Money is always a tricky subject. We always want more. We don’t like what things cost. We have to pay for certain stuff. The list goes on. What I’ve come to realise as I’ve become a proper adult is I’m actually really good with money. I’m not sure where it’s come from (probs good parenting, holla at you Mumma) but I know what I’ve got and I know what I can spend. Here are my three ways to be better with money because in my opinion, I’ve got it nailed.
1. Know what you have
If you’re serious about getting your finances sorted, grab yourself a spreadsheet. All you need to write is what you have coming in, income wise, and what you have going out, bills wise. Take the bills away from the income and you’ve got your disposable income – the spreadsheet even does the sums for you (luckily for me).
2. Know what you spend
Keep a spending diary if you never have before. It’s so interesting to see where money is frittered away. I know that my biggest thing that I spend the most random money on is food. Snacks, coffee, chewing gum, meals out, brunch dates, all of that. We all have that one thing that’s our Achilles heel and we’ll always spend on. It could be beauty, it could be clothes that hang in the wardrobe with tags on, it could be kitchen gadgets. Whatever it is, you’ll find out if you track what you spend. Check out my spending diaries here and here if you want an insight into my spending!
3. Create a wish list
If you’ve seen something that you feel like you absolutely must buy, pop it on a list, take a photo of it or whack it in an Instagram saved file. Then, take a week and if you’re still thinking about it, get it, if you can afford it. I make little lists of things I’ve seen, usually clothes and beauty products and then I look back on the list because I’ve forgotten about it and sometimes don’t fancy it anymore. But, if I’d have bought it there and then I probably would have gone off it and it would have been a waste of money. So haste really does make waste!
4. Be savvy
Make sure you’re always getting the most for your money. There’s some stuff that we have to pay for like rent, bills, food etc but there are ways that we can save money on them.
Price comparison websites are the best place to find better deals on your bills as well as simply ringing the companies up and threatening to leave. Freebies, discounts and added extras can be grabbed when you put the fear into them!
b) Rewards & cash back
With my Natwest rewards account I receive cash back on household bills and a few shops and this adds up to about £10 a month to every 6 weeks and you can trade these up, get the cash or donate to charity. We always use ours for cinema tickets. You get two codes for £10 of rewards and you can use them alongside other codes like Meerkat Movies. Basically, with this little hack you can see two films in a couple for only £1.40. Basically saving around £40 based on a typical non-discounted adult cinema ticket in Nottingham.
Cash back sites are huge but I think some people think of them as a bit of a scam. They’re really not. They’re 100% free to use are great to get a little bonus every now and again. I’ve earned over £130 on Quidco since I’ve been using it. With sites like Quidco they give you the option to upgrade your cash back by up to 10% and you can get vouchers for shops like M&S or Debenhams. Fancy signing up? Use my link and you’ll get £5 when you do!
c) Food shopping
- Don’t shop branded. It tastes the same, get over it.
- Never buy things that you already have unless it’s about to run out and it’s essential.
- I don’t care if it’s on offer. Some offers are good but most of the time you’re spending more than you intended to.
- Only buy what you need, food waste is basically throwing money in the bin.
- Plan your meals. This way you’re not walking around chucking random things in your trolley that won’t make a meal.
- Make your meals into lunch. You will literally save £5 for every day you make your own lunch.
- Takeaways are expensive, unhealthy and should be treats.
Some of this might sound a bit harsh but if you really want to save more and look after you cash you need to be sensible (I’m so boring). Once you’re in the habit of stuff it’s really easy and you’ll be surprised how much you start to save!