How Can Brits Save Money This Autumn?

How Can Brits Save Money This Autumn?

Finance

November is here, the clocks have changed, and the race towards Christmas is on. For many of us, this time of year is one of the most expensive as we have gifts to buy, parties to attend, and a fancy dinner to cook. It’s also when we’ll be having our heating running for longer, the lights switched on for most of the day, and more cups of tea to keep us feeling warm and cosy.  

Of course, there are plenty of ways that we can help keep more of our moolah in our wallets and bank accounts. You may think that this means having to scrimp and save, go without, and suck all the fun out of the festivities. But that needn’t be the case, many of the things we can do to be a little more frugal still allow us to enjoy life and the things we love in it.  

Vouchers, Discounts, and Deals 
The TLC programme Extreme Couponing chronicles the lives of people who love saving money with vouchers and promotions so much that it has become their hobby or even their career. It covers people like Broderick, who hides his coupons under his pillow to protect them from thieves, and Maryann, who organised a coupon-themed birthday party.  

While this makes for great TV, it isn’t what most frugal shoppers do to stretch their money a little further through the month. You can absolutely use vouchers and other discounts to save some cash without having it take over your life.  

Additionally, here in the UK, vouchers generally aren’t as powerful as they are in the US. That said, you can still use promotions to get free items and money off your shopping. Sites like Money Saving Expert usually list all the latest and greatest supermarket coupons, while you can use the browser extension Honey to automatically apply voucher codes when you shop online.  

Get Free and Cheap Alternatives 
Coupons are great for getting a little money knocked off what you pay or something free for a one-off, but there are free and cheap alternatives to things we subscribe to or buy regularly that can help save money in the long run.  

If you’re a film buff, then you might be subscribed to a pricy satellite or cable package but this can easily set you back several hundred pounds a year. A cheaper alternative would be to get an account with a streaming platform like Netflix, Disney+, or Amazon Prime Video. You could actually have a couple of these and still be saving money. Because there’s no long-term commitment, you could even alternate which ones you subscribe to.  

Gamers can do something similar too. New video games can cost £60 or more, but the quality of free titles has improved so much in recent years that you’ll find plenty of great titles that won’t cost a penny. Fortnite, League of Legends, Call of Duty: Warzone, and CS:GO are just some of the free options.  

Fans of card games can also play popular variants of poker for free. Online poker rooms often offer free tables that use “play money” as a way for new players to learn the ropes and refine their skills but they can be used by anyone. Tournaments known as freerolls are also free to enter and can be a fun way to test your skills in a competitive environment.  

Get Cashback 
Cashback is another way to cut your spending. Usually, it means having to pay full price at first before being given a rebate, but the end result still means more cash in your pocket.  

There are two main ways to get cashback. The first is through your bank or credit card provider. Some of these institutions offer cashback credit cards that credit a small amount of your spending back to your account each month. 

The rates on these cards is relatively low today. A few years ago, products like the ASDA Credit Card offered 1% on spending in the company’s own stores and a lower rate elsewhere, but that card was withdrawn. The best rates on offer today from other companies are around 0.5%, which is low but better than nothing.  

You can also earn cashback by joining sites like Topcashback and Quidco that work with select retailers to pay you a larger rebate when you shop online. You’ll find cashback on everything from takeaways to train tickets and the rates can vary between 0.5% to 20% or more. 

Given that the final few months of the year are when we’ll be spending the most, this is when you’re likely to earn the most cashback.  

 

 

More Finance