Nationwide research claims more people are using cash to help budget

Bristol mum gives tip on how to save money

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Data from Nationwide Building Society reveals more than 30.2 million cash withdrawals were made from Nationwide cash machines last year – a 19 percent increase on 2021. This bucks the trend of years of declining ATM use and is a result of more people returning to cash to help them stick to a budget and ease the cost of living. Swapping debit cards for cash could save people up to £250 a month according to one Bristol resident who shared how it’s been helping her make savings.

The average amount of cash withdrawn from Nationwide ATMs was £105 last year, down two percent on the previous year but still up 25 percent on 2019.

Over recent years the number of cash withdrawals had been steadily declining, most sharply at the start of the pandemic when the number of withdrawals at Nationwide ATMs dropped more than 40 percent in a year.

Nationwide has more than 1,200 ATMs located across the UK either inside or outside its branches, all of which are free to use.

Otto Benz, Director of Payments at Nationwide Building Society, said it’s a sign that people are using cash to help them budget.

He said: “For the first time in years we are seeing a natural rise in cash withdrawals as people return to using cash to help avoid getting into debt from the rising cost of living.

“ATMs play a vital role in society, enabling people to easily access cash. However, over the years, they have offered greater capability for people to manage their money, whether that’s checking their balance or paying a household bill.

“Our data shows people are clearly taking advantage of this enhanced technology as we are increasingly putting money away as well as taking it out.

“Far from the end for cash, it shows that the future of money management is constantly evolving. Taking advantage of the additional services that ATMs provide can be a speedy and convenient experience.”

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Britons have been telling how ditching cards for cash has helped them to save money – single mum Sharon Lowick has been saving more than £250 a month.

She told “I find it saves me so much money as I’m a little bit of a shopaholic I tend to not even go in some of the shops because I know I don’t need it. I only buy what I need so it’s really helping me.”

Blogger Becky Derbyshire previously told how she paid off £8,000 worth of debt in ten years by adopting this method.

She said: “I love that it’s money I can see I’m spending, making it more real than paying for things by card. I’ve been doing this for years – annoys my husband a lot as I’m always loading my pockets with various change and notes that end up going through the wash.”

Experts have been sharing their savings hacks for 2023 to help people’s money stretch further.

Consumer experts at have come up with some ways people can save money from completing monthly saving challenges to knocking hundreds of pounds off holiday expenses.

Lucinda Fox, online consumer expert at, said: “We’ve faced one of the toughest years when it comes to saving money, as every household expense has been rising from petrol to food and of course our energy bills.

“We’ve found various ways to save over the next year such as following budget planners and booking holidays a year in advance.”

Some of NetVoucherCodes top tips include:

  • Ask for a smart meter
  • Start a side hustle
  • Enter free competitions
  • Have spend free weekends

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