7 Simple Tips for Saving Money

Saving money is something I’ve always been absolutely dreadful at. I buy so many things on impulse and since working in the city centre, I’ve managed to develop an unhealthy habit of walking around the shops at lunchtime buying things out of boredom. However, my boyfriend and I are planning on going to Japan next year with a couple of friends which is something that I’m super excited for. I really want to be able to afford to go and have an amazing time. Japan isn’t the cheapest place to get to so I need to start saving big time. I thought I’d share with you some of the things I’m doing to cut down on spending and achieve my goal of going to Japan.

Get Yourself A Travel Pass

This might be an obvious one for some people but I’ve recently realised how much money I can save travel-wise. I get the train to and from work almost every day, a return ticket costing me £5.50 every time. Say for example I got a return ticket every single day of the week, that would mean I’m spending £38.50 a week on trains which totals £192.50 a month in a five week month. My boyfriend mentioned to me that I should look into season tickets which I’d never even thought about and I really wish I’d have looked into these months ago. I figured out that I can buy a season ticket on direct debit for £63.50 a month – going by my previous maths, that means I’ll be saving around £130 a month! I couldn’t believe it when I’d actually worked out how much I’d be saving and I signed up for a direct debit season ticket straight away. What makes this even more amazing is that I worked out it’s a total saving of £1,560 a year – more than half of what I want saved up for my Japan trip! My only regret is not figuring out I should’ve been buying season tickets sooner. So if you’re using public transport every day and you don’t already have some sort of pass or season ticket, definitely look into getting one because in the long run you’re saving hundreds.

Stick To Drugstore Products

Beauty is one of the things I definitely blog most about. I don’t know about any other beauty bloggers but I often feel pressurised to buy new make-up products. Whether it’s a cult product that everyone’s talking/blogging about, a newly released product or something that’s generated a bit of a hype, I end up feeling like I need to buy these things in order to have a successful blog that people want to read. Please know that this isn’t true! We don’t need all the latest things in order to produce amazing content. I’m finding recently that because I do love talking about new products and want to provide honest reviews, I just give all of my attention to the drugstore releases. These are much more affordable and have helped me to generate more of a niche for my blog by talking about budget products that bring amazing results. Blog posts about dupes are some of my favourite posts because they help you to figure out how you can achieve that amazing contour or those eyeshadow goals and save yourself some money at the same time. Don’t get me wrong, I love a high-end product as much as the next blogger but personally I find it much more satisfying knowing I’ve found something just as good for a fraction of the price – and we can pass our knowledge on to our readers!

Prepare Meals In Advance

The one thing I definitely spend the majority of my money on is food. Working in the middle of a city centre means that I’m surrounded by convenient but expensive food places. It’s so easy to just pick up a sandwich and a drink, scan your contactless card and not even really register how much you’re actually spending. Scrolling through my bank statements, I quickly realised this was something I needed to change. I worked out that I was spending about £5 at Pret A Manger nearly every day so if I were to spend this much on every working day then I’m blowing £25 a week on food. That’s £125 in a five week month and a whopping £1,500 a year! I couldn’t believe that if I were to stop buying expensive lunches every day and have my train season ticket, I’d have £3,060 saved which would buy me my trip to Japan. Now, obviously it’s still important to eat and I can’t totally banish lunch – it’s the best time of day. What I’ve been doing to save money on lunches is starting to prep them myself in advance. Pinterest has absolutely tons of meal prep recipes that you can put together of a Sunday and be sorted all the way through the week. This means that all you have to do is pop your lunch in your bag in the morning and you’re set for the day. This is a bonus because you can shop for all the ingredients you need in one go and you don’t have to traipse around the shops for your lunch if the weather is bad. You’ve got so much more variety because you can change up what you’re making whenever you like. Don’t get me wrong, I do still love the soups and toasted tortillas from Pret and it’s totally okay to treat yourself a couple of times a month. In fact, you might appreciate it more if you’ve not had it in a while.

Get A Travel Mug

Similar to spending loads of money of a lunch time, I’m also guilty of spending a large chunk of money every month on things like coffee or cold drinks because I walk past coffee shops every day so it’s very convenient. This is awful for my bank balance as well as my health because I’m trying to lose weight and things like coffees can be so fattening. The way I’m trying to kick this habit out is by making my own drinks. The prime time for me buying coffee is on my way to work to make me feel more awake so I bought a cheap thermal mug from eBay. This means that I can make my coffee before I leave for work and take it with me. Plus it means that I get my caffeine fix sooner which is beneficial for everyone, really. I also bought a cheap water bottle from Amazon that I keep filled up as much as possible so that I’ve got no need to go and buy other soft drinks and this works out a lot healthier as well. Again, I do love a good caramel latte but making it a rarer thing makes it all the more amazing when you do have one as a treat.

Do Your Own Nails

Something I love to do at least once a month is go and get my nails done at a salon. I find it really therapeutic and it makes me feel good. However, it costs £25 to get a gel manicure each time I go so if I go once a month, that’s £300 a year which is another chunk of money I could be saving away. Although it is a nice treat, it’s just my nails and it’ll feel even better to have the money to go travelling and make memories. Instead, I’ve been giving myself time to do my own nails of an evening which gives me the chance to just chill out. I have quite a few nail varnishes stored away that I never use because I’ve just been going to the salon which is such a waste of money. I’m making good use of things that I already have. You could even do a face mask whilst you’re giving yourself a manicure and make a little pamper evening for yourself.

Open A Savings Account

This one is a pretty important one in my opinion; I’d really recommend setting up some sort of bank account where you can deposit all of your savings into. There are a few ways you can go about doing this, the way I’m doing it at the moment is I’ve got an ISA account with the same bank as my regular bank account so I can just transfer money between the two accounts. You could also set up something like a Building Society account where once you’ve deposited money into it, you can’t withdraw it without actually going into the bank and providing a signature. This makes it more difficult to just loan yourself back the money for things you don’t really need so if your willpower is a bit weak, this could be a better option. Then you just need to decide when you’re going to deposit money in. At the moment, I’ve just been transferring whatever is left in my bank account into my savings account the day before my next payday. However, something I think I need to start doing is budgeting my money in advance as soon as I get paid and then transferring what should be left over straight away. This means there’s less chance of me spending money on anything I don’t need because I’ll have to stick to my pre-budgeted allowance for the month.

Get A Savings Jar

I’ve been doing this one for a few years now but I like to keep a jar in my bedroom where I keep any small loose change. All those pennies and two pence pieces can get a bit annoying just sitting in your purse with not much purpose so I thought it would be a good idea to collect them and see how much money I save. I started my current jar just over a year ago and it’s almost full to the brim now just from throwing my small change in every time. I can’t imagine there’s a massive amount of money in there but I reckon there’s a decent amount so it’s just a little something extra to do if you want some savings.

So those are a few of my tips for saving yourself some money, I hope you find them useful – especially in the lead up to Christmas! Is there anything different that you do to save money? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear your tips!

Disclaimer: The images included in this post are all stock images found on Pexels, licensed for personal and commercial use and are not my own.

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24 Comments

  1. November 6, 2017 / 9:01 am

    I actually do all these things already! Good to know these are the best ways to save money. In saying the hardest thing I find hard to do is not buying high end products. I like to indulge and try new things out especially when there is a new craze. I am a sucker for it. lol

    But glad to know I am doing the rest as you suggested 🙂

    • November 6, 2017 / 12:59 pm

      It’s definitely so difficult, my biggest enemies are definitely make-up and clothes because I could just buy so much haha. I think it’s harder when you read other peoples’ blogs about how amazing products are, it always makes me want to buy them myself x

  2. Alicia
    November 6, 2017 / 3:15 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this Alice, I’m trying to save so much these next two month so I definitely need to look into somethings, I will defo be looking to get a travel card because I spend so much money travelling too. Also I will be planning my meals from now on too! Thanks for this guide xx

    • November 6, 2017 / 3:28 pm

      Girl do it! I can’t believe how much money I’ve wasted not having a travel card. I’m glad it helped lovely xx

  3. November 6, 2017 / 6:00 pm

    For starters, I’m LOVING the new header it’s so cute!! It’s actually mad when you sit down and look at where your money goes each month, I have this app called spendlytics that tells me how much of my money is going to each category e.g. food, clothes shops, direct debits and it really shocked me how much I used to spend on food and on tiny little unneeded things! I totally agree with the savings account thing too as I see it as not my money anymore and it’s so rewarding watching it add up too and thinking it’ll go towards something big and exciting eventually 🙂
    Alice Xx
    http://www.blacktulipbeauty.co.uk

    • November 6, 2017 / 6:21 pm

      Thank you, had to get the Winter vibes going! It really is when you add up everything and see how it effects your bank balance long-term. Might have to have a look at that app! xx

  4. November 6, 2017 / 7:17 pm

    Some great tips here! It’s not until you stop and think about these things that you realise how expensive it all is! I’ve definitely cut back a load on food and coffee since starting my new job. I’ve got into a routine of sorting out a packet lunch rather than spending the money on sandwiches or McDonald’s. Now McDonald’s is just a treat once a month for work. It’s crazy how much you are going to save now though! I wish you the best of luck.

    Gemma | http://www.anoceanglimmer.wordpress.com

    • November 7, 2017 / 10:46 pm

      It really does save so much money to take in your own lunches and be a bit more prepared. Places charge just for the convenience! Gotta love a good McDonald’s haha. Thank you! xx

  5. Emily Isobelle Jane
    November 6, 2017 / 8:46 pm

    I agree with you on so many of these points! My savings jar has saved me so much money over the year..I recently had enough to buy a pair of Kurt Geiger boots!! loved this post babe xx

  6. November 6, 2017 / 9:50 pm

    I need this blog post right now! I’m trying to do a spending ban for November but I’ve already been on a spending spree in Primark 🙈 Really need to have more self control and stop spending money and start saving it! Great post lovely x

    Chessie | everythingchessie.co.uk 🌿

    • November 7, 2017 / 10:45 pm

      Primark is the most tempting place for spending money! I love it there but it’s so damaging when I wanna save haha. Thanks lovely! x

  7. November 6, 2017 / 11:52 pm

    Ugh, saving money is very difficult for me. I don’t even know how I spend my money, but I just do. I’ve recently opened a separate savings account and thankfully my budget is going according to plan. I just need to be more strict with eating out and not bringing food/travel mug to uni as that’s where my money seems to be going currently. I just wish I had a financial advisor with me at all times to tell me what I should/shouldn’t be spending! x

    • November 6, 2017 / 11:55 pm

      That would be so useful! Food is definitely one of the biggest things for me, I love eating at restaurants and stuff with my boyfriend and end up spending tons x

  8. Kayleigh Zara
    November 10, 2017 / 12:31 pm

    These are all really good tips especially a travel mug as I spend so much money buying coffee! I also really agree with meal prep x

    Kayleigh Zara 🌿www.kayleighzaraa.com

    • November 13, 2017 / 12:51 pm

      It really does help, they charge so much just for the convenience! x

  9. theglassofclass
    November 11, 2017 / 2:45 pm

    This right here is a very important post. Thank you for sharing! I am so bad at planning my meals, especially because I live with my boyfriend’s family and don’t really buy my own food! I guess that’s one way of saving but I wish I could get better and planning my meals ahead so I don’t end up with a ‘what can I eat now’ problem. When I moved to London I used to use the tube for everything and it was costing me a fortune, even with the travel pass. Very quickly I switched to buses and it saved me so much money! It’s a great way to travel around London as well as you can see everything around you. I definitely feel the pressure to buy new products as a blogger but never have money for it! Which very often makes me feel left out and less relevant. But I’m fighting with it! Great post!

    Julia xx
    theglassofclass.com

    • November 13, 2017 / 12:53 pm

      I’m so glad it helped you! Planning meals is definitely way easier said than done, don’t worry. It’s so easy to just not bother and then grab something on the go, but when I worked out how much I was spending I knew I needed an alternative. Ahh I didn’t know buses were so much cheaper, I’ll have to bare that in mind when I next go over to London. Girl, you’re relevant to me and you deserve all of the blog love! Keep doing you. Thank you lovely xx

  10. November 13, 2017 / 1:10 am

    I needed this post! I am horrible with spending money but mostly on food. Your tip about meal prep is definitely something I need to do more

    • November 13, 2017 / 12:55 pm

      It’s so easy to do and not even realise how much it’s adding up! x

  11. Anu
    November 13, 2017 / 2:51 pm

    These are amazing tips! I’m home most days so fortunately I don’t really spend money on transport, lunch or coffee but I find that meal prepping and planning is still really important so you don’t go to the store and food you don’t plan on eating. I’ve actually had a savings jar for quite a while now and it’s amazing how much money you can save! I usually put all my coins in there and I have a huge collection already :)x

    Anu | Based On blog | Bloglovin

    • November 13, 2017 / 4:14 pm

      Definitely, I’d end up buying takeaways all the time if I was at home a lot. If I didn’t pre-plan what I’m eating, I’d spend a fortune! Savings jars are so great, plus it means my purse isn’t crowded with pennies haha x

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