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The ultimate guide to save money: tips to help you save (a lot) of money

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Published: 14/01/2020 | Update: 29/03/2021

The ultimate guide to save money: tips to help you save (a lot) of money

At Dyme we’re always on the lookout for new ways for you to save money. To inform you of these ways we post blogs, develop calculation tools and spend a lot of our day improving our application and website. We’ve gained a lot of expertise in the fields of money and personal finance. And we love to share what we know with you. On this page you’ll find a list of tips and tricks that can save you a lot of money. We’ll make sure to update the list weekly.

Money saving tips

22 saving tips
  1. Keep track of your monthly income and expenses
  2. Create a saving plan
  3. Cancel unwanted and unneeded subscriptions
  4. Save money on your energy bill
  5. Change to a different insurer and cancel unneeded insurances
  6. Switch off the option ‘overdraft’
  7. Transfer your savings to a bank with a higher interest rate
  8. a. Leave your bank card at home b. Only take large notes with you when going out
  9. Switch to a Sim Only subscription
  10. Change the way you travel
  11. Apply for financial compensation
  12. Use product comparison sites before purchasing anything
  13. Save on your groceries
  14. Buy second-hand items
  15. Share your belongings with others
  16. Use a water-saving shower head
  17. Use an energy manager
  18. Switch health insurance providers
  19. Lock up your savings
  20. Share your Netflix account
  21. Set a weekly and monthly budget
  22. Save on your fixed costs

1. Keep track of your monthly income and expenses

Before figuring out how you can save money, you need to know how you’re spending it. Create an overview of your income and expenses. Differentiate between fixed expenses (such as rent and subscriptions) and varying expenses (such as shopping and eating out).

  1. List all of your subscriptions in a programme such as Excel (you could also use the Dyme app of course, or this sheet created by the Nibud).
  2. Check your bank statements and list your variable costs.
  3. Look at your income and balance this against your expenses. Ask yourself: How much is left every month?

2. Create a saving plan

Now you know how much you spend every month, you can start checking where you could potentially save money. However, set realistic and achievable goals for yourself. Think about how and on what you’d like to save money. And are you saving for a specific goal?

3. Cancel unwanted and unneeded subscriptions

The average Dutchman spends about €50 a month on unwanted or forgotten subscriptions. Don’t let this happen to you. You’ve created the overview from step one, now start checking which subscriptions you can easily get rid of. And doing so might be a lot easier than you thought it would be!

4. Save money on your energy bill

Once rent or mortgage have been paid, the energy bill is usually the largest expense for many of us. But this might be a good thing, as it means a large saving can be made! In broad terms there are two ways to ensure a lower energy bill

  1. Reduce your power consumption
  2. Switch to a different energy supplier (every year)

Because not every energy provider is the same. There are, of course, fixed components that are the same with most energy suppliers, but if you look at the monthly payment, the differences can be quite large. Depending on the contract you have with your current supplier, it may make sense to switch providers.

In many cases, you will not even have to pay the early-termination fee as this is often covered by your new energy provider.

5. Change to a different insurer and cancel unneeded insurances

Insurances are necessary in most cases, but often they are unnecessarily expensive. We are not talking about health insurance here but, for example, a household insurance policy with far too much coverage.

There is also a good chance that you are double insured without even realising it. Take as an example your smartphone insurance. Often, damage to your smartphone is already covered within your household insurance.

So take a good look at all your insurance policies and examine them critically.

You probably know changing your health insurance provider can save you a lot of money every year. But did you know this also applies to almost any other insurance you might have?

Important: Don’t take any unneeded risks. Some insurance types might be essential (in your case). Think twice before cancelling them.

6. Switch off the option ‘overdraft’

It’s not a crime to be overdrawn sometimes, but it’s not something you’d want to make a habit of. You’re obliged to pay an interest rate for the amount your overdrawn. And these rates are not kind. By switching off the option ‘overdraft’ entirely, you’ll avoid these extra costs.

7. Transfer your savings to a bank with a higher interest rate

The wealthiest people increase their wealth daily by simply shuffling their money around. It goes without saying that we dissuade you from any malpractices, but there are many simple and legal ways to use your savings.

Compare the interest rates offered by several banks and transfer your money to the highest bidder. Always read the small print though!

8a. Leave your bank card at home

A couple of studies have shown that it hurts us a lot less to spend money when we use a bank card or credit card. Cash is visible and tangible, digital payments are not. The recent rise of contactless payment methods are even worse. We’ve written an article about the traps of digitalisation.

If you’ve followed up our second suggestion, you’ll know how much you can spend when going out. Bring this amount in cash, and remember once that has run out, it’s time to go home. Try this tactic for a month and see if you’ve spend less than the months before. You might be surprised…

8b. Only take large notes with you when going out

Following our previous tip is this important fact in ‘spending psychology’: we tend to be more careful in spending large banknotes than small change. Handing over a 50 euro bill and only getting back two notes of twenty is a lot more painful than spending 10 euros. This might be a way to curb impulse buys!

9. Switch to a Sim-Only subscription

You probably have a nice smartphone and a corresponding subscription. At face value that is convenient, but unless you bought the phone yourself, you are paying too much.

If you compare the costs for a smartphone and a Sim-Only contract to the costs for an all-in contract, you will notice that that “free” phone is actually far from free. So if your contract is ending soon, consider switching to a Sim-Only contract. This can easily save you a few tenners a year. Is your smartphone still in tip-top condition? Then you will save even more.

10. Change the way you travel

Flying might be the fastest way to get somewhere but it is often not the cheapest (and also not the most environmentally friendly). And whilst the train is not really the cheapest alternative, there are other options. Think about the FlixBus, platforms like BlaBlaCar or try hitchhiking.

11. Apply for financial compensation

You might be entitled to compensations on things like your waste collection charge or your tax bill. Check the Nibud website to find out if you are eligible for any sort of compensation.

12. Use product comparison websites before buying anything

You’re walking around a household appliances store and spot a deal that seems too good to be true. And even better, the offer is only on today! You’ve got to snag that bargain of course. But stop, and think first. We’re not trying to patronise you, but make sure to check the prices online before buying something on an impulse.

It’s not hard to find a quick overview to see if this really is the best price on offer. Websites like Kieskeurig have the option for you to fill in the productname and all of the prices for this product online will pop up immediately. Still sure you’ve found the best deal?

13. Save on your groceries

Saving on your groceries is not so much a question of buying less as it is a question of buying smart. It often pays off to have a good look at the weekly offers. Especially if the articles on sale are non-perishablese, it can definitely be worth it to stock up. This way you will avoid paying a much higher price for it later on.

Do your groceries at most once per week and do them at a cheap grocery store. This way you avoid impulse buys and eat what you have on hand.

Buy your veggies at the market and limit meat consumption. In addition, always stock up on detergent and other products that you can keep for a long time when they are on sale. You can also save on food, for example by freezing food left over after dinner.

14. Buy second-hand items

Buying second-hand items does not only benefit the environment. It also benefits your wallet. Think about clothes and items for your home. Have a birthday coming up? Why don’t you buy them a fun second-hand present.

15. Share your belongings with others

The sharing economy has become a big trend over the last few years. Take the app Peerby, for example. It allows you to put the belongings you do not often use up for rent. Then when there is an item that you do not have yourself, you can check the app to see which one of your neighbors has it. This way you can rent the item for a day instead of buying it brand new.

16. Use a water-saving shower head

A water-saving shower head uses half as much water as your typical shower head. Allowing you to easily save €50,- per year without reducing your shower comfort.

17. Use an energy manager

If you cannot switch energy providers, consider a smart meter. This gives you a very accurate overview of your current consumption, making it easier to adjust your consumption and save even more money.

Already have a smart meter? Then connect an energy consumption manager to it to get a better understanding of your energy consumption. It makes saving energy easy because you can see the effect immediately. Read more about saving energy here.

18. Switch health insurance providers

Health insurance premiums often differ enormously between providers. By simply switching from one health insurance provider to another, you can save hundreds of euros a year while maintaining the same coverage. Read more about switching health insurance providers here.

19. Lock up your savings

If you know for sure that you will not be needing your savings for a while then you can lock up your savings via a deposit. The longer you keep your savings locked up, the higher the interest on your savings. Read more tips about what you can do with your savings here.

20. Share your Netflix account

Share the Netflix premium account with 4 of your friends instead of each getting your own subscription. The premium account costs €13,99. If you divide this by 4, it comes out to just €3,50 a month! This way you only pay €42 per person, per year instead of €96,- per person, per year. Easily saving you €54,-.

Read all about sharing your Netflix account here.

21. Set a weekly and monthly budget

In our article about budgeting we teach you everything you need to know about making a budget. By setting a weekly and monthly budget for yourself, you decide beforehand how much you want to give out. This will help you to stick to your plan and will ultimately save you a lot of money each month.

22. Save on your fixed costs

There are endless ways to lower your fixed costs. For example, if you have a subscription to your favourite magazine, find out if you can get a discount by becoming a new customer. In a lot of cases there is even a cheaper digital version available. The same goes for a subscription to your newspaper. With apps like Blendle, you can be sure you are getting enough fresh information for a small monthly fee so that you can get rid of the paper edition. Also check which other fixed costs are actually superfluous. A gym subscription can quickly become expensive if you do not use it enough.

Bonus: saving tips for students

Being a student is fun and is often the best time of your life. The downside is that you often do not pay much attention to the financial side of things. Regardless, there are plenty of ways to save money as a student with a little time and effort. Do you live in a student flat? Then try to split as many costs as possible. Upgrade your Netflix account to a family account so that not everyone needs their own account. Even if you live on your own, there are plenty of ways to save money, for example by using the wifi and leaving your own 4G connection alone for a while. Read our 10  tips to save money as a student here.

Have you heard about our app? The Dyme app gives you a complete overview of your finances, so you are always in control of your money. Our smart technology generates overviews of your income and expenses automatically, so you do not have to waste your time doing it manually. We will also help you save money. The average Dyme user currently saves €800 per year on their recurring expenses! Want to know how much you could save?