Wednesday, 26 July 2017

10 Tips for saving money in your 20's

In this post I'm not necessarily referring to saving £5 a month, I'm going to show you some ways we've managed to free up hundreds of pounds a month extra that we are throwing towards our debt. Whether you're paying off debt, starting your retirement or saving for something big, these tips will help you on your way.

Use what you have
This can be tins of food that are stuck in the back of the kitchen cupboard, a dress that you've forgotten about that still has the tags on or a bottle of shampoo that you never finished. Before you go out and buy something I want you to really think about if it's necessary or if you can use something that you already own!

Learn to differentiate a want from a need
I want a coffee machine, but I certainly don't need one. No matter if it's a big expense or a small one, if you can't justify it then don't buy it. Be honest with yourself and only buy the things that you actually need. But make sure that you're getting the best deals on the things that you do need.

Don't be a slave to fast fashion
This will always be a struggle for me. If you're also obsessed with shopping and getting the latest 'it' dress, jeans or shoes I want you to think about some clothes that you bought a few months ago. I guarantee you that there will be clothes that you were in love with at the time but now you don't even think about wearing them.
This is fast fashion, we are told and shown what to wear but as soon as we've spent our money on the item there's suddenly something else that's newer and better!
I recommend stopping this completely and setting yourself either a modest monthly clothing budget or a seasonal budget. From now on, each season I'm going to buy a few key pieces and not allow myself to buy any clothes spontaneously!

Cut down on salon trips
I haven't paid for a haircut in over a year! I've had some really ugly stages since growing out my buzz cut, but I've also had some cute stages and most of the time I could style it to hide how unsymmetrical it was. I'm not suggesting that you never cut or dye your hair again, just be smart about it and choose a haircut that doesn't need regular expensive trips to the salon. Remember this is only temporary while you save, save, save! 

Get on a budget
If you're going to follow any of these tips make sure this is one of them! Making a budget, tracking every outgoing and seeing all of your money on paper is so beneficial. It's motivating and it will take the stress out of paying your bills.
I'm going to write a full post on how my husband and I do our budgeting but for now I'll link some that inspire us...
Dave Ramsey budget
Frugal Fanatic - these printables are amazing!

Write out shopping lists
As well as writing out your monthly budget, it's important to write out your weekly shopping list and modify it as you go. Each week we will write down our usual list of food and then we'll rummage through our fridge, freezer and cupboards to make sure we're not buying anything we already have. Before we were tracking our money we would go food shopping several nights a week without a clear plan. We've gone from spending £70 a week to £20 - £30, it's a huge difference!
We shop primarily at Aldi now and we'll go to Asda for the special buys on tins of beans and their frozen vegan stuff. Going once a week with a list that we stick to has made life so much easier and it's become a challenge to spend as little as possible! Any money we save on food we put towards paying off debt, that's enough motivation for me to put back the tub of vegan ice cream!

Stop smoking and cut down on drinking
These are pretty obvious. When I became gazelle intense with sorting out our finances I stopped smoking. It sucks and I crave it most days but knowing that we have around £50 extra a month makes it a lot easier!
Same goes for drinking, be smart and frugal. Either don't drink at all or choose cheaper options on the occasions that you do.

Charity shops
For any necessary spends that come up through the month, consider going to charity shops or shopping on Gumtree. For clothes try going to charity shops in wealthy areas, so much of the stuff will be brand new with the tags still on! For furniture and home stuff I'll either use Gumtree or charity shops in poorer areas and try upcycling to save money.
After moving in to our house and ripping out the ugly 70's gas fire, I was checking Gumtree once a week to try and find a bargain. We ended up finding our beautiful marble effect mantel for absolutely free!! That saved us around £300.

Think for a week before buying
This one is self explanatory, don't spontaneously buy things. Think about it either over night or for a week, whatever works best for you! This will just give you time to know that you need what you're buying rather than just buying something in the moment.

Get extra income
Sell things, get a side job, work overtime.
Do whatever it takes to make more than your usual pay check. Just work like crazy, remember what I said earlier, this is only temporary and it's worth it to achieve your goals!

Thank you for reading and let me know if you have any other tips!

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