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! What do you do to save money?