Bargains expert reveals the trick to saving over £1,000 a year

How 'skimming' your bank account can help you save hundreds a year

Anushka Fernando

One frugal shopper says she has managed to save up £1,090 over the last year with almost no effort at all.

Anushka Fernando, 31, is no stranger to saving money: she works for Magic Freebies UK. And to make her money go even further, she uses a trick called 'skimming' to stash away her cash.

If you've ever dropped all your coppers into a jar, you'll know just how much you can collect over the course of a year. But it's a bit of an untidy way of doing things, and it depends on you actually remembering to do it.

Skimming means doing something similar with your bank account, by rounding down your balance at the end of every day and putting the difference into a savings account.

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"For example, if your account had £1,224.51 in it you would round the number down to make £1,220 and put the £4.51 in a separate bank account," she says.

"Of course if you were nearing the end of the month and money was slightly tight you could just round down to the nearest pound and put the 51p in the separate account."

It's a very nifty way of putting a little money by - and, depending on who you bank with, it can all be done automatically. Lloyds, for example, will round up every transaction to the nearest pound and transfer the difference to a savings account; you can sign up for the feature here.

Sainsbury's has a similar scheme with SaveBack.

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Otherwise, you can use electronic banking to transfer the money yourself at the end of every day, week or month.

"When I first started I did it every day - I was obsessed with seeing a neat little figure and it didn't feel like it was affecting my bank balance too much. Some days I would skim a few pounds, then other days more," says Anushka.

"I've always struggled with saving large amount of money, but this method made it incredibly achievable. Skimming a few pounds a day felt like spare change to me and not so much of a dent in my account. Some months I just did every week and then more frequently at other times."

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It's not the only way of putting money by without really noticing. Christmas clubs, for example, let you put aside a small amount each month to help pay for the big day at the end of the year. To be on the safe side, you should sign up for one that's a member of the Christmas Prepayment Association (CPA).

Some credit unions and supermarkets offer similar schemes.

Vintage money-saving tips

Vintage money-saving tips