This is it – starting with the next pay check, you will actually save some money. You do a quick calculation in your mind and you think you can save about £400 this month. But at the end of the month, you are left with less than £80. It happens to everyone – have you ever wondered where your money disappears? As unusual as it might seem, you might have eaten or drunk it.
Small things add up, even though they seem inexpensive. You go for a sandwich and a chocolate bar on your lunch break. You grab some crisps when you pay for petrol too. You have a takeaway coffee every morning and you grab a few cans a day from that vending machine in work. A few pounds here and there will add up. If you spend a fiver a day, you spend £150 a month. That is £1,800 a year.
The first step? Set a goal. Without a goal, you will struggle to save. It could be anything – a different car, three holidays abroad for the next year or perhaps a new sofa. People with goals are motivated and everything they do revolves around their goals, so this step will help you get back on track a little. But then, what else do you need to do to stop spending money on the go?
Prepare your lunch
A packed lunch will work wonders. It could be anything. You could make a couple of sandwiches – if you do some calculations for a slice of cheese, a slice of ham and two slices of bread, a homemade sandwich will cost you less than 50p. Buy it from a store and you will spend a couple of quid on it – can you see the difference?
Sure, you may imagine that you do not spend too much anyway. But even an inexpensive £3.5 meal a day, five times a week, will cost you over £900 a year. This is what you would normally pay for a fancy all-inclusive holiday for two weeks in Greece. Why would you eat your holiday away when you can enjoy some time off?
Swap the coffee
You cannot survive without coffee – fine. This is classic. You avoid Starbucks because it is expensive – you do not want to spend £4 for a coffee. You swap to Costa – £2.5. Even local takeaway coffee will cost you about £1.5. It is just some change, right? You are wasting about £550 a year on cheap coffee or over £900 for more expensive coffee. Again, ditch the coffee and you have just secured yourself another holiday.
Simply get an insulated flask or coffee mug, make your own coffee and save the money.
Hydrate yourself the right way
A cheap bottle of water – maybe about 30p – will not ruin your daily budget. Simply get a cheap refillable water bottle instead and stick to tap water. You might as well have one of those water tanks in work, so you can refill it for free. If you like cold drinks, opt for an insulated bottle.
You can also get a large bottle of fizzy stuff if you are into such beverages, rather than forking out a couple of cans a day – chances are you will not even finish them.
Bottom line, lots of people spend a fortune on small things without even realizing it. All these things add up in the long run. Saving a few thousand a year will give you enough money for a home deposit in a few years, not to mention a better car or the holiday of a lifetime.