After recently having purchased a house, I have found that money is tighter than I am used to and that I am doing everything that I can to save a little extra money. From apps on my phone to how I shop, here are my favorite money saving (and earning) tips.
Side note—this is in no way sponsored and I do use all the tips that I am about to share with you at the shop and on the apps that I mention.
Club Cards, Club Cards, Club Cards!
My purse seems to be filled with them and they are often something that we sign up for with our really thinking about it or, we reject them blindly. I've noticed that these little plastic cards have become my best friends when I am shopping. Take my Tesco club card, for example, I get 5 points for every pound that I spend in store. You can use these to get money back of shopping and vouchers for specific items. I use mine in a slightly different way though. I turn mine into something called Avios, these are British Airways point systems which can be used to get money off flights, hotels and even days out. By saving these points I will still be able to afford to go on holidays with my partner and it will cost me almost nothing extra than what I already spend on my shopping in Tesco. You can do this with other club cards such as the Shell loyalty card and even by purchasing thing on iTunes going through the Avios website. All these little things add up on the club cards. I also have loyalty cards for other shops such as Boots and Superdrug which I go in to get specific hair and makeup products. Over time, I can get a little bit on that money back to save on a regular shop or even get myself something a little special.
Loyalty scheme? Sign me up!
Loyalty schemes: these can come in many different forms: club cards, mailing lists, even apps. Lots of companies will offer you point or discounts if you are registered to their loyalty scheme. One of the ones that I recently found out about is KFC. They offer you a certain number of points depending on the size of the purchase and it can be used to get small items off their menu free or, if you save them up, you can get £5 off a purchase. I don't often get to eat out now but knowing that if my partner and I decide to get some fast food that we can get some money back, it certainly will make us feel less guilty about doing it while money is tight. Other places, such as Dominoes, also offer deals like this. Just keep an eye out when you go to a shop or go out to eat. You may find that you are getting to enjoy yourself just that little bit more.
This next section is less about saving money, and more about making it. I never thought that I would be able to make a little bit of passive money from apps on my phone, but that exactly what I'm doing. I have found apps on my phone that means I can make money doing simple things. One of the main ones that I use is Receipt-hog. This app gives you coins when you scan your receipts on to it. Depending on how much you spent on that receipt affects the reward that you receive. It really is that simple. In four months I have made enough to get £3 back—I know that it doesn't seem like a lot but over time, over years, I could make a hundred pounds back. All of this just by scanning my receipts. Another app that I like to use is panel app. Some people may not like to use this one because of how you make money with it but, in just over a month, I have made enough to get £1 back; all I must do is spend 5 minutes a day on the app. The way it lets you make money is by seeing where you are. It then used this information to have tailored advertisements. As I said, this isn't for everyone but for some people, I could be a little extra money in your pocket. My favorite trick by far to make some extra may not be the most lucrative but, it is certainly the most fun. There is a set of apps called Big Time Games. With about 40 different games that all link up, it means that you can earn money by playing games. You will need a PayPal account to cash the money in and you need at least $10 to cash out. Of course, if like me, you are not based in the USA, then PayPal will convert the money into your currency.
Who has time to save?
This next tip is based around something that I know a lot of people don't do. Budget to save. I make sure that each month I have some money go into my savings so that, even when money is tight, I know that I will always have a buffer. I encourage myself by using a bank account that gives you a special interest rate when you save a certain amount each month. This is how my partner and I have been able to afford our house. By making sure that, each month, money is going away. This is something that I also do whenever I get money for my birthday. I will move the equivalent from my bank account into savings as I know I won't need it that month. Even after moving, we have worked out how much we are going to make and how much we are going to spend. We then took half of what's left and said that it's our savings pot. By doing this we are hoping that we won't need to sell this house when we want to move again.
That is it for tips at the moment. If I come up with any more, I will be sure to let you know so you can continue to save a little bit of cash.