The number one way to improve your finances? Make your money stretch further. The money you have in your account is simply the total you earn minus how much you spend. If you reduce how much you spend, you’ll be able to save more. Increasing your savings will mean that you can cover the cost of unexpected emergencies, as well as working towards bigger financial goals such as buying a house, getting married, or starting a family.
I’ve learned some pretty clever money saving hacks while living at university. In this post I’m going to share with you some of my favourite apps and websites that help me save money every time I shop.
If you haven’t heard of cashback before this information is about to save you £100’s! This is the ultimate money saving tool for online shopping addicts.
Earning cashback with TopCashback (TCB) is simple. Visit the retailer you want to shop at through the TCB website and do your shopping as normal. TopCashback earn a commission for referring you to the retailer and give this commission back to you! I’ve earned £60 for buying a new phone contract, £5 for doing an online grocery shop and £100 for taking out home insurance.
Another way I earn cashback is through an app called Airtime Rewards (AR). Connect your credit or debit card to the AR app and automatically earn money when you shop at selected retailers (including Argos, The Body Shop and Topman). You can then use your earnings to pay off your mobile phone bill. Enter code D4E3EPAA when you download Airtime Rewards for a bonus.
When you shop online you’ll sometimes be offered a discount code to reduce the cost of your shop. Sometimes retailers send out these discount codes to shoppers who subscribe to their newsletter.
One of my favourite money saving tools is a browser extension called Honey. Honey searches the web for the best discount code when you reach the checkout of an online shop. You’ll also earn ‘gold’ when you use Honey to save money on your shop. Redeem this ‘gold’ for gift cards.
Often discounts can be claimed by specific groups of people too, these discounts include:
- Student discount
- Discount for Emergency Services
- Over 60’s discounts
- Military discount
- Staff discount (can sometimes be used by family and friends)
Lots of shops offer freebies from time to time to entice you to buy something new. You can often find out about any freebies on offer by visiting retailers social media pages or keeping an eye out for promotional stalls in-store. The Body Shop often offer free samples of hand creams, Thornton’s and Hotel Chocolat usually offer a taster as you browse in-store too.
Another way you can cash in on freebies is by downloading the Shopmium app. Shopmium is the best free food and drink app! There’s a whole range of freebies and discounts on offer from your local supermarket. Claim a free tub of Ben & Jerry’s when you download the Shopmium app.
Tons of shops offer some form of loyalty scheme. If you’re a common shopper at a particular store it’s well worth signing up to their loyalty scheme. Here are some common loyalty schemes that supermarket and retailers offer.
- Morrison’s More Card rewards you with a free £5 off your shop when you collect 5000 points.
- Tesco Club Card points can be used to purchase restaurant and day out vouchers twice their value.
- Use Boots Advantage Card to purchase more boots goodies (1000 points = £10).
- Buy 15 drinks using your Starbucks Card and you’ll get a free drink.
- The Nando’s Card gets you a chilli every time you visit and spend at least £7. Use these chillis tips get free food.
Many smaller businesses offer loyalty schemes too. From your morning coffee to your takeaway fix, cash in on any loyalty schemes available.
MORE WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR FINANCES
From saving money to earning more money there are lots of ways to improve your finances. Read the blog posts below for more ideas to improve your bank balance.