Now that I’m temporarily funemployed, it has given me lots of time to think. It has also given me lots of time to SPEND.
A month of being funemployed is all well and good because you still have money in the bank, but when you’re coming up to the end of the month and you don’t have very much coming in to replace it anymore, things start to get tense in the old bank account.
I had an email come through today that was a blog post notification from someone I follow, all about ‘saving money’. I thought, ‘ooh great, just what I need to read right now for more tips.’ Well, I’m not going to name and shame, but the blog was pretty dire. It was a blatant excuse to just write a blog for the sake of putting in a link to another website that they had partnered with for the post. The blog was uninformative, very short and unhelpful.
So I thought I’d write one myself!
One that hopefully will give you some better tips on how to save more money. (Goodness knows, I need to start putting these into solid action.)
Here are my tips on how to save more money…
Put aside a set amount every month and stick to it
It goes without saying that you should put aside a set amount of money every month into your savings. The only problem is, that it is very easy to dip into it when it’s getting towards the end of the month and you’ve run out of your remaining money.
You have to be disciplined!
We always spend what we have, so no matter how much you have left over after savings, you will spend it. So maybe you could even push yourself to save a little bit more than you originally thought. After all, do you genuinely need £500 a month just to spend on yourself? You could probably comfortable survive on £300 if you have something worth saving for.
Budgeting is boring but it’s essential!
At the beginning of the month, set out a list in a notebook and split it int the following sections: Rent, bills, then write down how much you spend a week on travel to work and your budget for groceries.
These are the main things that you need to pay for every month. Once you have these amounts worked out and written down, deduct them from your monthly wage. Now, look at whatever is left…
You obviously want some money to do the odd fun thing so that you don’t go stir crazy, but it’s time to be brutal if you want to save money.
Clothes shopping has to go. Do you really need any more clothes? The likelihood is ‘no’. Put a ban on clothes shopping for a while.
Change where you do your food shopping
This is one that I never really thought would make much of a difference… but it really does!
I would always shop at Morrisons because it was near to my flat and was on my route home. But I find that when I shop at ASDA, which takes me just a little bit more out of the way, I get much more for my money.
And since I’ve started shopping at Lidl… WOAH! My mind is blown, like, what was I doing before Lidl?
You can get pretty much everything you need at Lidl for a fraction of the price (you just might have to swap some brands for the exact same product). I managed to survive one week on a £13 shop at Lidl. Just let that sink in.
On that note, food prepping really does help. Make a big batch of something like pasta/lasagne and you’ve got your lunches sorted for the week at a really small cost. Game changer!
Start saving for your future now
Are you saving up for a house deposit? If you’re not, I would recommend it. I would say try to save at least £200 a month consistently if you want to make any headway on buying a house – It is hellah expensive!
The sooner you want to be moving into your own property, the more intensely you have to start saving your money. If you want to try to have a deposit by next year then you need to be brutal with yourself this year.
Work out how much you can realistically save. Yes, you will have to cut costs and live a little less frivolously for a while, but if it’s what you really want then you’ve got to do it.
I have a Help to Buy ISA and it has made a big difference to my deposit savings. This is mainly because you can’t dip into it whenever you want. You have a maximum of £200 a month to put into it and it comes out as a direct debit, so you don’t even notice it go.
Then when the time comes for buying a property, the government pays a percentage extra of your savings pot towards your property. So not only is it helping you save your money, but it is also giving you ‘free’ money on top – yayy!
Have a separate savings account for your holiday
I’ve made this mistake over the years and had just one savings account. My intention for my savings is as a future deposit on a property, but I keep taking steps back when I keep dipping into it to pay for holidays.
Do you have a holiday you want to save for? Work out how much you will likely spend on that then divide it amongst the months of the year left that are leading up to holiday time. Set aside in a separate savings pot that amount of money per month. For example, £50 a month in a separate savings account to your ‘deposit fund’.
Then when the times comes, you know how much money you have to spend on your vacation without affecting the rest of your money for that month.
Cut back on expensive exercise classes
I am someone who hates the gym but loves exercise classes, like yoga and pilates. Sadly, these classes come with a hefty price tag. (Usually £10 minimum for a yoga or pilates class.)
To try cut costs look at whether they have any bulk-buy options of classes that could make your workouts cheaper. Just think, if you go to two classes a week at £10, that’s approximately £80 a month just on classes.
Check out all the local venues to see who does the cheapest deals, or even see if some gyms include fitness classes in their gym memberships. If they are included at no extra cost, it’s probably worth getting a £30 a month gym membership just for access to the classes.
Or if you’re really needing to cut back, get on YouTube. There are literally thousands of workout videos you can access for free. As long as you have the space for a mat, you can easily do these from the comfort of your bedroom.
Stop arranging coffee dates with friends
This is something that I need to cut back on this month. A coffee with a friend may seem like the cheapest way of socialising, but once you add it all up, it’s not so cheap after all.
You’re looking at approximately £3 for your coffee, you’ll probably end up buying a snack or a cake (because friends are always enablers) so that’s an extra £3 minimum. Then you have your travel money to the location, and you’ll likely walk past other shops on the way which provide potential temptations to spend more money. You’re looking at a general £10 spend when you meet a friend for coffee.
Do that a few times a month and you have spent practically £30 just on coffee dates.
Instead, invite your friend round to your house for a mug of Nescafe and a chocolate digestive from your secret stash. It’s a free alternative and you’ll probably feel more relaxed in your own home and have a better time anyway.
Saving up for that holiday, that house deposit, or just a general rainy day fund is so difficult to do nowadays. But if you want something really badly, then there are definitely ways that you can cut costs more effectively.
Now it’s time to practice what I preach… who wants to come round for a cuppa?