Piggy bank

9 Miraculous Money-Saving Hacks

Looking to save money and fast? Lucky you — we’ve got a bunch of creative money-saving hacks guaranteed to put your finances in order (and they don’t even involve going without food or shelter).

Practical Skills

Hoard for Rewards

If you’re the sort of person who’s spent their life compulsively not getting rid of anything, even if its value stretches barely as far as nostalgia, you’ll be amazed to hear that some of your hoarded junk might actually qualify as a collection someone would pay real-life money for. Get yourself on eBay to see what your stockpiled swag’s going for and you could be in for a pretty penny.

Experiment in the Kitchen

Takeaways, restaurant rendezvous and fast food are three of life’s greatest pleasures – but unfortunately, they stack up to some pretty extravagant eats. Instead find/forage yourself a book of budget recipes and work your culinary magic. Better yet, go off-book and get experimental – probability dictates that at least one of your creative cooking ventures will eventually be edible. And boy, will it be cheap.

Crack the Voucher Code

The rise of voucher code apps and sites mean that you really shouldn’t have to pay full price for anything ever again. With everything from food to travel to everyday essentials accounted for by the major players of the discount world, you can find X% off just about anything, making some sweet savings in the long run.

eBay Mercilessly

There are loads of sneaky ways to turn eBay into an online money-making machine, and two of them involve exploiting virtual footfall. Looking to buy? Hit eBay at its quietest and you’ll find that your unreasonably low bid might still be enough to secure the item. Looking to sell? Wait till the site gets extra busy and you’ll find users climbing over each other for your lovely used goods.

Dine with an Agenda

Dinner parties are a lovely way to socialise with friends and share some good times, but they’re also an awesome way of guaranteeing a fancy meal without the price tag. Try a team effort dinner party where each invitee brings one course — taking the laziest or cheapest option for yourself, naturally — and offer to host the night so you don’t even need to account for taxi fare. You might even get a ‘thanks for hosting this lovely dinner party’ bottle of wine or two out of it, and nothing tastes better than surprise wine.

Psychological Voodoo

Bank Like a Child

Making the move back to old-school piggy banking might seem a little regressive, but keeping your spare money in a container, which you can’t access without breaking, is an amazing way of saving some extra money. From a psychological angle, this physical restriction makes it easier to mentally shelve less important purchases and leave your piggy bank intact until it’s urgent.

Cash Out

Debit card culture has manipulated us into spending more, with the convenience and ease of being able to ‘put it on your card’ responsible for some hefty and thoroughly avoidable purchases. By making a conscious effort to pay with cash whenever possible, you’ll trick yourself into prioritising essential purchases and rethinking unnecessary expenses.

Measure Money in Hours

If you really need some extra help knowing what you can’t afford, try converting the price of big purchases into hours worked. Knowing that you’ve earned everything you buy is a massively gratifying feeling, but it can be quite a realisation to know exactly how much you did to earn it. For example, figuring out that your new coat costs 40 hours of work might put things in perspective.

Observe the Sabbath

One experimental way of saving cash is to practise a weekly ‘no spend day’. This means exactly what it sounds like it should — a financial day of rest. And that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend 14% of your waking life as an invalid — there are tons of awesome ways to spend a skint day if you fancy giving your wallet a well-earned break.