8 great ways to save money

Make your cash go further with our money saving tips

Marcus Webb – Virgin Money Living Mentor

by Marcus Webb | Independent Money Mentor

Editor of Delayed Gratification and independent journalist

1. Become an auction hero

From furniture to cars, auctions are a great place to pick up something for a song. And the best ones are those to which others have failed to turn up. Unexpected heatwave? Don’t head for the beach, but don your shorts and head for your stifling hot auction house. You can treat yourself to something nice with the money saved.

2. Be a utilities player

Be a gas and electricity Don Juan and play the field. Know when every contract is coming up and, in the month before, check online for a better deal. Then call your current supplier and get them to match it. Think of it like letting your other half see your Tinder profile – it’s always good to let them know you’ve got options.

3. Wait

Shopping – particularly online – is a high pressure environment. "Just one left at this price!" "Forty people are looking at this NOW!" "We have your pets locked in the basement!" Don’t let it fool you. There will be other flash sales, people will look at anything on the internet and you don’t have any pets. Sleep on it and see if you still need that series of authentic 18th century pickle jars (mild chipping) in the morning.

4. Hunt for codes

About to buy something online? Stop. Google “[name of shop] discount code”: the chances are you’ll save 10 percent at least.

5. Make silly offers

If you’re planning a holiday out of season then make some silly offers for anything you rent. This tends not to work with the chains, but a small car hire business or somebody who owns a holiday home would rather take something for an unbooked week than nothing.

6. Be rigid with your flexible friend

Shop around for a credit card that offers cashback on purchases. Set up a direct debit to pay it off in full and then live your life on plastic. Pay for everything from bus tickets to the weekly shop on the card, and enjoy a nice monthly kickback.

7. Embrace big data

If you live in a place with decent 4G coverage then you may need nothing more than your mobile. Most smartphones can be turned into their own little wi-fi network, so replace your costly wired broadband provider with an unlimited data deal on your phone. The fastest networks should be able to support your streaming and browsing habits.

8. Go analogue

'All you can eat' streaming services seem great, but the costs add up and how hungry are you really? If you’re listening to the same three albums on loop, not bothered about reading a bestseller on the day of release or are watching anything other than live sport, then the old school is for you. Buy the books, films and music you want second hand on an auction site for a song. Enjoy them. Then flip them for the same price you paid.

Before making financial decisions always do research, or talk to a financial adviser. Views are those of our mentors and customers and do not constitute financial advice.