Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Easy Ways To Save Some But Still Spend Some

As much as people tell us that 'money isn't everything' (it definitely isn't, btw) it is still pretty important in most of our lives. I mean, unless you're Chuck Bass and own a hotel empire at the age of 18. As much as I'd like to live a life of luxury, I know that just isn't feasible for me. Saving is now a way of life, sigh. But so is spending and I think it's just all about getting the right balance...

Ergh, this post is already making me sound like an old person - soz about that. I've always been kinda good at saving though and thought I'd just share a few little tips with you all.

1. Set yourself a saving 'challenge'
I'm one of those people that hates to fail at things. So if I set myself a saving 'challenge', I'll be much more likely to stick at it. I found one on the internet at the beginning of the year called the '366 day penny saving challenge'. There's loads of different ones kicking about - but I just liked the sound of this one. Basically you save a penny on day one (January 1st) and then you add on a penny as each day goes by. So on Jan 2nd it'd be 2p, Jan 3rd would be 3p and so on. Obviously you start off very small (I had less than a fiver at the end of the January) but by the time you get to November/December you'll be saving around £3 a day which will mean your fund gets boosted a lot towards the end of the year. There's a really helpful spreadsheet on Skint Dad's blog  to help you keep a track of how much you need to save each day as it can be a difficult to know how much you need to save each day off the top of your head! Although, I've found it easier to just add up the amounts for each month and put the whole months amount in as soon as I get paid. So far I've got over a £100 and, by the end of 2016, I'll have £677 if I stick to it which I'm hoping to put towards a New York trip.

2. Don't feel bad if you have a month (or two) off from saving
Although I probably won't own a house for a few years, Josh and I have been saving for a deposit for a while now. We're not super strict with it, though, and if we were then we'd probably be well on our way to getting a mortgage by now! Some months I'll save a fair bit but other months, I'll put much less away or just won't save anything at all if I have other things to pay for like a holiday, or whatever. Remember that as much as the end goal will be worth it, there's no point not enjoying the 
present day because you've saved every last penny.

3. Look for additional ways to earn extra cash for spending
That sounds easier said than done, right? But there's actually a lot of ways out there to make a bit of extra cash than you'd think! I've talked about survey sites on my blog before so have a read of this to find out a bit more about them and the ones I use the most. But doing surveys online is a great way to earn extra money or vouchers and you'll feel totally not guilty about spending them because you've literally earned them from the comfort of our own home without much effort.
Have you got any old clothes or make up you could sell? Put it on Ebay! I usually shove a load of stuff on Ebay every couple of months when I feel like having a clear out - it's a great way to get rid of old stuff and earn extra money for new stuff!

4. Set yourself (realistic) spending budgets
I could never go on a spending ban because I just like treating myself far too much, lol. I know I could save a lot of money if I stopped my Starbucks habit and I know I don't need to spend £30+ on a foundation - but I want to. But it's easy to let your spending spiral out of control if you don't keep an eye on it. I always set myself a budget for food as it's so easy to spend a shit ton on things like snacks - little trips to Coop don't half add up! And I'll also top up my Starbucks account with a certain amount so I know exactly how much I've spent there - because as much as I love a vanilla latte, I don't love the idea of spending hundreds of pounds a year purely on coffee! Then I'll give myself a certain amount for clothes/make-up - whatever I fancy treating myself to that month. 

5. Make the most out of shopping online
If, like me, you do the majority of your shopping online - make sure you're making the most of it. No matter what website you're shopping on, ALWAYS look for a voucher code! Literally just google 'ASOS discount code' because, a lot of the time, there will be one out there. A minute of your time could save you loads - it's so worth it, seriously. And always use cashback! I'm amazed some people don't know about this yet so if you're not signed up to TopCashback or Quidco yet - go do it. You literally just go on their site, type in 'ASOS', for example, then click on the ASOS website from there and the cashback site will then automatically track how much you spend. They'll then give you a certain percentage of cash back - although it can take up to a few months to become available. Sometimes it's pennies, sometimes it's pounds. But it all adds up. I got £160 once for signing up for a new broadband provider so it's always worth checking!

Do you have any tips or tricks for spending and/or saving?

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