lifestyle

Nine tips to help you spend and save your cash more wisely


Are you clever with your cash? (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Trying to save money but don’t know where to start?

Sometimes it’s as simple as double checking your monthly outgoings and income.

From analysing your water bill to chasing up the tax man, here are a few straightforward hacks to help you become more spending savvy.

Get ‘smart’ about saving money

We check our smartphones more than 30 times a day, spending an average of over two hours a day mindlessly scrolling and tapping.

Other than simply wasting time on social media, why not use the device in your hand to improve your finances and download an app such as Chip?

Here you enable read-only access to see the transactions data in your online banking and its algorithm calculates how much you can afford to save by analysing your spending behaviour.

Apps can tell you where your overspending while looking after your savings (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A few times a week, the app automatically transfers money into the savings account that you had to open when you sign up.

For security, the app is on the Information Commission register and your login details are protected using 256-bit encryption.

Don’t miss out on Child benefit

If you are divorcing or separating, you might need to update your details to continue to receive Child Benefit.

Child Benefit can only be paid to one person, and it should be paid to the main carer, which is normally the parent your child or children live with.

If your ex-partner is receiving the Child Benefit payment you might not get the money unless they pass it on voluntarily, so ensure that you have the details updated as soon as you can.

Get more bang for your buck

If you would like to support a charity that supports racial equality, but are strapped for cash, there are still ways you can donate.

Cashback website topcashback.co.uk lets you donate your earnings to selected charities.

Make sure your bank knows that you’re the one doing the spending (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Be card happy

Debit and credit card users need to ensure their bank or lender has their up-to-date contact details as providers begin to roll out new measures to double-check it’s really you making the transaction.

If your card firm can’t reach you, your payment could be declined. So if in doubt, check it out.

Get 2-for-1 entry tickets when you travel by train

If you are travelling by train to see the sights this summer, make sure you sign up for the 2-for-1 entry tickets on offer for more than 150 top London attractions, restaurants, theatres and exhibitions.

Bear in mind that a printed voucher is required per two people, per attraction, so don’t get caught out with a digital download.

One person pays the full adult price and the second person goes free on presentation of each voucher and pair of valid National Rail tickets. Attractions include St Paul’s Cathedral and Tower Bridge. Find out more at daysoutguide.co.uk/2for1-london.

Stop flushing cash down the drain

The average annual water bill for 2021/22 in England is £408 but there are a few super-easy ways to cut your water consumption.

For instance, reducing the time in the shower, turning off the taps when shaving and brushing your teeth and flushing the toilet less are obvious ways to save.

Others include only using the washing machine when fully loaded and opting to fill the dishwasher, rather than washing up at the sink.

If you don’t have a dishwasher, use a washing up bowl to collect the water.

Taxes are confusing, but it’s worth making sure your info is in order (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Check up on the tax man

Check that your tax code is correct.

This is used by your employer or pension provider to work out how much income tax to take from your pay or pension — get it wrong and it could cost you more than you might think.

Mileage matters

Check the mileage you have actually driven compared with the mileage estimated when taking out your car insurance policy — chances are that it has changed during the past year.

You may able to request a partial refund if it’s a lot lower than expected or your driving habits changed.

Check your credit report

Get a hold of your credit report and check if there are any black marks on it. Pay close attention to the details as incorrect information will have a negative impact on your credit report.

What’s more, checking your credit report regularly will give you the chance to spot fraudulent applications made in your name.

Luckily, any inaccuracies can be easily fixed and, thanks to GDPR regulations which came into force in May 2018, it’s now free, too.

Getting a copy is simple, just contact one of Britain’s three main credit reference agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

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Get in touch by emailing MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.

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