As a Trainer since 2010 and Mentor since 2005 I, a self employed Trainer like many of you, find that work can flow in the way of either a feast or a famine at times! Given that some months, quarters, and indeed years, leave us with more cash flow than others it is always worthwhile looking at where and how we can save money as we go about our business.
My granny always said to me: “if you take care of the pennies then the pounds look after themselves”, so in true penny pinching fashion here are five of our top tips for our local network of Trainers operating across Northern Ireland and beyond. Sure, you could even end up making yourself a little cash if you follow our advice:  

1. Take advantage of reward schemes:

I hold loyalty cards for retail spends in Tesco, Nectar, Boots, Applegreen and for coffee shops like Clements and Caffe Nero, to name but a few! Trainers like us find ourselves spending significant amounts of money on petrol and on coffee meetings so why wouldn’t you sign up to get something back from expenditure you will be making regardless. Signing up is generally free and your rewards can add up to something relatively significant.
I personally turn my Tesco blue reward vouchers that arrive in the post quarterly into diamonds… honestly…it’s simple really – by logging online to Tesco Clubcard you click to turn your blue vouchers into three or four times the value towards Goldsmiths, hotel stays, meals out, cinema tickets and more.
As far as my hotel stays go – I book via TopCashBack (more about that in tip 3) to earn between 4% and 10% of my total cost back in cash –  I also log in to my own profile on sites such as to use ‘ Rewards’ in order to get one night free for every ten nights purchased (they take an average of your spend). Given the business I operate in and the amount of travel it entails – I have redeemed 5 free nights so far.  
    For coffee shops it is generally one coffee free for every ten purchased. In Caffe Nero if you bring in your own reuseable cup you get 2 reward points for every 1 coffee purchased. Also if you download their loyalty app and send the ‘invite a friend’ code – you receive 2 free coffees when your referred friend purchases their first coffee using the app and they get a free coffee too. You could also use my code as well, so that you will get one coffee for free after getting your first loyalty stamp. There are a lot of Caffe Nero’s throughout the UK where you can have your daily coffee intake.
If your mobile phone is 02 – download the 02 priority app and get a free hot drink in Caffe Nero every Tuesday afternoon and one main course in Pizza Express each week for £5. (Aside from your work as a trainer you can also pick up free ice-cream or even a branded Advent calendar in Thornton’s)  

2. Seek out and Use Deals Services such as Groupon:

  Marketing platforms like Groupon and Living Social require you to pay up front so if you use them to save money – make sure you remember to redeem your coupon before it expires. If you use this link to sign up for the first time and spend at least £6 within 72 hours then we get £6 in Groupon credit for referring you. Currently they have additional savings promoted via a pop up when you visit their website:

“Get up to 20% Extra Off Your First Deal*

Use code WELCOME at checkout for 20% Extra Off Local & Getaways, or 10% Extra Off Goods.”

3. Earn money by purchasing online:

I have earned over £450 from my online spending by first logging into my TopCashBack account and clicking to purchase from this starting point.
Indeed if you click on this link to join TopCashBack to start earning your cash back (yes, it is quite literal) then I get paid anywhere between £7.50 and £20.
My earnings have come from: purchasing my internet – I received £60 cash back on a £15 per month sky internet purchase; booking hotel rooms through as well as; buying Stansted express tickets; and from buying my stationery, printer ink and training materials such as Flipchart paper from Viking.

4. Make cash or earn rewards from referrals:

All Trainers should really have their business insurance in place, some tenders require professional indemnity and public liability and if you have any staff in employment or placement Employers liability applies too. I have always found after extensive price comparison that Simply Business offer me the best quote. If you use my referral to become a customer of Simply Business I make £25 and you get £25 too. Please do price around of course but if you do earn me £25 then thank you kindly. Just remember to use this link. (View Terms) Marketing platforms like Groupon also offer referral rewards – if you use this link to sign up for the first time and spend at least £6 within 72 hours then we get £6 in Groupon credit for referring you. If you download the Caffe Nero loyalty app and send the ‘invite a friend’ code – you receive 2 free coffees when your referred friend purchases their first coffee using the app and they get a free coffee too.

5. Get paid while travelling and to stay in hotels:

I have mystery shopped since I found a bonafide advert for a Mystery Shopper in my local Job Centre in Newcastle, County Down, when I was just 16. I have been paid to go to the cinema with a date, dine in a restaurant with 3 friends, work out at a gym, sleep in a hotel room, get photocopying carried out, shop for luxury toiletries, photograph billboard posters across Belfast and more. Mystery shop companies can be on the look out for willing mystery shoppers to carry out airport and hotel mystery shops all over the UK, Ireland and beyond. Simply take on the mystery shop projects that suit your work schedule. Do note that these mystery shopping companies pay you to mystery shop – a small fee, really, up to £40 for a full hotel mystery shop which includes an overnight stay and eating in the restaurant etc and they also reimburse expenses.
As a proud money saver I am happy to advise that this blog may grow in size in the months and years ahead as I recall or find more ways for Trainers like us to save money as we go about our business. There are many more ways for trainers to save money including shopping around and negotiating prices and/or contra deals. Please do feel free to share to your hearts content and if you have any money saving tips for our community of Trainers do let us know using our Contact Us form, Tweet Us, Facebook Us or Message us on Instagram or LinkedIn. If we add your tips and/or advice to our blog we will of course credit you so advise how you wish to be credited when you get in touch.
Blog first created by Chartered Marketer and Founder Christine Watson on 10 April 2018. Edited 4 July 2019.    

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