Here are a few tips and tricks for money making and money saving that I’ve picked up over the last few years.
Money Making Ideas
Online surveys and market research
There are plenty of companies willing to pay you for your views and feedback about brands or for telling them about your shopping habits, or even your personal and social habits! MoneySavingExpert.com has a great round up of some of the best: Surveys.
Sell LEGO by weight
Sites such as musicMagpie buy old LEGO by weight, so no need to worry about complete sets. You can sell anything from 500g up to 10Kg. Just put your LEGO bricks into a plastic bag and seal/tie it. Then weigh and round up to the nearest 500g (0.5Kg) and select the weight from the dropdown. You’ll get an instant quote and you can send it for free. Then sit back and receive a same day payment.
Recycle old clothes
High Street favourite H&M has offered an in-store garment recycling service since 2013. They accept clothes by any brand, in any condition at all of their stores. All donations are used somehow and won’t end up in landfill. Simply fill up a standard carrier bag with your unwanted clothing and you’ll get a £5 voucher in return to spend at the store. Win, win.
M&S has an initiative in place with Oxfam. Donate any item of M&S-labelled clothing or soft-furnishings to the charity store and you’ll receive a £5 voucher for Marks & Spencer, which you can use at any participating store when you spend £35 or more. More details here.
Get a current account that pays interest
I really like the Santander 1-2-3 account. It’s a current account, but pays 0.5% on balances up to £20,000. It also gives you cash back on many household bills and up to 15% cash back when you use the Santander debit card at a range of major retailers. There’s a £4 monthly account fee, but this is more than offset by the cash back you get. In order to qualify, you have to pay at least £500 into your account a month and have two active Direct Debits.
Selling unwanted items
Facebook is a great platform for selling things you no longer need. There are loads of local selling groups so you can connect easily with people in your area. You’ll also find many selling pages for specific items/categories such as Mini Boden & Joules Children’s Clothes UK Additionally, there are sites such as Mazuma for selling old mobile phones or tablets and great general selling sites such as Preloved and Gumtree.
Offline, there are plenty of options too. Nearly New Sales or Mum2Mum Markets are great and there are also old school car boot sales.
Money Saving Ideas
Just as important as money making, is money saving! Here are a few ideas…
Refer a friend
You can get money off for yourself and a discount for whoever you’ve referred with lots of businesses/brands such as banks, clothing stores, utility providers and supermarkets. Use ‘Francesca De Franco’ for clothes brand hush to get you £20 off your first order.
The Penny Challenge
A really simple idea… Starting with just 1p, you save money every day for 365 days, going up in increments of a penny each day. So on day one of the challenge you put 1p away, and then on day two 2p, 3p on day three and so on. If you do this for a year you’ll have £671.61: Teaching Your Children About the Value of Money
Rotate online supermarket shops
Sadly, loyalty doesn’t pay. If you have a number of online supermarket accounts chop and change which one you use. Ocado in particular is very good at sending discount voucher codes to lure you back if you haven’t shopped with them in a while.
Saving money on petrol and diesel
Before you next fill up the car, take a quick look on PetrolPrices.com. The site tells you where you can get fuel cheapest in your local area. Prices fluctuate all the time so it’s worth looking regularly. You can make very big savings.
Discounted tickets for Merlin attractions – Alton Towers, Chessington World of Adventures, Legoland…
Kellogg’s cereal boxes regularly have vouchers giving one free adult entry with another full-paying adult or child for Merlin attractions. We recently redeemed two at Legoland so my husband and I got in for free. However, the three childrens’ tickets were still £180. I’ve since discovered there are better bargains to be had on eBay. Just do a search on the site and you’ll get an array of ticket sellers (many tickets are for specific days).
Online discount vouchers
Before you click ‘pay’ and make that online purchase, always look for online discount coupons for the site in question. Daily Mail, Voucher codes and Voucher Cloud are some of the best. However, it’s worthwhile Googling the name of the retailer followed by ‘voucher code’ or ‘discount code’ and seeing what comes up. You might get a few duff ones/expired ones, but it’s worth persevering. I’ve found codes for everything from chocolates to a garden shed! I’ve signed up to a number of voucher sites so get alerted when a new one becomes available for brands I’m interested in.
I’m always remembering birthdays at the last minute so Funky Pigeon is a frequent port of call for me as it is so fast and efficient. What I particularly like is you can load up credit and get bonus credit added. If you prepay £5 you get £1.25 added to your account balance for free; £10 and you get £2.50 and with £20 you get £5.
Switching utility providers
If you’re not on a fixed-term contact, regularly check whether there are better deals out there. USwitch is brilliant for this. Obviously, this also applies when you’re coming towards the end of your fixed contract. Make sure that you’re not going to be automatically rolled over onto a less-attractive deal with your existing provider and shop around.
Cheaper meals out
Car and home insurance
When my renewal quote is sent for car and home insurance I always hit GoCompare immediately as the renewal price is always higher than the previous year (without any claims).
I’ve discovered there’s no point in going to your existing provider first to get a better quote; you have to call them armed with a list of alternative providers that can offer the same cover cheaper. Almost always they’ll then price match or even undercut. If they don’t then just swap, it’s very straight forward.
Saving money on your will
If you’ve not made a will, try and schedule it in the month of November with a solicitor that’s taking part in Will Aid. It will save you A LOT of money. Here’s what you need to know.
Discounts for multiples
If you have twins, triplets or more then a membership to Twins Trust offers a whole host of benefits including great discounts at a wide range of high street retailers. Lots of independents offer special discounts too; usually because they have a multiples connection! Independent Usborne book seller Fiona also offers a twins and multiples discount.
Entry fees for a family of five at a local attraction can easily cost in excess of £50 and something such as Legoland is a whopping £60 per person! On the other hand, National Trust membership for one adult and up to 10 children costs £78 a year and for two adults and up to 10 children is £126 a year (under 5s are free). This can be paid in monthly instalments and gives access to over 500 NT venues and includes free parking. Also check out National Trust Holidays.
Would love to hear about your money making and money saving ideas. Please comment below.