Money might not buy happiness. But it can help…
Saving money can seem like an impossible task, especially when your outgoings seem to exceed your incomings. But you might be surprised at how much you (and your bank account) could benefit by implementing a few small changes into your day-to-day.
To help you learn to budget better, here are our top money saving tips for 2018:
Up your earnings
First thing’s first – you need to think about your income.
If you’ve been in the same role for a while, a potential pay rise might well be within your reach.
But before you start talking money with your boss, do your research.
Whether it’s by using a salary checker tool to estimate the average salary of your role and location, or looking into how much similar jobs in your industry pay – you’ll be able to get a rough idea of how much you’re worth.
Then, think about what you’ve accomplished since being with the company, and whether your responsibilities have surpassed those in your job description. After all, drawing attention to where you’ve exceeded expectations is exactly what’ll put you in good stead for a pay rise.
Budgeting isn’t just a good way to monitor your outgoings (and make sure you’re not caught short when it comes to bills), it also allows you to cut unnecessary spending.
Start by putting together a clear list of your essential costs (e.g. accommodation, bills, travel, food), then minus the total figure from your income. It might actually surprise you to see what you’re spending the rest of your money on.
You might even find that many amenities/products/subscriptions are things you could without.
For example, do you go to the gym often enough to warrant an £80 monthly membership fee, or would you be better off paying on a class-by-class basis? And, do you really need a TV license, or are your TV watching habits strictly confined to Netflix?
In fact, there might be some subscriptions you forgot you even signed up to, and even cancelling a debit as small as £2.99 a month can add up in the long run.
Use thrifty life hacks
Without the proper precautions in place, your best laid budgeting plans can fall apart. Unfortunately, that only means one thing. It’s time to make the most of what you’ve got.
So with that in mind, it’s time to trade in your traditional breakfast bagel from that trendy place on the corner and bring your own breakfast every day. Drinks after work every weekend? Why not make it a monthly thing? And let’s face it, you’ve been going to the same barista for three years and they still can’t get your order right. At least at home everyone knows your name.
It could also be just as easy to recreate the same thing for less.
Yep, you guessed it. DIY. From making your own coffee/breakfast/lunch from scratch and using your creativity to turn that old dress into a new skirt – you could be saving hundreds of pounds every year.
And, whilst you learn to knit your own scarf; you could be making even more money by selling all the things you no longer need (e.g. scarves, clothes, novelty secret Santa gifts). Thanks, eBay.
But if you just can’t let go of that double mocha with extra cream? Everything in moderation. Also make the most of vouchers, sales, and loyalty cards. They’re helpful too.
Make the most of small change
Sending half your pay cheque to your savings account every month can seem like daunting task.
In fact, putting away lump sums like these could actually be putting you off saving anything at all – either because you ‘forget’ to transfer it, or need to spend it on something else (whether it’s an emergency expenditure or you know, rent).
So instead of being overambitious with your savings, work out what you’re able to save in small doses. For example, saving just £3 every day for a year will give you an extra £1000 by next summer.
Not only could realistic savings like these allow you to pay for that dream holiday you’ve always wanted, you’d also be able to afford any emergencies that may come up.
OK, we admit the first option is preferable, but who knows when you might need a spur of the moment dental procedure? (Blame the double mochas).
Phone an electronic friend
Although your phone can often be the cause of spending rather than saving, there are actually a variety of money saving apps that’ll help you organise, track, and budget your funds.
Whether you need that extra nudge to stick to your budgets (and find out where your money’s actually going), you want to shop at lower prices, or you’re looking to manage your bills on-the-go, there’s something to suit your needs.
Just don’t start buying every single app; unless you want to go back to square one…
Looking for more information? Find out which app suits you by checking out our top 5 money saving apps.
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