount
  • Steal your friends Netflix
  • Buy used cars, buy used things where possible, good for both pocket and planet
  • If you know anyone who works for a big company they’ll usually have access to corporate discount codes which yes F&F can use too eg the company I work for use a site called Perks at Work I tell F&F if they want to purchase something most likely I can get them a discount or cashback if I purchase on their behalf. I saved my brother £66 on a smartphone purchase not long ago. Numerous trips to B&Q, even high street shops like Boots, WH Smith or even my Asda shop I receive cashback
  • Buying bulk cleaners from janitorial suppliers on Ebay and diluting/decanting into spray bottles or a pretty glass bottle for washing up liquid or hand soap, buying a bulk bottle of shampoo (Faith or Suma) is nice and decanting into a used shampoo bottle, making your own laundry detergent, knitting dishcloths to be used over and over instead of paper towels, composting food waste/garden trimmings for your veg garden
  • Independent garages are better than dealerships for servicing
  • Estate sales are great for used furniture, solid wood lasts forever
  • Stay out of debt pay high interest loans first
  • Don’t heat or light rooms you don’t use
  • For vacations consider fixing up a used caravan and touring
  • Make use of wifi hotspots – living in Manchester they are dotted around all over the centre for free so saves eating into mobile data package
  • Think you can also claim money back towards washing a uniform if you have a proper work uniform
  • Ask people you know who are studying or work in academia for their student discount – can save on things like laptops and books etc
  • Not making unnecessary journeys in the car, walk where possible
  • So many doctor, nurses, postal workers etc can claim uniform cleaning and never do
  • NHS prescription prepayment definitely saves me money, £10.59 a month over 10 months by DD
  • Claim tax back for having to work from home during pandemic, haven’t tried it yet
  • Apply for childcare account via Gov.uk website and have the childcare topped up to max 2k per year
  • And don’t forget to apply for child benefit (I Did and missed out on £600 a year!)
  • Your posts reminded me that I had completely forgotten to change my name at HMRC after I got married so I popped in an application to change my name and also should be able to get £6 a week for tax relief for the tax year and one week from last year too
  • Claiming grand parents allowance for childcare is really good, if you look after them and their parents work you can get their credits for national insurance you don’t get cash but it can help towards your pension especially women who may not have enough credits
  • If you get a Tesco club card anything you buy outside of Tesco you get 1 point for every £8 you spend, in Tesco you get 1 point for every £1 including fuel, then if you pay with a Tesco credit card you get 1 point for every £4, when you use your points for Tesco partners it’s trebled such as hotel.com IE £10 turns to £30, so we do this with every single thing for the whole year and you’d be shocked at what you can save we had 7 nights in Wales at a spa hotel
INSURANCE
  • Always phone insurance companies to negotiate your premiums
  • Never renew any type of insurance
  • Car insurance – every year before renewing do a price search, call your insurer and they’ll match the cheapest price you found
  • Cancelled phone insurance with mobile provider as it’s covered by my bank account and saved £9 per month
  • Don’t just pay the insurance premium you’re quoted each year for home and car, get comparison
  • Shop around never renew anything because you WILL Save money
  • Always compare car insurance when renewal is due
  • Always shop around for insurance etc when its up for renewal and call your existing provider they can normally always lower the price
  • It’s cheaper to pay for insurance/tax etc yearly so if you can pay X amount away to cover the cost next year. I do this with everything
CASHBACK/COMPARISON SITES
  • Never just buy the item have a look around for different retailers offering it cheaper
  • Money saving expert energy club is good, and can switch people automatically for them
  • Use comparison sites
  • Using cashback websites like TopCashback when you are buying essentials it all adds up
  • Also the honey browser extension which searches for and applies voucher codes
  • Use cash back websites when you’re renewing things like insurance, Quidco is good
  • Check/use cash back websites (quidco/TopCashback) before you click buy!
  • I always type in discount codes when buying anything, you’d be shocked to see a lot of ££ off
  • Cashback sites like quidco I’ve saved hundreds over the years
  • Genuine cashback websites eg Quidco and TopCashback
  • TopCashback app before purchasing anything I’ve made about £500 from it
  • Quidco for cash back is free to use slow to come through but I got £80 back from broadband purchase
  • Do online shopping – especially switching insurance via Quidco
  • Check for premium bank accounts with a small fee, you can get travel and phone insurance, AA cover etc
CONTROL SPENDING/BUDGETING/CREDIT CARDS
  • Have a wish list instead of impulse buying, you put on the list and check if you still want it in 30 days
  • Leaving something in a basket online it may come down in price
  • Use a spreadsheet for expenses, update monthly with actuals so you can check everything
  • I have a spreadsheet with budgets broken down so bills, food, dog and personal. It’s definitely helped us realise how much we were spending unnecessarily and we’re saving so much more each month
  • Unsubscribe from mailing lists, reduces temptation to spend
  • Budgeting so only giving yourself £50 a month to spend on yourself for example
  • Create 0 based budget – leave no penny unaccounted for
  • Download bank statements and play around with them. Check any savings are in the right place for access or meagre interest
  • Attack credit card interest and move if possible to lower rate
  • I also used to save £5 each day it rained but in England it got a bit much so I stopped 😊
  • A weekly allowance after bills and stick to it, any spare at the end of the week goes to savings for later
  • I have poly pockets for each thing I want to save for and put the same money in each month
  • I’m trying to contribute more to work pension it’s pre-tax so instantly a 20% return and employers contribution
  • If you really want something wait a week and see if it’s essential
  • Shop only in sales as much as possible
  • Working out a zero based budget before payday each month
  • Switch credit cards to be zero interest
  • First clear credit card debts before keeping money aside for savings
  • Choose a credit card with money back or points and clear every month, not money saving but more making money work for you. Clear in full every month, we’ve done this for the past 10 years and have had free flights for holidays
  • Using the amex nectar credit card and doubling up on points
  • Pay for large purchases on a credit card for added protection (don’t buy that added by the retailer)
  • Make yourself accountable, record all incomings and outgoings in a spreadsheet
  • Credit cards that you earn cashback on
  • Try a no spend month – just the extra consideration before a purchase is incredible
  • Set up direct debit for whatever you can manage each month, treat it like a bill, at the end of the year you could have a big chunk saved up
  • Think about purchases try not to impulse buy
  • Have a direct debit saved up each month to save something, even if only £10 and check interest rates
  • Overpaying an offset mortgage saves a lot if you can be disciplined about it
  • Using debit card only or make sure your credit card pays off automatically every month
  • If I’m tempted to purchase something I sleep on it, avoids impulse buys
BILLS – PHONE/ENERGY ETC
  • If you can afford it buy a mobile outright and get a sim only deal, cheaper than contracts
  • Don’t be scared to advise companies you can get a better deal elsewhere
  • Started closing living room door at night and heating bill has halved
  • Ask to be put straight through to retention when dealing with companies instead of listening to sales so you’re not at risk of being upsold to
  • Reduced monthly Virgin media fees by £20! Phoned and asked for “new customer jan sale” price
  • Reviewing energy/internet provider, it sounds daunting but you can definitely save a few ££
  • EE do a 10% discount on a 2nd mobile line (which my husband uses) saves us £57 a year
  • Put reminders in calendar for a month before contracts renew so you can renegotiate
  • Change energy providers
  • My bank round up every purchase I make to the nearest £1, the extra money is saved
  • Data plan on EE I share my data with my mum. She barely uses it but there’s not point her having a separate contract so I add her on my account (costs me £16pm, unltd SMS calls etc
  • Always check energy supplier each year to see best option
  • Check your energy supplier tariff every year or they will automatically put you on a more expensive tariff
  • We cancelled our TV license as all we ever watch is Netflix/box sets, saved £150 a year
  • Go SIM only on your phone bill, call and haggle all insurance etc, sign up to money saving expert emails
MAKING SPARE CASH
  • Had an Ebay clearout just before lockdown, made £500 from “stuff” around the house
  • Selling things you don’t use on Ebay/gumtree
  • I sold an old iphone and ipad for a combined £150 they were just sitting in a drawer
  • Always look at money saving expert for inspiration
  • Ebay or FB marketplace anything that moves
  • Use Thrift to sell clothes
  • Use Music Magpie to sell books and DVDs
  • My friend does a lot of competitions in her free time and always wins prizes
  • Not money saving but for earning a few extra quid the One Pulse survey app is great, You answer quick surveys and for some of them you get cash rewards which you can cash out when you’ve reached a set amount
  • Check out ISA and premium bond accounts
  • Stocks and shares are good
ADVISORS
  • Sign up for money saving expert emails for weekly tips
  • Please if you do worry about falling into arrears contact your bank/financial provider before you do to arrange a plan it’s not as scary as it seems
  • Make use of a free mortgage broker when getting your mortgage. A big part of their job is recommending what they think is the best deal for your based on your particular circumstances. I’m about to get a new mortgage in the next few weeks and I did end up choosing 1 not available through him however any broker that’s worthwhile will not push you to take out a mortgage through them (they earn commission) besides the fact it’s against the FCA rules too. Definitely don’t allow your mortgage to revert to the standard variable rate (SVR) either! They usually stand at around 4.5% which is a huge difference when the typical rate is around 2% now!
  • Check out a blog called the budget student traveller, tips and money saving
  • In the Caribbean community we have a thing called a “pardner” basically its when a group of people put in a “hand” of money  each month (nowadays normally £100) and one person collects it and issues it to one person in the group until everyone has their go. When my grandparents first came to this country banks wouldn’t allow them to open bank accounts so couldn’t get a mortgage so this was the only way they could buy property. You have to trust people though!
SAVINGS APPS
  • Plum app, saved nearly £1k in a year without noticing and with a lower salary cos of Covid
  • Plum the app
  • So I recently got the chip app – it uses analytics to take a small amount each month from your current account and put it into a savings pot. Very clever and you don’t notice it. I save about £20 a month without changing a thing. Other things I do is use apps or accounts that roll up your payments to the nearest pound. When I am actually trying hard to save and not doing passive things like the ones above, I reset my account to 0 every month just before pay day and put what is leftover into my savings account and ideally try to move some out before month starts
  • Myworldwithalfie has been doing a review of plum. She loves it and she showed a message from someone she knows who forgot they had it and the account had over £600 that they had no idea they had saved
  • Getting the plum app – also do a budget spreadsheet to see all your outgoings
  • I found out about the Chip app through Frugality’s site it is brilliant
  • I use PLUM it’s an app that you use t round up your change for you from card payments and saves it for you. Over £800 in a year saved using it.

Well this has been quite the whopper of a post so I’ll leave it there for now. I really do hope its been helpful and if you have anything to add drop a comment below!

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