Deciding how to save money is usually the first task on most people’s savings plan. If you’re more of a conventional saver, exploring a few of the more ‘out there’ techniques in this list may take you out of your comfort zone, however you may find a perfect fit for your plan, and settle on a savings habit that works for you, whether for the long or the short-term.
To help put your plan into action, we’ve compiled some of our favourite savings techniques to increase your savings – all you have to do is find the right method to fit with your savings plan.
Make a savings plan
Unexpected changes can sometimes mean you’re not able to save as much as you’d like to each month, and can mean that you need to dip into the money you’d normally put into a savings account.
Having a savings plan to fall back on can help you to stay on track in the long run.
As well as being the perfect pick-me-up for your long-term savings goals, getting started on a good savings plan could help boost your disposable income as well, making life much comfier in the short-term.
The good news is that it doesn’t need to be anything fancy. For example, a simple spreadsheet or bulleted list could be enough to help get you started. Just be sure to set a realistic monthly savings target based on the amount of cash you can afford to save each month.
Tip: When creating your plan, consider things like your spending patterns and your budget, and try to figure out any bad habits that you may have too.
Making a note of these in your plan will also help as a reminder each time you need to revisit it.
Try out a savings trend
The following savings trends may not be for everybody, but people are always inventing new techniques to save, and some of these ideas could help you to budget and save extra cash.
Some current account providers will even automate a few of the savings challenges and trends for you, and so it’s worth getting in touch with your provider to see if they can help you save - even if it only means setting up a new Direct Debit.
- Take the 1p challenge
The 1p saving challenge is a creative and fun way to save more money. By adding a penny to the amount you save each day for a year, you’ll save almost £700 (if you stick to the rules that is!).
The rules are simple. On day 1 you save 1p, then for each day thereafter you add a penny to your daily saving amount, so on day 2 you save 2p, 3p on day 3 and so on. By day 365 you’ll be adding £3.65 to your savings - adding up to a grand total of £667.95 over a year.
This may be a good one to use to save for Christmas, or even to add to your holiday fund.
- Screw up your savings
If you’ve set your savings sights slightly higher than the £700 on offer in the 1p challenge, this one could be for you.
To save £1,378 over the course of a year, simply write the numbers 1 to 52 on separate bits of paper, screw each bit of paper up and place them all into a tub before shaking it. You’ll then need to remove one piece of screwed up paper each week and, you guessed it, move that amount into your savings account.
This one’s not for the faint hearted though, bear in mind you could end up needing to save just over £200 in the space of four weeks if you’re unlucky (or lucky, depending on your point of view!).
- Round up your change
This idea is simple - you save each time you spend, and sometimes without even realising it!
For example, if you buy a coffee each morning on your way in to the office and each time you spend £3.45, you save the 55p from each coffee that’s required to round up to £4, meaning you’ll save £2.75 over the course of five days, or £143 over the course of a year – just on coffee!
Imagine how much money you could save with round-ups from all your everyday spends!
By rounding your purchases up to the nearest pound, and saving the amount that you needed to round-up by, you’ll more than likely not notice that you’re saving at all.
Many current account providers are on board with this one, and they may help by setting up the round-up transaction for you into a savings account of your choice.
- 30 day rule
You’ll need all of your will power for this one! The 30 day rule requires you to question your purchases and put back items that you may have previously bought on impulse.
The hard bit: for example, if you’re out and about and you spot a new coat, but there’s nothing wrong with your old one, instead of buying the coat, pop the money into savings instead. You then have to give yourself 30 days to decide if you really want the coat.
The easy bit: If you still want the coat after 30 days, go back and get it! If you’ve realised that your old coat is just fine, just leave the money in your savings account accruing interest.
Decide when is the best time to save
Choosing when to save money is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when considering the way that you save. Before you decide, it’s important you equip yourself with everything you need to know to make the right decision.
For example, when you’re creating your savings plan it makes sense to look through your statements and fully understand your monthly spending habits.
If you’re saving at the start of the month but you find that you still have left over cash at the end of the month, perhaps saving at the end of the month could be right for you – it could mean that you take the time to consider your purchases more than you usually do.
On the other hand, if you’re guilty of spending flippantly each month, you may benefit by removing temptation and placing your money into a savings account as soon as you get paid. Be sure to know what you can afford to save though as you don’t want to be left short at the end of the month.
If you do decide to save earlier in the month, you’re in good company, as 94% of the people who responded to our Facebook poll told us they save as soon as they get paid too.
However if you’re only spending money on the essentials and you’re getting to the end of the month with nothing left over for savings, you should consider reviewing the changes to your lifestyle which could help you save money.
Tip: If you’re not sure about switching the time of the month that you save, why not consider changing this as part of a trial. If it doesn’t work out you can always switch back and if you place your savings into an easy access account, this way you’ll provide yourself with the reassurance that you can access your savings if you need to.
Choose the right savings account
It may sound simple, however in order to save money it makes sense to use a savings account.
By simply having a savings account you’ll hopefully encourage yourself to save more money – a savings account is a way of earning interest on your money, and so you’ll be able to see your savings grow even faster than they would in many current accounts.
There are a few key considerations for the type of account that you choose to save in, for example, how much you can afford to save, how often you’re going to put money away, and how frequently you need to access your savings.
Tip: It makes sense to shop around before deciding on the savings provider that’s right for you. Once you’ve chosen the right type of account for you, have a quick look at review websites like Trustpilot.co.uk to find out what a provider’s current customers are saying about their service.
Turn to social media to save
There’s now a range of ways you can get the information you need to make decisions about how and where is the best place for you to save money. Social media perhaps isn’t one of them, but you may be able to unearth some great ideas for how to approach things like your budget and your lifestyle to save more money.
And although you should consider taking advice from a qualified financial adviser before making any decisions that you’re unsure about, there may be a wealth of tricks and techniques right in your news feed.
Social media has meant that some of the trends we’ve talked about in this article have grown to become very popular and, through dedicated Facebook groups, communities can come together to share their savings experiences, tricks and ideas.
Search for terms like ‘savings’ and ‘hints, tips and ideas’ or even your local village community group to keep on top of the latest savings and budgeting trends locally, which may be of use to you when deciding how to budget and save.
Tip: Your current savings provider may be on social media too. If you don’t already, why not follow them for updates and information about their latest products and services.
If you’re interested in more useful hints, tips and ideas, why not join the Kent Reliance - Savings community on Facebook.