Money: Saving Tips‏

by - Friday, October 16, 2015

Photo taken by Charlotte Elizabeth, Location Javea Spain
If this was 5 years ago, I would have not in the position to write anything about saving money never mind giving you tips about it. But a lot has changed, and I’d like to think that in these past 5 years I have come really far and have learnt the basics of adulthood. Especially in terms of money. Oh sweet, sweet money!

I was somewhat of a shopaholic back then – okay I probably am still now – and I wouldn’t think twice about going out every other day shopping, eating out and partying at the weekends. Now I am a little more savvy, I mean I have a mortgage, I am self-studying towards a degree and I am also planning and paying for my own wedding (which it ain’t cheap) but don’t worry, being savvy doesn’t mean you miss out on having a social life, it hasn’t for me, so I have noted a few tips for you that help me save whilst still having a social life. Woohoo!


We have all been there, avoiding checking your bank account because you don’t want to face reality about how much cash you don’t have. But avoiding checking your accounts is the worst thing you can do. In order to actually save money, you need to know how much money you have - or in my case don’t have – because this will be the foundation to you planning what to do. I recommend checking your bank account every other day if you don’t really spend much, or daily if you do, yano’ just to keep tabs with everything.


Please tell me you own a Filofax? I really don’t understand how people don’t need one, I use mine every day. Filofax has a great little income and expenses set which includes a years’ worth of monthly planning papers. I religiously use this, when I get paid I write down how much I have been paid along with everything that needs to come out in that money. When things have been paid I tick a confirmation in the payment method (cash, debit card or direct debit) and also write the date so I can keep track. This method really helps me keep on track of my finances and allows me to work out how much money I can save each month.


Okay, so I hold my hands up and admit I am one of those people with an OCD and gets really annoyed if your car radio isn’t on an even number. Honestly, I have a compulsion where I must change it, even if you changed it afterwards. I round everything up in my expenses so my phone bill at £36, I round up to £40 when budgeting, then I’ll always have a little extra, likewise when checking my online banking I hate having random numbers, so once all my bills and debits have come out, if my balance is £513 for example, I’ll transfer the £13 to my savings account. I try to do this a couple times a month, it may not seem much but it will all add up!


No I don’t mean a chance at winning £1000 on the program. But what I do mean is come over and dine with me, you could save money between your friends and rather than eating out regularly, take it in turns to go to each other’s house for dinner. Cooking means yourself can make dining a lot cheaper, and you can always pick up a cheeky bottle of vino on the cheap too!


If eating out, try limit the amount of times you eat out (this is hard, trust me as me and my best friend always eat out and too often) but try and stick to just one outing a month if you usually eat once a week. Taking advantage of offers on apps such as VoucherCodes or VoucherCloud could save you pennies. Also, if you are a regular eater-outer then why not look at yearly discount cards, albeit you do pay a monthly/annual fee but it still works out cheaper. My favourite is the Gourmet Society as this is used in most of the places local to me as well as large franchises, you can get anything from discounts at cinema tickets, to 25% off your total bill at Café Rouge and two-for-one at your local Indian or even discounts for up to parties of 6. (Pssst! Head over to the Gourmet Society website as they have an offer at the minute where you can trial 3 months membership for £1) I have also used the Taste Card previously, but I found that they were a lot more expensive and not as many restaurants accepted them and they had more T&C’s compared to GS.


On the last day before your new payday, whatever money you have from the month before, put it in your savings account. All of it. Every single penny.  If you hadn’t spent it in the month before, you know you can survive with your wages without that extra cash, so avoid the temptation of buying a new handbag because you have the extra cash and instead pop it into your savings and save, save, save. Okay, I hold my hand up. I very rarely have “money” left over at the end of the month. As I am the kinda girl who pays all her bills and puts money away for a rainy day at the start of the money, that for the rest of the money I give myself “pocket money” and I will have a fixed amount each week that I can spend, BUT my fiancé does this tip (and it’s a pretty good idea, I promise myself I am going to start.. eventually).


We are all human. We all have high expectations, we’d all love to save £10,000 in a year to be able to go on a round the world trip, or buy a new car but the truth of the matter is we can’t – unless you are on a whacking good wage or live rent free with your parents – so you need to be realistic, yes you can still save when you have a mortgage and other bits and bobs, but don’t stress about how much each month or how much your goal is. Look at realistic figures, £100 per month might be the right amount so you don’t notice it out of your wages, in a year that’s £1,200. And in five years its £6,000. Whatever the reason for saving, always make it affordable, you shouldn't struggle to save. Being realistic = Less stress.

Truth of the matter is, there will come a point in your life where you will need to dip into your savings. Whether it be in a week, or a month, a year or even a decade. But having that little savings pot is handy as it stops you getting into bother when you least expect it. I hope these tips help you a little on saving some pennies. I’ll also be sharing a “how not to spend money” post shortly, but if there are any other tips you’d like me to share, just drop a comment below and I’ll get my thinking cap on!

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