Since buying my house my life has completely changed, I was never one for sacrificing things I wanted. I impulse bought clothes and planned trips as and when I pleased. Now I am a home owner with a substantial amount of renovation work still needed. I have learned to be a lot more savvy with how I spend my income. Along with paying my bills, affording to do things I enjoy, I have also been able to book holidays and plan trips with my friends this year and I have saved the money for my braces which go on this month *argh*. I haven’t managed this because I earn a huge amount of money or because I have been given any money from my parents but due to working hard to understand where I have been wasting money unnecessarily and learning to say no to things that are not always needed.
When my house was going through I got myself a second job at a pub in my village and honestly, it was the best thing I ever did. I could put all my salary towards the house and the additional costs of solicitors, bills and renovation and the pub money went towards my weekends and the tips into a money box for a rainy day. I know a second job isn’t everyone’s dream and it wasn’t something I was going to be able to maintain forever but for a short period of time, it was what I needed. I live pretty much on my own which at times can be the hardest, especially when it comes to food and how to prioritise what I spend my money on, so these are just 25 simple tips if you feel like you are in a bit of a money saving rut.
- Plan your food shop – Before I go shopping I try and figure out my plans for the week, which includes where I will be for lunch and dinner to make sure I don’t buy too much and waste it, or too little and have to nip to the shops again as I always end up buying more than I went in for.
- Do one big food shop- Aldi is by far the cheapest for me, so I plan what I need for the two weeks if possible and head over there. I freeze a lot of the fresh food I know will go off before I finish them, such as bread, and vegetables.
- Sell old clothes– Organise clothes and sell unwanted items on eBay/ Car boots etc, or plan a clothes swap with friends.
- Evaluate the need for the ‘new’ thing – Do you need the latest iPhone or do you just want it? There is little difference between the iPhone 6 & 7 but you can save yourself quite a bit on phone contracts if you are willing to keep your existing handsets or compromise with a less expensive phone.
- Share clothes – Ask friends if you can borrow dresses for parties, occasions etc. It can be nice to treat yourself to a new dress for big occasions but if it is just something you need to attend then don’t be afraid to ask around.
- Charity shops – Check out charity shops and eBay for books instead of buying them new.
- Household costs – Look at where you can save money on household costs. Shop around for better deals on gas and electricity, broadband etc.
- Don’t waste resources – Use blankets and layers etc before putting on the heating and watch how much water you waste filling the washing bowl and not actually washing up (I do this waaay too often, I can’t be an adult all the time).
- Find other ways to enjoy the weekend away from shops –Taking away the temptation massively helps to avoid needing to buy new clothes.
- Unsubscribe from retail newsletters
- Review subscriptions, are you subscribing to unnecessary services? I try and stay away from beauty boxes, food, snack, magazine subscriptions where possible because I just don’t really need them.
- Use loyalty cards – I can be so bad at remembering to use these, so I band them all together in my purse to try and encourage me to remember. Tesco can be great for cinema tickets and food chains etc. Most petrol stations now offer Tesco club card points or nectar card points. I literally have loyalty cards for everywhere, from supermarkets, coffee shops, Boots, Superdrug, eyebrow appointments, Nandos, local food chains. Just don’t forget to collect points, Tesco points don’t stay on your account forever.
- Buy toiletries from drug stores for points– I know it is easier to pick up all toiletries as you whizz round the supermarket but if you buy them from Boots etc you get points on your advantage card. The boots advantage card is one of my favourites, those points can be a godsend when I am low on money and need some new makeup.
- See where you can save money on products – A few months back I did a post here on affordable makeup and how much it has saved me. If you know you are spending a lot of money in a certain area on products that are more of a nice to have than essential, see what you can swap them with. I didn’t stop buying high-end makeup altogether but I shopped around and looked at what I could add to my makeup bag that I get through quickly instead of repeat buying £30 foundation on a regular basis.
- Invite you friends round – I am sure my girls will be rolling their eyes at this. I do love going out but at the end of the day, my reason for going out about 80% of the time is purely just to catch up with friends. If you don’t need to get dressed up and dance then invite the girls to yours. Tapas nights are a favourite. I have a great group of girls, every time we arrange something they will all ask what can they bring. It means that no one, including the host, is left covering all the costs.
- Share Netflix – We all have that family member who foots the Netflix bill on their own, shoutout to Pip! We all know how much we love Netflix, for me although it’s all I watch I don’t love it enough to pay for it but if you have it and you know a friend does to then share the cost between you? You can now buy a package where Netflix can be on four devices so you could all be saving yourselves a bit without missing out on weekend binges.
- Cancel unused gym memberships – If like me you are prone to forgetting all about your gym membership cancel it. Save that money and work out at home. You can find hundreds of great workout videos on youtube for free, or follow Joe Wickes on Facebook, he often does live workouts that you can recreate a few times a week.
- Second hand – Use gumtree and eBay for furniture and upcycle
- Walk where you can or try and share car journeys with friends and colleagues
- Take your own lunch and snacks to work and avoid those morning coffees you pay for.
- Rent a room out – If you are currently living on your own, or even as a couple but wouldn’t mind a bit more money to spend on holidays etc. Rent your spare room out, you can do this for just a few months or even just Airbnb. It’s a good way to make money from unused space.
- ‘Save the change’ – Lloyds and TSB have a save the change scheme, that can really help you save money. Every time you use your debit card, the amount you have spent will be rounded up to the nearest pound and the extra spent will be put into a savings account. This is a great method to put away those extra pennies you don’t think about. If you don’t bank with Lloyds or TSB don’t worry, there are a few good apps available that do the same thing, such as moneybox. Quidco (don’t judge on the awful name) can also be a great way to make/save money as you spend. It doesn’t make you a fortune but saving money as you spend can only be a win/win situation.
- Change your ‘go to’ drink – I have always been a fan of cocktails, I have such a sweet tooth. When I am out I find it really hard to resist a cocktail but it often means I blow money so quickly compared to everyone else. I have now started ordering gin and tonics only. Mixer and spirits are much lower in cost.
- Plan cheap days out – There are so many cheap days out to be had if you are inventive. My friends and I went to Oxford for the day, it has been one of my favourite days out this year and I hardly spent any money. From museums, walks, beaches, galleries, Cities there are so many places you can enjoy for not a lot of money.
- Be a tourist in your town/area – If you are someone who likes to travel, see new places etc but are finding it difficult to constantly save for flights, trains, hotels etc. Try being a tourist in your town/ county. This has been a growing trend amongst bloggers recently. You will be surprised how many new places have opened up in your city unnoticed.
I know some of these can seem like a lot of effort but they can be integrated into your life so easy it becomes second nature. If you have any more tips I would love to hear them!
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