Side Street Style

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Home - How to be a better saver

The past month has been very busy one for us, we spent some time down in Cornwall and then have only got back from a week long family holiday in Helsinki and with both John and I being self employed this means every-time we take a holiday we need to make sure we have enough savings in the bank to cover all our bills plus spending money while away as we don't get any holiday pay. Travel is only one of the things we save for in our household as being parents to two young children we need to be responsible and make sure we also have a small amount put aside for those rainy days as well as trying to get our house ready to put on the market. We recently used the #SaveSmarter tool from Aviva, a fun and easy quiz that gives you a good idea of what kind of saver you are and then offers you tips and ideas on how to #SaveSmarter.

Both John and I are fully aware we need to be as savvy with our incomes as possible as we are not the biggest earners and making sure we leave within our means as well as making our money work for us and not having any unnecessary out-goings. Since becoming parents we have become far more financially focused as we want to create a happy and secure hime for our children, it hasn't always been easy, we have made sacrifices and for the first two years we didn't go anywhere but instead focused on paying off any credit cards we had and getting out of debt. We have certainly learnt a lot along the way and I thought we would share what has worked for us and saves us money each month.

I always look for discount codes online before making purchases for the home - such as this lamp

Spring clean your bank accounts – you may think you know all your incomings and out-goings but it's really easy to forget about a subscriptions you may not be using anymore, in fact a few months ago I realised I had two small monthly amounts at around £6 coming out of my account each month for things I simply did not use but somehow I had overlooked, so it is always worth checking.

Use Discount codes – this is something I always do before making an online purchase. I simply do a quick 5 minute check to see if there is a discount code for the retailer I am making the purchase form and more often than not I find codes for around 10-20% off, such a quick and easy way to save.

We like to plan meals and make food together - this is fun and saves money

Always plan meals – Yes we all know that having a clear plan of what we are going to eat each week saves money but for some reason so many people just buy food on a whim and with food usually being one of the biggest weekly outgoings for any household it really is worth doing. I find on the weeks I am organised and stick to a plan I save around £15 on the weekly shop as well as having less waste.

Use Cash back sites – there are a few really good ones out there and when it comes to buying new insurance policies or big purchases you can be rewarded with a decent amount of cash back for basically doing nothing. I tend to save up my cash back for things like Christmas or Birthdays as a little bit extra to help out.

Switch energy providers – why not take advantage of special utility deals or simply have a review of your tariff and see if your energy provider can offer you a better rate. This is something we did last year and it only took a few minutes as we were switched to a lower tariff that saves us around £40 a month.

Learn to say No – whenever I made a personal purchase I always ask myself wether I really need it and more often than not I don't. This approach has not only helped me save money but also curve my clutter which I am trying to slowly get rid of.

Reduce your transport costs – If you can walk or cycle to work then don't be lazy as this will not only save you money on fuel but also it's a great way to keep fit. If you do need to take a car to work then why not join a car-pool or lift share and reduce the cost of your commute together. It's also worth checking which petrol station offers the cheapest fuel in your area and stick to that one when filling up.

We always try and walk as much as possible or use public transport

Save the pennies – Yes I mean literally! Get your self a little piggy bank and put aside all your coppers and small silver change and you will be surprised how quickly it adds up. We counted ours out recently after doing this for a couple of months and we had more than £80 in small change.

We are still looking to reduce our monthly bills as this year is going to be a busy one for our family and are looking into a more preferential savings account as well as cutting back on things like our TV package. Do you have any good savings tips that work well for you?

Thanks to Aviva for asking me to share my saving tips


  1. The point about spring cleaning your bank account is a really good one. I do it now and again and always find something that I'd forgotten about - random insurance for a phone I no longer have normally!

  2. Great tips! I definitely need to get better at saving, me and Matt both do, we are terrible! x

  3. great tips! meal planning really helps me save money, as does taking cash out rather than paying for everything by card - I'm much more aware of how much I am spending that way

  4. This is a great post, saving can be hard, I'm not the best at it though x

  5. Great tips. My husband has a jar that he saves pennies and two pences in. It's a good idea, before we know it, it's got £20+ in xx


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