VintageELLE is a British Lifestyle blog, focussing in on a Twenty Something's passion for all things Travel, Style & Food related. Follow for weekly Life Updates, Travel Diaries or Style Advice!

Monday, 6 July 2015

How to Save....

Theres a lot of us out there who don't like to discus money.
& we also don't like to admit how much we spend each month- that feeling you get when you see a chunky envelope fall through your letterbox which you know is the dreaded monthly bank statement that reveals the eyewtering amount you spent in Topshop that month! 

I am the first to hold my hand up & say 'Yes, that is me! I spend far too much each month & save nothing'. I have a lot more responsibility now then I did five years ago- I have a mortgage, bills to pay, a wedding to save for. How can I think its ok to spend £45 on a T-shirt?! The answer is, its not. 

My purse is now on lockdown & here are my top tips in how I am now saving instead of splurging:

1. Your not the Queen, get cash out once a week- yes it is true, the queen does not carry cash but that does not mean you should follow her example! I know sometimes its far more easier just to wack out that tired looking card, you know the one where the chip is virtually scratched to death, enter your pin & pray to god you still have enough money left after spending an eye watering amount in MAC. But guys we need to start taking control of our normally out of control spending habits! Firstly I like to set out in my mind the set amount of cash I need for the week (& when I say need, I really do mean need) to purely cover the essentials i.e. travel to work, lunch etc & then I'll take into account if I have any Birthday presents I need to buy, if I have planned anything social that week or if I would like to check out the Boot's 3 for 2 Makeup offer. If I have any of the above planned then all I do is again add a realistic amount onto the planned budget that week & stick to it- I'm not saying you have to deprive yourself of buying the newest L'Oreal Lipstick, but once you have the physical money there in your hands to give to the cashier you can control how much you are spending as well as seeing how much you have left for the week. Leave your card at home for the week & you yourself control how much your spending each day, it is really effective & has definitely proved invaluable for me in controlling my erg to spend. 

2. Set a goal & stick to it- if you want something badly you will set yourself a goal & make dam sure you stick to it- you want that Mulberry Alexa you have been lusting over on pinterest for years, you will move heaven & earth to make sure you get one. You want to go interrailing in Europe for six months after graduating, you will get three jobs to save for it. & this is the same if you want to save for a deposit for a house or you want to save a big lump sum of cash- setting a goal will motivate you to actually do it! Setting a goal is the foundation so you can then start thinking about the stepping stones you are going to make to reach that ultimate goal- are you going to cut your daily Chi Tea Latte at Starbucks down to just one or two a week? or perhaps you will only  have a Wagamama's once a month? Whatever it is, visualising your long term goal will drive you to think first before you buy.  

3. Keep changing banks- For some strange reason us English folk feel a loyalty towards our banks that you might feel towards a friend you have known for ten plus years, even though a great deal of banks out there offer us pittance in return. I hold my hands up & admit that I do feel like that towards the bank that I have been with since I was twelve years old- I opened my first 'adult' current account with them complete with my first bank card (!!) & have really been to lazy to look at what else other banks can offer me. After getting extremely frustrated at the lack of interest I was receiving, I started shopping around & stumbled across quiet a few good deals out there where you could get more money just by moving your money over to them. Take for example Halifax, they offer you £125 for switching your current account across to them or Lloyds who offer an up to 15% Cashback offer in places that you regularly shop. 

4. Premium Bonds & ISA's are your secret weapons- you used to glaze over when your mum & dad would mention ISA's & would shrug & give the same "I'll consider it" answer when the person at the bank mentions it as your withdrawing some money, but Premium Bonds & ISA's are your best friends. With Premium Bonds you get to win money each month in a random draw (the more you have, the more likely you are to win something) & are free to withdraw & reinvest them whenever you want. ISA's are great if you want to save a sum of money for a fixed period of time where you will then receive interest on it when your ISA comes to the end. If you want to get a better return on your money then this may prove to be a good option for you.

5. Have nights in instead of out- we have all been there, you spy a receipt at the bottom of your bag from the night before & you wish you hadn't looked at the amount shown at the bottom, "£8 for a glass of cheap white! What was I thinking?!"- but haven't you heard, staying in really is the new going out! Not only can you buy a nice bottle of wine for £8 but even making a homemade pizza for two instead of eating at your favourite Italian round the corner can save you close to £15. Again, I'm not say deprive yourself of going out and socialising but limit it to once a month & instead try inviting your friends round for a dinner party or something a little more casual like bring your own plate & crack open the Twister-whatever you decide I'm sure you'll agree staying in is far more fun then going out. 

6. eBay is a great second job- this is a mantra that Adam has been living by for years. eBay is a great way to earn a little bit of money on the side (almost like pocket money!) with very little effort. I'm sure you all have those pieces of clothes hanging in your wardrobe with the tag still attached to them that your clinging on to in the hope it will come back in fashion soon, or that DVD box set you have never actually watched- theres someone out there desperate for that crochet off the shoulder top! But not only is it good for selling your unwanted items, you can also make money from selling other peoples unwanted bits & bobs- take for example a car boot sale, you can find plenty of DVD boxsets, old iPods or iPhone chargers that people are selling for such a low price (because they just want to get rid of it) that they don't realise that it would sell for more on eBay. Its all about trial & error but using the completed listings section to check the adverage selling price of a specific item is the handiest tool on eBay & you can come away from a car boot sale or charity shop with some great finds that will be great money makers. 

7. Live within your means- something I said to Adam recently was that I felt I was living from pay check to pay check, which is ridiculous considering I earn more then him yet he saves far more each month then me! I think sometimes we like to live in a dream world where we can spend however much we want in our favourite shop & eat out every night, when in reality this is irresponsible & crazy. Sure there may be a hand full of you out there that may be comfortable in doing that which is fine, just as long as you save a good amount each month to counterbalance that. But if like me you start to think 'how have I only got £14.86 left in my account till I get paid next week?' then I would start to question whether you are living within your means- my reply would be your not. 

 I hope that has given you a little inspiration- if you have anymore questions please feel free to leave them below or drop me an email. 

Much Love,

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