As someone that changes their mind more often than their underwear, lives life mostly on a whim and defines spontaneity as more of a religion – I can tell you that it definitely helps having money in the bank. It is essentially the only way to support such a lifestyle and it has taken me a good few years to perfect the art of saving. So, with that in mind please see below my list of tips & tricks to help you along the way!
There are two types of savings that I often flit between and that depends on whether I am saving for anything in particular or just generally putting away the pennies.
SAVING FOR SOMETHING IN PARTICULAR:
• Set yourself an aim – eg. £5000 in 12 months
• Open a savings account – So important! Like many before me I foolishly relied on the savings account my online banking provides. (you know, the one that you can access all day every day) Doesn’t work. Have a separate account, ideally with a different bank. Out of sight really is out of mind.
• A monthly standing order – from your current account to your savings account eg. £400 a month. Be realistic with this and make sure you have enough left over to last until next payday but keep your goal in sight.
• Reassess direct debits – Have a look through what you pay out regularly, a gym membership that you freeze for months on end? a cinema card you forgot all about? netflix, amazon prime, now TV? Be ruthless! Are you going to go to the gym? Probably not. Is amazon prime really worth it in the grand scheme of things? No. Transfer the money you were paying out for these into your savings, an extra £30 a month can go a long way over time.
• Go sim only – This is one of the things that really made a difference to me. I used my first few months savings to pay off the rest of my phone contract and then went sim only. In turn, my outgoings quartered and I can cancel at any time.
• Stay excited – Keeping your goal at the forefront of your mind is really important when it comes to motivation! Whilst saving for Australia I kept myself excited by planning my trip or looking through photos as a reminder that I was working towards something.
• Meal prep – Now this is if anything, a lifestyle necessity. If you went through your bank statement and added up the total cost of all those takeaway coffees & meal deals, it would probably make you queasy. Making a packed lunch is so quick, easy and inexpensive. Set aside a little time, maybe an hour of a Sunday evening and get it doooone.
• Don’t forget to treat yourself – Saving is not all doom and gloom but sometimes it’s hard to remember that! Try to go about social events in a more cost efficient way – (pre drinking beforehand) but don’t be too hard on yourself, still got to live a little x
PUTTING AWAY THE PENNIES:
• Get a piggy bank – It really is as easy that.. I know! Every couple of weeks I scout through my bag and empty any loose change into my piggy bank – Also if I’m out for a meal/night out etc. I get out a specific amount to spend and if I don’t spend all of it, the piggy bank gets fed
• End of month savings – At the end of each month, anything left in my current account gets transferred to my savings. Whether it’s £10 or £150, every little helps
• Thrifting – If I have an outfit/book/vinyl in mind, the first thing I do is check local charity shops. They contain endless amounts of treasure and a good 80% of my wardrobe is thrifted. Not only will your bank balance thank you for it, it’s better for the earth and your money will be going towards a great cause!
All of these simple steps have helped me achieve some of my wildest dreams over the years. You can combine them or use just a few but either way, get that money in the bank!