9 simple ways to save money
I feel a little bit cheeky writing a post about how to save money as it's definitely not something that comes naturally to me. I have friends who make putting money in their savings account every month as much of a priority as paying their rent and electricity bill, but it’s always been a bit of a struggle for me.
Through uni I practically lived in my overdraft, and even though I've been lucky enough to have always had a decent salary since graduating I've never managed to save any great amount. I’ve always found it hard not to be tempted by more exciting things like eating out and buying new clothes and booking holidays!
But one of my resolutions this year was to get a grip on my finances and I'm proud to say that I've gone from having zero savings to a pretty healthy amount. There have been a couple of things that have really helped me to save money, so I thought I'd share my tips with you all...
1) Have a goal in mind
Whether it’s a dream holiday, a house deposit or a fancy new handbag, having something in mind that you’re saving for makes it SO much easier not to be tempted to blow all your wages on that amazing jacket/pair of boots/absolute bargain that’s caught your eye. Keep visualising whatever it is you’re saving for and you’ll be amazed at how strong your willpower can be!
2) Commit to a couple of small changes
Make your morning Starbucks a weekly treat rather than a daily one or cut back on your magazine buying habit and read content online instead. The change that has really worked for me isdeciding to take my lunch with me to work rather than buying it – this has saved me about £100 a month which very quickly adds up!
3) Make smart swaps
Think about replacing expensive ready meals and takeaways with cheaper home cooked meals or take public transport instead of driving everywhere. Do you really need that Sky TV subscription or could you get your binge watching hit by subscribing to Netflix instead? Maybe you could cancel your expensive gym membership and try getting some free exercise instead - I wrote some tips on working out for less here.
4) Utilise loyalty cards and reward schemes
If you use certain stores or restaurants regularly, make sure you're signed up for any loyalty programmes that they have and keep an eye out for any big promotions. The rewards can quickly add up, especially if you utilise thing like double points weekends, and if you're going to buy the stuff anyway you might as well benefit right?!
5) Keep your eyes peeled for deals and coupons
My friends and I are pros at finding great deals and offers when we go out for dinner - UK Hot Deals is a great place to look, and most big chain restaurants usually have a midweek offer running. Also, always make sure you browse online for coupons and offer codes before making any big purchases so that you can be certain you are getting the best deals.
6) Operate a "one in one out" policy
This is a fairly straight forward one, but for every new item of clothing you want to buy, make sure you sell an old item on eBay or Depop. It helps to take a bit of the guilt out of buying something new, and also stops your wardrobe getting too cluttered. I have to admit that I haven't quite nailed this one as I'm a bit of a shopaholic, but I'm determined to clear out my wardrobe before we move and have a selling session!
7) Do a big shop once a week
I got into a bad habit last year of just popping to the supermarket on the way home from work to pick up some bits for tea. Sounds fairly innocent, but I'd always end up spending a fortune on the extras that I'd throw in the basket - like wine, new nail varnishes, family sized bars of Galaxy... So now I do a big supermarket shop once a week, and I always plan and make a list before I go so that I don't go overboard.
8) Join the library
I can't be the only one who spends a small fortune on Amazon every month trying to feed my reading habit right??? Joining a library means you get to read as much as you like for free, plus it'll make you feel all cute and nostalgic and part of your community.
Last but definitely not least, PRIORITISE. If you're serious about hitting your saving goals then you have to accept that you can't do everything. Prioritise a couple of things that you spend cash on that are important to you, and then think about where you can make some sacrifices. For me, cutting back on eating out regularly is bearable if I know that I can still take a couple of trips a year, but everyones priorities will be different.
Have you been trying to save money recently? Do you have any tips?