Saving money is something that we all want to be able to do all year round. It’s not always easy, especially when wages are low and many people are living pay cheque-to-pay cheque.
I’m always trying to cut corners and have as much money left in my account by the end of the month as I can. I’ve put together a list of some of the best ways that I’ve found to save money and I hope they’re helpful to you!
I like to treat myself as much as the next person, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying go crazy and buy everything second hand (although I do this a lot and love it) but there are ways to shop smart.
If I’m buying something “basic” – I try to keep cost down as much as possible. For example, before you drop £25.00 on a pair of white canvas shoes in Topshop/Topman, try somewhere like H&M or Primark. A lot of the time you can get something IDENTICAL for a fraction of the price.
Monitor Your Subscription Services
Make a note of all the services that you’re currently subscribed to. Ask yourself, do I REALLY need all of these? I did this recently when we moved into our new house, gave up my NowTV rolling subscription that I barely used anymore. Now I’m saving £7.99 per month.
If you live with friends or with your partner, consider getting one Netflix account between you – you can always create separate profiles within that account. That way, you can split the £7.99 and everyone saves! Spotify also have a family package for £14.99 – even if you split that between two people, you’ve made a saving.
It’s amazing how quickly your morning coffees can add up. For example, a regular Americano (takeout) from Caffe Nero is £2.10. If you have one every morning on your way to work, that’s £10.50 per week. And roughly £42.00 a month. I was HORRIFIED at myself for spending that much money on coffee each month. I bought this travel mug and now I make myself a coffee every morning before leaving the house and bring it with me to work.
If you’re not keen on that idea, some coffee shops even offer a discount on your coffee if you bring your own mug, so you could save a little that way.
Force Yourself to Live Within Your Means
This sounds like I’m stating the obvious, but let me explain. Every pay day, I challenge myself to get through the whole month using ONLY my wages. I only ever have my wages in my current account. All my other money is in my savings account. At the end of every month, any money I have left in my current account gets transferred into my savings account and my new wages replace it. There are some months where you have to dip into your savings, for example, around Christmas time. However, I’ve found that only having my wages in my account stops me from over-spending. At the end of every month you get a little boost and a pat on the back when you transfer the money you’ve saved, even if it’s just a little bit – it’s better than nothing.
A fun tip I read online was to rename your savings account as something like “Quit Your Job January 2019” – it gave me a giggle but in all seriousness – it would make you think twice before dipping into your savings to buy something you don’t really need.
Get Your Negotiation On
Think about all the contracts that you already have – your phone contract, electricity, gas etc. Do some research online to make sure that you’re getting the best possible deal. If you’ve been with a company a while, it does no harm to visit their store or drop them an e-mail, let them know you’ve been a loyal customer and you never know what might happen.
I used to find I was running out of mobile data a LOT, so I message my provider EE to see what they could do for me. They added an extra few GB of data onto my plan for no extra cost because I’d been a loyal customer. Then when I moved my broadband to EE, they gave me even MORE mobile data.
Use Money-Saving Apps
One of my FAVOURITE apps at the moment is OhhSocial. OhhSocial is a subscription service app – for a one-off payment of £14.99 you have access to TONNES of money saving deals around Belfast.
We recently went for dinner and cocktails at the smallest bar in Belfast, The Sagart (highly recommended by the way!). Through our OhhSocial app, we bought two main courses and got two cocktails FREE. We saved £15.90 off our total bill, and made back the subscription cost with one use! Eating out can be expensive, so this is a great way to still be able to enjoy great meals and socialising without breaking the bank.
It’s not only for food and drink. There are deals on OhhSocial for family activities, cinema tickets, spa days, make-up application and SO much more. What’s more, if you get the OhhSocial app from their website – you can subscribe for just £5.00!
Although OhhSocial is exclusive to Belfast/Northern Ireland – there are similar apps in action in other cities across the world.
What are your best money saving tips? Let me know in the comments below or send me a tweet!