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    Posted on May 11, 2017

    19 Surprising Ways To Save A Little Money

    Little tips for more spare change.

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    1. Sign up to apps that give you free stuff.

    highshot.co

    Highshot is a members-only cocktail club that gives you a free cocktail each day at one of their partnered bars. You pay £9.99 a month for membership, but you also get THIRTY FREE COCKTAILS A MONTH. In London, you're looking at £10 plus for a cocktail so that's easily £300 worth of booze you're getting a month. Have a look around for other apps that can give you similar savings – VoucherCloud is great, and Code is fab if you work in the food and drink industry.

    2. Pre-make meals in bulk over the weekend.

    Remee Patel / BuzzFeed

    I mean, cooking in general will save you more money than eating out. But if you're super committed, try cooking in bulk over the weekend, then portioning it out over the week. It can save you a bunch of money, and also be pretty time effective. Read more about meal prepping here.

    3. Or buy your to-go lunches in bulk to save £££.

    4. Be flexible with your holiday destination as well as your dates.

    Skyscanner

    Most people know that flight prices vary wildly depending on what day you fly, and that comparing prices on sites like Skyscanner will save you money. BUT, did you also know that on Skyscanner you can also compare the prices of destinations? Put in the month or specific dates you want to fly, your outbound airport, then select "Everywhere" as a destination, and the site will show you everywhere you can fly, with the cheapest places at the top of the list.

    For instance, I just searched London to "everywhere" in June, and there are currently £19 return flights to Luxembourg, £27 return flights to Germany, £31 return flights to France and £37 flights to Italy and Portugal.

    5. Online shop so you don't have to pay full price for anything.

    6. If you're shopping online, always go through a cashback site.

    Topcashback

    Yes, I know, these websites look SO SCAMMY. But trust me, I've been using them for years and they'e BRILLIANT. You go onto the website, create an account, search retailers and just click onto the website through them. Then you'll get cashback on everything you buy.

    For most retailers, the most cashback you'll get will be 15%, but it builds up, and every little helps. The trick is to use it for your bigger online purchases. I bought a replacement iphone on Music Magpie, and got about £30 by clicking through Topcashback. Then they've got bigger deals on household bills and phone contracts – I bought my current Sky Broadband package through them, and got £70 back. It takes a minute to do, and is literally free money.

    7. Don't be scared to switch banks.

    oxon.bcs.org

    Banks don't reward loyalty. All the best account deals are geared towards enticing new customers, as banks know that once they've got you, most people don't switch banks. But, it's actually way easier than you think to switch! Banks in the UK offer a seven day switching service where they do all the work for you, including redirecting all your direct debits and closing your old account. So it's well worth shopping around to see if you can get a better deal – for instance, about three years ago, I switched to First Direct, as they give you £100 to switch. This year, I'm switching to Santander, as they have a 1.5% interest current account and give cashback on bills.

    BTW, if you're worried about switching banks affecting your credit score, don't be. Switching banks every few years won't affect your score – switching every few months is a different story though. For more info on credit scores, click here.

    8. Follow the three day rule on purchases.

    9. Avoid buying new mobile phones.

    10. Shop around for the best mobile deals.

    11. If you go to the cinema, museums, art galleries or the theatre regularly, save money by buying a yearly card.

    artfund.org

    I bloody love all of the above things, and one of the best ways to save money if you're a culture vulture is to invest in a card that'll get you discounts or even in for free for a full year. I currently have the National Art Pass, which is £65 (or you can get two for £97 and go half with a buddy) for 12 months, which seems like a lot, but it gives you free entry to literally all the major art galleries around the country, as well as 50% off exhibitions.

    Then, for cinema I reckon Curzon membership is one of the best – you get four free tickets and 15% off everything else for £60 nationwide (or £45 at a single local branch). Considering tickets in London are about £15 a pop, you're essentially getting the 15% off for free by buying four tickets in advance. AND IT'S SUCH A NICE CINEMA. I feel so fancy when I go to Curzon cinemas. But if you want something cheaper, both the Odeon and Cineworld have monthly memberships for about £17 that lets you watch as much as you want for free.

    This also works for food and drink too – Taste Tripper is a really cool tour company that lets you buy an "Explorer Pack" – you pay an upfront price for a pack that includes a bunch of coffees, chocolate or beer at local spots, and each one works out cheaper than full price.

    For more membership ideas, the Guardian has a great round up here.

    12. Don't pay extra to go to the gym.

    pink-natural.tumblr.com

    It's a tale as old as time. Join gym with best of intentions, then end up realising you've been paying £40 a month to a gym you've only visited twice in the last six months. Instead of paying a monthly fee, check out Pay As U Gym, which, as the name suggests, lets you pay as you go.

    13. Sell your old stuff online.

    14. Don't get sucked into bad supermarket deals.

    mysupermarket.co.uk

    Everyone knows the three-for-two offers you get at most supermarkets and places like Superdrug and Boots. Sometimes these deals work out ok, but often they're a *psychological trick* to get you to buy more than you normally would. Instead of getting sucked into deals or taking your supermarket's word on their discount, use an online price checker like MySupermarket to make sure you're paying the lowest price on your items. It's especially great if you like to do your weekly shop online.

    And if you really love a bargain, check out Approved Food – it has the biggest selection of the UK's clearance food and drink.

    15. Get separate bank accounts and "sweep" your leftover funds.

    imgur.com

    You can and should have more than one bank account – both to make sure you're getting all the best rates and to help separate out your finances. Last year, I had my main current account, a regular saver with a 6% interest rate, an extra account at TSB (they do 3% interest on up to £2k), an ISA and a standard savings account for holding cash that I didn't want to spend. You can also set up a "sweep" with certain banks, where the day before you get paid, everything leftover in your account gets swept into your savings account.

    16. Don't pay extra to spend money abroad.

    monzo.com

    I know the above statement sounds like every bloody Facebook ad that's ever popped up in your timeline, but my friend made me get a Monzo card and it was honestly the BEST decision. Monzo's essentially an app-based bank, which doesn't charge you any fees for spending money anywhere in the world, no matter the currency – and gives you the lowest exchange rate too. You could just get a travel card, but I find Monzo integrates better with my other bank accounts. I can transfer money across whenever I want via the app, and it will also break down exactly what I've spent and give me a monthly report.

    17. Get a railcard.

    18. Find your local library.

    bumbleandmumble.tumblr.com

    They're shutting down faster than you can say "Jane Austen" but if you've got a library near you, you should use it. It's a super cheap way to get books, movies and games, plus it will help keep libraries alive and as a bonafide number one book nerd I think that's a great thing.

    19. Get free alternatives to office suites, photoshop and more.

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