Entering into a new year usually means most people are starting to think about ways to improve their life and getting better with finances is often top of the list. There are many reasons to start saving, including being able to cover potential emergencies, unexpected expenses, and trips - amongst other things. Whilst saving is important, it doesn’t mean it’s always easy, which is why there are endless tips and guides at your disposal to assist along the way.
One of the first steps to saving is making a budget. This will ensure that your savings plan is tailored to you and works based on your own specific financial circumstances. It’s easy to follow the budget plans of money gurus online but the reality is that all our financial situations are different, and you’ll need to consider your own income and expenditure before working out exactly how much you can realistically put aside each month without putting yourself under financial strain.
Spend less, save more. Sounds good, doesn’t it? That’s because it works! It’s not always going to be possible to reduce expenses across the board but it helps to reduce your spending wherever you can. For example, a spending reduction of £20 each month would leave you with £240 in savings at the end of the year – just imagine: more money for Christmas presents or towards a trip the following year!
Monthly subscriptions are an easy way to spend unnecessary money on things you don’t use, and in most cases, don’t even remember subscribing to. If you have an iPhone, an easy way to check which apps you’re paying for is by going into your Apple ID and clicking into Subscriptions. Here you’ll find all the apps you’re actively subscribed to and how much you’re paying either weekly or monthly. You’ll also be able to cancel your subscription with the click of a button if there are any you don’t use or simply don’t need.
With society becoming more environmentally conscious, brands are encouraging people to shop pre-loved items instead of buying brand new each time. Not only is this much better for the environment in terms of waste, but it can also save you a lot of money! Renewed items are usually sold in good condition and also work just as well as a brand new item would.
Either side of the festive period, there are always sales that you can take full advantage of – and not just Black Friday Sales. Depending on what you need, most brands will have item reductions throughout the year to get rid of old or dead stock and make room for their new collections. If you’re struggling to find a good sale, there are usually various websites offering discount codes and others selling discounted versions of specific items you might be looking for – so get busy on Google before making a full price purchase! Otherwise, keep your bargain hunter hat on and stick to purchasing during sales and utilise special offers and deals as much as you can, whenever you can.
Getting back to the office has been a welcome return to some form of normality but for some of us this has meant spending more money than we did before. Recent research into how we Brits like to lunch showed that on average we spend around £6 a day on lunch, with Londoners spending over £15 a day. We get it – sometimes you might fancy something a little different for lunch or maybe lunch just doesn’t get better than the BLT from the local café. Either way, if you want to start cutting costs, start here. Try prepping your lunch at the weekend and if you get bored, you can always switch it up and make something more exciting the following week.
It’s no secret that many of us hoard in some capacity, whether it be our clothes, shoes, or random decorative items. Buying and selling pre-loved has become incredibly popular in recent days however, so it’s a great time to start thinking about getting rid of anything you don’t need or use. There are a number of websites and apps that help you with selling your used items and it’s a great way to make space in your home whilst filling the space in your pocket! Just make sure any items you sell are in decent condition so that whoever does buy it can enjoy it as much as you did.
Saving is key to preparing yourself for a brighter financial future however there may be times where your savings may not necessarily cover those emergency expenses in their entirety. Small loans can be incredibly useful in times of need and can come in handy when you may have run out of other options. Make sure you assess your needs and that you can afford to take on the debt, however small, so that you don’t put yourself in further financial difficulty. You’ll need to repay the loan and any interest on the loan, so you’ll need to check that you have enough to cover the payments and have enough to keep your finances in the green without needing to borrow again in short succession. If you’re unsure of where to borrow money, you can make use of a loan comparison tool and check customer reviews to find out how others got on with the companies.
It’s important to have savings but it’s also important to save in a way that works for your financial circumstances. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to save every single penny and beat yourself up about it if you’re struggling – it’s not the easiest thing in the world and to try is an achievement in itself. Stay focused on your savings goal by employing any of the methods that work for you and watch the results roll in at the end of the year!
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The best saving tips, budget ideas and ways to improve your financial health