For many of us, it has never been so important to cut costs or put money aside for a rainy day. To help you reduce your cost of living and hopefully add to your savings, here are some great tips from some of the best money-saving and finance bloggers on the web. These are the blogs to bookmark if you’d like to build wealth or live more frugally.
“I’m sure you’ve all got a loaf of bread, some chicken breasts and some ice cream in your freezer, but there’s much, much more you can store there,” says Andy of Be Clever With Your Cash. Stocking your freezer is an excellent way to save money on food – Andy’s excellent guide to exactly what you can – and can’t – store in your freezer is well worth a look.
A financial and money-saving whizz, Andy worked for the BBC’s Money Programme before moving into online financial journalism at The Money Advice Service. Now he runs his own site, alongside being resident money expert on Channel 5’s Shop Smart Save Money. He says, “I really do live and breathe what I write. If I’ve written about a way to be clever with your cash, I’ve done it.”
Business traveller? Find out why you should hang onto your Amex card after the free first year. The guys at Head For Points say, “it’s worth looking objectively at the ongoing package – especially if you are not the sort of person who likes to churn his or her card portfolio regularly.”
Ideal for anyone who gets about on business, this excellent site gives you all the latest COVID-19 travel information, plus hotel and flight deals, and as the name suggests – the best ways to max out on air miles. The brainchild of business traveller, Rob Burgess, he began the site as a hobby, but it’s since grown to become a fantastic source of business travels savings, plus some of the best credit card advice around.
Have you heard of Help to Save? This government-backed savings scheme offers better benefits than any other savings account on the market; you’ll earn a whopping 50% on your deposits over four years. Pete of Household Money Saving gives you all the details including eligibility criteria. What are you waiting for? Head over to his site now.
When Pete’s wife gave birth to their third child, she couldn’t work as much and the family budget suffered. Seeing his credit card balance grow and his current account shrink, Pete went on a one man mission to cut costs and earn more. He succeeded, and documented his discoveries. Remortgaging? Pete says having a longer mortgage could give you some much needed flexibility and it doesn’t have to cost you extra.
“Should you use cash to bridge the gap between your ISAs and your pension,” asks the Monevator? For anyone nearing retirement, or planning ahead for an early retirement, this post is essential reading. In fact it’s the final installment of a six part guide to getting your pensions strategy in order. Ready to make a start? Check out part one: “Why you need to juggle your ISAs and SIPPs if you’re to retire early.”
Monevator, powered by the Investor and his co-conspirator, the Accumulator, offers practical money, savings and investment insights. While emphatically not an investment advice site, Monevator hopes to offer inspiration and, yes, money motivation. Are you a beginner investor? Take a look at Monevator’s guide for novices.
“Take control of your gas and electricity bill and save large,” says Martin Lewis, founder and money saving maestro behind Money Saving Expert. To help you, Martin offers you the opportunity to join his Cheap Energy Club which recently added an easy to use autoswitch tool. He says, “It’s our NEW unique auto-compare-and-switch service.”
The original and still one of the most popular, Money Saving Expert is your first port of call for any and all your money-related matters. Struggling with debt? All debt can be sorted, say the guys at Money Saving Expert – and if your mental health is involved, do check out their guide to coping, you’ll find lots of helpful advice.
Looking for ways to make a little extra cash? Do check out these 67 Side hustle ideas from Adam at Money Savvy Daddy. Here you’ll find much more than the usual suggestions like matched betting and or renting your driveway to commuters. This is just the sort of reading you need to inspire your inner entrepreneur.
Adam started Money Savvy Daddy as a way to help others benefit from his own experience as a stay at home dad who needed to find ways to bring in extra money. There’s nothing here that he hasn’t already done or would be willing to do – you really are learning from a professional side hustler. He says the key to hassle-free extra cash is developing passive income – head over to Money Savvy Daddy to find out how.
If you want to get your finances on track, Damien of Money to the Masses offers a free, confidential Money MOT. It begins with a simple online questionnaire which he uses to compile a tailored priority list for you complete with the steps you need to take to deal effectively with your finances.
A finance professional, Damien created Money to the Masses because, as he says, “for years I’ve thought what is the good of having a string of financial qualifications if I only help a handful of very affluent people who can afford my services?” An excellent site with some great advice on mortgages, savings and investments, loans and credit and much more, it’s well worth a look.
Anyone with skills and expertise to offer could consider setting themselves up as a consultant, says professional writer, Nick of Pounds and Sense: “There is a huge range of possibilities, however, and if you have worked in any skilled, professional or managerial position, you almost certainly have knowledge and abilities you could sell.”
For an info-packed two-part guide covering everything from market research through to using a mail shot, running seminars and more, head over to Pounds and Sense – you’ll be glad you did. Nick is, as you might expect, an excellent writer, with money knowhow and experience to share.
Do you have a 17 to 24 year old about to buy their first car? If so, which is the cheapest to insure? Here you’ll find Olly – aka Savvy Dad – has done the research for you. For a 17-year-old buying his or her first insurance, a VW Up is the way to go – check out Olly’s post to discover the best second-hand cars to insure, and alternative options for slightly older first time drivers.
If cost-conscious parenting is your interest, Savvy Dad is for you. The brainchild of family finance writer, Olly, here you’ll find everything from a budget homemade pasta recipe to your guide to buying critical illness cover. According to Olly, some 25% of men and 20% of women face serious illness or disability before they reach retirement age…
If you take surveys for cash, don’t fib, says Naomi writing for Skint Dad. Asked if she was familiar with the Crispin-Buxley phenomenon, she was initially flummoxed: “Could it be something I know but have forgotten about? Did I learn about it at school?” But no, she didn’t know, and so clicked the appropriate button. This is an example of a control question Naomi says. There’s no such phenomenon – it’s just the survey company checking the quality of the survey-taker. Always answer honestly.
Skint Dad comes to you from mum and dad partners Ricky and Naomi Willis. They say “we know every penny counts so we’re sharing resources, tips, tricks and deals that will keep more money in your pocket.” Working from home? Make sure you know how to claim the working from home tax relief.
Let’s say have some money to throw at your debts/savings/investments. Where should it go first? Barney Whiter at The Escape Artist suggests the following:
1: First you pay off payday loans, bank overdrafts and credit cards.
2: Next you build up an emergency fund of 3-6m expenses in cash in the bank.
3: Next, you clear all expensive consumer debt? (eg car lease)
4: Now you can think about investing.
Have you heard of the FIRE movement? The letters stand for Financial Independence Retire Early. If that sounds like an attractive option, but one that’s beyond your reach, The Escape Artist is one man whose story of rags to retirement at 43 gives you all the inspiration you need to make you think again. This site is a great place to begin your journey from financial captivity to independent means.
If you would like to plan your financial future with purpose, Pete Matthew of Meaningful Money has a blueprint to get you started, plus support for every stage of your money journey. Unsure what planning with purpose really entails? It’s not about products, but “a combination of mathematics, unknowable market machinations, behaviour and time,” Pete says.
Whatever the machinations of the market, this blog, podcast and YouTube channel lays out a roadmap by which you can achieve your money goals. There are lots of finance blogs out there, and this is one of the best – sensible, clear and inspiring. Worried about stock market volatility? Pete helps you get your head around it.
If you’re thinking of buying a rabbit because it’s a cheaper alternative to owning a family dog, you might wish to check your maths first, says David from Money for Monday. Rabbits are social creatures, so you’ll need two, plus there’s the food and hay, hutch, bedding, a rabbit run – and that’s before you factor in their health needs.
As a source of info and advice for families on a budget, Money for Monday is just what you’re looking for. It’s full of the answers to your everyday money questions – and more too. Do you enjoy gardening? David explains how to turn your green-fingered hobby into a money spinner.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our selection of great money saving and finance blogs. Have we missed one of your favourite sources of financial or budgeting blogs? Do let us know so we can feature it in a future article. Get in touch over at Facebook or Twitter.