I haven’t always been good at saving, whilst a student I was definitely the irresponsible one always in Boots shopping the 3for2 makeup I didn’t need…
I don’t want this post to be preachy, this definitely isn’t me telling you how to spend your money… I just wanted to share some things that have worked for me. I feel like money is almost a taboo topic to discuss and speak about, but it really shouldn’t be, and actually it’s a massive part of everyones life. I know it’s not easy and there’s often so many temptations to spend (Charlotte Tilbury, I’m looking at you). Here’s how I’ve managed to get by, save money and not feel like I’m missing out.
Stop worrying about what everyone else has
I’m a social media manager and blogger, so I probably spend atleast 50% of my day on Instagram – seriously! I’m constantly seeing designer handbags, hauls and lavish looking, expensive lifestyles, and it’s easy to fall into thinking what I already have isn’t enough! Over the past year I’ve realised there’s no need to worry about what anyone else has, if I can’t afford something, I can’t have it – it’s as simple as that. There’s always a little pressure (I feel it anyway) to keep up with the latest trends and launches and impulse buy, but I’ve realised my money is better spent else where.
Know exactly what I spend my money on each month
Looking back two years ago I would have absolutely no idea where my money was going, the odd £10 here and there, before I knew it I was down to £0 and eating pesto pasta for weeks on end. Now there isn’t as much of a shock when I look at my statement. I found it helpful to look at a month of spending and write down exactly where my money was going in sections e.g. bills, food and drink, makeup/ clothes. I was surprised by how much I spent on really random things, that I could have been saving.
Get any credit cards/ products on finance paid off asap
The more monthly out goings I have the more stressful my finances feel, I’ve really stripped it back and cancelled anything that doesn’t bring me any joy. I did buy both of my cameras on finance with Argos, this was so useful and allowed me to buy them when I did, but the following months after doing this I made it my priority to get them paid off. I’m going to be buying a new Macbook Pro this year and I’ve told myself I’m not buying one until I have £700 saved for it. In the long run this really does just make life easier.
Honestly, I’ve spent hardly any money on clothes over the past year. I haven’t worked it out but I’ve been so strict with myself and just recycled my wardrobe as much as possible. I used to buy a new outfit for every single night out I went on, now I tend to wear the same things, if it’s a top I’ll wear different bottoms and vice versa. I’ve also sold a lot of unwanted things on Depop and then used the money to buy myself something new.
It’s only a good deal if I actually need it
Linking back to the whole 3 for 2 thing… Any kind of offer and I’m a sucker for it! When I know sales are coming up I actually bookmark lots of things from my favourite stores (mainly ASOS, lets be real), if the things I’ve bookmarked haven’t gone into the sale then I don’t bother looking. It’s only a bargain if you truly want it.
Use cash as much as possible
If I’m going away for the weekend or doing something I know may be a little pricey, I always get money out of my bank and use that instead of using my card. Having physical money and having to hand it over really makes me aware of just how much I’m spending, and it helps me stick to my spending limit and not go overboard.
Have expensive taste but don’t go mad
This is a biggie for me. I’ll happily get a Jo Malone candle and watch my money burn right before my eyes, but, I buy maybe two a year. I managed to treat myself to a Gucci purse last year, that’s definitely something I don’t do often but I knew at that moment in time financially it was absolutely ok for me to buy it, and I wouldn’t miss or need the money. I’ve realised having expensive taste is absolutely fine, but if I can’t afford it then I have to go without, and when I can afford it, be grateful for that and don’t go overboard.
I hope this has been helpful for anyone else who is trying to save money. I have been fortunate enough to stay at home for the past year and a half which does make saving easier, but with the wedding and move always on my mind I knew I wanted to save and make sure we were prepared. I have managed to live off £300 a month for 4 months, then I got a payrise and it went up to £450 a month that I had as disposable income (after putting money in my savings and paying all monthly outgoings). Yes, it’s not particularly glamourous, but I knew I had more important things to pay for.
Is there anything you do to help you save money?
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