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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 train ticket prices, you may have noticed that your travel expenses have increased.

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

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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. If you’re: 

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

You may qualify for a pass that saves you money on fares with your local bus operator. Each operator has their own guidelines around this, so be sure to check their website to see if you qualify. Children aged under 16 are usually entitled to half-fare travel if they have a bus pass. Children under five can typically travel for free.

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 regularly use the bus or train, you can save a lot of money over a year with an annual season ticket. The catch with this is that you have to pay for the month, quarter or year’s pass upfront. If you lose the pass, there’s also a replacement fee to get a new ticket. However, having the pass works out cheaper than what you would pay normally.

Some employers offer loans to cover the cost of a corporate season ticket. They then deduct the cost from your wage 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.

Travel outside of peak times where possible. Bus fares usually reduce after 9am, once rush hour’s over. If you work and are able to move your shift to later in the day, you may find that your bus fare is a lot cheaper. Another bonus is that the roads can sometimes be quieter due to less traffic. This often reduces the time of your journey.

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 group tickets for a number of adults and children, which can save a significant amount of money on days out.

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.

Looking for more ways to save money on your bills?

On our blog, you can find lots of money-saving ideas to help keep your monthly bills under control, such as: 


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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. Be aware that some companies will charge you a booking fee, where other sites such as National Rail don’t.

Get a Railcard if you qualify. Railcards can help you save up to a third on your train travel costs. As with buses, you may be entitled to a discount pass if you’re over 60, have a disability, or you’re in full-time education. They’re also available to people in the armed forces, aged under 25, or who travel often as a couple or a family.

Some Railcards do have an annual fee. However, if you use the Railcard often enough, you should soon make that money back in savings. In addition to national railcards, a range of regional railcards are available across the country.

Avoid peak time travel. As with buses, train tickets increase price during rush hour. Aim to travel off-peak if possible.

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 taxi cabs?

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. There’s also this option for getting a cab with friends, of course. 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 sometimes get money off a future journey.

Ask for flat rates. If the taxi operator has a helpline, call them and ask for a flat rate for any long-distance journey you plan to take. They’ll ask you to pay the fare up front, but it means that you won’t get charged extra if the cab driver gets stuck in traffic or takes a longer route to your destination.

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.