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Saving money and increasing income

How to reduce your spending

If you’re struggling to pay your debts or keep up to date with important bills, trying to do whatever you can reduce your spending could help you take a big step towards improving your situation.

This isn’t easy, especially with the rising cost of living, especially if you're already on a tight budget. But we’ve picked out some areas where you may be able to cut back or find a cheaper alternative.

We can help if you’re in debt. You can get free and confidential debt advice online now. We’ll recommend the best way to deal with any debts you have, and also tell you about other organisations who can support you.


Also, if you’re eligible, you could get Breathing Space. This means your creditors won't be able to add interest or fees to your debts, or take enforcement action, for up to 60 days.


Please note: Breathing Space isn't available in Scotland.

Save money on mobile and broadband

If you currently pay for your phone, internet and TV separately, shop around and see if you can combine all three into one package, as this can often work out cheaper.

If you’re tied into a mobile phone contract and can’t switch, take another look at your agreement and make sure you’re not letting any ‘free minutes’ go unused while paying extra for calls, texts or data. Make good use of free wifi where you can, instead of being charged more for data roaming. Check whether it’s cheaper to call people by mobile or landline at certain times of day.

If your contract is coming to an end, do shop around and tell your current supplier you’re looking for a better deal – many suppliers are open to haggling.

Digital television and streaming services

Digital TV subscription services can be a money saver overall, it’s much cheaper to watch the latest films in the comfort of your own home rather than pay for the big screen experience.

There’s so much choice available, if you’re going to pay for digital TV, check you’re subscribed to the best service for your needs, where prices are transparent. Sometimes the premium content comes at an extra cost.

Satellite services can tie you in to long-term contracts, so make sure you give your notice as early as possible, to end the contract as soon as possible.

And if you’re really struggling to cover household costs each month, you need to consider whether this is a luxury, rather than a necessity. There are lots of free online resources, such as BBC iPlayer, and local libraries have DVDs as well as books to rent, to keep everyone entertained for free.


Are all the vehicles in your household really essential? Maybe the answer is yes, but if you’re not sure you need a car on a day-to-day basis, it’s definitely worth considering selling it.

The car may not be worth much, but you’ll also be saving in insurance, road tax and – of course – fuel.

Reduce spending on food, toiletries and cleaning products

Nobody would say these aren’t essential, but you may be able to fill your trolley for less if you:

  • Switch to own brand products
  • Make the most of special offers and cashback or coupons
  • Only buy what you need

Keep a list on the go to track what you need to buy on a weekly shop and stick to it.

Buying lunch everyday can quickly wipe out your monthly budget and really doesn’t offer good value for money. Think about how much it costs to make a sandwich at home, compared to even the cheapest option on the high street.

This is also a really good way to make the most of leftovers.

Pay less for insurance

Being comprehensively insured is very important, but you may be paying more for your insurance than you should.

For example, is your mobile phone already covered by your contents insurance? If so, you might not need to pay for a separate policy.

It’s also a good idea to use comparison sites to make sure you’re getting the best deal and switch if you’re not.

Reduce spending on clothing and footwear

You’re probably not spending much on clothing at the moment, but if you’re honest, have you bought clothes or shoes you don’t really need?

There are some great bargains in charity shops if you do need something new, for a job interview, for example.


If you need to buy several prescriptions per month, save money by purchasing a Pre-Payment Prescription Certificate (PPC). This can amount to a significant saving for some people.

Non-essential items

What is ‘non-essential’? We all need a treat sometime, but at least at the start of your journey towards being free from money worries, you should hold back completely on buying anything that really isn’t essential. Stop spending money on dry cleaning, newspapers, magazines, games, sports and other hobbies where you can.

Having trouble reducing your spending? Get free debt advice

If you’re struggling to pay your debts, use our online debt advice tool. It will give you a personal budget to help you manage your money, along with advice specifically tailored to your situation.

Or, if you’d prefer to talk to someone, visit our contact us page to find out how to speak to one of our Helpline advisors.

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