Are you sick and tired of not knowing where your money is going? It seems like you’re doing everything you can to save up for that trip you’ve got in mind but things just don’t seem to work… You have a pretty standard life and don’t splurge on designer items, so what the heck is going on? Don’t worry, I’ve got you girl. Implement these ten tips and notice the difference after a month. Are you ready? Read on!
Deserves a category of its own. It’s Monday morning and getting out of bed was particularly hard today, why don’t I brighten up my morning and buy a coffee? (and do the same for the rest of the week as well?). Here it is – coffee is probably one of the most popular ways we spend our money, tricking our mind into thinking it is just a small portion of our salary. The matter of fact is however, a cup of coffee made at home will cost us ten times less! The quality of it will be very similar if you ace your favourite – and is easy to take away to work or school!
What to do instead: If you drink coffee on the go – get yourself a sassy thermos or tumbler and rock it! Brew the perfect hot drink just the way you like it, pour it in, keep it in your handbag and have it ready for when you need a kick. It will not only be cheaper but also a lot, lot healthier, TRUST me.
Leave your debit card at home
This is for all of you who work in the city – a place full of temptations, sales and shops which affect your psychology just right to make you feel you need everything right there and then. I found that, by leaving my debit card at home I spend less and in fact visit less shops on my lunch break as the ‘barrier’ is up and it is practically impossible to buy anything, even if I wanted to.
BIG one. Probably one of the things not many people would like to give up for many reasons: convenience, taste, the whole ritual aspect and socializing. It is hard to explain to your friends you would rather make your own snacks and sit in the park instead of going out for a meal. And as much as dining together feels special, there are a lot more things you can spend your money and time on, that you will simply drop eating out as a need. Try to cut eating out by half first, and build your habit over time as it will come more naturally this way.
Did you know, that recent research proved that building a habit takes approximately 66 days of consistent action?
What to do instead: Meal prep. Prepare your breakfast and lunch the night before, this way, you won’t have an excuse to pop out for lunch while at work. Learn to cook delicious food which will make you excited for home-dining and become a chef of your own! What’s better than loving your own, hand-made-with-love meals over restaurant’s overpriced dishes?
Because (in the society we currently live in) more or less everyone is in a similar boat of temptations arising on every corner of where we go, it is hard not to become a consumer of things we certainly don’t need. Excessive clothing could be considered as one of those things. See, here is the thing, a lot of the times we either gravitate towards things that are extremely cheap OR extremely expensive. Things which are expensive and branded, have the power to make us feel more worthy, and boost our self esteem (or so we think). When you look at an item, it is really important to ask yourself this question: ‘would I buy or wear it, if it didn’t have the brand logo on it?’. A lot of the times the answer is simply no. In other instances we buy items we don’t love but which seem like a good bargain – the majority of the time, these types of items are a total trap. Buy only things you love, have tried, and are sure will fit into your wardrobe. Leave the item for a few days if you are unsure and come back to it when you have thought about it.
What to do instead: When shopping for clothes in store or online, check the sale section first, and try and make it a habit you stick to. Purchase clothing from retailers with a good refund policy in case you change your mind and no longer want to keep the item. Visit or work for a charity shop in which you can find some real gems. Take the opportunity to ‘shop’ your friend’s wardrobes when they declutter. Don’t settle for a price you really don’t want to pay!
Books are probably the greatest thing we can ever spend money on as I also look at it as an investment into our development and nothing is worth more than that, however there are ways to get your hands on a great book without paying the suggested price at fancy book stores.
What to do instead: Explore the high street book shops, take pictures of the books you would like to read and search them up on Amazon or your local library. If you are borrowing it from the library it is also a clutter free option, making you a total winner. If you end up loving the book you borrowed and realised you can’t live without it, search it up on Amazon and purchase a pre-loved option.
Sell your stuff
There comes a time when we stop using things, get bored with them or have never even used them in the first place – so it is time to declutter. But what should you do with the clutter? There are a few things you can do: sell them, let your friends ‘shop’ your wardrobe, donate them to charity, or simply throw them out to the bin. Pretty self explanatory, but a lot of people still don’t make the best out of the clutter and simply throw them out (!).
What to do instead: Let your friends go through your wardrobe and pick up things they fall in love with. With the remainder of the things – get some good shots and list them up on eBay. Selling them might take time and may seem like a pointless tasks (sure it is only a few pounds) but these bucks add up! Be patient and wait for the bids to come.
Eat more fruits and veggies
One of the reasons I have moved onto a plant-based diet was the financial factor – a lot of the time the money I would spend on meat (approximately £10 a shop weekly, while on a student budget) would get me a lot more variety and physical amount of vegetables for the same price! Not forgetting increased health benefits and more ethical consumption.
What to do instead: Challenge yourself to an experiment and don’t buy your usual meat products when you’re shopping. Add up all the cost of meat you would usually buy and try and see how much fruit and veg you can get for the same price – buy only the things you actually enjoy eating, and not just the cheapest produce. Try this out for a week and see if you enjoyed it – from then on, it’s only your decision to make.
Always ask for discount
You might be a little apprehensive at the beginning, but if you really want to save bucks you have to realize it is mostly the little things we think are insignificant that add up over time. To make a smaller impact on your wallet remember to look or ask for student, senior or staff discount even in the most unconventional places such as your naturopath, AirBnB, or even youth discount when booking flight tickets (cough cough, Scandinavian Airlines)! Nobody will think of it as embarrassing, but rather courageous when you will indeed succeed – what have you got to lose?
If you’re anything like me and you couldn’t care less about free drinks during your flight or an extra nice flight attendant but only want to get from A to B, you need to become a flight bargain hunter. It is proven that the cheapest fares can be bought seven weeks prior to departure in case of short haul flights, so be aware and book early! At the end of the day a comfortable flight with British Airways will make you feel more elite than travelling with Ryanair or Easyjet, but would you rather save money and STILL travel comfortably at a smaller expense?
What to do instead: Make your way onto Google Flights. Google Flights allows you to check all airline, route and date alternatives to get you the cheapest deal possible. Make Ryanair your best friend (because spending £30+ on a flight to London where you could have got it for £9.99 isn’t worth it!). Don’t settle for the closest airport etc, if it is cheaper to get a bus AND fly from the airport which is further, choose that option.
Ditch your phone contract
There is a reason I have never had a single phone contract – in my mind it is simply a trap. While there can be many benefits to ‘pay monthly’ schemes, many times you end up paying more than what the company has promised (due to overuse in data etc) and there is also the commitment issue. You’re forced to accept the fact money will be taken from your account no matter of your circumstances. By going ‘pay and go’, you have the control of how much you are paying, and how frequently you are doing it (sometimes less than monthly, thanks to the trusty WiFi and no need for a monthly allowance).
So here they are! Your first ten tips to get you saving for that holiday or something that really fulfills your heart. It is always important to remember however, that if we are deciding to save up and sacrifice the above, we should always do it for a purpose and never compare our saving abilities to others – we have all got such a different path to walk! Remember that.
As always, all views are my own.