How to be super savvy when it comes to saving money

By current calculations, a 30 year-old with dreams to retire in their mid to late-50s will need to save £12,000 each year in order to accumulate a pension pot big enough to deliver an annual income of £26,000 in retirement. 

Unrealistic for most, many of us will need to be creative when it comes to saving our pennies and tightening our purse strings. Here are some ideas that can help if you want to start saving: 

Use your smartphone for more than social media

If you want to grow your savings, there are plenty of apps that promise to make your spending and saving a little clearer and easier. There are plenty of smartphone apps now on the market that claim to make it easier to save, budget, improve your credit score, spend and even invest, including Emma, Plum and Cleo.

These kind of apps are made possible through Open Banking, a government initiative to encourage banks to open their interfaces so consumers can take control of and harness their financial data. Remember to only share your details with secure platforms, which you can do by making sure they are FSCS approved.

Conduct a life audit

Are you overshadowed by outgoings you can’t justify anymore, like an underused online streaming service or expensive gym membership? It could be time for a life audit. Take a recent bank statement and strip out any expenditure that is inessential. Take time to really consider if it’s a necessity or a waste of cash. Instead of paying direct debit for services, simply redirect the funds to your savings account using a standing order or a special app. 

Kick the caffeine habit

The war on waste has never been bigger. So much so, some high-street coffee shops taxing non-recyclable takeaway cups and incentivise consumers to use their own reusable mugs, by offering money off a drink purchase. For example:

  • Starbucks – 25p off
  • Pret a Manager – 50p off
  • Greggs – 20p off

At Costa you can get an extra bean on your loyalty card if you’re signed up for the Costa Club, meaning you get closer to your free coffee quicker

You can get a reusable cup for as little as £1 (or if you’re lucky you might be able to get your hands on one of our very own branded mugs) to help you reap the rewards. 

Recycle or sell your unwanted stuff

Did you know some high street retailers reward shoppers for recycling pre-loved items? Below, we’ve listed three you might not be aware of: 

  • Cosmetic brand Lush offers customers 50p off per qualifying item when any of their plastic packaging is brought back to them for recycling
  • H&M gives customers a £5 voucher – which you can use on purchases over £25 in-store and online – for any unwanted clothing or textiles you recycle through its garment collecting initiative
  • Marks & Spencer run a ‘Schwopping’ scheme in partnership with Oxfam to make it easier for you to give your unwanted clothing a second life. You can fill up a bag and pick up 50 points on your Sparks card or get a £5 voucher which you can use when you spend £35 or more online or in-store.
  • Boots run a scheme with No.7 where you can bring your empty beauty, health, wellness, and dental products, from any brand, to be recycled. 5 empty products equals 500 free Advantage card points, worth £5. 
  • Schuh have a scheme called ‘Sell your Soles’ – they will take your old shoes and give you £5 voucher which can be redeemed online or in-store. 

As well as recycling, take the time to declutter your home and make some extra cash by selling bits you don’t need. Whether it is unworn clothes or unwanted toys, try an online auction site such as eBay or a community marketplace like Gumtree to advertise to others who may find a use for your useless items. 

Once you’ve received payment, pop it straight into your savings account ready for a rainy day. And most importantly, ensure you have a savings account that is suitable for your savings style! If you would like to talk to one of our qualified savings advisers about which of our savings accounts would be right for you, book an appointment online or visit your local branch

For a full listing of our current savings accounts, click here.

*All figures and data are correct as of May 2023.

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