Believe me I wasn't always great at saving money I was a self-confessed shop-a-holic but with the economic change and the loss of a job things had to change and I've now become super responsible with my money learning to save up for the things I really want in life, my excellent saving skills have helped me have some wonderful travel experiences so I'm going to share a few of my tips so you to can save up for that great adventure.
Set Goals!One of the things which pushes me to save is to set myself an ultimate goal and to keep repeating this goal to myself saying this is going to happen. Write your goal all over your mirrors, keep it as a daily reminder on your phone, if you want to for example save up to buy a house decorate a pin board with pictures of houses and furniture with your goal in big letters in the middle. Remember to keep telling yourself that this is something that will happen and never lose sight of it!
Organise your financesIt's always best to know how much money you have so you know how you can spend, make a list of all the essentials you have to pay such as your phone bill, rent, electricity etc. and set yourself a food and transport budget but be realistic, the best way to do this is to keep all your receipts for a month or two and tally then up at the end as this will give you an idea of how much you spend vs how much you actually need.
Cut up your credit cards
You'll never be able to save up for anything if you're already in debt so the first thing to do is cut up your credit cards and try to pay off as much of that debt as possible because with escalating interest rates it's only going to get bigger. I'm happy to say I don't have any credit cards and I don't want any either I like to know how much money I have exactly and never spend more than I can afford, yes it may be tempting to have one for "emergencies" but are those 50% off Louboutins really an emergency? It's much better to not have the temptation there so get rid of it!
It sounds simple but temptation is everywhere, even if you're just popping down to your local supermarket for your lunch you can end up coming back with several things you didn't actually want or need. The first thing you need to do is unsubscribe yourself from all those online shopping mailing lists and make lists of the things you actually need. Aim to only go shopping once a week for food and every month or few months for everything else, sometimes waiting to buy things will make you realise that you didn't actually need them at all.
Use what you have
In relation to the one above make sure you use what you have before you buy anything else, don't waste what you've already spent money on. If you've got lots of food in your cupboards you don't know what to do with make yourself a big hearty casserole and if it's too much for you to eat put it in boxes and freeze it for the next time you want to eat it. Make sure you use every last bit of your cosmetics, I often hack into tubes as there's always enough product left over to last me for a week or more. Don't waste anything and wait till everything is used up before you have to make that shopping trip again.
Don't need it? Sell it!
One of the great ways to generate extra income is to sell all the things you don't need. The internet is a great place to sell your stuff, I have an Amazon Shop where I sell all my old books and DVDs and I often sell things on eBay. De-clutter your life by sorting though all your belongings and deciding what things you want and what you can live without not only is it very therapeutic but it's a great way to earn some extra cash and get you ever closer to that ultimate goal, just make sure you put that money straight into the bank and don't spend it on more stuff!
Get yourself some loyalty cards.
Most shops and restaurants have loyalty cards or reward schemes so be sure to pick yourself up one. I've saved so much money through having these cards whether it be at Tescos, Nandos or the cinema, and there's also online sites such as Maximiles which will give you the opportunity to earn points when you shop or do surveys so have a look round and ask in-store as they're really useful especially if it's a store you regularly shop at.
Bargain hunt!Of course you can't avoid shopping forever, I mean a girl has got to eat! So when you do go shopping always be on the look out for great bargains and offers, do a quick search for vouchers online or check your local newspapers for coupons. One thing I like to do when food shopping is to go late at night before it closes so I can take advantage of the daily items they want to sell, I'm a big vegetable fan so there's nearly always some yummy salads or fruit on sale.
Enter competitions & giveaways
"But I never win anything" I hear you whine and yes I'm right there with you, but the fact is you have just as much chance as everyone else and if you don't try then you'll never know! You've got nothing to lose by entering a competition and who knows you could win yourself a great prize I mean look at these fabulous shoes I won from Solestruck.
Get crafty!A bit of D.I.Y. and crafting knowledge can go a long way and will not only prevent you spending money on new things but stop you being wasteful to. If you get a hole in a jumper don't throw it out fix it or turn it into something else, just be creative not only will you have great fun doing it but you'll feel more rewarded to.