By Aimee Bray
We’re romantics at heart, and there’s nothing more romantic than tackling your finances as a twosome. Couples top the polls in terms of happiness levels and spending power, with more opportunities to save money than their single peers. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, single people spend 92% of their disposable income, while the figure is 83% for couples living together in a two-person household. Single people also spend £21 a week more than couples, or a mind-boggling £1,092 a year. Not exactly chump change.
If that isn’t enough of a reason to buddy up to hit financial goals, we’ve unearthed the best money saving tips to help British couples save for a house or save for Christmas indulgence.
Couples who bank together stay together - literally. In fact, they’re statistically happier and 4% more likely to stay together over a ten-year period. Even couples who prefer to keep their finances firmly separate can benefit from a joint bank account. Setting money aside for expenses like bills, rent, and mortgage payments can help you organise your money, and many banks offer reward current accounts.
You can open any of these as a single account, but as a couple, it’s easier to accumulate cashback and it’s the best way to save money because you’ll share the cost of your account. Our favourite is the Santander 123 Lite account as you can earn up to £15 a month on your bills for a £2 monthly fee, when you put at least £500 into your account a month.
Besides marital bliss, there are more perks to getting hitched than you think. You can transfer up to 10% or £1,250 of your personal allowance if your partner earns under a certain threshold. Personal allowance is essentially the amount of income you don’t need to pay tax on. The standard personal allowance is £12,500, and shifting the allowance could save you up to £250 in tax as a couple. You can also backdate your claim up to April 2016, which means you could qualify for a sizeable tax rebate from HMRC. To find out if you’re eligible and how to apply, see the GOV website for instructions. That said, before jumping the gun…
The big day can be an even bigger drain on your finances, with the average UK wedding cost estimated between a conservative £18,000 to a heart-stopping £32,000. There’s an abundance of information out there about cheap weddings and affordable wedding dresses, like shopping secondhand and staying focused on your budget. One of the ways you can save is by cutting the cost of the engagement ring. See our Goldsmiths vouchers for discounts on diamond rings and other romantic jewellery. If you have a Tesco Clubcard, you can also triple the value of your points by swapping £5 in points for a £15 Goldsmiths voucher. According to the Independent, the average spend on an engagement ring is £1,471.01, so if you shop smart you could save hundreds of pounds.
You’d be surprised by how much you could save if you register for supermarket loyalty schemes. It’s free to register, so get them all for the varied perks, like the option to trade your points for gift vouchers for other retailers.
|Tesco Clubcard||1 point per £1||Exchange points for gift cards up to 3x value|
|Sainsbury's Nectar card||1 point per £1||Earn points from retailers like Sky, Argos, and eBay. Earn double points in Double Up week|
|Morrisons More card||5 points per £1||10% off for teachers and NHS staff. £5 voucher for every 5,000 points.|
|Lidl Plus card||N/A||£2 voucher for £100 spend or £10 voucher for £200 spend per month|
|Asda George Rewards||1 point per £1||Earn points for writing reviews|
|Waitrose Loyalty card||N/A||Exclusive deals like magazine subscriptions and cheaper insurance|
Adding your partner as a second driver can substantially lower your premium and is one of the easiest ways to save money. You can also trade-in Tesco Clubcard vouchers for triple the value - 50p in Clubcard points is worth £1.50 towards your RAC Personal Breakdown Cover. You can extend cover to people living at the same address from only £3 a month, which is just £1 in Tesco Clubcard points.
We recommend shopping around for the best deal on joint insurance and extra perks like free gift cards. AA Breakdown Cover has great prices as well as free supermarket gift cards when you register. You can also save up to £252 with multi-car insurance at Admiral or 10% for every additional driver with Aviva.
Discounts are our speciality. It’s all about shopping smart, mindfully, and combining multiple offers to get the lowest price. Always activate cashback offers in your bank account and curb impulse buys by planning your purchases around sales. You can usually find better deals towards the end of the month or around big sales events like Black Friday.
Looking for a voucher code should be the first thing you do before purchasing anything online. Whether you’re peckish for an Uber Eats promo code or searching for an ASOS discount code, you can rely on us to find ways to save you money. You can save on online giants like Amazon and Argos that stock everything, or brands like JD Williams and Made.com specialising in homeware. Ordering online can be cheaper than purchasing in store, and, let’s face it, we’re not leaving our houses much these days anyway.
If we don’t have a voucher code, we often offer gift cards for a retailer of your choice when you meet the minimum spend, like a £100 gift voucher if you join Scottish Friendly or a £5 gift card when you spend £50 at Benefit Cosmetics.
Many activities work out cheaper as two: from 2 for 1 cinema tickets to 2 for 1 cruise offers. Take out a policy with Compare the Market, and you’ll have access to 2 for 1 film tickets at cinemas like ODEON and Cineworld for the duration of your cover. You can also save on experience days with two for one at Buyagift. Whenever possible, you should also think about joint membership for activities you participate in regularly. You can save £24 annually on joint membership at National Trust compared to the cost of two individual memberships. Gym membership can also work out cheaper overall when you add a second person to the account. Pure Gym lets you bring a guest four times a month for £3 extra a month and there are no fees while the gym is closed.
And how could we omit 2 for 1 pizza deals like the Pizza Express 2 for 1 voucher or two for Tuesday at Domino’s Pizza and Papa John’s? Double the pizza for the same price - a win-win. We recommend taking a look at our food and drink vouchers for more discount codes on fast food and grocery shopping.
You’d be surprised by how much the small amounts add up with your regular payments like Netflix, NOW TV, or Amazon Prime. Let two become one and start consolidating those payments. It’s a good idea to regularly audit your finances to figure out what you need, what is worth the money, and what should get the chop. You can often get introductory offers with broadband, TV, and mobile packages, so if you’re organised about switching you could get Netflix or Disney+ for free. O2 offers 6 months of Disney+ free for all new customers and phone upgrades.
We always recommend paying the full credit card balance every month to avoid any unnecessary charges. However, you can apply for a 0% balance transfer to pay off the debt on your partner’s card. You’ll then pay 0% interest on the balance for a fixed period of time. We recommend contacting a bank you already have a current account or credit card with, as you’ll usually get the best balance transfer offer if you’re already a customer.
Cheap train tickets are easier to come by for couples. Purchase a Two Together railcard from National Railcards for just £30 for the year and you’ll save 33% on future rail journeys together. That means you’ll only need to purchase £90 of train tickets to break even, so it could work for you even if you don’t travel together regularly. You’ll also gain access to Trainline cheap tickets and cheap advance train tickets.
Don’t get bogged down in commitments … to your broadband provider that is. You could save hundreds of pounds a year by switching as you’ll usually pay less as a new customer, and at Groupon we also offer a range of gift cards for when you switch. You could earn a £70 gift card by switching to EDF Energy, up to £75 with Vodafone, and you can find more cheap deals for new customers at Hyperoptic.
The take-home message is that frugal living doesn’t have to be a painful experience. Whether you’re housemates, friends, or 20 years’ married, you can make small adjustments that have long-term benefits on your finances. Our money saving ideas can help you put money aside for things that really matter.