Tuesday, June 28, 2016

5 Simple Money Saving Tips Everyone Should Follow ♥

The older I get, the more saving money becomes a priority for me. Jacek is great with his money, he manages it so well and invests it wisely so that he gains interest and other benefits for saving his money, rather than spending it on impulse, like I have been prone to do in the past... I have never been much of a saver, money always seems to burn a hole in my pocket if it's there too long but these days I've begun saving money to invest in mine and my family's future.
I have made some changes to how I spend my money and have put plans into effect to help me be a better saver. I have learned to be thrifty rather than wasting money on unnecessary items or bills. Below are five 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 schemes
This is such a great way to save money and one which is quite popular amongst the blogging community judging by all the spending ban posts I see on a weekly basis. If you're like me and have multiple boxes and baskets full of makeup and beauty products which you have yet to use, 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! 

I've also been trying to curb my spending on clothes for the boys as they have loads which they have yet to wear, but this is proving a lot more difficult. Why is it that us mums love spending our cash more on our children rather than ourselves? Seeing the money you would have spent on items that you didn't really need build up week by week is actually quite thrilling - something which I'd never have associated with saving before becoming serious about my money.

Manage your money sensibly and budget wisely
This is something which a lot of people struggle with and I'm one of them. I always feel so in over my head when people talk about different bank account options, interest rates, etc. but once you sit down and look into them it's actually not that complicated.

Setting up a savings account and having a direct debit taken from your current account for a portion of your wages to go into it every week is a great way of saving up for those rainy days and big purchases in life. Regular saving like this is also a positive for you if you go about getting a mortgage - something which we shall be looking into very soon.

Having a weekly or monthly budget set out to stick too is a good way of making sure that you don't overspend. Nonetheless, there are times in life when an unexpected bill or situation crops up that you may not have the money for right away or available in your savings and it can be stressful. Availing of a loan from a reputable lender such as UK Credit can be a good way of getting the money you need and as long as you budget in the repayments into your finances there should be no problem paying it back. They offer guarantor loans for both homeowners and tenants and I've actually had to take a loan such as this in the past due to an unexpected issue with my car and I was able to pay back the loan before time.

However, I would only ever consider taking out a loan if you really are in need of it and are one-hundred per cent sure that you can manage the repayments. UK Credit also have a great blog called Money Life, where you will find, in their own words "stories, musings and tidbits about the weird and wonderful world of money".

Be more energy efficient
As a family, 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 them 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.


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 trips that Jacek and I want to take next year. Having a plan to follow can really help to focus on what you need to save every week and it's great to tick off the weeks as they go by 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.

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? Two years ago 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. I think Ebay and Etsy are the best places for selling unwanted items and these days there's also a lot of selling apps available too. The money I make from these sales will go towards this Christmas - every little helps for the season of good cheer!
    
Make a weekly meal plan before going grocery shopping
Making 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?

*This is a collaborative post.

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Peace & love,
Fiona
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