Hi! I’m back! And better than ever (ish). And better yet, I’m back with a post that might be able to help some of you lot with your resolutions (if you’re still steadfastly running towards them at full speed, of course).
If one of your New Year goals/resolutions was to save money (which is one of mine, and I struggle daily not to spend my money on ridiculous crap like More Blankets and my 47th Pair of Pyjamas or something), then I’m here to help!
1. Create a Savings Account/Method
Simple, but effective. If you’re one of those people that tells yourself “I can keep it in my current account, I promise I wont touch it”, you are wrong, and that is a lie. You will touch that money you were supposed to save, and regret it.
My solution is to, simply, create a savings account. It’s not difficult, and if you connect it up to your current account then transfers can be made easily and quickly with no fuss.
Alternatively, if you’re younger and don’t have a bank account, or access to a savings account, my advice would be to create a place to put your savings that you can’t touch except for emergencies. This reduces the risk of ‘dipping into’ your savings for things that you “need” like more lipstick and another packet of Mini Eggs (of which I am guilty).
Something like a lockable money-box (and giving someone else a key) or even giving your money that you want to save to a parent or guardian to save for you could be foolproof.
2. Save STRAIGHT AWAY
This is something I’ve recently learnt to do, and it is to save your money as soon as you get it. If you get paid at the end of the month, don’t wait until the end of the next month to transfer it over to your savings. I’ve witnessed so many people get to the end of the month, and panic, because they literally have like 12p in the bank, and no way out.
When you get money, put it safely away as soon as you get it. That way, if you run out of money, you can dip into your savings if needed, but then you don’t feel invincible with all this money, that ideally you haven’t got. Then, linking back to the first point, if you put your savings in a secure place that takes time and effort to get into, then you’ll think twice about touching your savings when you really shouldn’t be. (Also, seeing that number in the savings account get high is a REALLY good feeling).
3. Have a Copper Can
This is one of my favourite tips of all time, ever. In 2010, my Dad bought me a money-box. It was really cute and helpful for 12 year old me to put my coins in, but there was a catch: it didn’t open. The only way in, was through the money-in gap, or to smash it open. So I saved. And saved and saved. The only things that went into it were coppers (1 and 2ps) and 5ps.
A few weeks ago, with the money-box full to bursting, I smashed it open with a hammer, and took the proceeds to one of those ‘count-my’change machine. I’d managed to save up around a tenner. Might not seem like much, especially as it was over about 7 years, but to have this little amount constantly growing on my windowsill could be the difference between eating for two weeks for some people. So, before you chuck away that penny, think twice, and put it in a jar.
4. Make a Monthly Budget
Might be obvious, but I never did this. If you know how much you ought to be earning a month on average (e.g. without overtime or extra money coming in), write it down. Then write down your necessary outgoings (so for me, it’s things like car insurance, petrol, my phone contract, etc). This could also include things like your regular outgoings, like gym memberships, or subscription box subscriptions.
This will allow you to see what you need to spend on, what you don’t need to spend on, and then might also help you keep track of your spending.
5. Pack Your Lunch and Drinks
Carry water with you at all times. Put a bottle in your car, and one in your bag (and gym bag!) and keep them full. This will stop you having to buy drinks and bottles when you’re out and about.
If you regularly buy lunch from school, college, or work (or near work), then pack your lunches the night before (you could even get them ready a few days before), to stop you nipping to the shop for biscuits (guilty), or to Subway for lunch.
It might not be great for your ‘healthy eating’ resolution, but even keeping a chocolate bar, packet of crisps or cereal bar in your bag (or car) could be make the difference of spending £1 on something from the shop every day (and think: that could save £365 over the year!)
6. Take Part in Savings Challenges
There are tonnes of saving challenges online, just Google it! Things like the No Spend ChallengeNo Spend Challenge, the 52 Weeks Challenge and the Penny A Day Challenge.
Little things that you could take part in, along with friends and family who also want to save money this year (or you could even join money-saving and budgeting groups on Facebook and pages on Pinterest for inspiration. These methods are ready-made and fool-proof to helping you save – maybe more – than you could have hoped!
7. Keep Your Receipts
As fiddly and annoying as this one is (annoying especially when your mum constantly tells you to), keep your receipts. Not only will this help remind you of the stupid shit you bought (did you really need that NERF gun?), but it will also help you keep track of where your money is going, and where you may need to excercise more control.
If at the end of the month, you’re sifting through one million and one Starbucks receipts, or ten million receipts with the word ‘CARRIER BAG – O.5p’ on them, then its time to reevaluate your life choices a bit.
Have a special box, tin or drawer, just to keep your receipts in, and go through it every so often (especially if you use cash on the regular! Online bank statements make looking at your expenses easier these days).
And there we go. My top tips for saving money in 2017. I hope they were (somewhat) helpful and that you (maybe) learnt some new tips that you didn’t before. Here’s to saving money in 2017, to make 2018 and the years after even better!
Let me know what your saving goals and resolutions are for this year, and how you’re planning on staying on track. Also let me know if you’d like to see any other money-saving tips and tricks in the comments! Til next time,