How to be a savvy spender

Being a savvy spender will help you stick to your budget and make your 'fun-fund' go further!

What is a savvy spender?

A savvy spender is someone who spends their money wisely. Rather than sticking to their budget by avoiding spending anything, a savvy spender will make sure what they do spend money on is worth it and the best deal.

It’s a good idea to implement some savvy spending habits into your lifestyle because it allows you to truly make the most of your money. A savvy spender won’t get caught out by sneaky marketing tricks designed to make us spend more. Instead, they’ll be switched on to make sure there’s no wasted spend, meaning the money they have can go further.  

How to be a savvy spender

To be a savvy spender, you need to make sure everything you purchase is a conscious decision. When you’re acting consciously, you’re able to stop and ask yourself a few questions before you buy, which will make sure you’re a) not buying something you don’t really want or need or b) spending too much money when you could get the same thing for less.

In today’s day and age, we are inundated with deals, offers and cleverly curated shops/online stores that are all designed to make us shop emotionally rather than consciously. The key to being a savvy spender is to understand that and be wise to their tricks. We’ve written a blog dedicated to uncovering some of these tricks.

What is mindful spending?

Mindful spending is not allowing emotions to lead your spending decisions. Taking the time to consider whether you want or need something can add up to hundreds of pounds in savings. Telling yourself ‘no’ when it comes to purchases isn’t boring or tedious, it’s powerful. It isn’t about cutting out all of your spend either. By being mindful about your spending, you can decide what’s important to you. If you enjoy your Monday morning coffee from your local coffee shop, we’re not saying don’t buy it. But by asking yourself ‘Do I need this?’ before every purchase, you’ll start to find that you’ll cut out some unnecessary spending.

Getting a handle on your day-to-day spending by saving opens up your options in the future. Although it sounds daunting, being honest about your future and what you want from it massively increases the likelihood of it happening. Figuring out your goal can often be the hardest part. Once you’ve got your cash safety net to help you cover immediate unexpected costs, putting money away for what you want in the future puts you in the best position to make it happen.

Whatever it is that you’re striving to save for; a first home, a new baby or a wedding, call it a goal and commit to making it a reality by saving.

What’s a zero spend day?

Zero spend days are a challenge to not spend anything for one day. Imagine this, you’ve done your food shop for the week, but you’re tempted for a takeaway after a long day. If you commit to not spending on that day, you might just fight off the urge to splurge on a takeaway. It sounds simple but it’s an effective way to take a step back and appreciate the things that you’ve already paid for, and save money.

Once you get into the habit of maybe one no spend day a week, you’ll realise how easy and rewarding it is. Then you can take it as far as you like. People do no spend weeks, months and sometimes even a whole year where they only spend on essentials. We’re not saying go this far, but you’ll know what’s right for you when you start.

What is a cashback site?

Cashback sites are a savvy spenders' best friend. They are websites which pay you when you go through them to buy something from a retailer. If you use them wisely, you can make £100s just by spending on things you were going to buy anyway.

You do have to sign up to most cashback sites, but it’s usually free to do so. Once you’ve logged into your account, just search for the online retailer you want to buy from and, if it's listed, click the cashback site's link to visit that company. Your visit is then tracked. If you buy something, an amount is put into your cashback site account once the transaction's processed. You can withdraw this once it arrives (which can take a few weeks) or with some cashback sites, you need to reach a set threshold before you can withdraw.

What are the best cashback sites?

There are hundreds of cashback sites out there these days, but here are three of the biggest for you to consider:

  • Top Cashback – This one is free to use and often has the highest rates of cashback of all the cashback sites.  
  • QuidCo – This one is also free to use and is Top Cashback’s biggest rival. They tend to compete with Top Cashback on exclusive deals so it’s worth checking both before you shop
  • Honey – Honey is also free to use and has an additional feature to the other two.  Honey works as a browser plug-in and will search the web for the best discounts and automatically apply them to your checkout, meaning you get the saving right there and then. If there are no deals found, then they’ll sometimes give you ’honey gold’ which is the equivalent of the other two cashback sites.

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