Money. Save it. Spend it. Understand it.

Be a savvy spender

Remember. There’s a difference between buying something and being sold it.

Companies will do almost anything to separate you from your cash. They’ll entice you with special offers, tempt you with savings, and lure you in with unmissable bargains.

Don’t rush into buying something, no matter how hard they try to persuade you that this is your last chance to bag a wonderful bargain.

Instead take the time to think about whether you're really saving money, or just spending it on something you don't really need - and probably won't use!

Savvy spenders know that if you have to borrow to buy it you probably can’t afford it.

If you buy something that’s reduced using a credit card, the interest charged on the card will sometimes cost more than the saving you make – especially if you don’t pay off the balance quickly.

Don’t think monthly – think annually.

A common mistake is to focus on the monthly cost of contract purchases like gym membership and mobile phones. How many times do you hear the words "it’s only £40 a month"?
Before you sign any contracts make sure you work out the annual costs.

It pays to shop around.

Before making a significant purchase, do your research online to get a feel for the best price before looking on the high street. But remember sales people are there to sell you things – it’s their job and they can be very persuasive.

Having done your research (especially if it’s a big purchase), it’s always worth telling them you’re going to shop around and see if you can buy the same thing cheaper – if they know you can, they might even be prepared to negotiate on the price, or throw in something extra as a bonus.

Key points

Always ask yourself: "Do I need it? Can I afford it?" and "Can I get it cheaper?". Focus on the total costs to make a logical rather than emotional spending decision.

Scams, don’t get caught out

It’s your money, don’t let the fraudsters get it.

Learn to recognise what you should avoid

Ever wonder where your money goes?

After all, it’s not as if you splashed the cash on expensive cars and luxury holidays, but there’s never anything left over at the end of the month.

Image of a coffee cup

Identify your spending habits.

You probably think that the most you ever spend is a few pounds on a coffee with your friends or the odd app, music download or magazine. These little things may not cost much, but if you buy one every day, the amount of money you spend soon mounts up.

That’s why budgeting is helpful.

Write down how much you have coming in every week or month – and what you’re actually spending it on. Make a list of all those drinks and snacks, all those little indulgences – and how much they are actually costing you.

Then start listing all the things you really need every week or month; things like food, transport and expenses that must be paid. Get started with our budget calculator.

Add that up and take it away from your income. That’s how much you have left to spend on the things you enjoy.

If you can, set aside a little for savings. Once you get into that habit, you’ll soon find you don’t miss it, and before you know it you’ll have tidy little sum saved up.

Key points

Even small spending habits cost a lot more than you think

Become a savvy spender

Buying something you need and being sold something you don’t.

Understand the difference

Making payments

Ever thought about how you pay for the stuff you buy?

Many of us don’t but yet we should, because there are a number of ways to buy the things we want both in-store and online.

And it’s worth thinking about how you pay, because different methods of payments have different advantages (as well as disadvantages).


Become a savvy spender

Buying something you need and being sold something you don’t.

Understand the difference

The information in this guide is not intended to be a recommendation or advice.

Halifax products and services are offered subject to status. Lending decisions and any amount we lend is based on your personal circumstances, you need to be aged 18 or over to apply. Overdrafts are repayable on demand.

Halifax is a division of Bank of Scotland plc. Registered in Scotland No. SC327000. Registered Office the Mound Edinburgh EH1 1YZ. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under registration number 169628.