Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Halifax via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Halifax.
It’s January. The month of frugality and generally being skint. Wouldn’t it be nice to be in a position when this time in January you weren’t thinking that beans on toast is about the best you can do…and double checking the bread hasn’t gone past it as you’re not totally sure your card wont be declined if you need to buy more… Good times.
When it comes to blogging in particular – money pressure is a real thing. You see you see bloggers doing all sorts of things from jetting off on holidays to sharing bags of most likely fairly expensive purchases on instagram or in ‘haul’ videos. It can make you want these things too. Unless of course you’re immune to materialistic temptation – if so, more power to you. Personally, I can’t honestly say that there’s nothing material that I’m hankering after. My current fashion related wish list involves a Chanel bag (yes, shopping dream land…) and a pair of Stuart Weitzman over the knee Highland boots that are in the triple figures. Not sure why my husband seems to think I have expensive taste?! Well, a girl can dream/save…
Saying that, there’s no reason I guess why I can’t make these fashion dreams a reality. I just need to be a bit clever. And I’m not talking girly maths of…well, if I wear them every day for six months that means the cost per wear is actually really reasonable… I’m talking cutting back on other things and saving for them. Same goes for even bigger things – I can talk from experience on the facts of saving for a wedding and buying a flat and I’m currently putting some cash aside to be able to do some make-overs to the bathroom and get a new couch. So here are a few of my tips on how to save money below:
1. Cut out the unnecessary
That morning coffee at Starbucks? Sure – you might feel like you need it to function. Perhaps switch so you have one a week as a treat and just transfer that little bit of cash to your savings each week. Say £4 a coffee (£7 if you tend to throw a muffin in for the ride…) but assume just a coffee then over a working week that’s £16. If you tend to get the same at the weekend then £24 (knocking one day off so you can still treat yourself). That’s potentially just under £100 a month you could be saving. Just by cutting out the coffee. Same goes for take-aways – your bank balance AND your waistline will thank you!
2. Switch dinner out for dinner in
I love eating dinner out. It’s basically my favourite thing to do with friends. But when things are on the tight side you could suggest you do a rotating dinner club – one friend cooks and the others eat. Then it rotates around the group. We did this one year with full ‘Come Dine With Me’ score cards… A lot more fun and less geeky than it sounds. Promise. Of course, you will be spending when it’s your time to cook – but over the year just cutting out a few dinners in restaurants and you can save a fortune. Just make sure you pop that money in your savings account and will see it build up slowly but surely.
3. Get rid of the free delivery!
Ok, maybe not permanently (I’m not ready for that level of frugality) – but as someone with a Prime Amazon and an ASOS Premier Account it’s all too easy to make a purchase that feels guilt free. It’s only a click away and then you get some retail therapy delivered right to your door. If you’re really trying to save, then cut the memberships OR if only a temporary measure, ask someone you trust to change the password for you and only give your access back when you reach your savings goals. It will be tough, but you can do it.
4. Have a clear out
I’ve been on a major de-cluttering mission lately and luckily my husband was up for it too. Which basically meant he went through all the old DVD’s, CD’s and video games and had a huge clear out and sold them all on. It was pretty impressive actually – just using Music Magpie and getting rid of two boxes of stuff, including a couple of old consoles he no longer uses and he made just under £300. PLUS he gets a happy wife thanks to less clutter!? Win-win I say. So if you have lots of clutter/stuff you don’t use – have a clear out – from using something like Music Magpie, to eBay, or even a good old car boot sale. Your trash is someone else’s treasure – make the most of it and pop your earnings in your savings account.
5. Set yourself targets
Whatever you’re saving for. From the big thins of car/house/wedding to the really fun stuff of holidays/going travelling/a *really* nice handbag… whatever it is. Set your goal and then you know how you’re doing. Perhaps give yourself little targets with little rewards along the way so you can really feel proud of what you’re putting away and how close you’re getting to that thing you REALLY want to purchase.
Plus, it’s worth telling your close friends that you’re trying hard to save for something. Because they will know how much it means to you then hopefully they will support you rather than pressure you to spend. Of course not saying you need to be a total hermit until you hit your goals – but maybe just for for the £ dinner place rather than the £££ one.
The one thing I would say – when it comes to money and life in general really. When you get something you have really worked for, be it a work promotion, speaking to a brand you’ve always loved who have noticed your blog or getting to go into the store and buy that bag you have been stalking for months. It feels REALLY REALLY good. It’s worth it. So stick with the saving and let me know what it is your saving for.
One thing I really wish is that this sort of money/savings/grown up finance type stuff was taught more when I was growing up. Surely knowing this is just as (if not more) important than things like algebra?! Well, helpfully Halifax have recognised this and put together a little series of guides on some of the basics of money and finance related stuff. So if your savings goal is for a house and don’t have the foggiest between all these different mortgages out there or you just want to know what the heck a cash ISA is. You can see the full playlist of the jargon busters from Halifax.co.uk