They say if you watch the pennies, the pounds look after themselves so why do some of us still find saving so hard? Here are a few tips to save money that even the biggest spendthrift can stick to. You’ll have the pounds piling up in no time. By Akesha Reid
Cut the coffee cost
I’m so bad with this – my colleagues reading this will definitely be laughing profusely. Me telling someone to stop buying takeout coffee is like a heavy smoker saying ‘quit the fags!!’ But it is a cost effective way to save some dough. If you’re a firm member of the coffee crew try converting to a bog standard filter. Pret’s filter coffee is 99p and Starbucks are now doing them for £1. So say you’ve been spending the average price on a takeout latte (£2.75) five days a week that’s £55 a month for your caffeine addiction – now if you replace that with a trusty filter that goes down to £20 a month, leaving you £35 a month to save.
Savings – Around £420 a year
The £2 trick
My mum does this and I’m always in awe of the amount she’s able to save. So the trick is that every time you get a £2 coin, don’t spend it save it. It’s simple but very effective. Pick a moneybox (we recommend one that you have to break to open so that there’s temptation) and fill it to the brim.
Savings – My mum has saved up £560 but it depends on how often you use cash.
Expenses = Extra cash
Do you accrue expenses regularly at your workplace? If so this is an excellent way to put aside money especially if not a saver. If you think about it, it’s money that you have already spent and accounted for so when it comes back it often feels like extra cash. If you get your expenses back via BACS transfer it into a saving account immediately and if you receive notes and coins pop them into a piggy bank as soon as you get home.
Savings – Variant on the amount of expenses you have. I have previously saved around £300 a year.
Bag a snack
When travelling, commuting or otherwise, the pangs of an empty stomach are awful. But what’s worse is the damage it does to your bank balance, how often do you nip to shop at the train station to grab a chocolate bar or some crisps? Even if it’s only a few times a week, at least a £1 a pop that’s around £13 a month you’re wasting. If you know you’re a snacker why not factor this into your weekly shop? Buy a multipack of breakfast bars (Kellogg’s Special K Red Berry Bars are £2.99 for 10) and make sure you always have one with you when you travel. Even if you eat one every single day of your commute this still only works out to £1.50 a week.
Savings – £81 a year at least, depending on how much your snack.
Give the gym a miss
We know you signed up with sincere hopes back in January, but it’s now March and be honest have you really been working on that ‘summer body’ you where talking about? If not and you are able, cancel your membership. Now summer is arriving explore outdoor activities that you can take up (jogging? Hiking? Biking?) – or if the gym really is your thing there are now loads of free outdoor gyms popping up across the country. You can find your nearest one at tgogc.com/Gyms/.
Savings – The average gym membership is £32 a month, so £384 a year.
This article was originally featured in the June/July 2016 of Blackhair Magazine