Savings Challenge

At the start of 2021, I saw this post from @moneysavvymumuk on Instagram.

I adapted the idea to make my own as I figured that £1000 would be a struggle over the year. I turned it into £750 over the year and instead of saving, I would use this to pay things off, paying off additional amounts each week.

I am pleased to say that I managed it and paid, in fact, more than £750 off over the year. This made a real difference to my finances. It is definitely worth thinking about if you want to save some money, or pay something off a bit faster over the year.

Here’s the record of my payments over the year – ignore the colours. I was originally going to keep a record on my computer, but decided having this in front of me in my office each week was better. I was going to highlight each week but decided to put dates instead of highlighting – this is better to look back and reflect on when good times are to pay.


I heard about ZipZero via an online review and thought I’d give it a try.

I am trying to cut down on spending this year. Most days I’m being successful with this, but ZipZero allows me to reclaim a little bit of cash back from purchases that I do make which I can use to put towards bills.

ZipZero is a free app. When you buy something from a shop (it doesn’t work with online receipts) you scan the receipt. ZipZero recognises the information in the receipt and adds about 1% of the total into your account. When you have enough money (above £1) you can withdraw the money to a utility provider or similar and it takes just a little bit off your bill.

When I read about it I thought it all sounded a bit too good to be true. But having tried it for a week, it has been every bit as good as it sounded. I have scanned in every receipt and the app recognised the info and added some money to my account. Once I had accessed the correct pay info for my utility bill provider, and I had enough money in the ZipZero account, I withdrew it and it has indeed paid off a little money from my bill. (I use Igloo so can instantly see any payment made.)

So far, I’ve used receipts from supermarkets, the post office, pubs, newsagents and coffee shops and they’ve all worked. I have had two that didn’t – one was a car park receipt and one was a receipt which was badly printed (and I didn’t realise until I got home).

How the scanning works, I don’t know, but it does.

How on earth can ZipZero afford to give you money back? Apparently: ZIPZERO and their retail partners have created a circle of user consumption. ZIPZERO provides retailers with an opportunity to offer products and services directly to app users in exchange for a system that rewards users with cash to directly pay such bills. I don’t really get it, but that’s not going to stop me using it.

It’s really worth a go.

Live Quiz

Recently I’ve started playing the Live Quiz on my iPhone.

Live Quiz is a free app and you could win real money (although it’s not going to make you rich)!

Twice a day there are quizzes. All you have to do is answer all ten questions correctly and you can win a share of the prize fund. Most nights it’s £100 and one night I managed to win 83p.

The questions are usually not too challenging and are guessable in most cases. But you don’t get too long to answer and that’s where I make most of my errors!

It’s all a bit of fun!

Top Cashback

Over the last few months I’ve been using Top Cashback. You will have heard of it – it’s the one with the annoying adverts. But it’s the one that can make you a little bit of money for doing nothing.

I have been massively trying to cut back on spending so I haven’t made masses of money, but each time I buy something online I’ve checked to see if it’s a site that’s on Top Cashback.

So far I’ve made nearly £50 – which is great because, like I say, I have done nothing out of the ordinary. But I have made a little bit of money back just when buying things I needed to buy anyway.

If you sign up using this link then you and I can both earn some extra money:

Igloo Energy

Recently we switched gas and electricity suppliers to Igloo. We switched because the monthly direct debit was going to be the cheapest with them. Also they were the highest rated supplier on Compare The Market at the time.

Just a few months in and we are impressed. The app and website are both really easy to use – far better than the e.on versions used previously.

We have a small credit balance and we earn 3% interest on it – in a month we’ve earned 19p. That’s better than in a bank account!

We are billed monthly and it is clear what our direct debit needs to be in order to stay on top of the bills. We can adjust the direct debit really easily.

We contacted customer services twice so far. They responded within 24 hours. They were able to adjust our direct debit (as there was a winter top-up which they had set up but we didn’t want) and then to move our direct debit to a more convenient time of the month. Both took just one email and all sorted!

If all goes wrong, we have no exit fees to pay to move on from them!

If you sign up using this link then we each earn £50 which would be credited to our account.

Chip App

A few months ago I started using Chip to save a little bit of money. It’s called skimming – once it has read-only access to your bank account it can work out if you can afford to save a little bit. It deposits it into a bank account (actually a Barclays e-Wallet account) and quietly builds it up.

I have found that it works very nicely. I managed to save over £100 in a couple of months which I then withdrew to use for Christmas spending.

As Chip only has read only access to my bank account I haven’t had any experience of being hacked or anything like that. The first time of savings it tried to take way more money than I was expecting. So I asked them to cancel the first saving and then reduce the amount I wanted to save going forward which they did with no problem.

The app is passcode enabled and I’ve added fingerprint recognition for further security.

The FAQ for Chip can be found here.

You don’t earn interest but you can if people use your sharing link. If you use this code (N781DE) then I can start earning 1% interest so I’d appreciate you using it!