While I am currently saving up for a new bathroom, when I initially wrote this post, I had been saving up and preparing for my first trip to Japan. I am hoping to return for another trip in 2020, but before that trip, I have been in my house for over 16 years and the room is still sporting the funky fish wallpaper it had when we bought the place. It is going to be a major job, especially considering we will be moving our toilet from the other side of the house to be in the room, so it is going to require some serious p’s. The general plan for all of my saving attempts is to save monthly, on top of keeping Christmas/Birthday/Special Occasion money. We had a terramundi in which I threw all of my change – however on opening it I noticed a distinct lack of pound coins… hmmm.
Whenever I had previously attempted to save money for a special event I was besieged by “oh-I-need-£XXX-for-school/a game/a Nigerian Prince who says he will pay me back millions” and my money slowly got spent. I now have little separate pots within my bank account and can transfer money to my savings via a banking app. But before you can get to the ‘saving pounds’ stage, you’ll need to start saving up the pence.
Here is a Vlog with my 5 money saving tips – and if you don’t fancy watching me chatter on, you can just read them below!
- Think before you buy.
One tip that some minimalists use is to look at the space in your house and then decide what you need, if anything, to go in it, rather than buy something, and then wonder where you you put it. If you look on Martin Lewis’ MSE website you can print yourself out a mantra card, which goes something like this:
Do I need it or just want it?
Will I use it? (I’m looking at you candy floss maker!)
Can I afford it?
Is it worth it?
Have I checked prices – is this the best deal?
If the answer is no – walk away. If you still really want it in a few days, go back to it, but try not to buy on impulse. This just leads to buyers remorse and guilt!
- Look after the pennies.
Get yourself a little pot and throw change in there. This one is often touted to those giving up smoking, or on a diet -they are encouraged to put the money away instead so they can see how much they would save while also improving their health. The problem with this is that after a while you realise you couldn’t actually afford to smoke or buy chips every night, you just somehow did and once you aren’t spending you get used to your new budget. Chucking change in a pot when you empty your pockets is a good idea though – especially if you can’t open the pot without a tin-opener, like the ones we picked up at the Pound shop. We currently have an ‘America trip’ pop on the go, which I have been quite successful in preventing theft from this time round.
A modern twist to this tip if you use an online banking app, is to set up a savings account and to ping over money to yourself instead of buying ‘naughty things’ – so whenever you resist buying cigarettes, or a new dress, or another cushion, save that money by transferring it from your current account into your savings.
- Do not deprive yourself! In complete contrast to everything I have just said, now and then, you have to treat yourself. Its the same concept as making your diet work – if you go without for too long you have a massive blow out, and then feel guilty, and then …well, you get the idea, however, a little -AFFORDABLE- treat now and then will make you feel like you are not totally missing out.
- Focus your funds!
If you know what you are saving for, then you are going to feel less inclined to ‘borrow’ from your pot. If your plan is a nice holiday, or a new car, or even a deposit for a flat, keep that in mind when you are putting your money away – perhaps a visual image to focus your mind. For example – I want to return to Japan – so my focus is this picture here.
This is somewhere I intend visiting again when I get back to there.
As the saying goes, “A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.”
5. Make it hard to get to!
If you have to keep it in the house – get a pot that cannot be opened.
In terms of banking, the best place would be a savings account, one with a book, so that you have to actually go to the bank to get to the money – just put in place any steps that make it that bit harder for you to get at your money. Then, when you are feeling weak and want to buy things, the effort you have to go through to get to the money may put you off. Imagine that once it is saved it is gone; you don’t have access to it at all – until you need it to buy the thing you have saved for.
What do you do when you are trying to save up for something special? Do you have any tips or tricks that help you? Let me know in the comments what you are saving up for, and what your plan is.