No human on earth is above getting a little creative to save money. Even billionaires look for clever ways to hold on to their wealth. Whether you’re saving for something special or just saving for a rainy day, there are tonnes of ways to reduce your spending and boost your savings. Here are eight you can try.
1. Become an auction hero
From furniture, to clothing, to cars, auctions are a great place to pick up something for a steal. Next time you find yourself in need of something new, check out an online auction, or try Facebook Marketplace and buy/swap/sell groups.
If you’re feeling charitable, you can even join your local Good Karma Network – these are Facebook groups set up to exchange free goods that people don’t need anymore, or to offload extra fruit and veggies from the back garden. You might meet some nice neighbours in the process?
2. Be a utilities player
When it comes to gas and electricity – play the field. Keep a note in your calendar for when your utilities contracts are up for renewal and check online for a better deal before it auto-renews. You can make the switch if you find a better deal, or you can call your current supplier and get them to match it. You can do this with other regular necessities too, like your car insurance, health cover, even your gym membership!
3. Don't be a sucker for marketing
Shopping can be a high-pressure environment, and even more so when it’s online. Marketers have found sneaky ways to create urgency, even when there isn’t any. When you see lines like “6 other people are looking at this item” or “only one left at this price”, just know that it’s simply a sales tactic and not a mandate to add the thing to your cart before you miss out and the entire world goes up in flames. Sleep on it – chances are, it’ll still be there in the morning.
4. Hunt for codes and cashback
About to buy something online? Don’t hit that checkout button just yet. With a quick google, chances are you can find a cashback offer, or a discount code to bring down the price of that purchase. And hey, you might not even have to look that hard for a sneaky discount code. Plenty of rewards programs Like Virgin Money Rewards have partner offers that change all the time, so take a look before you pay full price for anything.
5. Flex your culinary muscle
Get more bang for your buck by experimenting with meat-free recipes. Beans and eggs won’t break the bank, and you can stretch meat-heavy meals further by incorporating more veggies or making meat a side dish instead of the main event. Still a self-professed carnivore? Buy a whole roast chicken instead of specific cuts. This way you can have roast chicken for dinner, make chicken wraps for lunch and make stock from the bones a week later.
6. Embrace the hotspot
If you live in a place with decent internet coverage, then you may need nothing more than your mobile. Most smartphones can be turned into their own little wi-fi network, so replace your costly wired broadband provider with an unlimited data deal on your phone. The fastest networks should be able to support your streaming and browsing habits, provided you’re not streaming a lot of video and don’t have a heap of connected devices.
7. Go analogue
'All you can eat' streaming services seem great, but the costs add up, and how hungry are you really? If you’re listening to the same three albums on repeat, not bothered about reading a bestseller on the day of release or are watching reruns of Parks and Recreation (again), then the old-school way might be for you. Buy the books, films, and music you want second-hand. Enjoy them. Then flip them for the same price you paid.
8. Make every purchase count
Unless you want to go back to the days of trading potatoes for poultry, spending money is something you’ll have to accept. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of your day-to-day purchases. Use a round-up tool, like the one on your Virgin Money Go account1, to put your digital spare change to good use. Think of it like a modern-day piggy bank that automatically collects your leftover coinage and sends it to your savings account.
Now that you’ve got the tips and tricks to save that coin, you’ll need somewhere to put it.
With a high interest savings account, like the Boost Saver, you’ll earn interest on top of your savings, helping your money grow even faster – as long as you’re not tempted to touch it!
1. Round-ups are transfers that you can elect to activate on your Go Accounts. By enabling this feature on your Go Account, funds are transferred from the selected Go Account to your nominated savings account each time you make a debit card transaction. The amount of the transfer will be up to the nearest $1 of the amount that the transaction takes place. Round-up transactions will not take place if by making the transaction your account would be Overdrawn. You can disable the round-up feature through the Mobile app at any time.