The contents on this page have been produced by Fanny Snaith, money coach in cooperation with borofree. These contents are for guidance only and do not represent a recommendation for investments nor an advice to get a loan. The debt guidance is provided for educational purposes and to allow consumers to use their money more effectively.

See where you can cut back

Look at where you can cut back on costs for essentials in your everyday life, for example your energy bills.
A little bit of fighting for the best price can save you hundreds of pounds.

Use comparison sites like,, to get a better price. Once you have put your details in and saved them, it is then also much easier to quickly update the following year. This will save you time and money in the long run.

Plan your meals

Work out all your meals for the week and buy only what you need. By planning all of your meals for the kids each day of the week before you shop, you’ll know exactly what ingredients you need and can make a list.

When it comes to doing the shop, make a rule that if it’s not on the list then it shouldn’t go in the basket.
This will massively help you with cutting back on costs and stop you from making any impulse purchases. When shopping for your groceries, it’s also important to buy supermarket owned brands. These are a lot cheaper, so you should notice a big difference when it comes to paying for your shop at the supermarket till.

Whilst it can be difficult for busy parents, it is also much cheaper (and healthier) to avoid buying pre-packaged, ready meals for your kids. If you’re struggling to find time to cook dinner, search for quick and easy recipes that the kids will enjoy and get them to help you create the dishes – it’ll be good for bonding with them as well as for your bank balance!

Look for discounts, use coupons

Shoppers can save a good amount by actively searching for coupons and discount deals.
Parents can look out for blogs such as Jordan Cox, Britain’s Coupon Kid to get details on the latest coupon offers and how they can get hold of them.  

It is also a good idea for parents to shop in stores that already offer items at a discounted rate such as
Poundland, ASDA, TKMAXX and Home Bargains. This will allow you to make a huge saving on those back-to-school essentials.

Establish buying rules

One of the first steps to take to help cut back on spending is creating a budget or money map. This makes you plot out where every pound of your hard earned money goes each month.  Allocate all of your income to something, so that you reach zero when you deduct your total spending from your income.  This means that every pound is give a purpose with not a penny left without a job to do.

If you think of your money like water, then you want it to be in containers.  Think of a glass of water.  In the glass the water is utilised fully – without the glass, it goes all over the floor and is wasted.

One of your first buying rules should be that if an item is not accounted for in your budget, you simply shouldn’t buy it. If you do really need the item, then you’ll need to look at your budget and figure out what cuts you can make elsewhere to afford it. Before buying the item, also make a 24-hour rule whereby you do not purchase the item for a day to ensure that you’ve really thought it through before paying for it.

Keep interest costs down

If you are paying interest on any outstanding debts, do everything you can to minimise or eliminate it. By making the switch to interest free credit cards, it will stop you from amassing further debt in the timeframe that you’ll need to eventually pay the debts off.

Use the Money Saving Expert Credit Club which will help you to see what might be available to you without having to apply directly to the card issuer, only to be turned down if you are not eligible.  

If money is tight and you still find you need to make an emergency payment or essential purchase for you and your family, using a free salary advance provider is a good option. For working people, you can now access your own money early, with no charges and no interest, as is being offered by borofree. For those in work, free salary-advances should obviate the need for high-cost credit and will help you to take back control of your own money faster.