Think Logically & Don’t Go Crazy
It’s easy to say “right, if I put £900 out of my £1,000 pay check into savings, then i’ll make my target in no time!” I did! But you need to be realistic, how much money do you need to live, until your next paycheck hits your bank? What other commitments do you have? I’m very, very fortunate that my boyfriends parents only ask me to pay the bare minimum for rent but I also had to factor in phone bills, car expenses, lunch money etc. Then there’s your social life to consider too. You’d be surprised how drastically that falls apart as soon as money is off the board.
Don’t go bonkers, think logically about what you have and what realistically you can do with it! You will always live within your means, so if monthly expenses are accounted for, you can live on £100, then you will do it! You’ve just got to know your limits.
Where is your money going?
Do you know exactly where your money is going throughout the month? What about when? And specifically how much? Probably not, there’s no way any normal brain can hold and access all of that information. Now, I’m sure if your serious about saving money, then this isn’t the first “how to save” post you’ve read. And it isn’t the first time someone has said “make yourself a spreadsheet.” Dude, stop reading this right now and create one! Because my God does it change your life.
A spreadsheet will allow you to harness your inner organistational freak that is just waiting to be unleashed. Honestly. Firstly, write down your income. This could be the pay check from your full time job, any educational benefits you recieve, maybe you could even anticipate birthday money? Then start listing all of your outgoings; rent, phone bill, car insurance, road tax, life insurance, social engagements etc. I recommend organising these into monthly segments, especially if you have your life together enough that you can front your car insurance in one yearly sum. Then, decide if you can wittle any of it down, do you really need to go to the cinema every week? If so, is there a cheaper day you could go. My local cinema does discounts on Mondays and student discount for the rest of the week. Or if you bought your insurance through Compare the Market, there’s always Meerkat Movies to think about!
Walk to Work and Take Lunch with you
It seems so simple, but I guarantee it’ll make such a difference to your savings. Walking to work will save you money on petrol and parking. Taking lunch with you will stop the guilty trips to McDonalds on your breaks. This goes for eating out for dinner and even all those sneaky trips to Starbucks too.
If you’re still unsure, try calculating how much you spend on these things in just one month. I’ll bet you’ll be shocked enough to stop altogther!
Open a Savings Account
Don’t forget about the ‘Feel Good’ Fund!
You know that jumper you haven’t worn since 2 Christmas’ ago, sell it!
I have been pretty tight and stingy for the last 6 months, but I’ve got a nice sum of money to show for it and tickets out of London in less that 2 months time. And I don’t think I’d have done it without these steps.