How many of you still have a piggy bank? Or have you upgraded this to an online savings bank or savings bonds account? Learn more about bonds and other assets by clicking here for last week’s post.
New ways to save money: –
There are 5 interesting mobile apps that can help you save money automatically (Monzo, Plum, Squirrel, Chip, and Moneybox).
1) Monzo is a mobile bank account, it can be used for personal accounts and business accounts. It is just like other current accounts, where you are able to get contactless payment cards which are debit cards, not credit cards. It is also free to sign up for.
Monzo offers you all the usual services of a current account, i.e paying direct debits and setting up standing orders, receiving your salary, and withdrawing your money with your bank card; but it also helps you to manage your money.
Monzo allows you to use the app to automatically round up the prices of your purchases and then with the rounded up change, it puts it straight into a different pot on your Monzo account. It helps you to save into your online piggy bank automatically and effortlessly. Monzo also allows you to see graphs and track your spending behavior to see exactly what you are spending your money on, and then you will be able to see if you need to make some changes.
Monzo is a UK bank, and although they are struggling during this pandemic like other banks, they are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), and regulated by the PRA and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which means your money is safe and will be compensated if they became bankrupt as they are also given (FSCS) approval.
2) Moneybox is a smartphone app that connects to your bank account for payments of your purchases. It does the rounding up of the cost of your purchases like Monzo does, but it takes it further. It takes the change, the rounded-up change, and invests it into low risks tracker funds/index funds/ETFs which give a better return than savings accounts and bonds. It helps you make your money work for you effortlessly and with small amounts that you would not even notice.
Moneybox sets up an ISA stocks and shares account (tax-free accounts), therefore this is more for those that have not got one already and are not trying to learn how to do investing yourself. As you are only allowed one ISA account that the yearly 20000 tax-free will be applied to. I personally use trading 212 ISA account and do my own investing which I would recommend above using Moneybox, as you can find index funds on their too or individual stocks to keep your money diversified or even new companies that you believe will blow up in the next 5 years, etc.
Nevertheless, Moneybox is very good for those that want others to manage their money, and give you an investing strategy, as they allow you to pick 3 levels of risk (cautious, balanced, or adventurous), just like financial advisors do when it comes to investing. With Moneybox you can also set monthly extra amounts to put into your index fund. For example, ‘The app developers claim that £1000 invested in the ‘balanced’ portfolio in 2007 with monthly £50 top-ups from your virtual spare change would have been worth £8,662 at the end of 2015’. That is an 80% increase over 8 years. 10% average per year compared to the lower yearly percent your savings account and bonds offer. Moneybox is free for the first 3 months but then it does charge £1 per month.
3) Plum is free and uses Facebook/Facebook messenger to simply encourage you with gifs and messages to help motivate you to meet your financial goals. It also helps through sending you reminders. When you give it access to your transaction data from your bank account, it uses this to help you manage your money by seeing what you are spending and where.
With Plum, you can tell it what you are planning to save for, and it can be adjusted to give you tighter recommendations to help you get to your goal.
4) Chip is also free, but it takes Plum to another level, it does not use Facebook as it is an independent smartphone savings account.
Chip like Plum is given read-only access to your account (it cannot take things out, just read what is happening), to then be able to identify places in your spending that you can save money. ‘Through the app’s messenger, it encourages you to make those savings and add money to your virtual Chip-monitored piggy bank’.
Chip also allows you to save up to £100 a day and get 1% interest on your savings. It goes further by allowing you to get up to 5% yearly interest if you manage to invite your friends to also use the app/savings account.
However, ‘While Chip isn’t protected by the FSCS, it is regulated by the FCA. This ensures protection against any fraudulent activity. Also, Chip accounts are hosted at Barclays, meaning that any money you deposit into a Chip account is essentially equally as safe as it would be in a Barclays account’.
5) Squirrel is the most expensive app listed above, as it is only free for the first free months but then becomes £3.99 a month, it is good for stopping over-spending as you can send your salary to Squirrel who will then babysit your money and only send you what you have set as your commitments that need to be paid. You are also able to set the amounts you would like to save. However, like Chip it is not protected under the financial services compensation scheme (FSCS), although they are regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority). In addition, unlike the others above, your money is not available to be withdrawn on the same day, as they are trying to help you to not overspend and to plan ahead.
Strange saving methods: I found on cheatsheet. Will you try any?
1) Pee into something, so you can use it to water your plants instead of wasting water on them, so you can save your water and reduce bills.
2) Not flushing when you pee until it is very yellow can save lots of money on the water bills.
3) No need for toilet paper, there is spare newspapers, old bills, and junk mail.
4) Unplug all devices and you could save up to 10% on the electricity bill.
5) Stores throw away lots of food, so you could do what is called dumpster diving or ask them if you can come at closing time.
6) Take yourself from the party life, no parties, weddings, social occasions for a while.
7) Say no to Christmas and other seasons where you are expected to participate in spending money.
8) Freeze dry goods to make them last longer.
9) Use vinegar or baking soda to make your own cleaning products.
10) Potty train your pets so you don’t have to buy litter.
11) No makeup, wear a natural look, or get permanent makeup surgery (I would not advise this).
12) Wash clothes manually.
13) Paint your house/roof white to keep heat in and save on heating bills, unless you can afford solar panels.
14) Use a freezer for non-food items such as lipstick, clothes, batteries; numerous items are able to last longer by being stored in the cold.
15) Put your spending on freeze, place your cards literally in the freezer so you can not use them.
16) Do the jar challenge. Choose a specific coin to save into a money jar.
17) Sell your hair if it is undamaged and sellable.
18) Sell your blood (I would not advise this either).
19) Rent out yourself as a friend or even a professional cuddler. There are sites for accompanying people to events as a friend or letting them phone you etc.
20) Couch-surfing sites offer you places you can stay for free all around the world (again I would not advise this).
21) Reuse cereal box liners.
22) Stock up on free items like ketchup, soy sauce and mayonnaise, etc given from chip shops or other places.
Will you try any of these? Have you got any other strange saving tips you have heard of?
I remember watching a documentary about a woman that timed her and her partner’s baths, and would turn off the water if over the agreed time. She would also take off the banana peels in stores, as she only wanted to weigh the actual banana. In addition, she would re-use the gravy from her cooked food or spaghetti bolognese etc, as water to cook other new products. She would also time their TV time and lights usage and turn off the TV etc, even if they had guests.