Tuesday, 25 September 2018

How to save money without even trying



Once upon a time (around 8 months ago to be exact) I was a carefree 20 something with a lot of disposable income and not a lot of responsibility. Life was great, I didn't budget and just went shopping when I wanted to, fast forward to now and I'm a 20 something year old with a whole heap of responsibility in the form of a house and a car. I can't remember what disposable income is and I spend my days trying desperately to scrimp and save every way I can to be able to afford the nice little things in life too


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I think I'm pretty money savvy, even when I was carefree I managed to save enough for a house deposit and car so I'm not exactly new to this whole frugal living but it is much harder to save now. I've put together a list of the easiest ways you can save money without even trying, these tips are so easy you won't even notice the money until you've got a nice pot for a rainy day

Where and how to save
Before we start saving well you should decide where's best, some people prefer to save money in an ISA but personally I like the freedom of being able to access it if I need it. I have 2 seperate savings accounts away from my main account, the interest rate is abysmal but I find it the best way to save as I can quite clearly see what funds are for what purpose (holidays and house things). How to save is another personal thing you'll need to work out, I found that I'm not a lump sum kinda girl I always felt like I was losing the money and noticed it a lot. What I do is round up my purchases each day so that any spare change in my accounts goes into savings. For example if I've spent £7.80, I'd put £2.20 into savings. It grows really quickly and I like the satisfaction of my main account being a round number

 Switch and Save
Because I've only just moved into a new home, and had a car since February I implemented this right from the very start but there's always something you can save on. Make sure you don't ever just automatically renew contracts, shop around and compare prices on everything from your energy to your car insurance to your mobile phone contract

I've recently been trialling an app from a start-up company called yboo* and it's genuinely revolutionary in what it does, you download it onto your phone and it monitors your phone usage from the calls you're making to the data you're using to your location. It then uses this information to give you really tailored suggestions as to the best contracts for you. This is based on everything from price of bundles based on your current usage to signal strengths in your area. The app is super simple and very user friendly and can save the average user up to £156 a year! Which is definitely better in your back pocket - check out the video below for how it all works: 



Budget and Plan Ahead
This is probably one of the most important things you need to implement if you don't already. It doesn't need to be all singing and dancing the budget planner I use is fairly basic. But you should at least have a list of all your outgoings and incoming that you know about, plan for any other events such as birthdays that month. By knowing what should be coming in and out you'll be able to work out what you should have left to spend on a daily basis. Just the process of tracking purchases and outgoings can really make you think! I never used to bat an eyelid at buying lunch every day at work, until I realised I was spending upwards of £5 a day

Meal Plan
Which leads me onto meal planning quite nicely, when you go shopping do you just madly run around the supermarket without a plan? Because I totally did for so long. Now I try and set a little time on a Sunday to make a plan of what I want to eat that week, I use Mysupermarket to see where I should shop that week and then I often do the shopping online to help me resist all the treats and things I don't really need but end up in my shopping bag anyway


Vouchers and Discounts
Now even though I meal plan it doesn't mean I don't go out, eating out can be so affordable now you just need to plan ahead, download apps such as Vouchercloud to help you save money, I recently activated my Meerkat meals which gives me 2 for 1 at a whole heap of restaurants, many that I'd already visit so now I get to eat at these places for half the price. It's ridiculously simple to use and you won't even notice the difference apart from the extra pennies in your purse. This concept works for everything! Always google for voucher codes before buying anything because why spend more when you don't have to?


What's your top tip for saving money?


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