Yesterday, I took a look at my list of 100 things that I want to accomplish. It’s a list of random goals that I want to achieve in my life. Goals that reach from small things like brushing up on my French to owning a house. I wrote it a year or two ago and to be honest, I’ve been pretty lax with it. I’ve not really achieved many of the goals that I set out when I wrote my list, and I didn’t think I was particularly bothered by that, but seeing it black on white made me realise that I want to make more of an effort, especially with one goal: owning a house.
I know that a lot of people struggle to save for a mortgage and I know that I’m not a big saver in general, so I thought it would make sense to collect some ideas that help save some money on every day expenditures. I hope they’ll help you – and me:
Get an overview over your finances
Sit down with a piece of paper and write down all of your outgoings, e.g. insurance, food, rent, phone bill, eating out etc to get an overview over your finances and see where your money is going each month.
Write a budget plan
Before the beginning of each month, make a budget plan and allocate a set amount to each of your outgoings. At the end of each day, write down how what you have spent during the day and what you spent it on. You will soon see what you waste money on and where you can make savings.
Swap instead of buying new
You have a wardrobe full of clothes but nothing to wear? Why don’t you get together with your best friends and swap until you drop? This way, you can completely revamp the content of your wardrobe without spending a penny.
Writing a meal plan and sticking to it (!) stops you from wasting food and money. When writing your meal plan, look what’s on offer at your supermarket of choice and try to drop brands for value or own-brand ranges. Only having 2 or 3 meat dishes a week will also help keep the costs low.
Before taking out insurance, signing a mobile phone deal or extending your broadband contract, shop around for the best deal out there. Take the time to use search engines or sign up for cash back deals to make the most of your money or even get part of it back.
Don’t be lazy
Check, if existing deals and contracts such as insurance, gas or electric are really getting you the best deal. Don’t be lazy and let a contract roll over without checking with competitors or your current provider. Sometimes threatening to leave can lead to considerable discounts – I’ve been there and done that!
Having to dine in all the time can get boring, if you’re a social butterfly, so why don’t you throw your very own dinner party with friends? Everyone can bring something to the table and you’ll have a great night for the fraction of the price of a night out.
Be prepared for Christmas and birthdays
Spread the cost of Christmas and birthdays by buying presents throughout the year and storing them in a big gift basket. Sales are great to pick up some bargains and if you stock of them and by bits and bobs throughout the year, you’re not only saving money, you’re also prepared for Christmas or any birthdays you might have forgotten. You can even add unwanted gifts to your box – just make sure to not give them back to the person that gifted them to you.
Store cards might seem annoying, but they come in handy when you can swap them for vouchers and gift cards at the end of or throughout the year. You can redeem them in store or use them for restaurant meals, short breaks or days out – making your experience much cheaper or even completely free.
Many pennies make a pound
Empty all your small change into a big jar at the end of each day and save it for a year or a time frame that you set yourself. Put the money into a savings account for your mortgage or use it to pay for your holiday.
How long did it take you to save up for your mortgage and do you have any money-saving tips? If you’re still struggling to get onto the property ladder, are there steps you are taking to save?
This is a promotional post.