Everyone prioritises their money in different ways; we each have our own ideas of how to save money to ensure we have enough to spend on the things that matter the most to us, or, let’s be honest – the fun and sexy things to spend money on!
Since buying our house a few years ago and launching into the mother of all renovations, Mr B and I have had to prioritise our spending, deciding what is important to us and what we can forgo.
Here are my 7 tips on how to save money. First up, the significant saves:
I am a big negotiator and so is Mr B. I’m not talking about haggling at a market to get 50p off a souvenir, but negotiating where you can to make a significant difference. For example, we negotiated hard when buying our house, and I negotiated thousands off our wedding venue. Us British sometimes feel reserved and shy when it comes to negotiating, but you need to push that to the side and think about the gains. As long as you do it in a professional and open way you won’t be judged badly.
Shop around for insurance and utilities
I am flabbergasted whenever I hear of people who simply renew their utilities and insurance each year without shopping around. It doesn’t take long and you could save hundreds of pounds. Never, ever has my renewal been the most cost effective! uSwitch are great in making switching energy companies easy.
Another way to make BIG savings is to do your research before making big spends. Have a look at your biggest outgoings and research the hell out of them to see if you can spend less or get a better deal. Mortgages are the key one here-it is unlikely you will spend more on anything else in your whole life! So really this should be the thing you know most about, and I think this is the opposite for most of us. Luckily Mr B is all over this stuff and he keeps up to date with the news, interest rates and the general mortgage market and goes back to the bank to get better deals. I have been surprised at how much this has saved us. I know it is complicated and boring but you will literally save THOUSANDS which you can spend on something much sexier!
Once you have these significant saves mastered, Here are some easy tips on how to save money by making small changes to your daily habits:
Shop at a discounter
Every week without fail we shop at Aldi. We came out with bags and bags of great food and drink and rarely spend over £40, often including wine, beer, meat and fish. This not only does our evening meals, but my breakfast and lunch every day. When I hear what my friends spend in other supermarkets I am horrified and can’t help but convert the wasted pounds into my next holiday! About every other month I make a trip to a bigger supermarket for specialist items but this is becoming less frequent as Aldi expands its range (hello coconut oil for £2.99). The shopping experience may not be as pleasant, but use my tips to survive a trip to Aldi here and you’ll be fine!
Don’t buy magazines
I used to be a big magazine buyer as a teenager but they are so expensive that I gave them up when I was in uni. Nowadays there really is no need – all the magazines have websites with the same content on and blogs offer similar great content, totally free!
Make your own lunch, coffee and juice
I always have and always will make a packed lunch to take to work. Not only does this save a fortune when you add up what you’d spend (approx £100 a month), but it also means you can have tastier and healthier meals. Same goes for take away coffee and juices. Invest in a juicer and coffee maker that will last for years, and take your drinks on the go with you in a cool cup like this or this.
Economise the gym
Have you ever signed up to a posh gym, with sauna and steam room to use them once and then not go for weeks on end, but not be able to leave the contract? These days, there are so many budget gyms available with no contracts and low fees. I go to to my local EasyGym which is functional, cheap and I can cancel at anytime. For me, one of the best ways on how to save money without missing out.