The Best Money Saving Advice I've Ever Been Given
1. Buy Your Food Online
I made the life changing decision to buy my weekly food shop online back at Uni when I had no car and couldn't be assed carrying bags of shopping from town back to my house.
I have saved myself probably thousands of pounds over the year by maintaining this habit;
-Firstly I can organise all my meals for the week.
-Secondly I usually do this when I am full and I don't end up adding £10's worth of snacks into my trolley.
-Thirdly you can see what is on offer and evaluate the cheapest options.
-Fourthly it can cost as little as £1 for delivery, depending where you shop, how much notice you give and what time you get it delivered. So you save on petrol/taxi money and don't have to carry a thousand heavy bags.
I also can add and remove things from the basket if the total oversteps my budget. You can do it from the comfort of your own home and you can evaluate your cupboards and fridge and see what you are in need of.
Plus you don't bump into anyone you know and have to make awkward small talk with.
2. Take Packed Lunches
This can obviously depend where it is you work.
I have previously worked in restaurants and I ended up spending hundreds a month on food that I would purchase there. Now I bring my own lunches and its saved me so much money. It doesn't have to be boring ham sandwiches and it doesn't have to take ages to prepare. A jacket potato takes less than 10 minutes in the microwave or cook two portions of pasta the night before and have one for dinner and one for lunch. The Joe Wicks 15 minute meals have been a particular favourite of mine. I've even batch frozen chilli, soups of curries to take in. Plus its usually healthier.
Good for you budget and good for your body.
3. Carry Cash
Unless you're the Queen, I recommend you carry cash on you. Putting things on card, especially on contactless you kind of forget you're spending money. If you have cold hard cash in your hand, it tends to make you think about it a little more.
4. Calculate What You Earn vs What You Spend
Say if you get paid £7.50 an hour an you want to buy a take away that comes to £30, that would take you four hard hours of work to pay off. Is it worth it?
Think of everything as your hourly rate. If you don't know it and get a salary, say £17,000 a year, divide that by how many hours you work and give yourself a rough figure.
Every time you go to make a purchase think of how long it would take you to work to pay that item off, and then ask yourself is it worth it.
5. Don't Store Your Bank Details On Your Phone/Computer
By storing them, firstly you are opening yourself to online theft and fraud but also you are making it so much easier to pay for purchases and not think about it. I have been the worst with this. I'll look on ASOS and end up buying something spontaneously because within two clicks and next day delivery its mine. Sometimes purchases need a little time to evaluate. If you don't have them stored and have to physically go find your card and input everything you may rethink it.
6. Ask Yourself Is This Actually A Good Deal
Would you actually have bought this if it was full priced? Because its £1.90 and its 2 for £2 but you only actually wanted one is this a good deal?
Constantly evaluate 'deals' that shops are advertising. Often these are just psychological ploys to get you to pay more. And they work. Often before Black Friday happens, stores up there prices so that when they make everything 50% off it seems much cheaper but its actually just a way to get you to buy something that you probably don't need and wouldn't have bought if it was 'discounted'.
Also I used to be a sucker for sale items. I would buy something because it was cheap, even if it didn't fit or I didn't really like it. You are not saving money if you buy something you would have never bought if it wasn't in the sale.
7. Remember that Credit is not 'free money'