It can be difficult to save money and stick to a budget whilst still having a social life, especially when you rent! But there are little things you can do that will help you cut back on your spending and even get some savings behind you!

Budgeting

Budgeting is key to managing your finances. Work out all of your monthly outgoings like bills and rent, but also your phone bill, gym membership, hair cuts, everything! This will help you work out how much money you can save each month, and also where you can make some possible cutbacks.

Having a savings account is essential for saving; it’s much easier than keeping all your money in your main bank account. Online banking is another must as it helps you to track your money so quickly and easily. Also, treat your savings like a bill; when you’ve worked out your disposable income, you can see how much you are able to save each month, then make it like a bill and set up a standing order to your savings account every month. Doing this for the start of your pay month will make saving easier too, as you won’t be tempted to spend it!

However, you can still treat yourself a little when you’re saving; if you restrict yourself too much you’ll end up getting fed up and having a massive blow out! So wait until the end of the pay month (not the start!) and see how much money you have left to get yourself a little something.

Saving tips

  • If you can help it, avoid having a car for a while; they are a massive expense and public transport is so much cheaper, or walk for free!
  • Shop around and look for discounts to get the best deals, and get free loyalty cards for places you shop in a lot
  • Eating out can be pretty expensive, so why not have nights in instead, and cook with your friends instead of going out
  • Be energy smart and cut down your water use, only use heating/air con when you absolutely need it, and make sure you switch off lights and appliances when not in use!
  • Have a shopping list and go just once a week for everything to avoid making extra unnecessary purchases
  • Also plan your meals for the week to reduce cost and waste, and homemade meals are a lot cheaper and nicer than ready meals
  • Some own brand products are not great, but quite a lot are actually pretty much the same, and half the price
  • Try vegetarian meals a couple of times a week to save money on buying meat which can be expensive
  • Even if you don’t have a garden, you can still grow veg and herbs in pots yourself! Read our no garden blog
  • Recycle and upcycle used items with a little DIY and crafts
  • Buy reusable items such as cloths instead of kitchen roll, and water bottles instead if plastic ones you throw away
  • Look for second hand items on eBay and Gumtree to save money, and charity shops in posher ends of town actually have some great designer items for a fraction of the original price
  • Use smaller amounts of cleaning and beauty products; you usually don’t need as much as it says on the bottle
  • Only re-purchase items when you have totally used up the old ones, we bet you have a drawer full of half used products!
  • Take time to think before actually buying something; half of the time you’ll realise you don’t need/want it as much as you thought!
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