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The Spending Diet

Hints and tips to help scrounge and save those extra pennies.

  1. Do I really need this? – When clothes shopping, there is always one thing that catches your eye, you fall in love with it and want it there and then, but this is NOT the time to buy it. Put it back on the hanger and give it a week, or maybe until after pay day. If you still love it after your time apart then you can treat yourself, or it may even have gone into sale!
  2. Munching away your money  – Buying your lunch at work or having work lunch every day is where a lot of the coins add up. Spending even as little as £3 a day will equate to £780 in a year!! That’s like having a smoking habit! Maybe pack your lunch and treat yourself and the girls once a month. There are so many quick and easy recipes out there and might get you being a little inventive.
  3. Speaking of smoking – As hard as it is to quit, it is one of the most expensive legal habits going. Think that if you are smoking 20 a day, that is about £10 a day, is it not? You could be wasting nearly £4,000 a year on your little nicotine kick. Not only will quitting or cutting down save your purse strings but also it could save your life. And don’t forget that the NHS can help you quit for free; more pennies saved I guess!
  4. Its just plain unnecessary – Not many people have this problem but a lot of us are guilty of not preparing. Instead of buying a bottle of water, drink it from the tap or pack yourself a bottle. In this day and age your basic water is being overpriced for ridiculous amounts and it is just plain stupid for you to pay for something you can otherwise get for free! Recycle too by reusing your bottles and packing one in your handbag.
  5. Set yourself a target – Try to find a realistic aim to save once a month or even once a week depending on when you get paid. Open a savings account as well that is easy to transfer money into and just DO NOT TOUCH it!
  6. Set a spending limit – The modern convenience of paying by card is probably the most dangerous. Instead of swiping the plastic at every point of sale, set yourself a budget. The budget should cover food and going out; depending on the kind of person you are this could be a cinema trip, drinking or dinner dates. This should be roughly £50 for one person; you really don’t need any more than that!
  7. If you like to party hard – There are a few ways to save. Things like pre-drinking. A very student custom so it can seem unappealing but if you have a few glasses before you leave, that is already saving you £10, especially as you can buy bigger bottles of booze cheaper at the local store. Another issue is taxis. Try your best to share or even find a loving friend who will take you home for a small fee!
  8. Are you really getting a bargain? – When you go food shopping you may sometimes think “If I buy the double sized pack I will save money because it’s like buying in bulk.” Well sometimes you could be wrong! An example is when I was buying butter and there was a 1kg tub for £2 which is a bargain, but there was an offer on the 0.5kg tubs that was 2 for £1.80, obviously it worked out cheaper for the same amount of butter. Always compare and double check your bargain because you might be being taken for a ride!
  9. Last of all – Try to recycle your life. By this I mean turn ankle-biting pairs of jeans into shorts for the summer, sell things on ebay, or you could get even niftier with the sewing kit and turn a mixture of old items into one new one.

It’s a tough job, learning how to save, but when you get over the initial hump you will find yourself rolling in riches in no time! Keep calm and carry on….saving!

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