Monday, 11 June 2018

5 Tips That Stop Me From Spending All My Money.*

I'm useless with money. I spend it as soon as I have it and I usually have nothing to show for it. It's the bane of my existence; I always want to mosey off for a week away in a cottage or some relaxing time in the sun, but I never have the funds. Saving money can seem like a real challenge, but I've come up with a few tips that are definitely helping me - and could help you too!

1. Practice the '30 day' rule.

This is a huge thing for me. I'm very impulsive with purchases and can often spend a considerable amount on something that I then never use. This rule means that I have to wait a month after first contemplating a spending spree to actually go through with it. If I still want it after the 30 day period has passed, then it's probably worth the investment. This process gives me time to see if the urge to splash out was just a whim, and helps stop me wasting money on spur of the moment interests. Obviously, you don't have to wait quite as long as I do, but even giving it a week before you hand over your credit card could save you money in the long run.

2. Find vouchers and discount codes online.

Everyone loves a bargain, and that's where VoucherToday comes in handy. This site collates all the best voucher and discount codes for companies like Sky, Papa Johns, Pretty Little Thing, Forever 21 and Last Minute, amongst many others! The process is so easy - you don't even have to sign up to get your hands on the best deals. The codes are updated daily meaning you get the most convenient and up-to-date access to the best prices. From fashion to food, entertainment to travel, VoucherToday has codes for loads of great companies and products, which is fantastic news if you are looking to make the most of your money when you're online shopping! 

3. Shop smart.

Recently I've seen a lot of people talk about how they manage to feed two people for a week on a budget I wouldn't have blinked at spending for just one meal. Yes, I definitely overeat haha, but it's more than that. I don't actually consider the purchases I'm making, which is foolish. To combat that (and to stop us spending £70-odd a week on food) there are some tiny changes that we're making, that have big results. Firstly, we stick to the supermarket's own version of foods - they're a fraction of the price and almost identical anyway. We also have been shopping around, heading to Lidl and Aldi to check out if the people who say they are excellent value were right (spoiler: they are). We've also been trying to catch the moment when reduced price foods are put out on the shelves. This week Blair managed to buy three days of food for about £3 which was very helpful! Take a look at your food-shopping habits, consider writing lists before you go, and see if you can save a few quid!

4. Swap or sell your old stuff.

I'm a hoarder and a bookworm. These are pretty incompatible unless I eventually want to live in a house made of books (don't tempt me...). Basically, I have a lot of 'stuff' hanging about that I don't use, and don't need, but keep anyway. I'm now practising a reverse of point 1 - if I don't use something for three months, and it doesn't bring any joy to my life, I need to get rid of it. Swapping things with friends is a great way of getting new goodies without forking out for them, or you can go the whole hog and sell your old belongings at car boot sales, on eBay or even on Depop (if you're brave enough haha!). I'm also making a conscious effort not to waste money on more stuff: if it's something I really need I check Gumtree or Freecycle to see if I can get it for free, and in the meantime, I'm becoming a massive fan of the local library...!

5. Stop using cards.

I'm terrible for those 'out of sight, out of mind' purchases, and since the introduction of contactless payment I barely even know I'm spending. One tip that has worked for me is, instead of using your debit card to pay for everything, take out a set amount of money at the start of the week and only allow yourself to use that. This tactic forces you to think through and justify every purchase to yourself, rather than just avoiding looking at your balance for as long as you can (guilty!). It's also stopped me purchasing more than I needed or wanted just to hit a minimum card spend, which I never used to question. Just make sure you've got a decent purse or wallet for the coins you're going to acquire...

Those are some of the tips I'll be following this summer to hopefully save a few pennies and perhaps even afford a little staycation somewhere. Being a little bit smarter with money means I'll hopefully be able to do more exciting things in the long run! Let me know if you have any other tips for saving money, as I need all the help I can get!

What's your relationship with spending like? Do you love a bargain or are you more into flashing the cash?
*This is a sponsored post.

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