If you’re a regular reader, you know that I always have a wish list a million miles long of things I want to buy, places I want to visit, and renovations to the house I want to start. What’s the only thing holding me back from doing all of these at once? Well, I actually do really like working my way towards a goal and hitting those milestones along the way, but of course the real reason is money. When you have as many dreams as I do, there’s always going to be a waiting list as to which one gets realised first. Of course with the wedding, honeymoon, and minimoon, this year is pretty well mapped out in terms of expenses. So we’ve had to be quite disciplined about not just buying everything we see when we get the urge. That’s because we have our eyes on the prize. And for now, it’s keeping us on the straight and narrow.
Saving money really doesn’t have to mean sacrificing lifestyle though. In fact, with some old-fashioned planning – such as last year’s energy efficiency project – you can clock up the savings without even noticing. In many cases (long-lasting, energy-sparing lightbulbs are a great example) you can even save time on household maintenance while saving money. Who doesn’t need more of both? Here are my favourite money saving tips to get you to your goals. Any I didn’t think of? Let me know in the comments!
Consolidate household expenses
Why pay separately for Microsoft Office or an anti-virus software subscription when there are providers that include both with an email account? Also, you can almost always save money by bundling your mobile, internet, and television services.
Want to be sure you’re getting the best deal on electricity, gas, car insurance, or even your mortgage? Use an online price comparison service to find out if switching suppliers could save you money. If not, then congratulations for already having found the best deal! But if there’s a better price out there, why pay more? Go ahead and switch!
Create a monthly budget
Yes, I know that creating a monthly budget doesn’t involve any actual savings, but here’s what it does do. First of all, it flags up any regular outgoings you have that are no longer being used. This might be a gym membership or a magazine subscription that could be discontinued. Furthermore, once you calculate your monthly income vs. expenses, you also have a good idea of how much disposable income you have. Financial experts will tell you that 20% of your income should be put aside for savings, so as part of your budget, add this figure in and if you haven’t already been doing so, set up an automatic transfer into a savings account. This can either be done directly by your employer or you can organise it with your bank. Making sure that 20% never reaches your current account helps you to manage your expenditures an entirely different level.
DIY Dining and Fashion
Cooking at home is much more economical than dining out. If you’re really looking to pinch pennies, try upping the frequency of grocery shopping to buy fresh ingredients. Buying smaller amounts for just a few days of meals will ensure that you’re not letting produce go to waste.
As you all know, I love making my own clothes and it’s saved me incalculable money over the years. And of course it has been a lot of fun in the process! Have a look here if you think you might be interested in learning to sew, even if simply to make repairs – even that is a great money saver.
I really hope some of these ideas help you to get closer to your savings goals! Whether you’re planning a dream holiday or saving up for your first home, having a strategy for how to get there is half the battle.