Ten ways to save quickly


By Beehive Money

Whether you’ve already got some savings on the go, or you’re starting from scratch, one thing is certain – we all want to save money as speedily as we can, so we can afford the things that matter. From paying for a gap year to funding your retirement, our quick tips will help you top up the savings pot that bit faster.

1. Set a budget 

Setting a budget can help keep your spending under control. Start by listing all your essential outgoings (bills, gym membership, mobile) and then seeing what’s left over. This is your disposable income, which you can spend, save, or split between the two. There are different ways of deciding on how to manage your disposable income – we’ve covered some of the most common in our article on saving money as a student.

2. Check your spending

Tot up the price of your takeaway coffees, work lunches or office drinks, and you’ll be surprised how much you’re spending on those tempting everyday treats. While it might seem that a few pounds here or there don’t make much difference, they can quickly add up – your £3 Starbucks order works out at £60 per month, or over £700 per year.

Likewise, spending a fiver a day on a shop-bought meal deal could be racking up £1,300 every year. As for having a post-work pint, with an average cost of £3.69, you’ll be spending around £960 total – and that’s only the cost of a single drink. Use the in-office instant, bring your own lunch, or swap to Friday drinks instead, and you can make huge savings.

3. Balance your bills

We all have bills to pay – but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few tips and tricks for saving a few pennies.
  • Contact your utilities providers: Many generate bills on estimated usage, which means you could be paying for more than needed. Depending on your contract and how long you’ve been a customer, you might also be able to negotiate a cheaper tariff. Finally, use price comparison websites to find better deals – many even handle the switching for you.
  • Share accounts: Sign up to a membership plan such as Netflix, Spotify or Amazon Prime with friends or family, and share the cost between you.
  • Cancel old Direct Debits: Cut spending on things you don’t use or need. Make sure you check the terms of your contract before cancelling, though.

4. Make a sale

Make some extra cash by selling things you no longer want or need. Whether you choose a classic car boot sale or sign up to a website like eBay, Depop, Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree, you’ll be surprised how much you could fetch for your unwanted items. But, don’t forget to take sellers’ fees and postage into account when setting your prices.

Websites like Etsy and Folksy are a great idea for those who love their arts and crafts. Popular pieces range from knitted bits and bobs to candles, jewellery, art prints and even personalised products. So, pick up your knitting needles and get crafty!

5. Shop smart

Even the most frugal saver still needs to spend now and then – especially when it comes to the weekly food shop. Here are some ways you can make savings, while still enjoying your favourite foods.
  • Make a list: Work out what you need for the week in advance, then stick to it. You can also work out the cost before you shop, too, so there won’t be any unexpected surprises at the checkout.
  • Shop together: If you’re a student, you could chip into a weekly food shop with your housemates and save with bigger packs. If you get your shop delivered, you can also split the fee.
  • Bring your own bags: Now that plastic bags are chargeable, make sure you remember the reusables when you shop.
  • Be wary of offers: While 3 for 2 or bigger packs can make it seem like you’re making a saving, they can also encourage you to spend more, and some aren’t as good value as they seem. Likewise, smaller or ‘mini’ versions of products can sometimes work out more expensive. 
  • Use your eyes: Supermarkets often place more expensive items at eye-level, with value packs on lower shelves. And, when you shop, pay attention to the weight of the product – what might seem like a larger size for a cheaper price may just be down to the packaging.
  • Ditch the brands: Many big-name brands – whether ketchup, gravy or washing powder – are hard to tell apart from their supermarket sisters.
  • Shop online: Not only can you shop products in price order, but many supermarkets offer substitutions if an item is out of stock on the day of delivery. They’ll either give you the same cost or pack size, which means sometimes, you can get more for your money. Shopping online is also a great way to find offer codes or cashback.

6. Find some freebies

There are bargains to be had, if you know where to look. Here are some great ideas:
  • Online surveys: Many of these give you points, which can be redeemed for cash or vouchers at a later date. Most of them only take a few minutes to complete, and the points soon add up.
  • Cashback apps: Whether it’s a portion of the cost or the whole thing, these help you recuperate some of the cost of your spending.
  • Banking perks: Some types of bank and savings accounts come with cashback offers or discounts.
  • Vouchers: Many restaurants and retailers offer coupons, freebies or rewards if you sign up to emails or download their app, and some also offer referral programmes, where you scoop discounts if a friend buys from the same place.

7. Pay yourself first 

You wouldn’t forget to pay a bill – so why should paying into your savings be any different? Make a note to pay into your savings account on the same day you’re paid each month, or better yet, set up a standing order to make the process automatic. That way, you won’t need to remember when to pay in.

8. Round it up 

Many bank accounts nowadays have a feature that lets you round up your spending to the nearest pound. It’s a great way to make small savings that add up over time. Or, you could put any small change into a pot and add it up at the end of the month – you’ll be surprised how much you save. Plus, many supermarkets have coin machines, which let you swap loose change for a voucher to spend in store.

9. Go card-free

Once you’ve worked out your monthly disposable income, withdraw it as cash. This makes it much easier to manage, as you’ll physically see your spending, and might even prevent you from spending as much. You can also divide the money into an ‘’allowance’’ for each day of the week, to make budgeting that bit easier.

10. Entertain in, not out 

You can still socialise without spending huge stacks of cash. You could try some of these ideas:
  • Host a movie night at home and ask each guest to contribute a drink or snack.
  • Take it in turns to cook a buffet or barbecue and get your friends to chip in.
  • Swap an expensive lunch or takeaway for a dinner party at home.
These fast-saving tips are just the start – we’ve so many helpful articles to discover in our blog if you need more inspiration, such as tips for students to save money and a guide to the various ISAs. You're going to need somewhere to put all the money you save, so why not browse our savings accounts while you’re here?