5 ways to save money fast that can all be done today

By Charlotte Yau
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Despite the rumours, easy ways to save money fast do exist.

Maybe you’re saving for a dream holiday or just a new pair of shoes, or are just trying to be a proper grown-up who saves a bit of cash each month. Perhaps you have a big loan and are trying to find out how to pay off debt fast and just want to spend a bit less on your weekly shop.

Let’s get started - these 5 ways to save money fast can all be done today.

Redeem your loyalty card points

Do you have a Sainsbury’s Nectar card? A Tesco Clubcard? A Boots Advantage Card? If you do, and if you’ve been using it, you may have accrued quite a few points, which can now be turned into cash towards your next purchase.

So, instead of paying for your next bundle of toiletries in cash, use your Boots card instead and they’ll be free! Same goes for food shopping with supermarket loyalty cards and even coffee and lunch at coffee shops like Starbucks and Costa. Once you’ve used up what’s on there, remember to keep using the card whenever you can! Tesco, for example, do miniature cards to go on your keychain, increasing your chances that you’ll always have your card on you. Check if your points expire though, as this is the case with some cards.

Ditch your TV licence

A colour TV licence is £147 a year, and pre-Netflix, this used to be the only way to watch all your favourite TV shows legally. However, thanks to Netflix and its pals like Amazon Prime, there are now other, cheaper options. As long as you never watch live TV - in other words, you wait and catch up later - and don’t watch BBC iPlayer, you don’t need a TV licence by law. If you only watch movies, for example, ditching your TV license and just paying £5.99 to Netflix could save you just over £75 a year. Not bad, eh!

Clear out old games and tech and trade in

Make money today by having a big clear out of your old tech and entertainment. Gather up any games and consoles you no longer use, as well as old laptops, phone or other electronic devices and trade them in. CEX is a popular place to do this, and you’ll find them on loads of high streets. Take an old Apple iPhone, for example. If it’s unlocked and in good condition you could get upwards of £100. Or, if you’re not looking for hard cash, consider trading in for a voucher. In this case you can get a lot more for your money; a £130 voucher to spend at CEX instead of £100 cash. This could be a good option if you have Christmas or an important birthday coming up, and will allow you to spend more on friends or family.

Quit the gym

If your gym membership is £20 a month and you go three times a week, great. Each session is costing you about £1.67, which is good value for money. But if you pay £40 and go twice a month? That’s £20 a session, and that’s extortionate! Often, figuring out if your gym membership is worth the money isn’t about how much you’re paying, but about how much you’re getting out of what you’re paying. If you don’t go regularly it’s simply a waste of money. Running outdoors or in your local park is free! You might have to pay an exit fee if you leave before your contract is up, but even this might be worth it in the long run. Most gyms just make you see out the month. If this is the case, try and go at least a handful of times while your contract expires.

 

Stop bad spending habits once and for all

Bad habits vary from person to person. Maybe you smoke, or drink, or just can’t help filling up your ASOS basket on a Friday evening. Whatever your vice is - yes, shopping is a vice too - cut it out. It’s probably costing you a fortune. It could be something that appears relatively harmless on the surface, like a £2.50 latte every morning on the way to the office. £2.50 might not sound like much, but that’s actually £50 a month if you buy one Monday to Friday! If you smoke, this NHS calculator lets you figure out exactly how much your addiction is costing you; you’ll be shocked to find out.

What are you waiting for?

How to save money every month fast

While the above are fast money saving solutions, these ideas will take a little more time and preparation. Aim to do them within the next month so that their financial benefit will reach you sooner rather than later.

Within the next month, do the following...

 

Downgrade your phone, TV and internet packages

Speak to the providers of your phone, TV and internet, and ask them about downgrading your package. If you have 8GB of mobile phone data but only use 2GB a month, you’re wasting your money. Same goes for TV packages that offer lots of channels you don’t watch. With your internet provider, you may be able to downgrade to a slower speed of connection. Each of this puts money back into your bank account. The other option is to speak to the cancellation team and say you’re thinking about leaving. If you’re lucky they might offer you a discount to keep you, or at the very worst some extra perks. This won’t save you money, but it might make the money you are spending more worthwhile.

Join a bank with a cash reward

Some banks are so keen to ensnare new account holders that they’ll offer financial rewards to those who do. Halifax is currently offering £125 for switching your current account to them, for example. Read the terms and conditions, though. In some cases, you only get a portion of the cash reward upfront. To get the rest, you have to stick to the terms and conditions of the agreement for up to 12 months before the other portion reaches you.

Rent out your spare room

Thanks to the internet, renting out a spare room is easier than ever. SpareRoom and AirBnB are both well-loved places that accommodate this - excuse the pun! Be aware that most of the places either charge you to list your room or take a portion of the rent in exchange for having hooked you up. However, it can still be a nice little earner, especially if you have the space going to waste.

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