Wednesday, 11 May 2016

5 Things That Help Me Save Money

This year is set to be a big one for me, and when I say big what I actually mean is expensive. It’s the year that, all going to plan, I finally move out of my mum and dads house and in to my own little flat with my boyfriend. We've been doing the long distance thing for as long as we've been together (nearly 4 years now) so I'm obviously super excited that we finally get to live in the same house, but also intensely aware of just how much money this is going to cost us.

With this in mind I've been really watching the pennies (and I honestly do mean pennies) since January in an effort to save as much as possible. I'm currently living at home rent free and with very few outgoings, honestly I think most of my money has been going on driving lessons/tests, so I'm acutely aware I'm in a pretty good place to save as much money for the latter half of the year as possible. I've still been making lots of conscious money saving decisions though, so I’d thought I’d pop down some of the things I've been doing (or not doing) in case anyone is feeling curious or a bit too spendy!

1. Avoiding Online Shopping
This is a bit of a tough one because ASOS Premier and free next day delivery has saved my wardrobe on more than one occasion, and I am such a fan of shopping in my pyjamas. The problem is I'm so much more inclined to keep things when I order them online, even if I don't actually love them as much in the flesh. I'm less picky when I'm shopping online, and I have a tendency to keep anything that arrives as long as it fits and I don't hate it. This is doubly true if I've ordered from a site that doesn't do free returns, misguided I'm looking at you!
In contrast I'm SO much more reluctant to part with my money when I'm shopping in a store and have to hand over actual cash. I generally need to have gathered the opinions of as many sales assistants/random strangers as possible, and then spent a good few hours thinking about something before I'll buy it. Limiting my clothes and make-up spending to mostly in store means I'm likely to spend less money with the added bonus of really loving those few items I do decide to buy.

2. Leaving my Debit Card at Home
This is an important one because man am I tempted to buy all the things when I know that I have the means to. I might have just popped to the shop for a pint of milk but if I have my card with me I’ll usually end up with way more. Similarly if I take my card with me on a night out instead of cash I could easily end up taking out an extra £20 for a couple more drinks, take out food (chips and curry sauce always) and a taxi home even though I live like a 10 minute walk from town and hello its summer now I so could have walked!  

3. Looking for vouchers and Deals Online
If I'm ever going to buy something online I always have a quick Google first to see if there are any relevant deals or codes floating about. I try not to get too spendy just because New look have emailed me a 20% off voucher though, it’s only really a saving if it’s something I was going to buy anyway. I often look for deals when I know I'm going out to eat too. Prezzo is a firm favourite of me and Marc because they do some fab ones, 2 for 1 mains is always a winner!

4. Keeping an eye on my bank account
When I was a student I used to ignore my bank account for as long as I could get away with, usually until the ‘oh my god my card is going to get rejected buying bread in Tesco’ panic got too much. Nowadays however I'm much more grown up about checking my bank account at least every week. It means I have a more realistic idea of how much money I have (obviously) and I'm less spendy when I know I can’t afford it. It also means I'm more likely to remember to cancel any direct debits that are no longer needed!

5. Thinking Long Term
I can be terrible at impulse buying bits because they’re ‘in’ without thinking about if I’ll use them in the long term or if they’re even very me. I've bought clothes before that I've ended up wearing for maybe a season before getting bored and leaving them lost somewhere in the back of my wardrobe, so I'm really trying to think more long term with my purchases and spend a little more on good quality basics that’ll last way longer. Less lime green Topshop mini dresses that get worn 3 times (ahem) and more versatile pieces and things that layer well. Thinking about clothes in a price per wear kind of way has also meant I've stopped buying a new dress for every occasion, a habit I used to be so guilty of!  

I hope this has been even a tiny bit helpful! I never thought I’d say this but I'm really enjoying budgeting and being a bit more sensible with my money, so if anyone has any saving tips they absolutely swear by I'd love to hear them!

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