My top tips for budgeting and saving money!

Tips for #budgeting and #saving  #money including how to make money when you shop! notesfromtheshire.com

I think everybody loves having money in the bank and money saved for a rainy day! Here are some of my favourite ways to save money in order to enjoy the more fun things in life. Including my favourite tip – how to get paid to shop! Yup, love it! 

Put your money away at the start of the month. My mum taught me this tip and it couldn’t be truer, as soon as you get paid that is when to save your money, not at the end of the month when you “see what is left” because when you can see the money there to be spent you will spend it! As soon as I get paid I move my money into various savings accounts – one for holidays, our joint account for the month’s food bills, mortgage offset account etc etc. I then budget accordingly with what is left. Plus I know that if there’s an unexpected bill – like wasps moving into the attack (!) I have savings to deal with it.

Use online banking and mobile apps. I check my bank accounts every day to make sure there aren’t any bills etc that I have forgotten about. If I am thinking of treating myself to something I will also check first and see if it is worth it!

Have savings goals. If you have been reading my blog for a few months you may have picked up that we are going back to Disney next year (can you tell that I am excited?!) but boy is that place pricey so I am squirreling money away now so that when we are there we can afford the meals and souvenirs that we want without worrying. So now when I am thinking of buying something I think “would I rather have this or X at Disney?” if Disney wins then I save my money! Plus with a saving goal it’s easier to save if you know you’ll get your reward in the end.

Make money when you spend money. This is my favourite tip. I love the site topcashback.com. It’s free to have an account and all you have to do is remember when you’re online shopping to check whether the retailer is a member (a huge amount are), search for them and then click the link in topcashback to connect to the retailers website. Then you just shop as normal and as if by magic a percentage of your spend ends back up in your topcashback account. I often use it and get the odd 50p/£1 here but sometimes, like buying British Gas Homecare you can £50, which was great. Brilliant if you are already buying something, why not get some money back?! I have around £70 in my account that I am saving for our next holiday. It’s just another nice way to have a few extra pounds kicking about.

If you live in the UK you can sign up to topcashback here, why not? If you join via my link you will also get a £5 Amazon voucher once you earn your first £10. I don’t know what’s in it for the retailer (I was going to shop there anyway) but it’s great for us! (there is a “premium” topcashback account that costs you, you get a higher % back I think but I don’t think it’s worth it for me – you can do the maths but unless you’re getting 100s back on a huge purchase I would probably stick with the free account).

Voucher codes.  As well as shopping through topcashback I never buy something online without opening a new tab and searching for a voucher code. Half the time (at least) I find one and save money. All you need to do is type in “store name voucher codes UK” (or your country) and you will find sites dedicated to it. It’s all money in your pocket!

Cash back accounts and cards.  I like doing my research so when it came to getting a credit card I looked at which one would work best for our lifestyle. The best deals for us were supermarkets that we use for groceries/fuel and others that offered preferential rates on currency exchange for card holders. This works for us as we don’t use the “credit” on credit cards i.e. we pay them off in full at the end of the month so we get the points etc but never pay interest, if this isn’t what you do there are probably better options for you. As you’ll see in my disclaimer though, you know I’m not a financial advisor, this is just what works for me.

Go old school.  You may have read my post on our “Date Jar”, my husband and I have a jar with date ideas and we also save cash into it in case of a dating emergency! I also have another two “piggy banks” that gets the odd bit of coinage chucked in.  When it comes to saving for a rainy day every penny counts. Just be good and don’t raid it until you’ve reached your savings goal! If you are tempted then regularly empty it and put it into the bank.  I know some people collect every 50p or £2 coin that they get and save up that way. Top tip though, I often see people in supermarkets using the coinstar machines to convert their jars of coins into notes – don’t do it!!! These machines charge you (i.e. they keep some of your hard saved cash) but banks have similar machines that do this FREE and the cash goes straight into your account.

If you have your own saving ideas/tips or favourite websites please let me know in the comments. Also disclaimer – as I said above I am very far removed from being a financial advisor these are just fun tips that I think work for us!

Gemma-Sig

 

 

 

 

 

Picture credits: Save pic 401k.com, piggy bank pic seniorliving.com creative commons license via Flickr.

Leave your own thoughts, tips and musings below! Don't be shy...