How to save money quickly
Thanks to savvy saver Luschka van Onselen for this fab guest post about how to save money quickly
At some point or other, we all have a month where we know a big bill is coming up, or a weekend away looms. While it’s easy to just bung it on the credit card, that really just makes it cost more in the long term, so finding ways of saving for it is always better.
The ideas below for saving money in a hurry aren’t necessarily things that you can do for a long time and they probably won’t work on large amounts – you’re not going to buy your house outright, or even your dream new car, after just one month of saving – but these are some ideas that you can do for a short time to raise a set amount of money, to pay your water bill, go on a weekend away or similar. So how do we save money quickly ?
When I used the train to get to work, I would buy a muffin and a coffee every morning – it was too cold and dark to get out of bed in time for breakfast, and I deserved it for enduring the train journey too! My hazelnut latte was £2.90 and the muffin was £2.00. On the way home I’d buy another latte. After all, standing on the station waiting for a routinely delayed train is no fun! Another £2.90.
Just in these routine spends, more out of habit than anything else, I’d spend £7.80 per day. That works out to £39.00 per week and £173.80 in a month – enough for food for that weekend away or a big bill.
So, cutting out the routinely unnecessary spends by taking a flask of coffee with you, and perhaps buying a 6-pack of muffins for the week, can save you over £2000.00 in a year.
On the same vein, buying your lunches at your local Sainsbury’s every afternoon might be great for both your Nectar points and simply getting out of the office, but a sandwich, bag of crisps and drink can easily add up to £5.00. Times five days a week, is £35.00 or £110.00 per month.
Making your own lunches is both nutritionally superior, and financially beneficial – especially if you make a little extra for dinner each night and take it to work for lunch. Doing this could also save you a not insignificant £1320.00 per year.
Don’t Buy A Bargain Unless Its A Bargain
Buy one for £1.00 or two for £1.50 is only a bargain if you’re not going to throw the second one out. Buy one get one free can be a bargain, but only if it’s something you were going to buy anyway, or would eat anyway. If you’re going to end up throwing it out, it’s not a bargain or a saving.
Use A Money Jar to show you how to save money quickly
As people we are more inclined to question the need for something when you have to break a note to buy it, rather than using change. Small change is an annoyance as it often ends up on the floor, in random nooks and crannies and just getting lost. So, take an old jam jar or coffee pot and cut a slit in it. At the end of each day, empty the change in your wallet into the jar, and by the end of the month you should have a good amount of money in there – probably enough for a dinner out, at least.
Alternatively, if you use your small change regularly, choose an amount, say £2.00 coins, and every £2.00 coin you find in your wallet goes into the jar. A friend did that, and bought herself a camera at the end of the second month.
Go Drastic for a Short While to save money fast
Drastic changes are generally not a good idea, as they make failure so easy. But, drastic changes for a short while are manageable, even if not entirely pleasant. For one month, or one week a month, or alternate weeks on alternate months, depending what your need is and your circumstances are, drastically reduce your spending. There are a few things you can do:
Don’t buy any food – you can get creative with what’s already in the fridge and cupboard. You’d be surprised what you can do with eggs!
Don’t go out – for that time period, stay home. Invite friends round, stick on a DVD or play a board game. Don’t go overboard with catering either, remember the idea is to save, so tell them to bring what they want to drink, get a BOGOF set of Pringles, and make it a cheap night in. You never know – they might be grateful for it!
Don’t buy the DVD either – sign up at the library for free or hugely reduced DVD rentals, book rentals and you can sit there and read your regular magazines, giving you a bit of time out the house and peace and quiet too.
Depending on how much you need to save, the tips above should help you pocket a fair bit of money, and while you might not keep all of it up – the freezer will be empty eventually – some of it might stick, giving you a little extra to spend on the important things in life.
The author of how to save money quickly
Luschka van Onselen is a staff writer for PlayPennies.com, a UK parenting blog about saving money. On PlayPennies, she digs out the best deals for mums and dads, and writes about topical parenting news stories. She also writes a personal blog, “Diary of a First Child,”, where Luschka tells the story of raising her little girl, with a focus on natural parenting and living.I hope you have enjoyed her post on How to save money quickly and found it useful
You can find plenty more of my money saving posts here on Baby Budgeting including this post on ways to develop a saving habit easy ways to feel good on a budget and how to save money when time is short