3 Ways to Save Money in 2018January 26, 2018
It’s a new year and that means a fresh start for you finances. If you’ve resolved to be more savvy with your money in 2018 Which? explains how haggling, cashback and other money-saving tips and tricks can help you meet your goals. 2017 might have been rough on your wallet, but it’s never too late to turn things around and get your finances into shape again. To help we’ve got some great money-saving tips to take into 2018, which we reckon will save you hundreds – and in some cases – thousands of pounds.
1. Set a budget and stick to it
The first step to saving money is to take a cold hard look at your incomings and outgoings to make cuts (it often starts with shop-bought lunches) and plan a budget. Which? has a range of guides that can help you get started, which set out how to plan an effective budget and execute it successfully. You might also benefit from personal finance software that can help you manage your money better. Find out which packages fared best in our tests using our personal finance software reviews and check out the video below for a brief rundown of what to look for.
2. Automate your savings
It’s easy to use all the extra money you free up in your budget on extra treats rather than saving it. But there are more and more ways to get into the savings habit without actually doing much. Chip, for example, is a free automated savings app that monitors your spending habits, works out what you can afford to save and siphons what you can spare out of your account. It moves this money into a Barclays savings account. The rate of interest starts at 0% but you can earn 1% for every friend you recommend, up to 5%. The app is available for Android and iOS devices and works with Barclays, HSBC, Santander, Lloyds Bank, NatWest, Nationwide, RBS, TSB, Halifax, First Direct, Co-operative Bank and Metro Bank accounts. Alternatively, if you don’t like the idea of giving an app permission to monitor you money you may be able to turn on an automatic saving feature with your bank account. Lloyds Bank and TSB offer customers a ‘Save the Change’ feature which rounds to the nearest pound each time you spend and shifts this into a savings account – you just need to switch it on.
3. Get a railcard for cheaper train journeys
If you travel by train more than a few times a year a railcard can help you slash what you pay. They cost £30 a year, but can save you a third on standard and first-class off-peak tickets, so you could potentially cover the cost with the savings on your first trip. Some are only available to people of a certain age like the 16-25 Railcard, the new 26-30 Railcard and Senior Railcard (60+), but there are also other options. The Two Together railcard can help you and one other person travelling at the same time save a third on fares. So, couples, friends and family that travel as a pair can really cash in. Alternatively the Family & Friends Railcard can save those with children aged 5-15 a third on adult fares and 60% on kids’ fares. Up to four adults and four children can travel on one card. For more tips on finding cheap train tickets read our guide and watch the video below. 4. Switch to a cheaper mortgage If you own your home, it’s likely that your mortgage repayments are your biggest outgoing so it’s worth checking if switching to a new deal can help you save. On a £180,000 repayment mortgage lasting 20 years, a deal charging 4% would cost £1,091 a month. Remortgaging to a 2% rate would cost just £911 – saving you £180 a month or £2,160 in a year. Just remember to factor in early repayment charges and product fees when weighing up how much you could save by switching mortgage deal.