Savings calculator

There might be many reasons why you may want to save money quickly. You might want the security of a larger savings pot or have a significant purchase on the horizon.

The fastest way to save money is to resist those purchases of non-essential items. There are some things that simply can’t be avoided meaning it can be harder than ever to put money into savings. That said, there's still a few things you can do to cut down on your monthly outgoings.

To help you to work out what you need to save to reach your goal, try our savings calculator.

Understand your spending habits

The first step to creating a savings plan is to understand what you spend your money on. Look at your bank statements to get a clearer idea of your monthly outgoings.

Make a note of everything, from large expenses like mortgage, rent or car repayments, to smaller ones like your morning coffee.

A good way to do this is with Spending Insights, which breaks down where your money goes every month. It shows your current account spending broken down by category so you can spot any patterns. This will help you see where you might be able to save some money in the future.

  • Switch providers and haggle deals

    See if you can get a better deal on your essential bills by using comparison website or negotiating with your existing provider. Though it’s unlikely you’ll get a better price on your gas and electric bill, you could secure cheaper rates on other services, like broadband.

    There could be fees for cancelling existing deals early, so make sure any exit charges aren’t higher than the amount you’d save on improved terms.

    You can see what payments are due to leave your account in the next 31 days with Upcoming Payments.

    Combine your debts

    If you’re able to, it might make sense to pay off an existing debt before focusing on growing your savings.

    If you have multiple borrowings and want to simplify, you could look into debt consolidation to make your payments more manageable. By bringing it all together in one place with a debt consolidation loan, you could get on track to becoming debt-free.

    As your borrowing comes to an end you could continue to send the same payment into a monthly savings pot. You’ll be paying yourself each month, instead of someone else.

    Cancel unused subscriptions

    Cancelling subscriptions you no longer use or could do without can be a quick way to save money. Maybe you haven’t logged into a streaming service in months? Or still receive a monthly delivery of lunchtime snacks you no longer want?

    The subscription management tool in our Mobile Banking app gives you more control over these types of payment.

    Meal planning

    Plan your meals ahead. It sounds simple, but when you know exactly what ingredients you need for the week ahead, you’ll quickly reduce your food waste and save money.

    Having a meal plan will also make you less likely to splurge on office lunches or evening takeaways. A takeaway and a bottle of wine can easily come in at £20 a week. But swap out the habit and send it into a savings account, and you’ll have made £1,040 in one year.

    Check if you're entitled to benefits

    There are various benefits available for those in need. It’s worth checking on the website to see if you qualify. You don’t always have to be on a low income or out of work to qualify. Having children, being married or working from home regularly could entitle you to benefit payments or a reduction in tax.

    Sell unwanted items

    Turn your old junk into cash by having a clear-out. Many things you don’t want could find a new home with people who do want them. Old toys, clothes, books and electronics can all be sold online or at car boot sales. Pocketing any profits is a quick way to save money.

  • Reduce your gifting stress and expenses

    The festive period and birthdays are a time for giving. Though gifting can bring great joy and happiness to you and your loved ones, it can also put extra strain on your wallet.

    Perhaps try a gift exchange, give to charity or set a spending budget with friends and family. That way, no one will feel guilty for spending more or less than anyone else.

    Buy second hand

    You can find some real deals by shopping second hand. Clothes, books and household items can all be bought for less.

    For electronics, like a new smartphone, check out the cost of a refurbished model before you decide to purchase. Often these are restored to factory settings and sometimes, as good as new.

    Wait for sales and discounts

    Need a new jumper or want to upgrade your TV? Wait for the sales. You can find cheaper deals during periods of discounted prices such as after Christmas. If you can stand to wait a little longer for that new item, you could save yourself some cash on the regular price - cash that can be added to your savings pot.

    Pause spending on ‘wants’

    The simplest way to save more money faster, is to cut down on your spending. Of course, with essentials like bills and food, that’s not always possible. However, you could cut down on non-essential items you want but don’t necessarily need - like a brand-new phone when your current one works fine.

    Switch your shopping habits

    Food costs are on the up, so trimming your grocery bill can be a good way to cut costs. Try out a cheaper supermarket, or head to your local store in the early evenings to look for price reductions.

    Try a no-spend day

    Dedicate a 24-hour, no spend rule on purchases. Obviously, if bills are due, you’ll need to make a payment. Restrict your extra expenditure and keep things basic. You might find you save on unnecessary splurges.

  • Set money aside for emergencies

    Aim to save the equivalent of three months' salary and put it aside for emergencies and rainy days.

    The 50-30-20 rule

    Split your monthly pay. Allocate 50% to your essentials, like bills, mortgage or rent. 30% is for the fun stuff, and the final 20% can go to a savings account or paying off debts. Learn more about the 50 30 20 rule.

Stay motivated to achieve your goals

Putting money aside can be tough and you might feel that you’re not making as much progress as you’d like. Unforeseen payments and the rising cost of living can put a squeeze on any financial safety net you’ve put aside.

However, don’t be disheartened. Even saving a little will give you more than you had to begin with. You could start saving your change - go traditional and save your small change in a jar. Or, you could send £1 a day to a savings account, and after a year you’ll have £365.

As important as saving money is, it’s equally important to allow yourself to have a little fun occasionally. It’s okay to get that takeaway, a new pair of shoes, or spend money on the things you enjoy - so long as you’re smart about how and when you spend your cash.

Lastly, get specific and set a goal. Size doesn’t matter. You could be saving for a house deposit or a house plant, but when you have a goal in sight it’s easier to get into a saving mindset.