Five money-saving tips...
However, most of the time it's not just bills is it...
I'll be the first to admit that I waste a couple of pounds here and there on hot chocolates, unnecessary snacks and impulsive clothes buying. A hot chocolate might only cost a couple of quid, but these little spends really do add up and leave me with less money by the end of the month. I know what I should be doing in order to save some money, so I thought I'd write this post to remind myself and hopefully give you some ideas as well.
Buy a season ticket for travel
If you use public transport to get to and from work, it's most likely going to be beneficial for your wallet to get a season ticket rather than forking out for the standard (usually peak!) fares everyday. Although it can seem daunting and expensive when you shell out £100 in one go for a month's worth of travel, it will definitely save you money in the long run. Plus, it feels like you're getting to travel for free if you use your pass for leisure on the weekend!
Plan your evening meals and buy food accordingly
When it comes to dinner/tea, or whatever you call your main evening meal, it's so much easier if you know what you're going to cook in advance. Not only does it save the pointless run of texts to your partner asking them what they want for tea (where they ask you back... and then you both say you don't mind...), but it also helps you to save money. If every week or two weeks you sit down and plan out what you're going to eat, you can then buy exactly what you need when doing your food shop and therefore prevent any food waste. Nipping into your local shop to buy ingredients every night becomes expensive, and I recommend doing as much of your food shopping as you can at the big supermarkets. My boyfriend and I don't have a car, so we just do our grocery shopping online... it's so easy! If you enjoy a takeaway or a meal out at the weekend, that's fine - just make sure you add that to your meal plan and keep some money aside for it.
Stop buying snacks on your lunch break
I am sooo guilty of popping to the shop on my lunch break and wasting money on snacks just for something to do. It might only be £2 on a pot of berries, but doing that every day adds up to £10 a week! I don't think that you should cut out treats/snacks at work completely, just buy them in multipacks in your big food shop. I'm a big fan of the lunchbox sized individual (Soreen) malt loaves... they're so cute and a fairly healthy option for an afternoon pick-me-up.
Sell your unwanted clothes
If you're short of cash, try having a big wardrobe clear out and see if there's anything worth selling online. I tend to do this every couple of months - but I only sell items that I spent a considerable amount on and that have the potential to make some money. The rest of my unwanted stuff goes to charity or friends. Selling online is a good quick fix, although it would of course be better if I didn't make impulse purchases on clothes in the first place...
Stop browsing online shops
This goes hand in hand with what I just said about impulse buying! I can easily spend (or I should say waste) a whole evening scrolling through Asos and lusting after material items that I do not need. I go through phases when it comes to online shopping - some weeks I'll browse most nights and then the next week I'll barely look. But I definitely make more mindless purchases and find myself fixating on wanting material items when I'm in an browsing phase. Limiting online browsing only to times when I'm actually looking for something that I need (e.g. I needed a new pair of sturdy boots for autumn/winter so allowed myself to look online to try and find a good deal) is the way to go. Because looking online and comparing prices can actually save you cash... it just makes me spend more and make impulsive decisions when I'm doing it aimlessly!
So there are my tips... they're not particularly original or groundbreaking, but I'm hoping that typing them out will remind me to use them more often! I hope you find them useful too. :)