How To: Saving Money
One of the few things I’m (usually) really good at is saving money. I think maybe it’s because I grew up knowing the value of money and how important it is to earn it and be self sufficient. I wasn’t given money whenever I wanted it because there simply wasn’t money there to give me. The positive consequence of this is that I have lots of tips of how to save money and make the most of it!
1. Have something to work towards.
It’s always easier to save money if you have a reason to be saving it. For example for a few months last year I was saving for a Macbook (both because I wanted one and because I knew I would need a reliable laptop when I went to uni, which I didn’t have at the time.) Because I had this goal I found it incredibly easy to save almost all of the money I earned from my job and ended up not really spending any of what I’d earned for about 3 months (except for an extortionate amount of money at the dentist but I wanted to keep my teeth so that was unavoidable. (Extra tip: brush you teeth 8 times a day (don’t really do that though.))) Wow that was a lot of brackets, moving on.
2. Non branded products.
I feel like this is an obvious one, but a lot of the time non branded products aren’t that much worse than branded ones. I, for example, really like Tesco own chocolate. Really I’m not just fooling myself or in denial (I think) I really do like Tesco chocolate as much as branded bars of the stuff. Individually it may not really seem like paying a few pennies less for something will make a massive difference but when you start doing that for most of the things you’re buying the savings you make really do add up.
3. Question: Do you REALLY need it?
There are lots of things I want. Oh my God there are so many things I want but there really aren’t that many things I need, or things that anyone needs. If you think about whether you’re going to die if you don’t buy something a lot of the time the answer is no. You can probably carry on wearing that pair of jeans with the tiny hole for a few more weeks or go without buying that book that everyone’s talking about (even though it is really hard sometimes.)
4. Don’t underestimate the little things.
It is super easy to have the mindset of “this is just a little thing,” “it’s less than a fiver though,” “Compared to how much I have saved this will cost nothing.” This is a very dangerous mindset to get into the habit of having. Once you let yourself off for buying one little thing suddenly you’re buying several little things a week and blowing all of the hard work it’s taken to save the money. I’m definitely not saying don’t spend ANY of the money you earn, as this might have a demotivating effect and make you want to give up saving up altogether. Just be wary of what you’re buying, how much it costs and if you can really afford it.
5. Rationing money and rewarding yourself.
Maybe section off a certain amount of money you spend each week or month on anything you want. At the moment this is the attitude I have. I’m saving up for university, and although it’s obviously a really important thing to be saving up for, it feels slightly different to when I’ve been saving up for material things. There isn’t so much an end goal that I can look forward to. This means that being able to spend a little bit of money (little being the important word) each week on something I want helps me keep my motivation and will power not to just spend all of my savings.