People often say that it takes 30 days to break a habit. Most of our spending are habits we pick up. The coffee to perk us up on the way to work. The glass of wine in the evenings to unwind. Start by introducing new habits into your life and where possible automate your savings so you won’t even know you are accumulating money over time. Read our 10 ways to start saving money today to kick start your saving.
1. Forget the morning lattes
You have heard this one many times before. For years I used to ‘treat myself’ to a morning latte. When you think about it, that equates to over £10 a week, £40 a month, and £500 a year!. You can make yourself a coffee at home and at work. Ditch the habit.
2. Take lunch to work
I am rubbish at preparing lunches for work. Starting with fresh hopes. Requesting recipes from family members and after a couple of days. I am back on the sandwiches (which I loathe and resent for those sort of prices), or meals for one. However, when you work in the city, lunches tend to set you back anything from £5-10. Start planning and stop spending money on everyday lunches. Treat yourself to on day off a week then make sure you save on lunches for the rest.
3. Skip the pub on the way home
There’s nothing like having a glass of wine with work colleagues or friends after a long day in the office. Not only does it break up the week. It seems like a great way to unwind, especially in the summer months. The best way to save money today is to skip the pub on the way home. It only takes a glass before you decide to settle in for the night and flash the cash you don’t have, regretting it the next day.
4. Buy supermarket’s own brands
We all have our favourite purchases, but it’s worth buying the supermarket’s own brands. Cheap does not mean low value. I always buy whatever washing powder is on offer. Brand loyalty is less important than shaving money off my shopping bill each week.
5. Automate your savings
One of the best decisions I made was to set up a weekly savings plan. I opened up a savings account with Virgin Money. Then filed away the letter with my account number and sort code, together with my login details, so I am not tempted to withdraw from the account. It doesn’t matter if you get paid weekly/monthly, £25 leaving your account each week is something you won’t tend to notice. Over the course of a year, you will have saved £1,300. Result!
6. Cancel direct debits for luxury items
It’s easy to set up direct debits for various things. Amazon Prime. Now Sky. Netflix. I sign up to 30-day trials and then forget to cancel. Go through your direct debits and standing orders in your bank account and remove at least one. Today.
If you want to eat out, then check for discounts and offers. Pizza Express, Strada, Dominos usually always have some sort of deal on, although do check ahead! You can also download the CityMunch app for the latest lunch deals.
9. Stick to your shopping list
I go through days when I buy the bare minimum and then at other times, I buy lots of fresh food which I don’t ever eat. Vegetables, fruit, meat which I then have to throw away. Don’t buy what you are not going to eat. Stick to a shopping list.
10. Leave your credit card at home
For many years, my credit cards were maxed out. I just about paid the interest off each month. It’s depressing when you chip away at your credit debt, to then splurge on something and have to start all over again. It’s tempting to carry around credit cards in case of ’emergencies’. Credit cards give you a false sense of security. Before you know it, you have maxed them out again. So leave them at home.