How to save money, according to people who actually manage it

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Saving isn’t easy, and it can sometimes feel impossible. In fact, according to the Office of National Statistics, 59% of 18 to 29 year olds have no savings at all.

There are reasons outside our control that can make saving especially difficult (like rising rents and stagnating real wages). But if you find saving tricky and you’re keen to make a start, we asked the experts in the Monzo Saving Squad (our Facebook group dedicated to saving) to share their best tips on how to actually save money.

Pay yourself first

Also known as the golden rule of saving, lots of the savers we spoke to said they set money aside in savings as soon as they get paid.

Sophie – Always pay yourself first. 

Chris – Put aside money as soon as you get paid – it’s easier to save if you still have it! 

Kayleigh – Save a huge chunk on pay day. Move it straight into your savings account or a Monzo Pot, leaving you with a tight but liveable budget for the month.

Use Pots to sort your money

Monzo features like Pots and Salary Sorter can help you organise your money and set your savings aside.

Alan – I use Salary Sorter to separate my money into different Pots each payday. It allows me to see exactly where my money goes.

Paul – Pots Pots Pots. It's amazing just how effective putting money into Pots is for making you forget about it. 

Carrie – As soon as I get paid, I put money into Pots for everything I need to pay for. Then I give myself a decent amount of spending money, without being unrealistic. Anything extra goes in savings!

Give yourself a weekly allowance

Budgeting for an entire month can be tricky – so some savers pay themselves weekly instead.

Daniel – After bills, I split the rest into four week allowances, so each week is like a mini payday. It keeps me focussed on not going over the top with spending.

Use a zero-sum budget

A zero-sum budget involves giving every pound you have a purpose. It’s useful if you want to control your spending and stop wasting money on unnecessary things!

Cathy – I have Pots for every category I spend money on, and sort my salary into budgets for each category. Every £1 is accounted for.

Jump on the microsaving trend

Microsaving is an increasingly popular saving strategy that involves saving small amounts, often. You can even do it automatically through Monzo!

Paul – Microsaving really adds up, and you barely notice it.

Denise – If you struggle to save, the penny round ups are a great way to start and it builds up quickly!

Sheona – Rounding up into a Pot has been amazing for saving without thinking about it!

Louis – Automate as much saving as you can. I don’t do a lump deposit on payday, I just automate everything and watch it add up!

Cut back on your spending

Reigning in your spending is an obvious way to save more money. It's just often easier said than done!

Kerry – I started taking my own cheaper coffee to work and then set up £3 to go into my Savings Pot every day. I don't notice it but it builds up fast!

Mavinesh – I only eat out once a month and avoid taking cabs. I have a £20 pub budget and then home!

Try to avoid temptation

Make it harder to do

Louise – If you’re trying to reduce impulse purchases on your credit card, remove it from your Amazon account, online wallets or Apple Pay so it’s not there to tempt you!

James – Out of sight out of mind: Put your money in interest accounts you've no access to. 

Mavinesh – I never buy on impulse, I have a cooling off period of two weeks.

Put pay rises straight into savings

If you're fortunate enough to get a salary bump or otherwise see your income increase, it’s easy to spend all your new earnings. But our savers said they found success by putting extra income from pay rises straight into savings.

Sylvia – Once you finish university and get a job, don't adjust your spending to your new salary. Trick yourself that you still have what you had to spend in university.

Jake – When I’ve had pay rises, I always add the pay rise to savings rather than spending more.

And most importantly, celebrate your successes! 💪

Be realistic, try to stay motivated, and don’t forget to enjoy yourself!

George – Start small and work up. Get used to the concept of just saving something...start to get the satisfying feeling of seeing your savings grow...then increase! Don’t ‘over save’ as you’ll just end up taking it out early and break the habit. 

Denise – Once you have a little bit saved it motivates you to continue!

George – Make sure at least one of your Savings Pots is working towards a treat for yourself!

Put our savers' tips into practice and open a Savings Pot with Monzo to earn interest and see your savings grow 🌱