This article was written by a member of the Debut Contributor Network. Make you Christmas windfall stretch further, with Connor Gotto’s savvy saving tips.
With a (hopefully) generous Christmas offering paired with a hearty student loan freshly deposited in your bank account, the beginning of January is one of the few times of year when your balance will likely be out of the red and into the black… no matter how momentarily. But, with sales rife and catch-ups with friends a necessity after the break, its all too easy to blow it all and be back to a life beans on toast with the heating off after no time at all.
Before you rush out to find the next New Year ‘bargain’, take five minutes to consider our 5 top money saving tips that anyone (yes, we mean anyone) can follow to keep a healthy bank balance in 2018.
Spending is all a matter of perspective, and sometimes you have to change that perspective to get the most out of your money. If you see a lump sum in your bank account and get pound signs in your eyes, you’re just going to go out and blow it all in an afternoon. You’ll indulge on eating out… order more takeaways… buy one too many rounds on a night out… and then it’ll be gone.
I think about money in terms of specific items – meaning, I think of every purchase over £10 in terms of bottles of wine.
Now, bear with me – it makes sense. If I see a top in a sale for £25, and I kind of like it (mostly because it used to be £50), but I know I’ll hardly wear it, I think ‘I could buy 4 bottles of wine for that, and I’ll probably not wear it more than 4 times’. It doesn’t have to be wine, just find something that you like – chocolate, cinema tickets, club entry – and think about how many of each you could have for the cost of that one item. It’s simple, but it’s a lifesaver!
£5 per week
We all spend at least £5 a week that we don’t need to, so why not put away that much each week for safe keeping. It’s a miniscule amount, you’re not going to miss it, and it means you’ll have a nice little ‘nest egg’ by the end of the year.
If you do it religiously, by the end of the year you’ll have a nice £260!
I’m not one for buying more food than I need, but I’m also not one to miss out on a bargain. Especially if it works out better in the long run!
So often, we’ll find something that we buy every week reduced by 50% in the supermarket and still only buy one of them – what’s that about?! Especially when it comes to non-perishable items, it makes no sense whatsoever! Think about it in terms of coffee: say you go through a jar each week, and its reduced from £4 to £2, you could buy a month’s supply for £8 instead of the usual £16! Bargain!
And, when it comes round to you needing to buy more, it’ll probably be back on offer. So, its win-win really!
Of course, then the trick is to not spend the money you’ve saved on things you don’t usually buy, otherwise you just end up spending more… #guilty
“Do I really need this…”
We’ve all been shopping with our parents, loaded up the basket, and gone in a total huff when asked, “do you really need all that?” Well, that’s fine when it’s the bank of mum and dad, but when you’re forking out the money yourself, you’ve got to be that little voice in your head.
Not just high street shopping trips, the weekly food shop can be a killer for your bank balance, especially if you over indulge. The trick is to only buy what you need – no matter how much you want everything down the snack aisle. You’re not at home anymore, and you’re not going to have mum’s banquet every night. Stick to meat and a few veg items per week. You can freeze different meats, so you have a variety, and rotate the veg so you have something different each night.
It might sound boring, but when you’ve money left over for an extra night out you’ll soon be thankful!
At the end of the semester, it can be tempting to throw out all of the books that you ‘read’ and never think of those modules again. However, think of how much you spent on them, and how little you used them – you might as well get something back!
With social media, its easier than ever to sell your old books to other students. If your course has a Facebook group, post them on there. If no one wants them, wait until the beginning of next year when the course starts up again. We all love a bargain, so work out how much they’d cost new online, minus a couple of pounds, and sell them as a bundle. Someone will snatch them up!
If all else fails, just stick them on eBay!