By February, 80% of people have failed their New Year’s Resolutions. The most common one is cutting down spending, but people fail because they don’t have a plan about HOW they’re going to do this. Sometimes there’s additional expenses you weren’t expecting, and they all add up. Here’s some thoughts on keeping costs down.
If you get public transport, think about whether buying a ticket each day is the most cost effective thing. If you’re going to and from work every day why not buy a weekly bus pass or even a monthly one. Yes it’s a big outlay and I appreciate that can seem scary, but you’re making a saving on each journey, so it’s definitely worth it.
If you drive, think about whether catching the bus some days is doable for you. For me it’s not-I love using my car, but if I had a journey long enough to do something else on I’d consider public transport-especially as I could use that time to read a book or do some blog work, then I’d be saving money AND gaining time. Win. When you look at how expensive parking can be-£4 plus a day, plus petrol costs-it’s got to be cheaper getting the bus sometimes.
It’s also worth checking you’re not paying too much for your car insurance. Shopping around each renewal always saves me money, usually a few hundred pounds. Worth the time!
Quitting your daily Starbucks/Costa can save you around £15 a week. Over a year, that’s £780. That’s a holiday, so it’s definitely a sacrifice worth making. If you’re really going to struggle, drop 4 days a week and make it a Friday treat. Or, treat yourself to a pretty reusable cup and take your coffee from home every morning.
If you smoke, quit. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but it’s going to be worth it. 20 cigarettes a day is about £3,800. That’s a big chunk of a mortgage deposit or nearly half a car.
Taking your own lunch to work rather than nipping out to buy something saves a fortune. I’m the worst for enjoying going out and finding something tasty and I don’t think I could take my lunch every single day, but I’d be thinking of taking my own lunch in for three days a week as a compromise.
Using the money you’ve saved
Imagine how good you’ll feel, next time you have an unexpected expense-the gas bill is higher than you thought, or you need a new tyre for the car-if you can dip into your savings account and pay for it from that rather than putting it onto the credit card. I highly recommend putting every single bit of money you’re saving each week into a decent savings account (though, if you have debt, and you’re paying interest on that debt, you should be paying as much as possible off that-starting with the highest interest first)
Have you been trying to save money? What’s the thing that’s working best for you?