So last month we swapped spending sprees for saving every spare penny with the hope of being ready to buy our first home in time for September. Though it does mean no more NewLook Hauls and I’ve had to really hold back on treating myself to the latest beauty must haves, I know it will be absolutely worth it. I am so proud of how well we have done already. I thought I would share how we saved over £1,000 last month by following these super easy Money Saving Tips.
- Know your Money. The first thing we did was sit down and work out our monthly expenses compared to our income. This way we were able to work out exactly how much we had to play with and make a list of the things we could cut back on.
- Open a Help to Buy Savings Account. In January we each opened a NatWest Help to Buy ISA. You can open one with up to £1,200 and then for every month you add £200, the government will pay an extra £50 to your fund and who are we to say no to free money?!
- Have a Back Up Fund. As well as our Help to Buy ISA’s we have a joint savings account where we have been putting 15% of each of our wages in to. We know we can access this if we have any surprise / emergency outgoing payments we have to make, but at the same time we are building quite a healthy pot of savings as we go.
- Cut Back on Luxuries. Saving money doesn’t mean you have to cut back on everything you love to do, however you do have to be willing to make some sacrifices. We love to go to the cinema and we pay around £15 each, each month for our unlimited cineworld cards so that we can go and catch a movie whenever we want to without having to worry about the cost. This wasn’t something we were willing to give up. Instead, we swapped our weekly takeaways for a monthly trip to our favourite restaurant which is on the same complex as the cinema (perfect date night combo right there) and this has saved us around £60 in January.
- Small Changes = Big Savings You don’t have to make huge changes to start saving money. Small changes such as swapping your shampoo brand or taking a reusable bag when you pop to the shops rather than paying for one will soon start to make a difference. I have started walking home from work instead of getting the bus three times a week which has saved me around £45 this last month.
- Spare change. At the end of each Friday , I’ve taken to emptying my purse of any spare change / small notes and popping them into our little pot of dreams piggy bank. I tend to put around £6.50 in each week and so throughout January I saved around £32.50.
- Look out for REAL bargains. Okay so, this one sounds really easy. Look out for the discount labels and just buy the discounts right? Wrong. Super markets are very good at making us part with our hard earned pennies by making us think we are getting good deal. When shopping for food, make sure you compare the price and size of your favourite foods to other brands. If both brands make the same thing and one costs £1 for 100g and the other costs £1.50 for 500g then you know you’re getting more value for money and making a saving. Also seek out the stores discount / past sell by date sections. More often than not, you’ll be able to find your dinner for that night for under £3*.
- Don’t Impulse Buy. It’s safe to say that both Mr & I are impulse buyers. We see something, we want it, we buy it. Anything from a Dairy Milk at the counter to to that absolutely gorgeous pair of shoes that I absolutely need and definitely will wear for longer than an hour at a party one day in the future – I promise. This year we are really working on stopping and thinking ‘Do we really need it?’. Nine times out of ten the answer is no and immediately we are saving money we would have otherwise spent. I’ve even started transferring the cost of the items into our joint account and adding it to our savings pot!
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