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Saving money can be a little bit easier if you take on board some of these tips and tricks.

There are certain items within many of our budgets that simply aren’t necessities. If you are saving for something significant in your life, like the deposit on a house, your wedding or a life-changing holiday, then these items should take a back seat.

Perhaps when you have achieved your financial goal then you can reconsider introducing these into your life again, but if you are working towards an important savings goal then you can save a lot of money by cutting these from your monthly budget;

FOOD

BUY IN BULK

Buying in bulk can often save you a lot of money if you are smart with your decisions. If you buy the same mouthwash every month and you see it on offer for half price, then it would be worthwhile for you to stock up while its discounted. However, don’t let this tactic become an excuse for you to buy things that you wouldn’t be buying anyway just because there is a ‘special offer’.

MEAL PLAN

Meal planning is a great way to save money on groceries. It allows you to plan your meals for the full week ahead so that you can shop for the ingredients that you will need for those recipes only. This avoids you wasting food and buying things that you simply aren’t going to use. It also negates the temptation to order takeaway on the nights that you don’t know what to make for dinner. For more tips on how to save money on food, check out this article I wrote with 12 Brilliant Ways You Can Save Money on Groceries.

BUY MULTI-PURPOSE CLEANERS

There is no reason that you need to be buying different cleaning products for your bathroom, kitchen, general-purpose, leather, fabric etc. Choose one soap-based product, one vinegar-based product and something containing bleach or disinfectant for toilets and drains and you should be good to go.

If you want to take it a step further then you can even make your cleaning products from home. Check out this great guide on DIY Cleaning Product Recipes.

CONVENIENCE FOODS

By this I mean ready meals, pre-cut vegetables, pre-grated cheese etc. I know we all have busy lives but some of us use this excuse for laziness. Just cut your dang vegetables yourself and save yourself money on expensive ‘convenience’ foods – they call them that because they’re conning you!

DON’T WASTE TOILET PAPER

Don’t overuse toilet paper – just take what you will need. My mum used to go mad at me when I was little for taking reems and reems of loo roll. If you have kids that do the same then consider breaking the paper up into squares so they have to take a sheet at a time.

DON’T SHOP WHILE HUNGRY

Don’t grocery shop while you are hungry. You will be allured by offers, overbuy and be tempted to reach for the unhealthy foods when your stomach is rumbling. So write a list and visit the shops after dinner time to make sure you only buy what you need.

USE EVERY LAST DROP

Don’t throw the toothpaste away when it’s three-quarters of the way finished – use the last drop! Cut the damn tube open to get that last bit! You’ll save 25% on your spending of toiletries just by finishing up every product!

BRANDED PRODUCTS

Half the time generic and brand name products are manufactured and packaged in the same factory. The only difference is the generic choice doesn’t have all the pretty packaging. Do you really want to pay three times the price for your toilet cleaner because its in a pretty bottle?

STOP BUYING BOTTLED WATER

Get yourself a nice re-fillable water bottle and fill it up every day from the tap. How on earth can you justify the money and plastic wasted on buying bottled water every day?

MEAT FREE DINNERS

Meat is the most expensive item on most peoples grocery list, so why not try some meat-free recipes a couple of times a week? There are thousands of recipe ideas on Pinterest and Google, so you will certainly be able to find something for your family to enjoy.

EAT LEFTOVERS

Don’t let food go to waste! Ask to take your leftovers home with you when eating at a restaurant and if there are leftovers available from meals you cook at home, don’t throw them away! Eat leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day to save money and time on cooking more food.

PACK LUNCHES

Packing lunches for work will be one of the best decisions you make for your budget. If you take one piece of advice from this list then please make it this. I work with people who spend £5 every single day on buying lunch from a cafe. That’s around £1200 a year!

If you’re not sure what to take then try sandwiches or wraps, jacket potatoes, soup, salad, pasta. There are so many choices and if you need help then just look on Pinterest for easy lunch ideas and you will soon find the food motivation that you need!

MAKE YOUR COFFEE

If you spend £3 a day on a coffee, then investing in a coffee machine for your home will pay for itself in less than a year. Get yourself a travel mug, and get up five minutes earlier to make your coffee each morning to save yourself a small fortune.

HAVE BREAKFAST FOR LUNCH

If you want to save a bit of money on food then consider having toast or cereal for breakfast from time to time. You’ll still get the nourishment and energy you need to see you through the day at a much cheaper cost.

GROW YOUR OWN PRODUCE

Consider growing vegetables in your garden! You could even get a greenhouse for the produce that needs the extra heat to grow sufficiently. You can have access to your favourite vegetables all year round at no extra cost!

GROW YOUR OWN HERBS

Consider growing your own herbs. You can buy rosemary, basil, mint etc plants from most supermarkets. House them on your kitchen windowsill and water regularly to keep them alive. You can season your recipes at no extra cost and the plants will give your kitchen a lovely fresh smell at all times.

SHOP YOUR PANTRY

Rather than doing a full grocery shop this week, why not see what you already have in the cupboards and freezer and make meals out of those ingredients instead? Most of us have a cupboard full of tinned ingredients that we haven’t touched in months. Even if it means eating a few meat-free meals, try using up what you have first before you buy more food.

CUT DOWN ON THE SWEETS AND CHOCOLATE

Sweets and chocolates are very expensive and it’s so easy to see that things are on offer and fill our trolley with a load of junk. Cut these items out of your weekly shop this week and see how much of a difference it makes to your total.

ENTERTAINMENT

EAT OUT LESS

Eating out in restaurants is one of my favourite ways to socialise with my friends, although it can be expensive if you go regularly. Try inviting friends round for a dinner party instead. You could take it in turns hosting so you get to try everybody’s favourite recipe, and if you are anything like my friends you’ll have a better time because you can be as loud and obnoxious as you want in your own home.

CANCEL NETFLIX AND TV PACKAGES

If you are not using Netflix or Now TV then cancel! I feel like we live in a society where it’s expected that you’ll have these services because, well, “everybody has them right”? Wrong.

If you’re not a huge lover of television or you don’t have the time to be watching at the moment then cancel! You can always re-join if you find time to start watching again.

ENJOY SPENDING TIME AT HOME

Fall in love with spending time at home with your family or significant other. Having a hibernation weekend is one of the best ways to save money. I’m not telling you to become a hermit but once in a while it can be good for your mind to take a break from the outside world and just enjoy the warmth of your sofa and a good movie

FORGOTTEN MOBILE SUBSCRIPTIONS

I guarantee that at least half of the people reading this article will have more than one subscription to an app on their phone that they have forgotten about and aren’t using but are still paying for. Check your subscriptions in your settings and unsubscribe to anything that you are no longer interested in.

HAPPY HOUR

If you do want to go out and have a few drinks with friends then try to go during happy hour! You will get a round of drinks for half the price that you would do during peak hours. If you want to carry on the party past happy hour then head back to your place and drink what you have at home.

TASTECARD

If you do like to enjoy a meal out once in a while then consider investing in a Tastecard. For £30 per year you can get either 2 for 1 on all meals, or 50% off your bill at a long list of restaurants in your area including Pizza Express, Zizzi, Bella Italia, Beefeater and many other independently owned restaurants. This is a great offer if you will be eating frequently at these places anyway. You can also get up to 40% off cinema tickets when you present your Tastecard.

DRINK WATER AT RESTAURANTS

If you go out to eat at restaurants then considering ordering tap water with your meal instead of a soft or alcoholic drink. Firstly, its much healthier for your body to drink water than the sugar and chemical-filled drinks that you will find on most menus, plus in most places it’s free!

FIND FREE HOBBIES

This is something you are going to have to investigate if you are serious about saving money. You need to be able to keep yourself occupied at the weekends without spending money at restaurants, cinema etc. So try your hand at DIY, gardening, painting etc or just research nice places in your city for countryside walks and free activities.

SHOPPING

CALCULATE THE COST PER WEAR OF YOUR CLOTHES

I always try to think about the cost of my clothes in terms of how much I am going to wear them. This helps me to rationalise spending money on things that might be more expensive but are going to get worn loads like jeans and trainers, and helps me to rethink spending £100 on an outfit for my office Christmas party that will collect dust after the night is over.

STOP BUYING KNICK KNACKS

Stop buying knick-knacks and souvenirs – they’re such a waste of money. I used to constantly be buying postcards, and coasters, tea towels, phone cases, souvenirs from places I have visited and so on. Don’t buy homewares or personal accessories unless you are replacing something essential. As for souvenirs, if you want to remember a place you have visited then take a nice picture and frame it when you get back home.

SHOP WITH COUPONS AND DISCOUNT CODES

Using coupons and discount codes is nothing to be ashamed of. No matter how much money you have in the bank, why would you be okay with paying full price for an item when you can use a coupon to get half-price?! Coupons are easily found online for all different shops, my favourite way to get discount codes for shopping online is by using Honey.

Honey is a free browser plug-in that scans the internet for discount codes and then automatically applies the code to your basket which offers the maximum discount on your purchase. Honey supports thousands of retailers in the United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom and more countries and I have saved hundreds over the years from using this incredible tool!

CLEAR COOKIES

Some websites use cookies to monitor if we keep looking at the same item before purchasing, and at times, the merchant will often increase the price slightly more each time you view the page. This tactic is often used by holiday and flight companies, who create a sense of urgency within you so that you buy without overthinking in case the price keeps going up. So clear the history and cookies from your web browser so companies can’t track if you keep looking at the same item.

DISPOSABLE CLEANING PRODUCTS

I stopped buying single-use antibacterial wet wipes and paper towels ages ago. These are a nightmare for the environment and can take years to break down, and they are such a waste of money. Instead, try using reusable microfibre cloths and tea towels, and wash them on a 90-degree wash in the machine after each use to keep them sanitary.

BUILD A CAPSULE WARDROBE

Saving money on clothing can make a big impact and having a well put together, stylish wardrobe can also do miracles for your confidence. So do some research on capsule wardrobes and make sure that you own all the basics to put together an outfit for any occasion. If you’re not sure where to start then please take a look at my 15 Fashion Trends Every Woman Needs In Her Capsule Wardrobe.

BE HAPPY WITH THE THINGS YOU HAVE

Be content and appreciative of what you have. We can be guilty of always wanting more, more, more and can forget to be thankful for what we already have. Remember that no matter your situation, there will always be somebody in the world who would give their right arm to be in your shoes.

PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU WASTE

Pay attention to what you waste (especially when it comes to food) so that you can avoid making the same poor buying choices over and over. I remember when I was younger my mum eventually refused to buy bananas as they would only ever sit on the dining table attracting fruit flies. Evaluate which products always get thrown away in your household and stop buying these.

BUY SECOND HAND

Most things can be purchased second hand for a fraction of the price they would be brand new, and you still get an excellent quality product. Thrift stores and charity shops are full of lovely pieces of clothing, often brand new with the tags still attached, or vintage pieces that you wouldn’t find anywhere else.

You can also pick up furniture second hand, and give it a paint and upcycle to turn it into something beautiful that nobody else in the world has: my dining table was £20, and my coffee table was £5 – both from Facebook marketplace. I gave them a lick of paint and changed some of the hardware and they now look like pieces that are selling online in the £100’s.

BUY CLOTHES OUT OF SEASON

There is no better time to buy a swimsuit than December, and no better time to buy a winter coat than the middle of July. Shop the end of season sales for the items you won’t wear until next year to save yourself a fortune on clothing. I managed to buy a Topshop coat for £25 one time in May that was originally over £70.

CLOTHES ON SALE

Don’t buy clothes on sale that you are not going to wear, or that don’t fit you. Shops are very clever at making us think we are getting great deals by shopping the sales, but if you buy something that doesn’t fit you that you would not have paid full price for then it’s actually the shops who are coming up trumps.

RE-CHARGEABLE BATTERIES

Single-use batteries are another consumable item which is a complete waste of money and are terrible for the environment. Invest in a set of rechargeable batteries which you can reuse over and over again and save yourself the money and hassle of having to keep buying batteries every few months.

BORROW THINGS YOU WILL ONLY WEAR ONCE

If you have an event or special occasion to attend and need an outfit for the day, then see if you can borrow from a friend or sibling etc. If you know you will only wear this outfit once then save yourself the £100+ on a new dress, shoes and bag and see what your friends have that would be suitable. You can return the favour when they need so that you’re saving money together!

STOP INSTANT GRATIFICATION

Get out of the habit of buying whatever you want on the spot. A lot of the time, the urge to buy something will pass after a few hours and all we are truly looking for is that feeling of instant gratification rather than actually having the desire to bring that item into our lives. So go away and think about your purchase for a day, week or even a month. Chances are you will probably change your mind once you are out of the shop.

PLASTIC GROCERY BAGS

Take your own shopping bags to the grocery store. In the UK they charge between 5p – 20p for every carrier bag that you use. This isn’t a lot of money but if you have a large family and do a lot of shopping then this is an expense that can add up and it is totally avoidable. So take your own and save some cash, as well as reducing all that plastic that ends up in the ocean!

DON’T BUY LOTTERY TICKETS

It’s harsh but it’s true, you’re not going to win. You would be much wiser to put that money into an investment fund where it can grow and earn interest.

USE CASH ONLY

Handing over physical money when engaging in a transaction has much more effect on the brain and studies have shown that people typically spend less when they are using cash. Swiping a card just doesn’t feel the same, as you don’t see the number in your account go down so it doesn’t have the same feeling of exchanging your money for what you are buying. So switch to cash to be more diligent in terms of your spending.

HAVE A NO SPEND CHALLENGE

Try a no-spend challenge for a day, week or month. If you have never done this before then I would suggest starting with a day. Don’t spend a single penny on anything other than the essentials such as bills, petrol etc. Food doesn’t count unless your fridge and cupboards are completely empty.

The idea is to use what you have before spending money as a last resort. No spend weekends are a great money saver as you are more likely to spend money when you aren’t at work. If you need ideas to keep you busy, then check out my list of 45 Things To Do On A No Spend Weekend

QUIT WINDOW SHOPPING

Wandering around the shops looking at the clothes that you shouldn’t be buying is not a productive way to keep you motivated. It’s just going to create a sense of lack and you will likely end up giving in and buying something new. Find things to do with your spare time that don’t tempt you to spend on meaningless things.

UNSUBSCRIBE FROM MAILING LISTS

Unsubscribe from email lists from your favourite shops. All these are going to do is remind you of sales and special offers and encourage you to spend money that you wouldn’t have otherwise spent. If you need to buy something then you can use the Honey tool to look for discount codes and special offers.

TRAVEL

DON’T CARRY EXCESS WEIGHT IN THE CAR

If you’re driving around with half your wardrobe and a spare kitchen sink in the back of your car, that excess weight is eating into your fuel consumption. Make sure to empty your car of the things you don’t need in there regularly.

Some super savers even avoid filling up their tank all the way with fuel, because the weight of a full tank will get you fewer miles per gallon. Instead, they only fill up what they need when they need it.

CUT DOWN TO ONE CAR

If you and your significant other both own a car, consider whether or not it would be practical to cut down to one car. you might need to travel to work together in the mornings and be more considerate of the other person’s schedule to make sure you both have access to a vehicle when you’re going to need it, but the reward will be halving your car, insurance and fuel costs!

WORK CLOSER TO WHERE YOU LIVE

Working very far away from where you live can add a lot to your monthly travel costs for no good reason. To some degree, it might be completely necessary to travel far away to get to work depending on your line of work or where you live. However, if you can, consider moving closer to your workplace, or changing jobs to somewhere nearby.

PARK FURTHER AWAY AND WALK

Parking in town often costs a lot of money for a couple of hours. So park on a residential street a few minutes away and walk the rest of your journey. It’s a good way to get in those extra steps too!

CARPOOL

Try and find a colleague to travel into work with, or look for other parents who live nearby that you can share the school run with. You can share the cost of transportation and you will also reduce your carbon footprint by reducing the number of cars on the road.

WALK MORE

If you live near the shops, town or your place of work, then try walking rather than driving as much as possible. Its a great form of exercise, will reduce pollution to the environment and will save you a lot of money on fuel!

FLY IN THE WEEK

If you’re planning a holiday then consider going away Tuesday–Tuesday rather than flying in and out over the weekend. Midweek flights are usually cheaper as most people think to go on holiday at the weekend. It won’t mean taking any additional time off work, so use this hack to avoid premium flight rates just for the sake of ‘convenience’.

NEVER BUY A NEW CAR

A brand new car loses at least 30% of its value the very second you drive it out of the dealership. It might seem exciting to buy a brand new car that nobody else has driven, but if you are trying to save money then this is absolutely senseless.

Look around for a well looked after used car that might be a couple of years old. The car will still drive just as well and you will pay thousands of pounds less for it than if it was brand spanking new.

UTILITIES

PUT OFF USING THE HEATING

I live in England, where winters are pretty cold. I usually put off using the heating until the end of October to early November most years. I do live in a top floor apartment, so I guess the heat from the floors below rises and keeps our home warm, but even when it does start to get a little chilly at home, I try to put off switching the heating on as long as I possibly can, and use hot water bottles, heated blankets and extra layers of clothing to keep me warm.

WATER BOTTLE IN THE TOILET

Try putting something heavy in the tank of your toilet to raise the water level such as a small brick or a full bottle of water. This will leave less space in the tank for it to fill up with water, meaning every time you flush it will use less water. Don’t worry, the efficiency of the flush system will not be affected and you’ll reduce your household water usage by up to 5,000 litres a year.

SHOWER AT THE GYM

If you’re a member at a gym and you do use your membership then take your daily shower at the gym instead of at home! Why use your water and electricity when you can use theirs?

SWITCH OFF LIGHTS

Switch off the lights every time you leave a room. The estimated annual cost of running a 15W LED lightbulb for 6 hours a day is £6, compared to £24 for running the same lightbulb 24 hours a day. It might only save you £15 a year, but if you look after the pennies then the pounds will look after themselves.

DON’T AUTO RENEW ANYTHING

Car insurance and phone contracts usually automatically renew at the end of your contract for a much more expensive rate than they would be if you were to look elsewhere. So never let anything automatically renew: call your current provider and ask for the best rate and if they’re not competitive with the current market the take your business elsewhere.

PAY FOR THINGS ANNUALLY

Paying for car insurance and other memberships and services monthly might make the payment more manageable, but it will cost you a lot more money. Sometimes companies will add interest or a premium of up to 20% onto their products for the option to make monthly payments. So always try to pay for things in full. If you can’t afford the full payment and the service isn’t essential such as car insurance, then ask yourself if you need it right now or can it wait until you have saved the full amount.

CLOSE THE BLINDS

Keeping the blinds closed as soon as it’s dark during the winter can help to trap heat in your home more efficiently meaning that your heating system won’t have to work as hard. This can see a big reduction in your monthly heating bill.

GET A SIM ONLY PHONE CONTRACT

If you have a phone contract that includes the phone itself, consider renewing as a sim-only plan when you come to the end of the agreement. Don’t feel like you need to have the latest mobile phone at all times. If you are trying to save serious money then keep hold of your older mobile phone for a bit longer.

COMPARE UTILITIES AND INSURANCE 

Sites such as CompareTheMarket and GoCompare will scan prices across hundreds of different providers of car insurance, life insurance, pet insurance, utilities, energy, credit cards, loans and more to get you the best rate on whatever product you are looking for. So take the time to have a look online and make sure that you are renewing at the best rate on the market. Sometimes you will even receive extra benefits or discounts on top of your purchase such as cashback or 2-4-1 cinema tickets as a reward for shopping through these services.

PERSONAL CARE

CUT YOUR OWN HAIR

There are so many tutorials online where you can learn how to cut your own hair and cut hair for other people. A trip to the hair salon or barbers shop will usually cost more than £20, with women’s haircuts often costing upwards of £50. If you spend a few hours on YouTube learning the basics of cutting hair then you can save that cost which will add up to several hundred pounds in the space of a year.

TRIM YOUR OWN BEARD

trimming your beard is another grooming regime that can be done at home easily enough. A pair of clippers can be purchased on Amazon for under £50 and there are hundreds of tutorials on YouTube. So don’t pay somebody when you can do the job to the same standard yourself.

REDUCE HAIR PRODUCTS

We have been programmed by advertisements to think that we need to buy loads of different products to use in our hair to keep it looking healthy. The truth is, for most people a simple shampoo and conditioner should be more than enough to keep your hair healthy, shiny and tangle-free.

Masks, de-tanglers, heat protectants and so on are all a waste of money. If you get very knotty hair then try using coconut oil to make it easier to brush. Natural products are much more nourishing to our hair and can be doubled up as hair treatments for when your mane needs some extra TLC.

DO YOUR OWN NAILS

A trip to the nail salon can set you back more than £30 each time. While professionally done nails look lovely, they are a very expensive treatment and you get hooked into a cycle of paying to have them done at least once a month. So if saving is important to you then consider going natural or painting your nails at home.

COLOUR YOUR OWN HAIR

All the hairdressers reading are going to hate me. A trip to the hair salon to have your hair professionally coloured usually costs over £100. I have been colouring my hair since I was 17 and I have never ruined my hair. If you want to save money but also change up your look, then make sure to choose a reliable brand of hair dye, watch some tutorials for some tips to get an even covering and use the help of a friend or family member and colour your hair at home.

FAMILY

DON’T OVER-DO IT WHEN GUESTS COME OVER

If you are having guests over, don’t feel the need to greet them with entrees, serve a three-course meal and wash it down with the most expensive champagne you can find. Most people will be more than happy with a simple classic like spaghetti bolognese. Don’t overdo it.

OBLIGATORY GIFT GIVING

Gift-giving can become very costly. Don’t feel obliged to give presents to people that you are not close to on their birthday just because you feel you have to. The meaning of gift-giving is to make a person who is important in your life feel loved and appreciated with a token. So don’t feel obliged to give your great step-nephew a present on his 32nd birthday just because. It takes away the meaning of giving the gift in the first place.

MAKE PEOPLE PRESENTS

If there is a person in your life that you want to give a gift to then make them something by hand. Whether you are a painter, dressmaker, crochet expert or whatever. There must be some creative skill that you can put to good use to make your loved one something that is priceless and will make them feel appreciated knowing that you spent the time creating it with them in mind.

STAY AT A FRIENDS

If you’re going out drinking and don’t want to pay for a taxi home, then see if you can sleep over at a friends and then drive home the next morning. If you have friends in different areas then you can all return the favour to each other. Similarly, if you need to be out of town overnight and don’t want to have to fork out for a hotel, then see if you have a friend in that area who can put you up for the night.

TELL PEOPLE ABOUT YOUR GOALS

If you are serious about saving money, then you are probably going to have to say no to a lot of invitations, and maybe be a bit mean with gift-giving for a while. Let your family and friends know what your goals are so that they don’t take offence and think you just don’t want to hang out with them. Saving money is nothing to be ashamed of, in fact, your loved ones will probably be proud that you’re acting so maturely.

USE PARTY DECORATIONS THAT YOU ALREADY HAVE

If you are planning a party at your place, then use the decorations that you already have from previous occasions. Make sure to hang onto banners, bunting and even confetti and reuse it for more events rather than spending money every time there is a birthday in town!

LEARN TO SAY NO TO EXPENSIVE INVITES

If you receive an invite to join friends to take part in an activity that is going to cost a lot of money and its not something you really want to do, then don’t be afraid to say “no”. A good friend will understand if you need to sit this one out to keep on track with your savings goals.

FINANCE & BANKING

SET A BUDGET

Set a budget and stick to it. It’s the best way to manage your money and decide what’s important when it comes to your spending. If you have never used a budget before then you will probably want to start by looking at your last month’s expenses – write down every single thing you spent on and categorise these items. Now you can see how much you are spending on clothes, coffees, food etc and assess where you are going to cut back.

SWITCH YOUR BANK ACCOUNT OFTEN

Banks want to look after your money, so most will offer some kind of reward for switching your current account to them. There are currently banks offering £175 cash bonus to switch to them, and other banks are offering £100 or gift cards etc to switch. To see which banks are currently offering the best reward, check out Money Saving Expert.

AVOID BANK CHARGES

Make sure to pay all your bills on time and don’t go into any un-arranged overdrafts to avoid any unnecessary bank charges. Payments bouncing and not staying within credit will not only cost you a lot of money in large penalty fees, but these mistakes will also damage your credit rating, meaning any credit you take out will be at a higher rate costing you more in interest.

DON’T PAY FOR A STANDARD BANK ACCOUNT

Unless you are getting something valuable for the monthly fee, then switch to a free bank account. Many current accounts will pay interest on your balance, so banks could be paying you to house your money with them, not the other way round.

DON’T USE APPLE/ANDROID PAY

I removed Apple Pay from my phone a while ago and I found that it has stopped me purchasing snacks, drinks and other little purchases throughout my day. I often don’t take my bank card to work with me as I pack my lunches, so now that I have no means of payment with me when I don’t bring my card, it means I simply cannot be tempted to spend throughout the day.

SET GOALS

Setting goals for your savings reminds us what we are working towards. If we can picture our dream house or a beautiful vacation as our reward for having saved all this money, then we are much more likely to stay on track. It’s great to set numerical savings targets if you can, such as £200 every month or £5,000 in the next 12 months.

LIFESTYLE

CUT THE HABIT

Habits like smoking or daily purchases of diet coke or packets of sweets are terrible for our health and bank account. I don’t even need to go there when it comes to smoking – money shouldn’t be your main motivation behind kicking this habit, but it might add a punch.

Other smaller habits like a morning sandwich from the bakery every day can cost us a fortune. Try to reduce the number of times in a week that you treat yourself to these things, or even better, quit the habit altogether.

GYM MEMBERSHIP

If you have a gym membership that you aren’t using then cancel it! Unless you are really into your fitness or you’re interested in bodybuilding, most exercise plans can be completed in the great outdoors or at home by following along to YouTube videos.

SIDE HUSTLE

Nothing will make more of a difference in hitting your savings goal sooner than finding yourself a great side hustle. In the past I have taken up a second job after my day to day office job such as bar work, waitressing, office cleaning. You could also try Amazon and eBay selling, resell the clothes you don’t wear, babysit or start a blog. Choose something that you sincerely enjoy and you will be hitting your savings targets before you even know it.

LEARN BASIC SEWING

If you can learn some basic sewing skills, you will save so much money on professional alterations and repairing clothes when they get torn. You will also have more choice when it comes to shopping second hand because if you see something you love that would be too big on you, you’ll have the skill needed to be able to alter it to fit you perfectly.

REPAIR DON’T REPLACE

Try to avoid replacing things every time they break. See if there is a way for you to fix it yourself. There are tonnes of videos online where you can learn basic DIY, sewing and crafting, which are all skills that will help you to repair several different items in your home if they get damaged. 

If you are not able to repair the item yourself, then see how much it will cost to get a professional to mend it. In most cases, paying for something to be fixed will still be cheaper than buying a replacement.

COMBINE ERRANDS

Do all your errands on the same trip to save money on fuel and also to save you time! Many of us try to get menial errands completed whenever we have a spare 5 minutes, and therefore end up taking multiple different trips around and out of town every week. But think of how much more efficient it would be for you to combined everything into one trip each week. Plus you’ll save money on all that fuel and any parking payments you have to make while you’re out and about.

LED LIGHTBULBS

Use LED lightbulbs in your home instead of the standard cheap lightbulbs. LED might be more of an initial outlay, but they can last years rather than you having to replace them every few months. They are also much more energy efficient so you will see a reduction in your energy bill by switching to LED.

MOW YOUR OWN LAWN

Get outside and cut the grass yourself. Don’t pay a gardener to do it when its such a relaxing past-time, good exercise and a great source of fresh air. Why would you want to pay a gardener to spend that time in the garden that you have probably worked your arse off to pay for?

WASH YOUR OWN CAR

Washing your car doesn’t have to take ages. Use a light soap mixture and a jet washer to remove the dirt super quickly and efficiently and give the inside a quick hoover and a wipe down with a microfibre cloth. Sprinkle some essential oils around the car to make it smell great and you’re all done. Doing the job yourself will save you around £15 every time and you’ll do a better job yourself as it’s your vehicle.

CHANGE YOUR OWN OIL

You can learn how to change the oil in your car on YouTube very easily. I am lucky my dad taught me this skill when I first learned to drive so I have never had to pay a garage to do this for me. It’s so easy to do yourself and many garages will charge more than £50 for this simple service.

CHANGE YOUR OWN LIGHTS

The same goes for the light bulbs in your car headlights and brake lights. Go onto the website of your car manufacturer and find out what bulbs you need. You should then be able to buy the bulbs on eBay very inexpensively and easily learn how to fit them on YouTube.

LEARN SOME BASIC DIY SKILLS

Learn the basics of DIY to avoid having to call out a handyman every time something goes wrong in your home. I am not telling you to start fiddling with electrics and plumbing; leave that to an experienced professional. However, in terms of painting and decorating, hanging shelves and assembling furniture: if I can do that then I guarantee anybody can.

MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR RESOURCES

Make the most of the things that are available for free to you. As an example: I am lucky enough to work in an office where the company buy cereals and bread for staff to help themselves to breakfast every day. I make the most of this by having toast every morning at my companies expense. So think about the things that are available to you that you might not be taking advantage of. Whether its employee benefits that your job offers or free resources available in your town, there must be something that you are under-utilising.

USE THE LIBRARY

Stop paying for books when you have access to most of the books you need through your local library. I think I speak for many people when I say that half of the books I used to buy I didn’t even read. So stop wasting your hard-earned money and start making the most of the free library in your area.

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