Tuesday 30 November 2021

5 Money saving tips

I'll be the first to admit that I used to be rubbish with money like many people but now I feel like I'm fairly savvy when it comes to money and here are some of the things that I find helps me to save money as well as spend more wisely.

1. Use an app for monitoring your money

I personally use an app called Pocket Expense for keeping an eye on my money and I've found it really helpful. Before I used a spreadsheet that I created myself and there I'd put what I'd spend where or what income I had coming in such as my PIP disability allowance or a refund. This app now does the same thing but it's a lot easier and I like to colour code everything so have thins on the app and the icons for different spending categories such as a purple telephone icon for my monthly mobile expense. I'm sure however that there are many other similar apps out there for you to use too.

Other recommended apps can be found here.

2. Set a no-spend goal

To help me save money I put myself on a no spending goal on purchasing craft things and stationary (except the obvious essentials like glue). I did this as I already had plenty of craft supplies and stationary and I didn't need more so I set myself a goal to use up what I already had to try and save money. I've been on this ban for a while an I still have a lot of craft and stationary supplies (so I think I'll be on this no spend goal for a while). Plus also doing this has helped me to feel good about how much money I have been saving and showing myself my resilience to not buy anything new and using up what I have.

Maybe you could do something like cutting down on buying something like take-out coffee, sweet treats, alcohol, eating out or take aways? Think where you spend your money and how you may cut back such as making coffee at home and putting it in a thermal mug to take out or making your lunch at home rather than buying it etc?

Apps like the one I talked about above can help you work out where your money goes so you can see places where you can implement a no-spending goal.

3. Stick to a budget

Sticking to a budget can also help you save money. It might be something like how much you spend on your weekly food shop, when you go shopping for clothes or at theis time of year how much you spend on Christmas gifts.

With the latter I made a list of all the people I'm sending gifts to and then I set a budget on how much I was going spend on each person. I also put some money aside earlier in the year to hep me with my Christmas budget.

When you stick to a budget is can help bring a sense of achievement as the money you've saved you can put aside for something else to to put into your savings.

4. Be savvy with shop membership offer and deals

Joining up with shop membership scheme or advantage cards or other similar scheme can bring a lot of benefits. You can get discounts or you can earn points as you shop which may hold monetary value or you may get special member discounts or offers.

With my memberships I'm always looking at what offers they have for me and some places target you with certain deals based on your past shopping history. 

I think my biggest success has been with a particular store which I shop from a lot for toiletries and makeup and gifts. For each pound (£ GBP) I spend I get 4 points (4p) but if I look out for deals I might get triple points or an extra 200 points if I spend a certain amount or 150 extra points on selected brands or 3 for 2 deals etc.  With this store I save up what I need to buy and look out for their offers and then I do a big shop so I claim the additional 200 or 500 points or free products or on a couple of occasions a free mystery box worth £30.

The points I saved with this membership has really helped me with my Christmas budget as the money I had on my account I was able to use on Christmas gifts (and to treat myself too).

5. Open a savings account

Savings accounts accounts with banks can help you save money. You might want to do something like transfer a little money aside each month from your current account each month to help it grow or just save up and transfer a little aside when you have a little spare amount.

You can search around online for which banks have the highest interest rate on saving accounts or offers for opening a new account. A couple of good comparison websites are Money Saving Expert and Money Supermarket.

An alternative to a bank savings accounts are stocks and shares savings accounts. The interest rate on these accounts are much higher than what banks can offer and though they depend on the stocks and shares market it is something that I would say is something to defiantly look into if it is something you are able to commit to [more than a bank's savings account]. On company I can personally recommend is Foresters.