8 Things I'm Doing to Save Money #MinimalismChallenge
As I said in my first post about minimalism, I'm not trying to give advice as I'm really not qualified to but I'm documenting everything on this blog as a means of accountability and because I refuse to jeopardise any trust, it's a pretty tight situation we've got going on.
But saving money and learning to budget is one of the big things on my minimalism journey so again, this will be something I'm sharing on this blog. I actually tweeted about doing it and got a really good response so here goes! Once again, I'm in no way qualified and actually used to be really bad with money so I'm really trying to learn. (But my mum, aka ex Bank Manager has given me loads of ideas to bear in mind so these have come from a pretty finance savy mind...)
These are the five things I'm trying to do to save money.
1. Decide upon a goal.
Goal setting is pretty integral for life, especially if you want to accomplish anything and saving money is no different. Whether you're saving for a car, a house or simply want to build a bit of a safety net, having this goal in mind is helpful. I personally want to get to a stage with my finances where I have a decent safety net for either emergencies or to put towards something that requires a bit more money that usual (we're talking if my phone was stolen. Legit emergencies).
2. Write everything down.
I think this is pretty much been included on every single budgeting advice article ever but that's because it works. By recording everything I spend, it makes you realise where your money is going and it holds yourself accountable. If you look over your weekly spends and see you spent £10 on coffee instead of going towards a car, you know where to keep yourself in line.
3. Work from Daily, Weekly and Monthly Budgets
I'm quite new to creating a budget with an end goal in mind, and recently discovered the Daily Budget app. You enter in your monthly income, rent and regular payments (phone bill, gym etc) and then select how much you'd like to save. It then works out your daily budget. You can then add any extra expenditure in like groceries and it deducts your daily budget. So if your daily budget is £10, if you spent £20 on your food shop, you lose two day's budget. I would suggest giving it a download and having a play. I really like it and it's really aesthetically pleasing as well!
4. Cash only.
I discussed this in my 12 Weeks of No Spending post but I'm on a strict no cards policy. I personally only have a debit card but going along with my woo-woo mindfulness state of mind, I really want to encourage the mind to money contact that goes with spending cash. By spending cash only (aside from direct debits etc), it means your current bank balance is pretty much accurate.
5. Check my bank balance on the regular.
One of my main issues has always been not keeping a close eye on what my bank balance is (I once went 2 months without checking it...) so I'm now trying to check it at least once a week. Not only is this to ensure that direct debits and standing orders went out (rent is very important), you'll help to acknowledge whether there was any unexpected charges or fraud. Obviously if you're spending cash, there shouldn't be any surprises but better safe than sorry.
6. Cut out regular frivolity.
My mum always goes on about the 'Latte factor' which is the regular buying of takeaway coffee and honestly, this is something I ended up falling victim to. When coffee's are 'only' £2.50, it's easy to buy them and honestly, I wish I'd saved all those £2.50's and put them towards something tangible. I'm trying to bring a thermos of filter coffee with me so I don't miss out on a necessary caffeine hit. I don't think this means saying know to meeting your friend for a coffee, just not grabbing a costa on the reg.
7. Packed lunches.
Pretty much everyone in my old office complained about spending too much on lunch and it's true. If you're buying lunch from Tesco, the cheapest sandwich you'll find is around £2 and meal deals are £3. Do the math. I'm trying to bring my own lunch to university when I'm in as buying food from Aldi is so much cheaper.
8. Cut out temptation.
I'm a sucker for youtube videos and I have a strong feeling that watching endless hauls promotes the want to shop. So I've gone cold turkey. I've also unfollowed favourite stores and brands on Twitter and Instagram to avoid wanting to buy them. I used to spend time browsing websites like ASOS, but no more. And I've also deleted every single shopping app from my phone. I've got this.
So these are the main things I'm trying to keep in mind when saving money. I know some of them will seem ridiculous to some but with the prospect of having to enter the real world soon, this is something that I don't have an option to ignore. I know it'll be hard, but I'm prepared. (I think).
Let me know on Twitter if you're also serious about saving money too! You can totally be part of my support network.