Living below your means is a useful skill to learn. It means you can provide for your future, and get the things you want and need now. In the world today, everything is at the touch of a button, and we live much more frivolous lives. But living in debt, and constantly chasing your next pay cheque is not the way to live your life.
To live a much less stressful life, we first need to reduce the pressures that we can physically remove.
I owe some money, which I am working hard to pay off. I want to share with you my money-saving top tips and how to cut corners, which will help you to form a better financial position, now and for your future.
If, like me, you’re signed up to a lot of website’s mailing lists, then you’ll be forever getting emails from them. On a daily basis, I get all manner of discounts, sales, and more emailed to me.
Remove the temptation: go through these emails and unsubscribe from their mailing lists. It doesn’t mean you never have to shop there again, but by stopping the emails coming through, you save yourself the dilemmas of ‘oooh nice shoes!’ – ‘damn I wish I had money…’ – ‘where’s my credit card?’ Believe me, it will help!
Those cards that use a points-based system which rewards loyalty are actually beneficial, as long as you just use them along side your regular shopping! They give you money off, or discounts, without having to spend more than you normally would.
I have one for Superdrug – and I make sure I buy ALL my toiletries, makeup, and beauty products there as they are so cheap. I almost always have at least £1 off my shop each time I go. You can sign up for yours here – Superdrug Beauty Card.
I use one for my food shopping too – I go to Morrisons and use their More card, which gives you a £5 voucher after you earn 5000 points, and they print it off in store with your receipt. It saves so much time, and it goes straight in my purse for my next shop! Get yours here – Morrisons More Card.
Avoid store cards – AT ALL COSTS. They are not your friends! Whilst they can seem like a good idea, and they usually hook you with a good discount for your first shop, the interest is usually really high. Not only that, they also raise your limit without asking you sometimes, and this can be a dangerous game if you lack serious will-power.
Keep away and avoid this whole scenario in the first place! If you’re already stuck; depending on the amount you owe, use a 0% credit card, or a loan, and pay off the balance in full. You will save money straight away because you’ll no longer be paying off that high amount of interest.
Oh, and close your account with them once you’re done.
There isn’t a bigger money-suck than monthly direct debits for memberships that you don’t even use. If you have that gym membership because you’re always promising yourself you’ll go, just cancel the membership, and do free things that will help your fitness. Walk to work if you can – it’s good for your health, your purse, and the environment too! Use a fitness DVD at home; get your friends over, and have a giggle getting fit in the comfort of your own living room.
If you pay for things monthly, such as your car tax, see if you can pay it off on an annual basis. It’s usually much cheaper because they know people will tend to go for the monthly option because it seems easier.
When you get paid, pay off one thing that you pay by direct debit. It will make a massive difference to your monthly outgoings, and it’s one less thing to worry about! You probably won’t even notice the one-off payment has gone.
A proper old-school technique of saving, but a proven one! Get any old jar – I use an old coffee one – and start filling it up! Go through your purse every day or week, and put in anything from a 20p down to 1p and you’ll be amazed at how quickly it build up!
If possible, find somewhere that will change your coppers and silvers into notes for free. A lot of the machines in supermarkets etc charge you to do it, so avoid this if you can!
This is the best way to make sure that you are in charge of your finances. See my post here How To Make A Budget Plan That Will Stick to find out how to get set up with one that won’t budge!
Don’t hope that you’ll have money left over at the end of the month – set up a standing order from your main bank account to your savings account that goes out on the day you get paid. Check your budget, and set yourself an amount that will be achievable and will stop you dipping into it later in the month.
You won’t be able to avoid it, and you’ll manage the money you have left.
Someone somewhere once said:Spend what's left over after saving, not save what's left over after spending. Click To Tweet
We all have way more possessions than we need. It’s so easy to stock pile things in our homes, and we tend to replace things constantly. It’s weird, but we don’t get rid of the old things!
Use websites that will buy and resell or recycle your old items for cash. There are many good ones; Music Magpie has been recommended to me a lot, and over the weekend I’m going to be using it myself!
You can sell all sorts of things; books, games, DVDs and tech. Get these things out of your house, and cash in!
Whilst it’s great to buy someone an expensive gift that shows you just what they mean to you, it can actually be more personal and meaningful to make them a gift.
Make them a card. Up-cycle a piece of furniture. Fabric paint a t-shirt. Get a photo album and fill it with your favourite photos of you and that person.
These sorts of gifts can be the things people keep for a lifetime, and can be sentimental to them. A lot better than a piece of tech or a voucher!
This one can be hard. We all like to be pampered by an expert! However, it can be expensive, and most of the things can be done at home.
Ask your partner for a neck massage, which can be a romantic bonding thing to do too. Paint your own nails. Buy face masks and do your own facial.
There are many options and it can be nice to save money and still get to pamper yourself! Get your friends together and make a night of it; get a bottle of wine, a movie, and a selection of face masks, moisturisers, manicure kits and hair masks.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these handy tips for saving money and living below your means. You can have all the things in your life that you have now, but at a reasonable price! You can be healthier and happier without spending your savings.
Hi, my name’s Laura! I’m obsessed with nude lipsticks, messy buns and cushions. I have so many cushions…
I am passionate about bringing achievable and realistic advice and tips to other women. It’s all about running your own world, and looking & feeling good whilst you do it ♡
A beauty addict, blogging coach and missionary for women’s empowerment.