15 Money-Saving Tips & Tricks


Falling into debt is a very stressful situation for anyone to be in. Not only can it have an effect on your finances, living situation, and career, it can become all-consuming. For most people affected by this problem, mental health problems won’t be far behind. If you're worried that you might fall into debt, then hopefully by following the  budgeting tips below you’ll be able to stay on the right path.

So, what are some tips for getting out of this debt? Better yet, how can you avoid the civil litigation lawyers, and steer clear from being hounded by debt collectors all together? The trick is to not get into debt in the first place! Of course for someone who’s not used to saving their money, this can seem almost impossible. But, it’s really not, and these simple budgeting tips will help you to do just that!

Set a Budget
First and foremost, it’s really important that you set a budget for every month once you get paid on payday. This should include all your necessary expenses, and everything you are planning to spend in the month ahead, leaving room to treat yourself and for socialisation. A really good way to do this is by using the 50/30/20 method. This takes into account all the compulsory expenditures you’ll require, plus savings! So, you can use:

50 percent of your money for necessities (or however much you need)
30 percent of the leftover for any extras, like dinners out and new clothes
And the remaining 20 percent for savings.

Not only does this give you the opportunity to treat yourself, so you don’t feel like you’re missing out, but you’re also putting money aside each month. Over time, this will tot up, and you’ll soon have more than you know what to do with!

Write Down your Outgoings
It can become so easy to treat yourself here and there on little things, but these little things will build up eventually. This is why writing down everything you spend each month in a budget planner, providing a visual of where it’s all going, is a really good idea. Whether it be simply writing each spend down on a scrap piece of paper or notes page on your phone, or setting up a fancy excel spreadsheet, anything will do. This way, you can tot up how much you’re spending as you go, and it’ll become glaringly obvious where you’re spending too much.

Distribute your Money out as Soon as you Get Paid
Most of us will have multiple bank accounts for different purposes. This might include:

A current account for spending 
A savings account for the future (like your pension or a holiday)
And an account for immediate savings, like a house.

You may even have more accounts where that came from, which is why distributing your money out immediately after payday is such a good plan. So, as soon as the money comes in, pop your rent, bills, mortgage payments, and food allowance all into one account. Then, that’s there ready for all your necessities.

Once that’s out of the way, add some money into your savings for your future house, or any other saving pots. I would recommend that you put aside a few hundred in your savings, if you can. Then, anything left in your current account is a free for all! This way, all your money is where it should be before you can even overspend.

Have a Savings Goal to Work Toward
I really great way to motivate you to save could be to have a goal to work towards. Perhaps you’re trying to save for a house, or a really nice holiday somewhere next year? Once you’ve got the saving bug, it’ll be really hard to stop, and you may even end up with more than you need, and you’ll become a pro saver. 

Delete Banking Apps
It can be all too easy to access our bank accounts these days, as we now have access to them on-the-go through our mobile phones and tablets. This means it can become simple to transfer money from your savings accounts into your current account, ready for an impromptu purchase. As you can imagine, this is a recipe disaster, so if this is something you do a lot, delete these apps!

Or Keep your Banking Apps if it’ll Motivate You
For some, however, having these apps easily accessible can be a blessing. As mentioned previously, the saving bug is a real thing, and once you’ve caught it, it’ll be difficult to stop. Having your apps downloaded so you can log in wherever you are, means you can see your progress at any point during the day. This might be that push you need to avoid that tempting spend. Make sure to make the right decision for you and your needs.

Don’t Save your Card Details when Online Shopping
Similarly, online shopping has become way too quick and simple, as most sites will give us the option to save our details on our accounts at the checkout. This is bound to make it way too easy to purchase things on a whim. Instead, try and refrain from making these payments automatic, and make it so you have to fill in your details every time. The process of filling your online basket, going to get your purse or wallet from wherever you left it, typing in your details, and clicking pay might be what you need to avoid the purchase. This applies for payment sites such as PayPal too.

Use a Debit Card
Credit cards are a recipe for disaster if you already have bad habits with spending. This is because it can become so easy to think that a little bit here and there won’t hurt, but over time it’ll build up. So try to use your debit card for all purchases, and only use a credit card if you can pay it back immediately after.

Be Strategic with your Credit Card
I know for some a credit card is a necessity though - after all, we can’t deny that having one knocking about is great for building up your credit score. But make sure you use it correctly. Use it for work expenses, which means they’ll be paid off each month by your company. Don’t buy anything using your credit card that you wouldn’t be able to afford without it, and always pay it off in full each month.

Pack Lunches 
By cooking bulk meals at home, and saving some for lunches the next day, or packing a lunchbox with a sandwich, fruit, and crisps, you’ll be saving hundreds, maybe even thousands, every year. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but it’ll fill you up and do the job, without spending you a small fortune. Buying lunches out can cost an average of £15 to £35 a week… that’s nearly £1500 every month just on food. 

Use a Round-Up Banking App
Have you ever heard of those mobile round-up apps? They’re fantastic for helping you to save money without you even realising it! They do this by rounding up any spends you make to the nearest pound, and then putting the rest away for safe keeping. So, say you spend £3.79 on your morning coffee or lunch, the extra 21p gets put away into a small savings pot. It may not sound like much, but this money will soon amount to a fair bit of extra cash over time.

Always Compare Prices
When it comes to big spends, like holidays, train fares, or even trainers, you want to get the best deal out there. There are plenty of sites for you to compare different holiday prices, and different retailers are sure to stock your newest shoe obsession for a lot cheaper. By getting into the habit of surfing the web for the best deals, you can still treat yourself, but with a conscious mind.

Use Cash Where you Can
If you’re a frivolous spender and are always tempted by last minute buys, only carry cash. If you only leave the house with a certain amount of cash in hand, and without your debit or credit card, it will be impossible to spend anything more. Having the cash in-front of you will make you realise how much you actually have, and might make you realise you don't need to spend it!

Ultimately it’s all about having a good mindset with money, so don’t be scared to treat yourself every now and again. These personal budgeting tips above should give you that happy medium between treating yourself, but also being sensible. So hopefully you’ll feel like you’re getting the best of both worlds, catching the savings bug while you’re at it! Once you start, you won’t be able to stop.

What's your favourite money-saving tip?

This is a collaborative post.

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