Saving has never been a strong point for me. However, to buy our first home we’ve had to be strict with ourselves which isn’t easy when you have a borderline addiction when it comes to shopping and spending money on random rubbish you don’t truly need.
At the end of 2016, financial experts recently released results from a study that 2017 is going to the be the year of ‘spending less and saving more’ when it comes to new year resolutions. For most of us, this is easier said than done so I’ve pulled together my top tips for saving this year.
1 – Open a help to buy ISA – This one is only relevant if it’s a house that you’re saving for but help to buy ISA’s are brilliant. For every £1 you put in, the government will give you 25p for free towards your first home. You can put a maximum of £1,200 in the account during the first month of opening it and then £200 a month moving forward. I set up a direct debit so that the £200 came out every month but if you can’t afford to put this much away every month then start with a smaller amount as it quickly adds up.
2 – Save your coins and small notes – Make a promise to yourself to never spend any coins or £5 notes. Every time you get a coin or £5 put it into a pot that can not be opened without being broken. Once the pot is full, open it up; you’ll be amazed at how much you’ve saved without even realising.
3 – Be strict on pay day – As fun as it is to head straight into town on payday, be strict with yourself and take away the temptation by transferring a big chunk of your wages straight into your saving account and only leaving yourself enough money to pay the bills and how much you’d have left to spend if you moved out. E.g if you get paid £1,000 a month and your bills would come to £700 then only leave £300 for ‘fun stuff’.
4 – Swap nights out for nights in – Nights out are great but nights in don’t have to be boring. Get all of your friends together and have a night in with some drinks and a takeaway at the fraction of the price of a night out.
5 – Be realistic – You’re never going to be able to save every single penny that you earn and that’s totally okay. Be realistic with yourself about how much you can save every month and stick to it. If you start beating yourself up that you haven’t saved enough then you’ll become down heartened quickly and lose motivation.
*Image taken from Google.