If saving money makes you feel like you’re on a hamster wheel, you are not alone. Saving a few pounds here and there can make you feel like you’re not making headway. We all want to see results quickly, and with a few handy tricks you can. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to save money faster. Once you get the momentum going, you won’t want to give up.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to do anything drastic, and you can use some or all of these tips on how to save money faster to your advantage. Some of these tips don’t even require a ton of work upfront! Choose the ideas that sit well with you and make you feel excited to save more money.
How to save money faster
Before we dive in, it’s important to mention that often when we are looking to save money fast, one of the best things that we can do is to increase our income. When income increases, there is more money available to save which can help build momentum and create a snowball effect when it comes to saving.
Now, sometimes it is easier said than done when it comes to increasing your income (we will touch on this later!) But in the meantime, check out these 50 side hustle ideas for 2022 which might be helpful inspiration if you are looking to save money quickly.
Let’s move onto some more ideas about how you can save money quickly, by making savings on the everyday.
Save money faster by using a budget
As a rule of thumb, you can’t save money fast if you don’t set a budget. Often, a budget can be mistaken for a tool that is used to plan your spending, but it should actually be used as a tool to plan your savings.
Reframe your savings as ‘outgoings.’ Make sure you have several line items in your budget which are dedicated to specific saving goals. For example, ‘Lifetime ISA contribution’ and ‘holiday savings’ and ‘saving for a car.’
It’s important that when you create your budget, you know exactly how much money you can spend in each category (e.g. groceries, meals out, clothing, entertainment). Spend half an hour going over your bank statements from the last three months to take an average on how much you spend in each category by month. When you approach budgeting from this perspective, you’re much more likely to find enough money to save each month and reach your goals. You may even want to undertake a no spend challenge for additional motivation.
Once you have a tight plan like this for your money, it becomes easier to save quickly. And if you’re looking for a great budgeting spreadsheet? Check out the Thrifty Londoner budgeting spreadsheet.
Use money saving apps to pick up the pace
Dedicated money saving apps are one of the best ways to save money faster. If saving money can become totally automatic, it means it’s one less thing to stress about. A total winner in our books.
There are several brilliant automatic money saving apps. Each app uses AI technology to track your spending patterns and understand when it’s time to put some money aside in savings. Clever or what! The apps will never take more money than you require for everyday purchases, which means you’ll hardly notice the money being stashed away.
If you have historically struggled with saving money, Chip could be your new go-to app. The app uses artificial intelligence to understand your spending patterns, and determine when to stash some money away (without you even noticing!). Chip connects to your bank account (securely!) and will auto-save small amounts of money for you based on your spending habits.
Chip won’t allow you to become overdrawn, and will only auto-save money if you have enough money in your account. It will only auto-save what you can afford. Chip’s basic package is also free to use which is an added bonus! Try it now.
If you’re motivated by a challenge with a reward element linked, Bigmo could be the saving app for you. Bigmo leverages behavioural economics and game mechanics to trick your mind to stick to your saving goals- crazy or what?! You can set saving goals within the app, link your accounts, and then begin a savings challenge for the next week or month. When you undertake a savings challenge, you’ll also be competing with your peers to win exciting prizes each week. Bigmo gives you the insights of a money app and the power of a goal machine with streaks, leaderboards, challenges and rewards. One for the competitive ones out there! If you’d like to check out Bigmo, you can try them out here.
Similarly to Chip, Plum is also an auto-saving app, using AI technology to help you save money. It will analyse your spending to figure out how much cash to stash away for you. Plum uses a ‘chatbot’ to communicate with you through Facebook Messenger and will communicate with you to let you know how much you’ve saved that week.
You can also send commands to Plum through Facebook Messenger and Plum will oblige. Commands can vary from ‘save more’ to ‘save less’ to ‘withdraw £10.’ You can also set your saving mood to determine how ambitiously or aggressively you’d like to save. It certainly makes saving more fun! If you’d like to try Plum, their basic package is totally free.
You won’t look back after having used money saving apps to help you save. If there’s one thing that will help you to save money faster, it’s using an automatic saving app.
Cut Back on Expenses
Back to budgets. One way of saving faster is of course identifying areas where you could spend less. Take a look at your last three months of spending again. Are there areas you can cut back and spend less?
We’re talking about things like everyday bills such as utilities, internet and phone contracts. Are you able to head to a price comparison website to see where you could get a better deal? Or perhaps you could call up your provider and negotiate a cheaper rate. Many companies offer introductory rates to new customers, so if you’re able to switch providers for some of those regular monthly bills, it’s a great way to save.
A key tip for making the most of any expenses which you cut, is to dedicate any money you save to your savings accounts or goals. For example, if you cut your expenses by £200 a month, you should be adding £200 extra a month to your savings.
A great psychological hack for this is to separate your savings into a separate account. You can use Monzo or Starling ‘pots’ or ‘spaces’ for any additional savings you make as a result of cutting your expenses. For example, if you take lunch to work and save £5, immediately transfer that £5 over to your savings pot so that you have full visibility of your savings efforts.
Cancel Unnecessary Memberships and Subscriptions
As part of the review on your spending, look out for the amount of memberships and subscriptions you are signed up for. You might not even realize the subscriptions or memberships you’re paying for because once upon a time you signed up for a free trial and then forgot to cancel it. It’s so easy to continue to pay for things like Amazon Prime, Audible and Kindle Unlimited after the free trials without noticing. We’ve all been there!
Here’s a top tip if you forget to cancel free trials for Amazon, Audible or Kindle- use the chat feature on Amazon to see if you can get a refund. If you’ve made a genuine mistake and haven’t been using the service but have still been paying for it, Amazon might be able to give you your money back.
Get the cancellation in writing and make sure they don’t charge you for the next month. Then take that money and add it to your savings.
Automate your Savings to Save Quicker
If you currently wait until the end of the month to transfer money to savings or you just forget to make a transfer, automate it. It’s super easy to set up a regular monthly transfer using online banking. Look at your budget and decide how much you can transfer from your current account to your savings account each month and make it automatic. You can start small, and slowly increase the amount should you wish to.
This removes any decision making, and is one less piece of life admin that you can forget about. You know you’ll always save each month, and this helps you save money faster because once the monthly savings transfer is made, you can focus on the smaller ways you can save on the everyday.
Watch out for Hidden Bank Fees
Unless you watch your bank statements like a hawk, you might not even realize that you’re paying bank fees. Pull your bank statements from the last 6 to 12 months and add up the fees you’ve paid for banking services over that time.
Next, see how you can eliminate them. Some banks waive monthly maintenance fees if you keep a certain balance and other banks don’t charge any fees. If you’re paying bank fees, find ways around them and allocate the money to your savings account.
And if you want to make some money from banking? Some bank accounts will offer a switching bonus (sometimes this can be in the region of £150!) just for opening a current account with them and paying in a certain amount each month. Check out NatWest who often run switching bonus offers for new customers.
Meal plan to save money fast
If you want to save money faster, you need to think outside the box. This is especially true if you feel like you are already pretty savvy with your money. Meal planning can be a great way to do this. Think about how many times you turn to a takeaway or your local corner shop for convenience because you don’t know what to cook, are too tired, or don’t have the ingredients needed. All of these top ups add to the overall amount that you spend on food each month.
If you meal plan, you’ll buy the necessary ingredients each week, have a plan, and be more likely to stick to it rather than wasting money eating out. A meal plan also helps to save on food waste, which will not only help you to save money, but will also help to save the planet too.
Spend Less on Entertainment
We all like to have fun, but sometimes it can cause us to spend too much money. We can get caught up in all of the excitement and even the best laid budget plans can go to pot. Rather than spending needlessly, find ways to entertain yourself, your friends and your family by spending less money. Movie and game nights at home, free entertainment in the community, or just getting out and enjoying nature are great ways to spend nothing and have fun.
It’s okay to budget some money each month for entertainment, but by cutting back on what you spend, you’ll save money faster for other financial goals. To make this easier, you might decide to cut back on entertainment spends for 3-6 months to really ramp up your savings for a short amount of time.
Start a Side Hustle
Like we alluded to at the very start of this article- if you’ve cut back everywhere you can think of, consider increasing your income. The best way to increase your income is to ask your boss for a raise, but that’s not always possible and they don’t always give it to you. If this is an option for you, take a look at our guide to successful salary negotiation.
If asking for a pay rise isn’t an option, instead, do something that’s within your control and start a side hustle. You can be your own boss, offering freelance services according to the skills you have. You set the prices, deadlines, and what you’ll offer, and you keep the profits.
Put the money directly into your savings or investment accounts and you’ll be well on your way to seeing how you can save money fast.
Our Side Hustle Toolkit is a great starting point if you’re unsure about which side hustle might be right for you, how to treat your side hustle like a business, how to get started, and any tax implications in the UK.
Learning how to save money faster isn’t as hard as it seems. With a few simple steps, you can have more money in your bank account and be much closer to your financial goals. It all boils down to some key principles- knowing what you spend, learning how to cut back, and increasing your earnings.
Of course, setting out to save money fast requires a level of discipline. It may even require some short term sacrifices in order to get to your goal in a shorter time frame. When things feel tough, remind yourself of your goals, and remember that it’s for the short term.
Once you see the progress you can make even by saving a little more money each month, your willpower and motivation will increase, and it’ll get easier and easier to make the choices that bring your financial goals into reaching distance.