When you are looking to save money, you have to be prepared to make changes. You can’t carry on with bad spending habits and expect a house deposit to show up one day in your account. It can help to have an idea of what you’re saving for and how much you’re hoping to accumulate. For me, personally, I am saving for a deposit on a house so we’re looking at the daunting amount of £15,000+. Below is a list of ideas to change, cut back and stay motivated.
- Take lunch to work – I know it’s easier said than done, but if you can get into the habit of meal prepping for the week ahead or cooking lunch the night before, it absolutely pays off. I struggle with this because it’s a hell of a lot easier to go down the road and buy a subway but making lunch saves me up to £80 a month (because I really love subway).
- Limit dinner out to special occasions – only go out if it’s a birthday, anniversary or celebration. If it’s a date night, try a less expensive restaurant or use something like 02 priority or meerkat meals to find the best deals at nearby restaurants.
- Search through the reduced sections at the supermarket – although most of it is total crap, there are some hidden gems to be found (a bit like a sale rail at H&M). Especially meats, for example, that you can have for dinner that evening.
- No fast food or takeaway – it’s usually pretty expensive for what you get, especially somewhere like dominoes, and it usually just leaves you with a bad stomach = not worth it.
- Remind yourself of your end goal constantly – it makes a huge difference thinking about your end goal because it reminds you why it’s worth saving the money. If you forget about it or push it to the back of your head, the liklihood is you’ll fall off the wagon and revert to your old habits. For me, I always look on rightmove and get a bit miserable about the houses out there that I can’t afford and that gets me back on track.
- Work out a reasonable amount to save per month – By working out your income minus expenses, you can figure out what’s left and use it as a target to aim for. This is useful to find a good balance becuase everyone should have a bit of spending money but by knowing how much you can save, it encourages you to fulfill that. You will notice your savings build up quicker than if you save bits and pieces here and there.
- Remove shopping apps from your phone – remove the temptation completely and you are far less likely to spend. My worst habit was using Klarna with Asos but when your 30 days of credit are up, you’re reminded that those new boots were not, in fact, free.
- Put the money into savings the day you are paid or have it moved automatically by standing order – in and out. You don’t even have to think about it, you can just make do with what’s left as if the savings money was never there in the first place.
- Avoid buying clothes or shoes unless they are reduced in the sale. Or try to find things in charity shops, on ebay or facebook marketplace – There is always a sale on somewhere! Although, finding things second hand is great because the fast fashion industry has an awful impact on the environment, worse than people realise. It also saves your money. Win win.
- Have a movie night at home instead of going to the cinema – everyone knows that the cinema is overpriced so why not have a movie night for free? At least then if you don’t enjoy the film, you’ve not wasted £20 on wathcing it. Or if there is something you really want to see coming out in cinemas, go on a day where you can get a 2 for 1 deal on tickets or cheap nights.
- Invite friends or family around for drinks instead of going out to pubs/clubs – This way you still get to socialise as you normally would but you’ll spend a lot less money getting beers or wine from the supermarket.
- Go to concerts or gigs of lesser known artists so tickets are cheaper – Some of the best concerts we’ve been to have been under £20 a ticket (Sam Fender & Ten Tonnes). Have a look on ticket master/02 priority to see who is out there and you may even discover your new favourite artist.