Its very rare that I come across someone who doesn’t wish they could leave their reality for a while and go travelling across the globe. Its also rare that I come across someone in the older generation who doesn’t regret not going when they were ‘younger’.
I have came across the ‘couldn’t leave my job to..’ ‘not brave enough to..’ ‘didn’t have the money to..’ ‘was never the right time to..’
Now I cant turn back time and I am yet to obtain the miracle of making anyone younger, I also cant force anyone that isn’t brave enough to take the leap, but I can help when it comes to the money side with a few tips and tricks that I learnt while saving for my dream trip across South East Asia (leaving on Monday!).
First things first, I have been saving since November 2014. In that time I have been on 5 holidays abroad, 2 festivals and 2 UK based holiday weekends amongst many other enjoyable nights out.
I think its fair to say I haven’t scrimped and scraped and I haven’t missed out on anything I didn’t want to. But if you are not me and you do not share my love to socialise as much, I assure you, you will be able to save a lot more.
- Monitor what you spend
Ok not the most fun thing to do, but I’ve put it first as I believe it’s the most important.
This trick made it very clear to me that I had an impulsive shopping habit and that I spend way too much money when I’m drunk. This is probably relatable to most people.
I was spending 1/3 of my wages per month on going out and shopping! (enter the ‘you need to go to AA meetings’ comment.) I never realised until the figures were put in front of me.
When you monitor what you spend you become aware of your habits. Being aware means that you can fix it, and save it.
Heres some budgeting spreadsheet to help you out
2 . Ditch the Gym membership
I don’t know about you but I could never bring myself to pay £60-70 per month for a gym membership. Its crazy how much fitness costs these days!
The only way I can warrant that money is if you go to the gym everyday, for hours on end and I’m way too lazy and too tight for that.
Ditch the membership and get yourself outdoors. Go for a run or ride a bike. If its too cold get yourself on Youtube and go through some home workouts in your living room, technology is the answer.
For all you fitness crazed loons who must be a gym member (or those that feel thinner just for being a gym member aka me), at least try a cheaper one, I signed up to Fit4Less. At £25-30 per month and no contract, that’s saved me £360 for the year.
3. Bring your own lunch to work
Its probably the most obvious one I can think of, but laziness with this got the better of me until recently.
Working in the city means an average of £6 spent on lunch everyday. That’s £30 over a 5 day week! Get creative and prep your meals the night before, or at the start of the week if you want to.
Prepping = eating healthier = thinner human = no need to exercise as much = no need for a gym membership – see how it all fits together!
4. Sign up for the discount cards
The Unlimited Cineworld card is one for the movie buffs, or for those who hate staying in. One trip to the cinema for an adult these days is £11 in London! £16.50 per month gets you unlimited films as often as you like. You do the math.
Taste card is one for the foodies. You can buy a card for a £1 and you have access to 2 for 1 and % off at just under 7000 restaurants!
This way you can avoid being a hermit at a much lower cost. Try and get all your friends involved as it isn’t as fun to go cinema or dine by yourself.
Best of all, although you enter into a contract, you can cancel it early if you can prove that you have a one way ticket out of the country for a while, just as I did. (you didn’t hear that from me)
5. Find the deals!
Ok so you want to go on a night out? Yes you are allowed, saving does not mean putting your life on hold! You just have to be a bit clever.
These days thanks to the internet there are deals galore. For literally everything. Spa deals, 2 for 1 cocktails, theatre tickets, comedy nights, zorbing, food deals and the list goes on.
GoGroopie, Amazon Local, Opentable, Groupon and Wowcher are all great options. If there is an activity you really want to do, always check on these places first before booking anywhere else. Trust me you’ll save hundreds!
6 . Sell you unwanted/unused goods
Now this is something I’m taking true advantage of, thanks to my impulsive spending habits. Most of the time when I buy things, I change my mind an hour later. I either don’t like them anymore or don’t want to after I’ve worn them once (thanks to social media). I am also just a hauler of absolute crap.
Wallapop and Depop are great places to sell clothes and accessories. Ebay is a great all rounder to sell pretty much anything! (vice versa I have bought most of my travelling stuff on here and saved loads of money). You can put fixed prices or starting bids on anything so you never have to worry about underselling your valuables. (Does anyone want to buy my Finepix Underwater camera by the way? I found my old one that i lost yay!)
Raid your house and room and look for those unwanted goodies. Get out that Karaoke kit you haven’t touched since you was 14 or those DVDs you haven’t watched since Netflix was invented and get posting.
One mans trash is another mans treasure..
I could go on all day to tell you how I have managed to save pennies and pounds here are there. The truth is, every person is different.
It all boils down to your expenses vs. profit. To save more, spend less – simple!
I hope this helps. Do you have any useful money saving tips?