Sunday, 12 February 2017

5 simple (and easy) ways you can save more money


I don't know about you, but these days it feels like I bleed money! Rent, bills, petrol, council tax, food shopping - it all adds up, and that's before we even get to the fun stuff. We're currently trying to save for a house, and although we're now the bulk of the way there, I'm getting real tired of seeing my bank balance trickle down each month as standing orders an direct debits fly out at an alarming rate.

I've recently taken a different approach to managing my money though, and it's already paying off. Before I'd spend the weeks leading up to pay day ignoring my dwindling funds and praying I wouldn't hit the dreaded overdraft, dreading the bill if I used the credit card on something without thinking. Now I'm keeping a much closer eye on things, and while it's definitely a case of spending some time forming better habits, I thought I'd share my top tips so far.

Prioritise

Now, I'm not the type to spend hundreds of pounds each month on clothes and makeup, just the odd budget purchase here and there, so that's not much of an issue. If you do want to make a big but non-essential purchase I'd suggest keeping a little money back each pay day for a couple of months rather than blowing your credit card limit. Then you'll be sure you really want it, too. You don't have to scrimp and deprive yourself of everything to save money, you just have to think your purchases through a bit more.

Our household has some unavoidable expenses (rent where we live is expensive and I have a long commute to work in the car), but we also spend wisely in other areas. We've got a Netflix subscription rather than an expensive TV package, buy second-hand PS4 games and don't mind heading to the local Wetherspoon now and again over a swanky wine bar. If you feel like you're spending a lot, have a look and see where you can make compromises. Even changing where you do your food shop could make a big difference. Take it from Waitrose to Aldi and you could save a pretty penny.

Use loyalty cards and reward bank accounts

I have so many loyalty cards and points cards that I always manage to forget to use. I had a look back over them and reorganised my purse, and put the ones I use the most in easy to reach card slots. These days there are loyalty cards and points programmes for everything from supermarkets and coffee shops to swimming pools and sandwich vans so it's worth asking when you shop somewhere new for the first time. 

My Tesco Clubcard and Boots Advantage card are the two that probably pay off the most Some programmes allow you to trade in reward points for boosted vouchers for the cinema, restaurants, attractions and more. These days even bank accounts provide cashback on your direct debits and certain transactions, so don't forget to look at those too.

Hoard your change

I definitely don't use cash as much as I used too, but when I do I regularly swipe the change from my purse and throw anything smaller than 50p into a jar. You can quickly build up 20 quid or more and take it to the bank to change up. Have a good rummage in old purses, under the bed, drawers and pockets too - we found £15 in our flat just while tidying up, and plan to spend it on a treat since we didn't expect to find it!

Use things up completely before rebuying them

I've become more guilty of this since I got into beauty blogging a bit more, but having multiple cleansers, perfumes, shower gels etc just for the sake of it is a bit unecessary. I'm instead trying to teach myself to resist the urge to try the latest new thing I saw on Instagram and use up the products I've actually got before splashing out on new ones. A quick look through your drawers and cabinets could reveal some bad habits. I've put spares and unopened alternatives into a box in the spare room, and I'll shop the stash I've created before buying anything else.

Monitor your habits

Although I've tried to make a note of what I'm buying and hold on to receipts, there are always things you forget to write down or pay for with coins and have no record of. I recently discovered a super helpful app called On Trees that gives you a combined view across all your accounts (including credit cards and ISAs) and allows you to categorise and set budgets on everything going in and out.

I was a little concerned about logging into all of my accounts via an app, but it's secured with a passcode and directly integrated with most major online banking providers, so it's definitely the best option out there. It means I can keep an eye on how many times I've been to Costa, as well as how much I've managed to save. I used to avoid logging into my bank accounts because I couldn't be bothered to download and set up multiple apps, but this was a doddle. I use it every day and couldn't recommend it more!

Do you have any top tips for saving extra money?
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2 comments

  1. Great tips! I think prioritizing is definitely the key, although by no means am I an expert at it.. I try to make a monthly budget after each payday and think about the bigger purchases I have to make that month, how much I have to save and how much goes towards bills. The rest is for me to spend, and I try to take each weekly budget out in cash - that way I see how much I'm spending as I'm doing it. Sometimes using a card almost feels like not spending money at all - it's just a piece of plastic! :D Being an adult is haaard..

    Laura // Middle of Adventure

    ReplyDelete
  2. Have u ever tried to use special apps to keep track of your spendage?

    ReplyDelete

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