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Saving money and increasing income

How can I save money on public transport?

Whether you take a bus to work or take a train to see family and friends, almost everyone in the UK relies on some form of transport. With rising fuel costs and ticket prices, you may be worried about how to cope now your travel expenses have increased.

No matter how you travel, there may be ways to save money in your budget.

How to save money on bus travel

If you rely on the bus to get around, these tips might help you save money.

Find out if you qualify for a discount pass. 

You may qualify for a pass that saves you money on fares with your local bus operator if you’re: 

  • aged over 60, 
  • dealing with a disability, 
  • in full-time education, or 
  • aged between 16-25.

Each operator has their own guidelines around this, so be sure to check their website to see if you qualify.

Under 16s are usually entitled to half-fare travel if they have a bus pass. Children under five may be able to travel for free on some services.

If you’re a full-time carer and you travel with the person you care for, you may be able to travel for free or reduced fare. The person you travel with will need to have a disabled person’s bus pass, or a National Entitlement Card if they live in Scotland.

Consider getting a season ticket

If you use the bus or train on a daily basis, you can save a lot of money over a year with a monthly pass or annual season ticket. The catch with this is that you have to pay upfront for the pass. Having a season ticket or monthly pass works out cheaper than paying for each journey separately.

Some employers offer loans to cover the cost of a corporate season ticket. They then deduct the cost from your wages in monthly instalments before tax. Corporate season tickets are often cheaper than normal season tickets, and you can typically use them outside of work hours.

Look out for special deals

During school breaks and bank holidays, some national coach companies offer fares as cheap as £1. This may be a good starting point for planning a cheap day out for the family.

Some local operators also offer special priced group tickets for adults and children.

Use free bus services

Many big cities have free bus or shuttle services from the main train or bus station. Before visiting a new city, see if they have any free bus services, and if the route takes you close to where you need to go.

How to save money on train travel

Many people are scattered across the UK due to work and family commitments and rely on the train to get around. By taking the following steps, you can save a considerable amount on travelling by train.

Book train tickets in advance

If you know ahead of time that you’ll need to use the train, you can reduce costs by booking your tickets early. Please be aware that some companies will charge you a booking fee, so check before booking. There aren’t any charges for booking through National Rail.

Get a Railcard

Railcards can help you save up to a third on your train travel costs. You may be entitled to a discount pass if you’re:

  • over 60
  • have a disability
  • in full-time education.
  • in the armed forces, or
  • under 25.

You may have to pay upfront for some railcards. If you use the Railcard often enough, you should soon make that money back in savings.

Some local train operators run their own railcard schemes, check with their website to see what they offer.

Travel outside of peak times where possible

Train fares usually reduce after 9am, once rush hour’s over. If you need to travel by train to work and you’re able to move your shift to later in the day, you may find that your train fare is a lot cheaper.

Check online for discount codes

Train operators sometimes release discount codes on tickets. You can set up alerts so that you can grab the codes early (as they’re often limited).

Sign up for train operator emails and follow their social media accounts

It’s through these channels that operators often announce deals on train tickets. Again, it’s often about ‘turning up early’ when it comes to getting cheap tickets.

Book your train through cashback websites

You can earn small amounts of money every time you book a ticket, which you can save and trade in for cash or vouchers. 

How can I save money on taxis?

Share cabs where possible

Some phone apps allow you to ‘carpool’ with other riders. You then split the fare between you, which can work out a lot cheaper.

If you live close to a friend and you both need a cab, try getting the cab from their house so you can split the fare.

Take advantage of refer-a-friend codes

Several taxi firms offer reward codes that you can give to a friend as an incentive to use the service. When that friend uses the code, you can get money off a future journey.

Ask for flat rates for long-distance journeys

When you're booking a long-distance journey, ask for a flat rate. You might have to pay up front, but it means you won’t get charged extra if the cab driver gets stuck in traffic or takes a longer route.

Ask for a cheaper deal on regular cab travel

If you’re planning on getting a cab several times a week or month, a local cab firm may be able to give you a discount. Call them and see what they can do for you.

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.