Until recently I have never really had much money, yet I’ve never really felt like I’ve gone without. I left home at 17, had two jobs alongside college, moved cities, moved houses, was a student for longer than most, dealt with reduced hours, redundancy and starting a business from scratch with no funding. But I think having to deal with these situations made me realise my true potential in managing money and budgeting.
Here are a few tips which I have pretty much always adhered to. They definitely helped me so hopefully they can help you too!
1 Cut down on products you don’t need.
Clear your cosmetics, toiletries and cleaning products and work out the bare minimum that you need to get by. This post may give you some ideas!
2 Use all your change.
I always take all my small change to Tesco and use the self serve machines. It does all add up and it means you’re putting every penny to good use.
3 Shop around.
I literally think this skill should be taught in schools. If you need something, research, research, research. Find out where sells it the cheapest. This also leads onto my next point…
4 Browse FreeCycle, Gumtree, eBay, Vinted and Depop!
All these apps/websites sell cheap and second hand items. Freecycle is all free stuff and Gumtree also has a freebie section. Car boot sales are great as well, the bargains I pick up from them are amazing (I got a whole set of bowls, plates and mugs for £1!).
5 Cut down on eating/drinking out.
I find this is the financial crippler! The odd coffee here and bottle of drink there really adds up. Take a drink , packed lunch and snack with you when you go out. If you’re going to eat out, save your money for a special meal out when you can truly relax and enjoy it.
6 Have a declutter!
I love doing car boot sales and selling on eBay. It’s really therapeutic and also makes you a little bit of cash! As well as leaving your home tidy and clutter free.
7 Top up your savings.
I get that not everyone can do this. I lived pay check to pay check for a couple of years after graduating. But if you can, save a little bit each month and do it as soon as you get paid so there’s no temptation to spend it.
8 Pick your priorities.
I prioritise trips abroad over everything else (apart from the basics). I very rarely eat out and if I do, it will cost no more than £15 for myself and the boy. If I buy clothes, I browse the apps I mentioned above or I hit the sales. I like to make my home look pretty but I’m a big fan of second hand furniture, cheap homewares and up cycling. I believe you can maintain your identity/style and still adhere to your budget. But back to my point, make sure your money goes on what you WANT and don’t get caught up in spending for the sake of it.
9 Give thoughtful gifts.
If looming birthdays/occasions unleash financial worries then look into making gifts. Homemade cookies and jams make great Christmas gifts and there are lots of ideas for homemade pressies that won’t cost the earth. Also, don’t buy for the sake of it; most people would rather have a thoughtful gift or card than something expensive that they haven’t asked for.
10 Say “NO!”
If you’ve been invited to an event or gathering that will cost a lot of money and you would prefer not to go, then say no! Don’t feel pressured to spend money when you have the option to decline. Remember, you only live once and the days fly by so spend your money AND time wisely.
11 Remember that money doesn’t equal happiness
While it’s useful to be savvy and resourceful with your finances, don’t let lack of cash get you down (within reason). I’m currently reading the book “Affluenza” by Oliver James and it’s about how people compete with other and how material items provide more value to people’s identity than their personality/morals/interests. Concentrate on you, on which lifestyle/career makes you happy and don’t buy things just for status.
There you go, now get going and see the pennies add up! Hopefully you’ll also feel like you’re having more fun by prioritising how you spend your cash.
Do you have tips to add?
Are you a saver or a spender?