If like us, you’re trying to save up for your future, it’s important to master the art of cutting back! This doesn’t have to mean going without, but there are a few small changes you can make that will make a huge difference to your bank balance.
Teach yourself to be savvy with your money! Below we’ll share with you our top tips for reducing your monthly outgoings, avoiding impulse purchases and keeping on top of your savings.
1. Work out where your money goes
The best place to start is checking over your monthly spending to see if there’s anything you can get rid of. If you stopped going to the gym a year ago, cancel that membership. Are you still paying for a Netflix account you never use? Cancel it! This is not only a great way to save a bit of extra cash, but also organise your finances generally – it’s a win-win!
Take this opportunity to work out where else your money is going. Do you buy a coffee or lunch every day on the way to work? Do you get a lot of takeout food? Over time these things add up! Consider making a packed lunch, cooking and freezing meals in bulk (this is a great time saver as well) or having a coffee before you leave the house. While that £3 at Starbucks might not seem like a lot, over a week you’ll have spent at least £15!
2. Use cash where you can
It’s a great idea to set yourself a weekly budget, and then draw out the cash from an ATM. This way you can physically see what you’re spending and what you have left of your weekly allowance. This will stop those pesky contactless card payments from draining your bank account without your noticing.
But remember, you have to be disciplined! Once you’ve set your weekly budget, try to avoid going over it. If you really have to spend more than your allowance one week, aim to reduce your budget for the next.
3. Remove temptation
If you know you can’t resist spending money, there’s a few great inventions out there that can help to remove the temptation. Whether it’s a moneybox with a padlock, or a tin that can’t be opened without a can opener, these are cheap to purchase and are great ways to keep your money safe.
Every time you have a bit of spare change, put this in your jar or moneybox. This can feel harder now that we use our cards for pretty much everything, but this is another great way your weekly cash allowance can come in handy. Anything you have left at the end of the week can go in the box – you’ll be surprised how quickly your loose change can turn into a decent sum of cash.
Another great way to avoid falling victim to unnecessary card purchases, is by deleting your card details off your online accounts. It’s likely you’ve set up accounts for online purchases, and having your details saved online makes it quicker and easier to buy stuff, that more often than not, we could probably have gone without! Having to manually enter your details every time could be the motivation you need to abandon your purchase at the checkout.
It’s also helpful to do your food shopping online, that way you can compare prices and also avoid buying anything that you don’t need. Write yourself a list and don’t stray from it! Only add to your basket the things you really need.
4. Make the most of birthdays and Christmas
We all have that struggle each birthday or Christmas – what do I really want? Well this time around, when your family inevitably ask you if there’s anything you’d like, ask for practical gifts. This could be money to put into your savings, or items for your house, business or whatever it is you’re working towards.
5. Have a clear out
We all have things we don’t need or use, and clutter that we just can’t seem to let go of. Take a look through your possessions, see what’s still good quality and get selling! There are some great apps out there nowadays that make this process so quick and easy, and it’s the perfect way to make some extra cash as well as decluttering your home. Try sites like Schpock and eBay to make a quick sell!
6. Shop around
Before you buy anything, make sure you do your research to see if you can get it cheaper anywhere else. This will help you to save the pennies, as well as just being good practise throughout your life.
Make sure that you use budget and comparison websites. After all, you know what they say – save the pennies and the pounds will save themselves!
7. Take things back
If that top doesn’t fit quite right – take it back! If you bought a dress in the sale but you’re not sure you like it – take it back! We are all guilty of making purchases (often online) and delaying the return. If you buy something and you don’t love it right away, send it back. And be sure to do so quickly, sometimes the trip to the post-office can seem too stressful, but leave it too long and the return policy might run out!
Saving is about discipline, especially if you want to get a good chunk of cash, quickly. Start by setting yourself a goal. After that it’s important to manage your money well, shop around and use budget sites to get the best deals. And don’t spend where you don’t have too! Being savvy with your money can help you to save up and reach your goals quicker!