Money, money, money. It, unfortunately, makes the world go round and no one ever seems to have enough of it. As a born worry pot I always worry about the lack of money; even when I do have money. I’m one of those people who looks at my account and I’ll always worry about the amount.
I assessed my bank statements in December and felt really pants at what money I could have saved and how I’d be in a stronger place. I’m getting restless at still renting my home and I really want to get on the property ladder. There’s so many nuts and crannies that I hate about my house and can’t change. I want a place to call my own and it also means I’d be allowed another pooch; win win!
With needing a good 10% deposit and thanking my stars that we live where we do; it’s tough but doable to save for a deposit. It means being strict and having to think about the bigger picture. But it also means challenging myself. I love a good challenge and I’m feeling more positive taking control of my finances. I’ve assessed the things I need to change and these 5 tips have really helped and have kept me on track:
1. Go through your bank statements and see where you can save
Do you have any subscriptions that you don’t use anymore that you never cancelled? I slipped up last month and didn’t cancel my Flamingo Candles Melt Crowd in time when The Geek bought me a few months subscription for Christmas. We’ve got double the wax melts but also a tenner down! I did the exact same thing with my Now TV Movie Trial! I also spend a ridiculous amount on food – whether it’s a cheeky snack or a mid week, ‘I don’t want my soup for lunch. Gimme all the carbs!’ lunch, it soon adds up. If I went to my local sandwich shop every day for a month, it’s easily £80 a month and if I put that £80 a month away for a year, it soon adds up!
2. Small savings make a huge difference
Have you heard of the One Pence Saving Challenge? I came across it at work. It’s where you save a penny equivalent for the day. For example, you save 1p on the 1st January and 4p on the 4th January. You can save just under £700 by doing this! if you’re awful at carrying loose change like myself, work out how much it is each month and withdraw it from the cash point and pop it in a piggy bank where you need to physically smash it! If you need a helping hand to keep track, The Skint Dad has made a printable spreadsheet which I’ve got pinned up at my desk on work. Trust me, I can’t wait to smash mine open on the 31st December!
3. Brands aren’t always the best
I’m pretty good at this one and I don’t tend to buy many branded food items. You can cut your food bill down massively by buying own branded food, especially on products such as pasta and tinned tomatoes. Shopping at places like Aldi and Lidl can cut your food bill in half too. On a typical week when we go to Morrisons or ASDA a weeks shopping will cost The Geek and I around £40-£50. If we go to Aldi, it’ll cost us around £30. It’s a significant saving!
4. Cooking at home
Food is one of my downfalls when it comes to money. It sounds mental but it was a shock to the system when I was looking through my statements. I could see the many times on my account where I’ve come home late from work and not wanted to cook. When I work late I make sure I have a meal cooking in my slow cooker so I can have a home cooked healthy meal which requires minimal effort. I’ve also started getting more experimental with my food and trying to recreate my favourite takeaway and restaurant dishes. My favourite Chinese dish is Salt and Chilli chicken, which cooking from home, costs next to nothing!
5. Hunting out savings
With Group On and Wowcher on the internet and making their websites known, it’s hard not to get sucked into buying multiple spa breaks and blenders. I’ve found that my new tactic is to only look for deals and bargains when I’m going to make the purchase. I’ve unsubscribed from all their e-mails and it’s making my inbox a lot healthier. I did make a great saving with purchasing a Forestry Commisson England Discovery Pass for our local forest. The Geek and I usually take Rufus there once or twice a month and it costs £4 a pop to park. We bought the pass for £40 which includes free parking and discounts off Go Ape and holiday rentals. We’ve made a massive saving as we only need to go 10 times to make our money back, which’ll be easily achieved!
If you’re planning to make some cuts this year and saving towards something I hope these tips help you. I really hope this is the year where I’ll be able to save and feel more grounded in my financial plans. If you have anymore tips, let me know in the comments!