Ways to save money

These are some ways I save money. If you’re a weedy intellectual type like me and not a muscly all American sort of FIer then these might be a bit more relevant to your lifestyle choices…

Every item on this list saved me money and either made my life better or caused me no pain. I do find ways to cut costs that are a sacrifice I consider worth making, but these items aren’t that.

Over time it’d be cool to do a little piece about some of these, but for now a list will do!

I stopped buying books new as default.

Obviously it’s nice to have fancy looking bookshelves and all but I realised that tittering about my book addiction was just a symptom of a pointless commodity fetish. No better than being obsessed with HD TVs or trainers, just a pseudo intellectual version of it.

So my order of preference is: read my existing stack, library (council ones are still pretty good, try it!), borrowing from a friend, charity shop, or if it’s a book I MUST read and it’s not easy to pick up I’ll try second hand online or a bookshop.

Bringing in lunch.

Tactic of choice for snobbish critics of young professionals, but that doesn’t make it wrong. I like pickled beetroot slices (crinkle cut, if you’re asking) with pickle in a sandwich. It’s bloody cheap and bloody good.

Ginger wine.

I get Sainsburys brand for £3.50 a bottle. Same alcohol % as normal wine and really tasty.

Cooking on a bootstrap.

The best cooking blog I’ve found. The recipes are all cheap, tasty, and easy to make – that’s the holy grail if you’re a tightwad and a klutz who is always hungry: https://cookingonabootstrap.com

Dried lentils and black beans.

Don’t take as long to make ready for eating as you think (don’t bother with soaking over night or any of that time wasting), are delicious, and a great basis for any delicious dinner.

On that note, being vegetarian.

Speaks for itself and it’s the right thing to do.

Only free music.

The only time you really need to pay for music is when you want to listen to it without internet connection (packages like Spotify Premium give you this advantage over Spotify free). I decided that wasn’t necessary for my lifestyle – I’d rather listen to podcasts or read a book or play a video game when I’m commuting, and then I listen to music on Spotify free when I’m working or cooking.

Getting your mobile bill down.

I used to find that every month I would look at my data usage and wonder how I’d used several GBs. I never live streamed videos or anything like that. So I decided recently to turn my mobile data off and only turn it on when I needed it, for 10 days. I found that I used about 1MB a day. It had zero negative impact on my life. It turns out you only really need mobile data for Whatsapp when you’re out, occasionally checking email if you’re out for the day, and using maps when you’re lost (I get lost a lot). I download any podcasts or audiobooks on WiFi and most instant messaging/checking emails is also done when I have WiFi (which is most of the time).

So I switched to the GiffGaff 500MB a month plan, which was £5 and is now £6 (annoyingly). So far I’ve used an average of about 60MB a month, so if anything I could let loose a bit…

I’ll be moving soon and when I do I’ll have a hunt for something cheaper – I spied a plan for £3.99 a month the other day.

In the meantime, if you think GiffGaff is for you here’s my referral link.


I have mixed experiences here. You get emails pretty much every day with people offering free stuff. I don’t drive so haven’t been able to go far from where I live, but you do get some nice furniture posted. So far I’ve got a free wok and large Antler suitcase.

To be continued…