I have already made some changes to how I spend my money and have put plans into effect to help me be a better saver. I have learnt to be thrifty rather than wasting money on unnecessary items or bills and my other half has been teaching me about the importance and rewards of letting your money lay untouched and grow for awhile. Below are six simple money saving tips which I am following in order to save my money and set myself and my family up for the future.
Have a month-long spending ban / Use reward schemesThis is such a great way to save money and one which is quite popular amongst the beauty blogger community. Are you like me and have multiple boxes and baskets full of makeup and beauty products which you have yet to use? If so why not challenge yourself to a month long spending ban and resist buying products which you really don't need. I've made a vow not to spend anymore money on makeup or beauty products until I've used up my current stash and so far I've stuck to it and have saved loads in the process. If I do feel the need to try something new I have been using reward schemes such as Back To MAC, Boots advantage points or Lush's reward of a free fresh face mask if you return six empty pots - which I have plenty of!
Be more energy efficient
We are probably overly conscious of how much electricity we use in our house due to Jacek having a bit of a thing about having too many things on at once. You can save a lot of money on my monthly electricity bills by simply taking more care about what appliances and lights you're using at one time. I no longer use the big lights in our house unless I really have to, the table lamp gives sufficient light. I unplug and switch off sockets when I am done using something and I try not to have the television on whilst I'm on the laptop because I know I can't focus on both at once. These simple changes have really helped keep our energy bills down and it's great to know we're being energy efficient too.
Sell items you no longer need
If you're like me and have boxes full of things you no longer use or need but have very little space in your house why not think about selling these items? At the end of last year I cleared out our attic of all my sons baby things and sold them at a local baby market. From doing this I was able to pay off a lot of bills and have some money to spend on Christmas gifts. I now need to have another clear out of things we haven't even used and I think Ebay and Etsy are the best places for these. The money I make from these sales will go towards this Christmas - every little helps for the season of good cheer!
Manage your money sensibly
This is something my other half is great at doing and it allows him to save his money as well as reaping the reward of interest from it. He is able to have a savings account and add into it each week - a fantastic thing if you can do it and it also looks great on a mortgage application form. Keep your current account for your outgoings but set up an account for savings that you don't want to touch for awhile, think of it as a little nest egg for a rainy day. Something a lot of people are looking into these days and reaping the benefits from is an offshore savings account. If you find yourself having global financial needs and wanting to hold some of your money outside of your home country then an offshore savings account is the ideal option. This is actually a great option for bloggers who work in an international sense with PR companies from all parts of the world and who want to save some of their earnings in an offshore account situated in either London or Jersey (both places I am visiting this summer) so this is something myself and Jacek may look into at some stage in the near future.
Follow a saving money plan and stick to it
This year I am doing the 52-week money saving challenge (or at least I'm trying to!) and although it can be hard to stick to it when I have so many outgoings, I am determined to put away money each week to save up for something special for my sons 3rd birthday next February. Having a plan to follow has really helped me in focusing on what I need to save every week and it's great to tick off the weeks as they go buy and see your saving stash getting larger each week. If the 52-week money saving challenge isn't for you there are other templates which you could follow to be found on Pinterest.
Make a weekly meal plan before going grocery shoppingMaking a weekly meal plan is such a great thing to do as not only will it help you become more organised when it comes to preparing meals but it will also help you save money whilst doing the weekly shop. I always have a list of dinners that we're going to have during the week with me when I go food shopping, this helps me focus on what I actually need to pick up instead of buying things we probably won't end up eating and therefore saving us money. We also stay away from brand name products when we can which really helps to keep the weekly food shop cost down.
Do you follow any of these money saving tips? Have you found the results to be rewarding on your purse?