‘I thought, wouldn’t it be funny to make a song about saving money because it’s ironic, but beyond irony, I genuinely have pride in saving money’ – Lil Dicky
I fully believe that I’m one of the people who will always spend every last penny I have regardless of how much money I earn. I remember when I worked in a pub when I was 18 and only got paid £50 a week, I would still always buy a new top for my night out on Friday night; whether I needed one or not. I’ve never been good at saving or holding on to money very long.
I wrote a few years ago abut how I saved up to go to Vegas with Meagan to see the Backstreet Boys and while I do find it easier to save for something big like that, where I can see the thing I want in front of me and the benefit of the sacrifices I’m making, saving money isn’t something that comes naturally for me.
I made a few big purchases (namely, my new teeth) this year off the back of a significant pay rise at work, which I stuck on an interest free credit card I had and have been slowly paying off over the last few months. With the internet and social media being the wonderful thing that it is, I’ve started using a few apps that enables you to make money at very little (sometimes no) cost to yourself. I mean don’t get me wrong, these aren’t life changing amounts that’s going to allow me to retire in a years’ time, but they have helped get that credit card bill down a little faster. So, I thought I’d share with you what little entrepreneurial spirit I have and how much I’ve made from each venture:
The most tired and tested method and probably the one that requires the most effort. I go through phases of wanting to have a clear out and dream of making my fortune selling all my clothes but then I really can’t be bothered with the faff on. I usually only stick to things I know are good quality and will sell; dresses, playsuits or anything from Karen Millen. It you upload a load of stuff at once at it all sells at once you can get excited by the £50 that has suddenly appeared in your paypal account however deduct postage, and pay pal fees, plus the rigmarole of going to the post office, you’re probably only £25 in profit max, and to me, it’s not always worth the chew on.
Top Cashback is and affiliate link app/website where you earn cashback on purchases through certain websites. If you ever used Qiudco in the early 00s it’s the same idea. It’s handy for me that online shops like eBay and ASOS offer cashback rates so I tend to get a couple of ££s back on every online purchase I make, which all adds up eventually. The way it works is that before you visit a site you are planning to make a purchase with, you go through Top Cashback instead of directly to the site. Top Cashback then redirects you to the site you want and tracks your purchases that way, so requires very little effort other than a few extra clicks. Since I joined in January 2019, I’ve made £93.63. You can make some serious dough if you sign up for things like credit cards, new bank accounts or things like Sky TV but I’m trying to make money here not spend it, a new credit card is the last thing I need!
This is probably one of my favourite apps, despite it being the one that probably earns me the least amount of money. It’s a receipt scanning app which asks you to photograph any shopping receipts and awards you points for doing so. Once you have enough points you can exchange them for amazon vouchers or just have the cash directly in your paypal account. They also ask you to take part in quick surveys (they literally take 30 seconds) based on your shopping habits and give you scratch cards to earn extra points. It took me the best part of 9 months to even get to the £10 mark so as I say, it won’t change your life. But £10 is a bottle of Prosecco in Wetherspoons which is nothing to turn your nose up at. The down side? They’re selling your data and shopping habits to external market research companies. So, if you’re ethical about stuff like that it’s probably not for you.
You may have seen this advertised on your Instagram feed, that’s certainly how I found it and is slightly different as you’re not actually getting ‘free’ money, more saving your own money. Plum connects to your bank account and uses fancy, nerdy algorithms to analyse your spending habits and work out how much you can afford to save. On average, at the beginning of the month it puts away about a fiver a week for me, which then drops down to about £2 a week the skinter I get. They also have an option to ‘round up’ anything you spend, so if you buy something for £2.50 it rounds it up to £3 and saves the 50p difference for you. You communicate with it via Facebook messenger and can request a balance, or a withdrawal to your bank account instantly. I’ve been using it for 6 months now and on average save between £30 – £50 a month without really even noticing, so, so far so good!
Now the serious bit (and I do feel quite important when I have to do a serious bit on my blog posts so indulge me…)
Martin Lewis I am not (clearly!) so this info is in no way, shape or form ‘advice’ this is just my experience with things I’ve tried, some that I like and some I don’t so much. I’ve tried to highlight as best I can what the benefits and dangers may be of all the stuff I’ve used so it really is a judgement call on your part. As with anything, make sure you read all the T&Cs properly and if you’re unsure about anything, don’t do it.