How many of you have a savings account? I wasn’t using one until this year, simply because throughout university I was living in an overdraft, and once I left I was working on building that account back up. This year however I’ve been attempting to put more away in the hopes of using it to travel next year!
#1 – Put a Portion of Your Wage Into Savings As Soon As It Comes In
This is one of the easiest things to do. It might only be £50 or it might be £200, whatever it is, putting something away right at the beginning means you know exactly what you’ve got left for the rest of the month, and you can budget off that. It might mean that you’re having to be more strict on buying treats and such, but isn’t that the point of saving? Not everyone can put a big chunk away, I’m aware, but if you just do as much as you can then at least you know you always have something going to one side.
#2 – Have A Spending Budget
I’ve been trying something new over the past month, and instead of just spending on my card whenever and wherever, using cash instead. I’ll get £50 out at the start of the week. This is my budget (not including petrol) and I can’t use my card in shops when out. Whatever I have at the end of the week crosses over, and on the new Monday I’ll get out enough money to make it back up to £50. So I could end up finishing one week with £20 still left. I’ll then get out £30 to make it back up.
It’s a different one, but it seems to be working. I’m definitely being more mindful of my spending now I’m relying on cash rather than card. It’s all too easy to spend, spend, spend without realising what’s actually going out. Also a good thing to do is empty your loose coins into a money box.
#3 – Sell Things And Put That Money Away
Ah the age-old process of going through your belongings and seeing what you can sell. Admittedly this isn’t something that would get you a lot of money, but you’re basically having a clean out and getting paid for it. Win-win really right? I have a lot of craft stuff that I’m just not using and I knew someone would appreciate it. Books, DVDs, clothes, shoes, bags, unopened make up… These things will probably all sell pretty easily on ebay! Or you could even try a car boot. Again, not something to gain hundreds of pounds with but every little bit really does help.
#4 – Stop Eating Out All The Time
I love a good meal out. I’m not saying to stop that because we all need a treat right? I’d say the bigger problem is constantly buying food on the go. Grabbing something quick for lunch at work, maybe even getting breakfast on your way in. Stopping by for that morning coffee fix. These things all seem small at the time, but of course they add up quickly.
Say you buy a £3 meal deal every day at work and you do 5 days. That’s £15 a week, £60 a month, £720 a year. How much scarier does that last figure sound? And that’s just what I’d class as the cheaper end. This doesn’t include those daily coffees/teas or breakfasts, snacks and the like.
It might take a little bit more time and extra planning, but it’s definitely cheaper to buy your own foods and make lunches at home. You also know exactly what’s going in them then so you can be mindful of what you’re eating. I eat a lot of leftovers for lunches, like with my rice and pasta dishes. Make a little extra at night time and bingo, that’s tomorrow’s food sorted too.
#5 – Sort Through Your Outgoings/Subscriptions
This sounds like an obvious thing, but I wonder how many of you actually check what’s going out each month? I’m guilty of forgetting about things. Like my Adobe membership (obviously necessary because Photoshop and Lightroom, how could I not?!) and my magazine subscription to Women’s Running (also necessary because otherwise I’d just buy the magazines in a shop and end up spending WAY more).
But yeah, are you using Netflix enough to warrant that subscription? Could you cope without it? I still had a contact lens subscription running and was just building up packs. That’s been cancelled now. So yeah, an obvious one but just check your outgoings and make sure there’s nothing unnecessary in there. You could be surprised!