How to save money without noticing

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Did you know that the average cost of raising a child from birth to the age of 21 has risen to £230,000? Suffice to say that children are expensive things, and since having Max I’ve noticed that it’s increasingly difficult to save money – money is tighter than ever! And yet I wanted to start a savings fund for him for when he gets older – to possibly put towards university, a house deposit, a car – all things that my parents were able to help me out with and for which I’m so grateful.

 

So, here are a few ways that I’ve been trying to save money, in a way that you don’t even notice it’s happening!

 

Use Cashback websites

If you’re not using cashback websites when you’re shopping online, you’re missing a trick! I use Quidco, but there are many versions out there, and signing up means that you can earn a few pennies back on most things you buy online. Most retailers are now signed up to these schemes – whether it’s Boden or Boots, you’re likely to find the shop you’re after in the list. You can also often find voucher codes to use for money off as well. As soon as the cashback comes through, I pay it straight into the savings account – it’s amazing how quickly it builds up.

 

Sell your unused stuff

If there’s one thing no-one’s going to argue with, it’s that baby stuff is expensive! Anything that we’re not using anymore and wouldn’t be used for a second baby I sell through local Facebook selling groups . I highly recommend these and have had great experiences with them – you just list what you’re selling and you’re likely to have got rid of it by the next day with a few pounds to put into the savings.

I also love to sell unwanted clothes on eBay – I tend to do this in batches as you’re more likely to list things that you’re not confident of making a reasonable amount on, and you can limit the number of Post Office trips once everything is sold. I do sometimes find it baffling the things that I don’t think are worth listing end up selling for a fair amount, while the things I thought would be really popular don’t get much at all, so if you’re reluctant to sell something, do put a reserve on it to make sure you get the price you want!

Again, once the money comes through on PayPal, I just make a transfer into the savings account.

 

Collect spare change

Any time I find spare change lying around the house (and my husband will leave coins everywhere for some inexplicable reason!), I scoop it up and pop it in our change bowl. Once it’s reasonably full, we take it to the supermarket with us and use one of those Coinstar machines to chuck it all in and get a nice few notes in return. Yes, they take a bit of commission, but this way is just so much easier than going to the bank – just chuck it in and get your money! We normally get around £20 a time doing this.

 

Bank those payrises

One thing I’ve always tried to do whenever I get a payrise is to save the extra money each month – that way you never notice having the extra and the savings build up quickly. Obviously with me only working two days and having to pay for childcare, this is now much more difficult, but we have managed to set up a regular standing order of £50 into an Junior ISA for Max which I’m really proud of.

 

 

With just these small things, we’ve managed to build up a little savings account already, but the key is that because all of these things aren’t money we thought of ‘having’, it’s not money that we’ve missed. It feels like it’s building up without us even noticing!

 

Do you have any tips for saving money to share?

This Mum's Life
16 Comments
  • michaelar25
    March 7, 2016

    I love quidco, it’s the first thing I always check when Im buying online and at christmas time you can earn so much more extra cash. I also sold a lot of Heidi’s baby clothes on ebay which is good for extra money. I am definitely going to bank my pay rises from now on, its such a good idea #biglinklink

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      March 7, 2016

      Quidco is fantastic, isn’t it? I mean, it’s getting money for something that that you would have bought anyway! I’m always amazed at what baby clothes sell for on ebay – they seem to get quite a lot!

  • Deborah Nicholas
    March 7, 2016

    I agree its good to try and stash away as much as possible as there seems to be more month than money lately 🙁 Cashback website and paid surveys etc are good plus ebay or depop seem really popular now too – will have to have a clear out of their clothes etc as i usually just pop them in the charity bag but needs must! #bigpinklink

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      March 7, 2016

      I keep seeing depop and wondering if it’s bettter than ebay for clothes. I’ll admit I do often stick a few things in the charity bags, but it’s always worth the effort of doing an massive ebay sale if I’m doing a big clearout – it’s amazing how all those tiny amounts add up!

  • Louise W
    March 7, 2016

    Such good ideas! I don’t use quidco yet and your post has prompted me to sign up. I do that much online shopping!! Kids are definitely expensive, posts like these are fab. My husband is also guilty of leaving change EVERYWHERE. My kids are now old enough to collect it themselves and have their little money boxes and wallets stuffed full. Very useful when I need some change for the bus or parking! Thanks so much for linking up with us again. #bigpinklink

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      March 7, 2016

      Ah, Quidco is the best tip of the lot – if you do any online shopping at all it’s well worth the effort, but if you do lots then you’ll quickly see it build up. My husband is also bad for the change – I scoop any pound coins for my purse but the rest goes in the piggy bank! Glad to join you – thanks for hosting!

  • Rachel Hawkins
    March 7, 2016

    £230,000???!!! That caused me to take a SHARP intake of breath. Blimey, they ain’t half expensive aren’t they!! Great tips here…I need to find out more about quidco for sure! #bigpinklink

  • The Years Are Short
    March 7, 2016

    I’m all for painless ways of saving money!! We moved house last year and I used a local Facebook trading page to sell so much junk that I couldn’t be bothered packing. It was actually quite addictive doing all the wheeling and dealing, I got so carried away my husband wondered if I was having a mid-mid-life crisis, and giving away all my possessions haha! Plus you get the added benefit of decluttering 🙂

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      March 8, 2016

      Facebook selling groups are a bit addictive, aren’t they? It’s so easy, and it’s such a great feeling to get rid of stuff!

  • Debbie Roberts
    March 8, 2016

    Hi Katy, love the name of your blog. Saving loose change in a jar or tin soon mounts up without you realizing it. We really try not to dip into ours and last year we had enough to pay for a costly repair on the car, which was fantastic.

    I’ve never used a cashback website, but I do look for discount codes when I’m shopping. Will have to checkout Quidco.

    xx

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      March 8, 2016

      It’s great when that happens, isn’t it? I’m always amazed by how much you end up with from a jar or a piggy bank!

  • Elsie Pop
    March 8, 2016

    Very timely – I’m waiting for a £58 Quidco payout as I type! Spare change is amazing too – we keep £2 coins, and considering I’m like the Queen for carrying cash, it’s incredible how much we’ve saved up. Planning to spend it on holidays! xx

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      March 8, 2016

      Ooh, setting aside £2 coins is such a good one, that would build up really quickly! (And it’s not like you get them often, so wouldn’t feel like a huge thing. I love it!

  • Anxious Mummy
    March 8, 2016

    Katy this is so helpful, I seriously need some of these tips! We struggle so much at the moment, I’m off to sign up to Quidco now! Thank you, great post. Jemma x

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      March 9, 2016

      Honestly, Quidco is the best of all of these tips – it all mounts up so quickly and tbh, it takes so long for the cashback to be paid that you’ve forgotten all about it when it comes in! It’s brilliant!

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