Five-Minute Money Hacks
Not. Enough. Time.
How often do you use these words as an excuse to not get round to anything, especially something as uninteresting as your personal finances?
We’ve rounded up ten ways to help you save money in Spain that take less than five minutes each.
#1 Check Your Bank Account Every Week
Log on. Check money in and out over the last seven days. Log off.
For anything you don’t recognise, note it down and get in touch with your bank.
You have up to 56 days to return a direct debit in Spain. Don’t immediately return one you’re unsure about, if it’s valid you could be hit with an additional commission.
When checking your account, if you’re still paying membership fees for anything you no longer use, get on the phone and cancel immediately.
#2 Check Your Electric Tariff Once a Year
Use our comparison site in English, it takes less than 2 minutes to put in your details and upload your latest bill.
And if you’re already on the best tariff, read our post for more suggestions on how to save.
If yours is one of the 70% of households in Spain paying over the odds, it could be the best 5 minutes you spend.
#3 Diarise Recurring Payments
All you need is a diary or smartphone. Note the date your recurring payments, such as insurance, are up for renewal and the last date that each contract can be legally cancelled.
Car and home insurance companies should send out the new premium two months before renewal, but just in case you don’t receive it you’ll have your diary to remind you.
Don’t accept any increase in price without querying it with the company. Even if you’re not interested in changing company, in most cases if you hint that you’re willing to go elsewhere you’ll often find that companies will offer a lower premium.
#4 Ditch Credit Cards with Annual Fees
Do you know if you pay commission for your bank credit card? If you’re not sure, find out!
With annual fees of around 30€ what perks are you getting that you wouldn’t get with a free card?
Take a look at our guide to cards with no annual fee that offer additional perks in exchange for a low quarterly expenditure threshold.
Don’t forget to pay off in full at the end of the month to avoid interest charges.
#5 Open An Account For Currency Exchange
Stop using your bank for currency exchange. And don’t be fooled by the “no commission” – it’s just an excuse for poor exchange rates.
A specialist account offers better rates and transfers in commonly used currencies (GBP, USD) take less than a minute*.
Also consider getting a multi-currency card if you often travel abroad outside the Eurozone.
*For transfers ordered by credit or debit card.
#6 Get a Store Loyalty Card
If you always shop at the same store, ask if they have a loyalty card. It takes less than 5 minutes to fill in the application form and cards tend to come with points, discounts and other promos.
Take care to check that it’s not a payment card, you don’t want to be hit with interest charges.
#7 Locate ATMs
Not all ATMs offer free withdrawals for your bank card. Before travelling in Spain check which banks (as well as your own) allow free cash withdrawals and note the details.
#8 Buy Train Tickets Online, Not At The Station
An advance ticket is nearly always cheaper than buying at the station, even if it’s just a few euros difference.
Even though Renfe’s website is not the most user-friendly (and often crashes at times of high demand), be prepared by taking 5 minutes to read our guide on all the ways to save on your next train trip.
Junk email just tempts you to spend your hard-earned cash. Take 5 minutes each day for a week to unsubscribe from absolutely everything that’s not essential.
Double results: less temptation and less time spent deleting unwanted mail.
#10 Sign-Up For Our Newsletter
Yes, we’ve just told you to unsubscribe from newsletters, but not from ours! It’s a 5-minute read and comes with the best ways to save each week.
You can find the sign-up form (just your name and email) at the top of the right hand column.