Now I am by no means as you can tell great at saving YET! However, these are the things I find that have helped me in the past month and they might help you too. These are simple and really we should have done them sooner!
Use a budget sheet. This could be a spreadsheet, a piece of paper or a fancy sheet you have made. It doesn’t matter what you are using but you need to keep track of absolutely everything you spend. That 70p chocolate bar you get once a day adds up to £255.50 a year and that is money missing from your savings pot. I included a copy of the one I use on my last post so feel free to pop over there and use it.
Plan everything. Plan meals, plan days out, just plan! I plan meals a month in advance. This gives us enough leeway to alter things if the children decide they really don’t want what is written on our menu. It also stops the takeaways because we make fakeaways at home. I am happy to share my meal planning with cost breakdowns with those who want it.
Shop weekly. We used to shop monthly but were finding things would go off before the end of the month or that we didn’t fancy what was on the menu that day and end up calling for a takeaway. Shopping weekly means we don’t have long to wait for the next delivery from Tesco and we aren’t wasting any food. We don’t drive so we decided grocery deliveries suited us. We pay £7.99 a month for the Tesco delivery saver but for us it is worth it. No getting taxis, no struggling home with heavy shopping. Some people swear by Aldi, Lidl etc but we found we cannot shop just in those stores as we can’t always get what we need and we find that Aldi fresh produce does not last which was leading to wastage and having to repurchase. What is the point in saving £2 a week on your shop if you have to rebuy all of your fresh fruit and vegetables! Find the supermarket that works for you and buy fresh if you can.
Wait 30 days
Impulse buys were after food where the majority of our money was going. Now, If we want to buy something then we wait 30 days. If we still want it in 30 days then we have to save up the money in full before buying. DO NOT USE KLARNA! Do you need those new shoes? That new xbox game? If it is on finance then probably not. Wait the 30 days, save the money for them and then if you still want it you can purchase it.
Before we started saving we looked at all of our outgoings first. We called up all our providers and found out we were paying too much for the majority of our bills. In a past post I explain how much we saved just by giving them a call. Don’t be scared to call and ask. The worst the providers can do is say no! In most cases they will say yes. Please don’t pay over the odds for something you do not need – don’t try to keep up with others. I was always getting the newest phone out even though I knew I did not need it. This has stopped. By moving to sim only we are saving £50 minimum a month per contract. Do you need all those TV channels? Are you going to use that brand new phone camera 20 times a day to justify the cost? Most likely no.
Again, these seem like small simple changes but we need to stick to them. Some of these will show impact straight away such as cutting bills. Others will take a month or two before you really start seeing the difference but hold on and keep thinking about your goal!