According to the Money Charity, 12.8 million households in the UK have less than £1,500 in savings. A common saving myth is that you need to save lump sums of money to achieve your saving goals. You don’t. You can save any amount that suits you and it can still come in handy on a rainy day.
Here are 10 ways to save money if you’re on a low income:
1. Switch your utilities
We all need gas and electric, and sometimes we can forget that savings can be made by switching to cheaper providers. Switching energy providers can be done quickly and easily online.
Comparison sites are a great way to compare different energy costs. We would recommend using:
2. Buy a saving pot for emergencies
We’re an advocate for physical saving. Where you can feel your money grow as well as see it. Buy a saving pot and start saving your spare change from weekly shops, recreational activities and anything else that leave spare change in your pocket. You would be amazed at how much you can save by following our everyday saver plan.
3. Clear off minor debts in full
It can be easy to let debts linger, but paying off minor debts in full can both boost your credit score and save you money. Not having to pay that extra expense monthly gives you the opportunity to save that extra money.
4. Take advantage of discounts
Discounts are everywhere if you didn’t know. You just need to find them. When you intend to make a purchase online, search for any discount codes that may be available.
Groupon, Lastminute.com and Wowcher are companies that offer brilliant savings purchases on travel to everyday goods. When searching for a product, type in ‘discount’ or ‘voucher’ to see if you can get a better deal. Many retailers have big discounts in-store as they aim to improve traffic in the run up to Christmas; take advantage of them.
5. Sell your unwanted items
It’s much easier to get rid of unwanted items with platforms such as Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree and Sphock. You can simply set up a listing and sell whatever you want. People are always looking for new things to buy, whether they’re old or new. The next time you do a deep clean, see what treasures can sell and add to your saving goals.
6. Slash your subscriptions
£2 billion each year is spent on subscription services in the UK, and the average person spends approximately £60 per year on these services.
We’ve all been guilty of having one too many subscriptions that we don’t use as much as we should. Cutting these subscriptions out of your expenses can save you more than you think.
7. Claim benefits the you’re entitled to
You can easily check online to see the benefits you’re entitled to. Some of these may be payments for using extra energy during winter, or income support to top up your work earnings. If you have children, you may be entitled to child benefits to help support your family.
8. Set up a standing order
Setting up a standing order can help you reach your saving goals faster. Having a small sum of money from your income automatically transferred into a separate account saves you from having to do this manually each month. It will leave your account just like your other expenses and you most likely won’t miss it.
Be sure to budget and save what you can afford to avoid having to access your savings in the case of an emergency.
9. Join a cashback platform
Cashback is simply the process of getting a percentage of your purchase given back to you. You shop through the cashback website and buy as normal.
You can earn cashback on various online and in-store purchases which can add up to a substantial amount without any extra effort. Top Cashback is a great starting point, with thousands of retailers to shop and earn rewards.
10. Be mindful of your spending
Saving starts with being mindful about what you’re spending. Creating a budget plan can help you track your income and outgoings so you know exactly what you have to spend and how much you can afford to save.
Limit your use of credit and purchases of non-essential items. Utilise discounts where possible and remind yourself of your ultimate saving goal to stay motivated.
Saving on a low income is easier said than done. These are just a few ways to guide you, but it takes discipline and consistency to see results.
T K Williams-Nelson