There’s been a fair few times I’ve had to save a lot of money in my life.
I saved a whole £10,000 pre-2013 to splash out on my year of travel. Right now, I’ve nearly saved up another sizeable sum, this time towards a mortgage.
Like a squirrel storing her nuts – I’ve actually been compared to a squirrel once, no lie – I think I just have an instinct, I know how to save. I must take it for granted sometimes after seeing a number of stunned faces over the years after I’ve spoken about my savings. Stunned faces that subsequently ask; how?
So that’s why I thought I’d share a few of my money saving tips, in case I’m doing something you should definitely be doing too.
Money Saving Tips
1. Be Realistic
The other year I earned only £10,000 in total, or just over. It was below my taxable income so I didn’t pay a penny to the taxman. But, I still managed to put away £3,000 in my savings, go on a week holiday and my first Glastonbury. There’s no real way how to save money fast, unless you’ve been blessed by luck in winning a lump sum on the lottery, gambling or elsewhere. So it’s important to start by being realistic.
Learning how to save money comes hand-in-hand with how to budget. Begin by writing the total sum of money you get per week, or month or whatever. Then start deducting the things you absolutely need to pay for. Bills, insurance and travel (to work) are all necessities. Late night ubers, new shoes and a weekly Dominoes are not.
Once everything is deducted, what you have left is really what you have left. No ifs, no buts. Dividing this by the number of weeks until next pay day will help you how to budget. Remember, only you are responsible for sticking to that weekly amount and I mean sticking to it. No matter what.
Yes, I know it sucks to miss out, but deep down I know when I can’t afford something, or know when I really shouldn’t be spending my money on something, whatever that something is. So I don’t do it. Simple. Believe me, it’s a far greater feeling when I’ve achieved my saving goal and I’m flying high than it is to really wish I’d saved up to do that something I’ve always wanted to do.
Quick money saving tips! We’re all human and we can’t all be bothered to write down our incoming and outgoings. Luckily there’s a plethora of apps out there that can do it for you, at twice the speed. You can also update this as you spend, or save, too.
2. Keep Track
Getting into the saving mindset isn’t easy. When I was asked by my boyfriend if I started ‘working on the side’ – jokingly I should add! – after he’d seen my savings balance I tried to explain this to him.
There’s a page in my Bullet Journal where I track what I’ve been spending my money on. Since I’ve started doing this, I feel I have a better control over my spending. Plus, if I do treat myself on something in the sale, or on a cheeky McDonalds, it reminds me that I’m not too hard up (and keeps me from splashing out again).
Quick money saving tips! Paying a gym membership? Ask if you can freeze your account and how long for. Gym memberships aren’t cheap and exercise can be free (including a ton of fitness apps in the App Store). While you’re at it, look over your other monthly outgoings to see what else you can reduce or, even better, get rid.
3. The Power of No
When saving money, it’s inevitable at times when I have to say no to my friends. No to drinks out on Friday, no to that crazy holiday in Prague and no to, well anything I couldn’t afford.
But I didn’t always have to let my friends down. I could go out for a drink, just not loads of drinks. Instead of going out, I’d invite them round and share a takeaway between us, a much cheaper way of enjoying their company than eating out.
It’s about maintaining the right balance. Staying in like a house hermit isn’t best for anybody for long periods of time, it’ll make anybody go stir crazy. By all means go out, see your friends and have fun. Just keep a steel cold and hard grip on your spending!
Quick money saving tips! I currently live at home with my parents and yes I know that’s not cool, but it’s helped me save because of cheap rent – which makes it something to consider. If living at home is not an option then do some research, see if you can live cheaper, at least until you’ve hit your saving goal.
4. Release Your Inner Bargain Hunter
As if I need to explain about bargains – everyone loves a bargain! Me telling you to hunt out as many bargains you can, for the things you really must buy, is fruitless. I mean, who doesn’t do that anyway?
What I’m trying to say is… make it more fun. Make it a game. Scavenge the best meal deal in Tesco, only go to the cinema when it’s 2 for 1 and find the best bargain in the ASOS sale that’ll make your friends jealous. There’s no shame in having a browse in the reduced section of the supermarket, that’s all I’m sayin’.
Be pro-active and ring up HMRC to see if you’re due a tax rebate. Start selling your belongings you don’t need on eBay, depop or whatever. I sold a lot of DVDs and CDs that were just gathering dust on Music Magpie.
There’s also a lot of survey websites out there too, helping you to earn an extra bit of dough without too much effort. It might be 10p a survey and a £40 payout each time, but filling out surveys can kill time on the bus, in the evenings before bed, at lunch time… There’s plenty of better ways of saving money than doing something crazy like medical research, believe me!
Quick money saving tips! Get yourself registered on a cashback website. You can get cashback on many different purchases from 100’s of brands. I won’t mention which one I’ve registered too, just because I don’t want this post to seem sponsored (it’s not), but I’ve already saved up over £20 in cashback. After all, every little helps.
Let me know if any of these tips help! Do you have any money saving tips? Feel free to share your tips on how to budget and save in the comments section below.