How to Save Money

How To Save Money, Rapidly

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How did you save £10K each? A question asked often. Mainly by asking myself ‘Canada or crap, Gemma?’ and executing Two Scots Abroad’s 5 S’s of Saving. This guide will teach you how to save money, rapidly. Scroll to see us share these tips with the Royal Bank of Scotland and STV.

1. Separate your salary

Open three bank accounts. One for income/bills, the second for untouchable savings, the third for temporary savings that can be dipped in to. Regardless of any travel trip on the horizon, wedding invites will still happen and gifts still need to be bought.

I get paid monthly. As soon as I get paid I move £600 into my house account for rent, bills, etc and £500-£600 into a separate account. Initially savings were put into an ISA but once we reached the £15k yearly allowance we moved the funds over to a second account which does not charge you when taking money out of ATMs abroad.

In the beginning, you need to work out what you can live off. Make a list, calculate how much that list costs you (you don’t need a new leather jacket, doubtful you will wear it in Costa Rica) and minus that from your income. Craig is self-employed so his wages don’t work like that. Every time he makes £1000 he banks it. He doesn’t recommend this way of saving but it’s the nature of his job.

For my birthday, Craig bought me a ceramic pot – one of those pots you have to break to get into. And it’s pretty so I don’t really want to break it. When I initially stopped eating sweets (my vice) I put a £2 coin in every second day. The pot can hold £1000 worth of £2 coins. Craig has a tin that he puts his £2 coins in, his last count was £206. Nice.

It really is a question of needs and wants – when I feel the urge to purchase I say to myself ‘Canada or crap?’ Now I know there will be times you need to spend money – birthdays (like my Mum’s 50th, Granddad’s 80th, all of my friend’s 30ths), weddings (all 6 of them) and the like, but gifts don’t have mean splurging. Friends and family understand – it’s time to get creative!

 Here’s our guide to cheap but impressive homemade presents

Seperate Your Salary I How To Save Money

2. Sell your stuff to save money

What’s the point in buying things? You will ask that question when you are selling off everything and making 50p on a top worth a tenner. I’ve participated in two car boot sales at the (Greenside) Omni Centre in Edinburgh. It’s actually an enjoyable experience but you need to be prepared to sell low and accept that punters want everything for less than £1. First time around I made £95 and the second time I went for the ‘everything for £1’ strategy and made £83.80.

Car boot guide: I’ve totally got car boot sales covered now, here’s how to execute

I was determined not to sell our DVDs for 30p to Music Magpie. It felt like such a waste but I only managed to shift one of three boxes over the two car boot sales so Music Magpie was the only option left. You can download the app and scan the DVD barcodes which is easy. You then need to box them (they have to be covered, we made that mistake) and leave them in a designated area on the date agreed for collection. It takes one month for the company to processes the cheque so you do need a bit of time. Our total was £41.65 for 99 DVDs (two were deemed unacceptable, they keep and ‘recycle’ these!)

I’m lucky because I have a great relationship with a pre-loved clothes shop owner of Glorious, formed through my shopping habits (addiction to second hand / vintage clothes)! This relationship has progressed from shopper to seller. Twice a year I pass my beloved Top Shop goods on to Glorious, the owner decides what will sell and I collect funds from previous sales (£150 last time). Failing that there are shops that buy your clothes, bed sheets, towels etc but don’t expect much from it. I put in four black bags worth and got approx. £7. There are apps for selling clothes too. What about a clothes swap party with friends?

eBay. Love it? I’ve never had much success selling on eBay. Two items never made it to the buyer (jewellery which went for about £1 each) but Craig has made a fair bit – £200 on worky things kicking about the garage. Remember eBay charges you at the end of each month.

How To Save Money

3. Speak and find money solutions

I’ve always been against speaking to my bank. I just assumed they wanted me to take out more bank accounts or loans but the meeting I had last year was really useful. The adviser went through my accounts and cleared up any outstanding direct debits not in use. She also pointed out that I had a whopping bill from Sky one month (two films and the boxing – Craig). This made us really assess our spending (back to needs/wants).

I am never against complaining!

  • Most recently I called to enquire about closing my mobile account and I wish I had done this sooner as they moved me down a tariff! Prior to that I made complaints as the online team kept telling me different things from the phone team, the phone team reduced my tariff and gave me a refund too
  • I complained to a bank as they kept sending me letters about loans – £50 cheque for my inconvenience
  • When an Airbnb renter cancelled stay, Airbnb gave us $25 credit to spend in the future and that didn’t even need a complaint – just really good customer service! Have you used them? I highly recommend, we’ve stayed in Airbnbs all over the world including an airstream in Austin!
  Save money: Click here for money off your first Airbnb rental
  • Cancel Sky, get Now TV. It’s a fiver a month for the entertainment package! Sky actually called us and offered Sky back for free since we had our phone line and broadband through them

Complaints I How To Save Money

4. Searching helps save money too

Setting aside time to search online is worth the input but you don’t have to as I’m happy to save you time and share what we found out. Why sell your soul to the car boot sale when you end up losing a chunk of cash when spend that hard earned money abroad? There are debit cards that do not charge you from their end and credit cards that you can accrue points which can result in flights and free hotel stays!

  Read more: best cards for travel

Searching for accommodation for your travels can really put in perspective how expensive a country is. If you are travelling alone, consider hostels; if you are travelling as a couple do consider Airbnb as a cheaper alternative to hotels.

 Stay local: Click here for money off your first Airbnb rental

I spent months searching and making several phone calls regarding travel insurance. I am one of those annoying customers! We settled on True Traveller because the team answered my ongoing questions, they were reasonable for 18 months’ worth of travel that including winter sports (skiing in Canada) and they covered high altitude for our hike to Machu Picchu which many of the cheaper insurance packages did not. We witnessed two members of our hiking group being taken away by donkeys (there is no transport until your reach Machu Picchu pueblo) because of altitude sickness and poor health.

 Check rates for your trip: True traveller insurance search 

If you are flexible for with your flights you will benefit. Sign up for airline newsletters, join a credit card scheme which offers points for flights, avoid checked in baggage surcharges (here’s a guide to carry on bag sizes for note).

Click play to see our saving tips in action {with RBS and STV}

How to Save Money

5. Sobriety – The Unthinkable Answer to How to Save Money?

Whhhhhhaaaaat? Seriously, stop drinking – it saves money and you’ll feel like a boss at gym. Have you seen what South American girls look like in swimwear? I still drink, just not every weekend. We have too much to do to waste a day on the couch under the dark cloud of hangover guilt. We also can’t justify a take away every weekend (ahem Craig). When you are headache free there is more chance of going outdoors. There is so much of your own country that you can see for free by using your legs! I did the West Highland Way last April and I am in awe of Scotland, she is such a beaut.

Here’s a biggy – quit your vice. Mines is sweets (chocolate, jelly sweets, just sugar in general, not really cakes bizarrely). If I can go four days without eating sweets I am in control again. And it means more £2 coins for the pot (and pounds off the waistline)! So that’s number five of The 5 S’s of Saving.

How to Save I Sober September

To recap – less Singapore ‘Slings means more kerching, use your searching abilities for more than just Tinder, seek out support, sell what you doesn’t fit in a backpack, and lose it before you use it (to another bank account).

How To Save Money – Super Saving Tips

Saving money? I can help you. I’m a super saver, yes the stereotypical tight Scot! Browse the following articles for more tips.

What are your saving tips?
Tell us in the comments below

Comments 16

  1. When I had a ‘proper’ job (hah!) I did the same, took the living costs away then squirrelled the rest into savings. What I actually did was buy Premium Bonds with them! It made them harder to get at and there was a chance I could win, and I did three lots of £50 in 9 months of saving, not a bad return eh! I just cashed them in before we set off!
    My vice was magazines, of the glossy fashion kind. I quit them and saved a ton, also I wasn’t getting brainwashed into buying clothes and shoes either! I did buy a few travel mags though.
    Selling everything helped my saving mindset, having nowhere to put things means no need to buy things. I’m still completely in that mindset 7 years on, I hardly spend anything, still!

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      I am partial to a copy of Look magazine every couple of months! You are right about the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ philosophy of shopping. I am so ready to move out now. Tripping over boxes is boring.

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  2. Thanks for the post. I’ve recently just saved enough (8k) to go traveling and I’m so pleased with myself. You guys should be too because it is dedication and determination that will get you there. Thanks for sharing. I cut down in coffee, made all my lunches, always checked for vouchers online before I bought anytime, started using loyalty points I had saved up, let my boyfriend use my car because it saved us money, moved in together so the bills halved. And now we will be backpacking for 7 months… So happy.

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      That’s excellent news. Moving in together was a good idea to test the relationship before being in each other’s pockets too! Is it South East Asia you are travelling around?

  3. Yes we are. It’s not long now. We are leaving on the 1st April. It’s getting exciting because all my Twitter feed is awesome pictures everyone keeps posting.

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  4. Ahh, so you’ve got £10k each? I’ve got £15k saved for just me (I was on twitter saying about the last 5k) , tho’ I’m aiming for Europe, with a dog…

    The thing is, I don’t really have any vices. I go to the pub sporadically, the alcohol I have at home were all presents. The only thing I spend my money on (that isn’t my phone bill, rent, or petrol) is £7 a week to go climbing, and that’s good for my health!

    There really isn’t anything better than Music Magpie for DVDs? I had the worst luck with eBay for that, too. Sold absolutely bugger all. I did think about selling books, but amazon charge a surcharge and eBay are, well, eBay! Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated 🙂

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      I sold one box of DVDs (out of four) at the car boot sale, many were computer games (which were going for more on Music Magpie than DVDs). I took them a second time but they didn’t sell so had to just Music Magpie them, it really makes you wonder why you buy anything at all when you are in this situation!

  5. Great tips but aargh, I already do all of them (plus I don’t have a car or paid for TV) and I barely manage to save £100 a month due to having a job that pays little more than minimum wage 🙁 I’m lucky that my previous long-term trips were funded by redundancy money (yes, I got made redundant twice in a row!) otherwise I doubt I would have been able to spend 6 months in South-east Asia or 5 months in South America 🙂

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  6. Really great advice. I’m saving for a 2 month internship in London this summer and have a terrible clothes shopping addiction, and like you I have a real sweet tooth! Thanks for the tips, will take these into account for sure!

    Ruth x

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  7. Thank you so much for this post, it’s given us the inspiration to keep saving!
    So happy I stumbled upon your blog today, it’s absolutely wonderful and full of so much great advice!

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