Skimming is a really, really simple way of saving hundreds of pounds over a year. You only save very small amounts at a time so you don’t even miss the money from your budget.
We really struggle to save money. Neither of us earns a fortune, and once the rent, bills and day to day expenses are paid, there is very little money left in the pot to save. In an ideal situation, I’d love to be able to transfer a chunk of money, say £50, every month to put in our savings account for emergencies., but in reality, we would miss that money.
Or would we?
Over the past few months, I have been able to save at least £50 a month, often more, simply by ‘skimming’. It turns out that whilst I would miss it leaving my day to day account in one chunk, I don’t miss a couple of pounds here and there.
What is skimming and how does it work?
Skimming sounds like a bit of a dodgy practice, but all it is taking money off the top of your own bank account and transferring it to your savings.
It’s really simple. Log into your online bank account – I also do this with my PayPal as well because I’m paid through PayPal quite regularly.
Now, let’s assume there is £87.57 in your bank account.
To skim, you round the figure down to make a nice rounded number.
Depending on how tight finances are, you can round it to the nearest pound, five pounds or ten pounds.
If you’re rounding it down to the nearest pound, you would transfer 57p into your savings.
If you’re rounding it down to the nearest five pounds, you would transfer £2.57 into your savings.
If you’re rounding it down to the nearest ten pounds, you would transfer £7.57 into your savings.
See how it works? It’s so simple and not many people miss small amounts like that? Even on a very tight budget, I don’t miss small amounts like that. It’s like the bank account equivalent of saving your copper coins in a jar.
How often should I be skimming?
That’s completely up to you. I tend to do it every couple of days and skim smaller amounts. Some people choose to do it once a day (if their bank allows them to transfer very small amounts). Some people choose to do it once a week and skim larger amounts. It really is a case of whatever works best for you. There are apps that automatically skim for you, such as Chip, but the more cynical side of me prefers to do it myself. The most important thing is that you are saving small amounts of money that you possibly wouldn’t save otherwise. Even a few pennies a day add up over time. You could put it towards a holiday, next Christmas or for emergencies.
Why not give it a go and see how you get on?