Saving money is easy for some and it doesn’t take a second thought. However, for many, saving money can be a difficult task for a multitude of reasons. Salary, outgoings, commitments, unexpected expenses occur often for many people – so despite the urge and desire to save money being present, putting it into action is the hard part. It’s important to remember that any savings are good savings. It would be impossible for most of us to save £1000 overnight, it’s a gradual process and there’s nothing wrong with how you get there. Saving £1 is better than not saving £1, it all adds up.
I often get labelled as “tight” and “stingy” for not wanting to spend my hard-earned money, but what I choose to do with it is up to me. I have my outgoings like everyone else with bills etc, but I make sure to put away as big of a chunk away each month as I possibly can, whilst still being comfortable financially. My old method would be to stick a few hundred away at the start of the month, which I found too difficult, so I’ve swapped it around a bit. I try to be as good as possible with spending throughout the month, then transfer whatever is left in my current account, into my savings. But how do you actually start saving money straight away? Here are 10 ways I’ve jotted down that have helped me.
- Set your goals. There doesn’t always have to be a definitive reason as to why you want/need to save money, but I do think it helps. When I was just aimlessly saving money with no end goal, it felt pointless. So whether you need a new pair of shoes, a car or even a house – it helps to know what you’re aiming for. So with that comes…
- Setting a realistic budget. Knowing what the outgoing is going to be will help you know how much you can put away and when. Whether that’s saving £50 as soon as you’re paid, or popping £5 away each week to buy a gift for someone – it will make the task more manageable and structured. It can look less daunting that way too. Setting up standing orders is a possibility too – e.g. putting X amount away each month.
- Make sure you have a savings account or money pot. It’s all well and good saving money if you don’t have anywhere to store it. I’m sure if you have a bank account, you will automatically be set up with a savings account (which can have good interest rates too!). When my mum was saving for my prom a few years ago, she papier-mâchéd a dress together and cut a slot in it and popped money in it every now and again. I have a holiday money bank that you have to smash to get the money out, this is where I stick any loose change I have floating around.
- Cook meals & make lunch. This sounds simple, but it is so easy to order takeaway or eat out – I’m guilty of this myself. There is nothing wrong with a treat though. Prior to me moving in with my boyfriend he would buy lunch everyday, but if you spend just £5 a day on lunch across a 5 day working week, that’s £100 a month. Being careful and planning out your weekly food shop is important too. You can spend £20 on one meal out, or £20 for the majority of a week’s shop.
- Take a drink with you. I’ve grown up with taking a bottle of juice or water out with me because I get so thirsty so quickly! So instead of spending money on a drink, you can take a bottle with you. Even if you end up buying a cheap bottle of water still, you’ll probably still buy less than if you hadn’t have taken that bottle out. Every little helps. It’s also a more environmentally friendly option too!
- Don’t buy what you don’t need. I’m all for “treating yoself”, but to a certain extent. B&M is my guilty pleasure, I always go in there for 1 thing and walk out with 5. It’s easily done. But if you don’t need it, simply don’t get it – especially if you know it will just end collecting dust or not getting used/worn.
- Treats are allowed. This is not a money-saving tip as such, but more of a sanity-saving tip. If you’re just saving and saving, you won’t ever enjoy the money you’ve worked hard for. So if you’re out shopping and see something you’ve always wanted or it really catches your eye – get it! Buying the odd treat here and there is less likely to make you splurge, surely? And if you’ve finally saved up enough for what you were saving for, there’s even more reason to treat yourself.
- Vouchers and discount codes. I LOVE a good bargain. I used to laugh at my mum who would never check out without getting some money off or asking at every shop till “do you take this voucher?”. Now, I’m with her. Why would you not want to save money?! And you can save some big money too! Groupon, Student Discount and loyalty cards to name a few. From being a loyal Tesco customer, I recently received £8 in vouchers, which doesn’t sound like much, but it means I could get 2 books from their 2 for £8 range and I didn’t spend a penny!
- Buy second hand. Speaking of books like above, I have recently discovered worldofbooks.com and brought 3 second hand books for less than £10 with free UK delivery! You can get second hand everything; clothes, cars, furniture etc. Places like Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree and Vinted are gold mines for affordable goodies, often as good as new – they’ve just been extra loved!
- Ditch unused memberships. I feel like gym memberships are probably the ones that are most forgotten about, but if you’re paying £30 odd each month for a service you’re not using, that’s money wasted. The same goes for book and music subscriptions, if you’re not using it, don’t waste your money on it. There’s nothing wrong with getting that membership again in the future, but for the time being it’s worth saving that bit extra.
So there we have just 10 ways you can start saving money immediately. I’m not a finance guru at ALL, but I’d like to think I’m pretty good at saving money so wanted to have a think about the things that have massively helped me along the way. Buying what you were saving so hard for is so rewarding too. If you have any money saving tips you swear by, I would love to hear them down below in the comments – let’s help each other save that dollar.
Until next time,