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How to save money

Follow how we save money and make money each month.

* I’m keeping a saving diary each month to show you how much extra money the tips and deals we feature could save or make you. You can read previous month’s totals and the ‘rules’ for this challenge. The main point is that this isn’t about being frugal for the sake of it. I’m still going out, buying things etc within my budget, I’m just able to do more with the same amount. *

May has been fantastic. Helped by a bunch of freebies, I’ve spent 40% less than I could have. The total savings were…. £1,253.83!

I spent at total of £1,883.45 – that’s absolutely everything I spent from food and drink to all my bills to going out and shopping. If I’d paid full price for all of that, I would have spent £3,137.28 – way more than I could have afforded.

Here are some of this month’s big savers:

Freebies

This was mammoth!! I received a total of £323.97 in free or practically free things. Amongst the best were:

– A free annual Taste Card via a competition worth £70 (read our guide to competitions)
– £44 of supermarket and cinema vouchers from a Sun+ trial membership (cost £1 – read our guide to subscriptions and trials)
– £105 of free drinks, snacks and other odds and ends at a couple of big shopping events.

The trick is to keep an eye out for good deals. If we see any we really like we’ll let you know in our deals section. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr to hear about them first.

Cashback

Another great month here. £90.84 of essentially free money. Our 12 Cashback Basics guide explains how they work, but there are three main ways I get cashback:

1. Via my current account and credit cards
2. Via cashback websites
3. Via cashback apps on my supermarket shops

It’s very easy to do and if you add up my totals so far this year I’ve gained £464.

The bigger figures come through sites like TopCashback and Quidco (read our Clever Sites guide). Until June 14th there’s an offer to get £5 when you sign up for Quidco via this referral link and earn £5 in cashback. So you could be £10 better off in minutes!

Read all our articles in our cashback section.

Theatre Deal

I went to see 1984 in London for the bargain price of £15, saving me £43 off the full price. Theatre can be so expensive it’s prohibitive, so hunting for decent deals can make all the difference.

Read our 8 Cheap Theatre Basics for tips on how to go for less.

2014 Total So Far:


Actual Spend £10,139.19
Value Of Spend £16,004.91
Saved £5,865.70 (that’s 37%)

Month By Month

January 2014: Actual Spend £2,401.21 / Value Of Spend £3,817.86 / Saved £1,416.65 (37%)
February 2014: Actual Spend £1,305.25 / Value Of Spend £1,888.20 / Saved £582.95 (31%)
March 2014: Actual Spend £2,209.29 / Value Of Spend £3,538.68 / Saved £1,329.38 (38%)
April 2014: Actual Spend £2,339.99 / Value Of Spend £3,622.89 / Saved £1,282.90 (35%)
May 2014: Actual Spend £1,883.45 / Value Of Spend £3,137.28 / Saved £1,253.83 (40%)

READ THE SAVE-OMETER INTRO BLOG TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HOW THE SAVE-OMETER CHALLENGE WORKS

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