5 Ways To Save Money In 2016Monday, February 29, 2016
2016 is another year of saving money for us. I feel like we've been in saving mode for about two years now, but this year is the year when we start to (hopefully) get the things that we've been saving for. In my head, we're saving for real grown up stuff, you know a mortgage and a wedding. Could we get more grown up? I mean I suppose if you throw in a Volvo, we're well on our way to full adulthood.
A couple of you on our first wedding planning video (which you can see here) asked for some tips on saving money for a house deposit and a wedding. So today I thought that I'd tell you my five top tips for saving money and what has really helped me to put away some cash over the past couple of years.
First of all, working out an amount that you can save every month is a good place to start. If you're looking for a house, maybe work out how much you need for a deposit, and go from there. If you're saving for a wedding look at venues that you think you'd like, then food/ drink/the dress etc... and then you have a ballpark figure to aim to. Do this for whatever you're saving for and at least you know how much you need to put away. Then work out how long you have, and that should give you a good indication of what you need to put away each month. I'd recommend putting money in a savings account that isn't that easy to dip into, so if you see a new dress on ASOS or fancy a takeaway, you can't sneakily take some money (cause this is what I would do!)
1. Put All Loose Change In A Money Bank:
This is one of my fave and most easy ways to save money without even really realising. I always put any loose change that I find around the house (usually Henry's soz) and whatever's in my handbag/purse into a money bank. It keeps the place tidy, your purse lighter, and you're putting away money at the same time. We've always done this and it usually amounts to a couple of hundred pounds after a few months which we've always used for travel money. It might not add to a huge amount but every little helps.
2. Think About Something For At Least A Week Before Buying:
If you're an impulse shopper who spends money instantly when you see something you like, try and be a bit more restrained with just getting your card out. I used to be like this, I'd saunter into Primark every week and just buy stuff. I had a flat full of stuff I'd barely worn and no savings. So I started making myself think about stuff before buying. Like I barely shop in shops anymore, because I don't really allow myself to just buy something. I have to think about it and keep thinking about it, I make myself give reasons for why I want something and then I'll maybe buy it. I'm a bit strict in my head you see. By having that extra time to think about something, you'll know if you really need it.
If you forget about it, then it's not that important. It's a good way to stop yourself just buying stuff all the time. I also usually wait till I've found a discount code before buying something online too! If you're a sucker for homeware stuff then why not look at doing some DIY yourself, YouTube and Pinterest have so many tutorials for things that cost a fortune in homeware shops. You can pretty much make anything yourself for a fraction of the cost. Also check places like Etsy, George, Homesense, Ikea for cute but very affordable house items. But seriously make yourself think about things for a few days before clicking the add to basket button, you'll be amazed how your shopping habits change!
3. Be More Savvy With Your Food Shop:
This is where we have saved a lot of money, probably about £20-30 a week. We used to do our food shop after work in the evenings, we were tired and hungry, so usually would run round the supermarket wanting the ordeal to be over and getting more and more hangry. We would buy everything in sight cause we were so hungry then the total would be a small fortune. Not only did we buy a lot, but we ate a lot of rubbish and I'm still trying to lose the weight that I put on from those times now! But these days, I only do our food shop online, I can keep track of the total for the whole time, and have it delivered when to suit us. I'll buy us stuff like frozen mince which we can get a few dinners out of, I buy bread and then freeze it so it lasts longer, and long life coconut milk for my coffee.
We buy low value items such as pasta, and rice which is no different to branded options. If I can be bothered, I'll go to somewhere like Aldi/Lidl for vegetables as it's so much cheaper there, and I'll always be checking out offers and will plan our meals night by night. It's a bit boring, but it does save money. I'll try and get the shop delivered at an unpopular time so the delivery cost is cheaper. But seriously, shopping online and not going shopping hungry and throwing things into the trolley blind, has really helped us save money.
4. Sell Your Items:
Okay not everything! Calm down! But no, the next time you have a clear out, then make sure you try and sell some things rather than just throwing stuff away. Old clothes can be sold on places like Ebay, Depop or even taken to one of those places who give you money per bag/per kilo of clothes. You can sell old cd's and dvd's on places like Music Magpie, or take them into places like CEX. Now that the weather is slightly picking up, you could do car boots, these are especially popular in the summer months. Remember one man's trash is another man's treasure. You could then put whatever you earned straight into a pot for your savings.
5.Being More Careful With Household Costs:
Bills are some of the biggest outgoings for anyone, and it can be hard to keep them down, especially when it's winter time. A way of keeping an eye on household costs is to use something like the E.ON Energy Smart Meter which tells you exactly how much energy you're using and how much it's costing. You can keep tabs on your usage and change things, you could put your heating down by a couple of degrees, cut your shower by a couple of minutes, popping a lid on saucepans when cooking, etc... You can also submit accurate meter readings so you will always get an accurate bill rather than an estimate. You could also check with your energy company such as E.ON Energy about the best tariff to be on and get switched on to the cheapest if you aren't already. With something like a Smart Meter you can also top up your account through an app, and pay with E.ON Smart Pay As You Go so you never have any nasty bill surprises.
Speaking of E.ON Energy, if you watched my Market Dash Challenge on YouTube, you will know that in that video, I launched a competition to win a £200 Love 2 Shop voucher. To enter you had to guess the total of my shopping receipt and Henry's (check out the video below if you're a little confused about what I'm talking about haha) and if you entered, it's time to reveal how much we spent!
So my receipt came to : £10.20
And Henry's receipt came to :£9.21
Which means that Raechelle Jackson was the winner as she was the closest! Congratulations to Raechelle Jackson and I'll send you a message on YouTube now! A big thank you to anyone who entered and you can still find the video below if you'd like to have a look (you get to see a good glimpse into mine and Henry's relationship!)
Other things you can do to save money are; shop using money cash back sites, using loyalty cards to buy things and then redeeming the points, setting up a direct debit of a certain amount of money a month to a separate bank account, using voucher code sites for discounts, turning lights out in rooms you aren't using & turning off radiators in rooms you don't use.
What's your top tip for saving money?