Tag: Shopping

reduce-your-expenses

Reduce Your Expenses – Simple Guide!

Are you looking for ways to reduce expenses so you can spend less and save more?

If at the end of a day, week, or month you think where did all my money go then you need to start looking at your spending and see where you can cut expenses.

Living payday to payday is not fun!

You want to be able to have some money left over at the end of the month so that you can save it for more important things like an emergency fund, retirement or even a vacation.

Most of us don’t realise just how much money we’re wasting on a daily basis. Many unnecessary costs can actually be reduced or cut altogether.

 

 

Write down all your expenses

First of all, you want to know what your monthly expenses is to figure out exactly what your current monthly expenses are.

Many people don’t realize how much they’re spending. That’s because it’s easy to spend £1 here or £5 there and not think anything of it. We may not think we’re buying anything lavish, but at the end of the month we’re left wondering – where did all of my money go?

If you want to learn how to drastically cut expenses, the first step is to write down ALL your fixed and variable (discretionary) spending.

An easy way to figure this out is to look at your previous bank statements to see what you spent. Or you can simply track your spending for the next month.

Fixed expenses – These are expenses that you MUST pay each month, such as rent / mortgage, electricity, gas, water, savings plans, debt payments (credit card, car payments, student loan, personal loan) and so on.

Variable spending – These are non-essential expenses, such as dining out, vacations, entertainment, lunch with friends, gifts, clothes, manicures and pedicures, and so on.

If you’re currently having trouble paying your monthly bills, you’ll want to figure out the absolute minimum amount of money you need to cover your essential living costs.

This includes:

  • Food
  • Utilities
  • Shelter
  • Transportation

If you are currently working towards paying off debt, then you’ll want to include debt payments in your essential living costs too.

I know it’s not easy to cut your monthly expenses and it can be tempting to stop debt repayments. But try to make at least the minimum payments on your debt. Continuing to pay down debt can help reduce your monthly debt payments.

Once you’ve determined your monthly fixed and variable expenses, compare this with your household’s income. If you’re currently living without a source of income, see how much cash you have set aside in your savings account or emergency fund.

 

Determine your financial goals

Most people want to reduce their monthly expenses because they want to save and accomplish more with their money. Knowing your goals can help you align your budget around achieving them.

The best part is your goals can be anything you want. Perhaps you want to pay off credit card debt, save money to purchase a car, or build an emergency fund. The more specific you can get, the easier it will be to break down your goals into manageable steps.

Ask yourself – what do I want my finances to look like a year from now? But starting today, you’ll begin planting the seeds for a successful financial future.

Related post:

Want help setting goals? See my post for setting SMART financial goals:

 

 

Create a realistic monthly budget

Now that you’ve determined your essential living costs and figured out ways to reduce your non-essential spending, it’s time to create a new monthly budget.

For those who currently don’t have an income, you’ll need to see how much cash you have set aside to make sure it’s enough to cover your essential living costs.

Related posts:

Would you like to know more about creating a budget? Then see our post below:

 

Reduce your expenses

Now you have followed the above steps, here’s are 10 tips to help you curb your spending, cut your expenses and live on less than you make.

 

Negotiate your bills

Unfortunately, you can’t cut them completely but chances are you can lower them. Most people miss this one because they think bills are bills and there’s nothing you can do about them, but that is the farthest thing from the truth.

Start by calling around to make sure you have the best deal. 

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You can also cut your heating bill by 3% for every degree you move your thermostat.

Many companies offer a discount if you sign up for autopay. Make sure to ask because sometimes they only apply the discount if you ask for it.

We also cut our internet bill in half by asking about their current promotions. This alone saved us £360 this year. Once you start adding up all savings you found on bills, you’ll find several hundred pounds/dollars in savings

 

Sky/Cable TV

When I was first learning how to live on a budget, Sky TV was one of the first expenses I cut.

The truth is, most of the time with Sky you’re paying for a bunch of channels you don’t watch. Streaming means you’re more likely to use what you pay for every month.

For example, we have:

Altogether, I pay about £25 for these channels compared to the £75 I used to pay for Sky. That’s a massive saving if £600 per year!

If you haven’t made the switch from Sky/cable to streaming yet, that’s 600 reasons to give it a shot.

 

Gym membership

I have been guilty of this, having a gym membership I never used.

The money would be coming out my bank account every month, while I’m trying to convince myself I would start to use it.

You need to get rid of it – ASAP

If you haven’t been using it regularly and consistently for months on end you are not going to do it now.

According to This Is Money, Brits waste a collective £25billion a month each year on subscriptions they don’t use or want, and a massive 12% of that is on gym memberships alone!

That’s a whole lot of money!

If you don’t use your gym membership, look at alternative ways of exercise instead. I have invested in resistant bands and an exercise bike. I prefer this way, and there are plenty of workout tutorials on YouTube to follow.

If your finances are tight, then this one has to go!

 

Stop paying credit card interest

If you’ve got credit card debt with an interest rate – ditch it right now. Get it switched to a 0% deal like yesterday! Credit card interest rates are extortionate if you don’t manage them right.

That being said, 0% credit card deals are great for slashing the costs of any debt you have if you use them properly.

Just make sure if you’re switching to pay it off – cut the new card up and set up a monthly payment to make sure you clear the balance by the end of the term.

I used this trick for years as a gradually cleared the debt I built up at Uni and didn’t have to pay a penny of interest on it as a result. If I couldn’t clear the debt by the end of the term, I switched to another deal to avoid paying interest.

Take a look at this page on Money Saving Expert to find the best current deals.

 

Shop with a plan

If you head to the grocery store with a plan in mind, your shopping trip will be more successful and less expensive.

Many people are unsure of what they have in their cabinets and fridge, let alone what to make for dinner. Make a list of meals to have for the week. Then, see what you need to complete those recipes in your kitchen and pantry.

It’s also a good idea to stock your pantry with essentials when sales are going on.

Supermarket ads can also be incredibly useful. You might have to store hop on a weekly basis, but shopping with the sales can save you a lot of money in the long term.

 

Branded food/drinks

People love brands names, but in my opinion, the majority of the time, you are paying just for the name!

I have ditched name products and shop at Aldi and sometimes Lidl majority of time. There are alternative items of food/drink, are just as good if not better in some cases.

The money you save week in week out is massive!

The Same goes with clothes, I use to buy brand and designer all the time. Not anymore, there are cheaper alternatives out there, such as Boohoo, Primark and ASOS where you can look smart for cheaper.

As long as I look good and feel comfortable in my clothes and shoes, that’s all that matters to me, not what branded name I’m wearing.

Related posts:

Want to know more about saving money with groceries? Then see my posts on cutting back grocery spending:

 

 

Resist impulse purchases

Have you ever walked into a shop to get something small, such as shampoo and you ended up leaving with a bunch of items that weren’t on your shopping list?

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Don’t feel bad if you said yes. It’s called impulse spending and marketers are really good at encouraging consumers to make impulse purchases. This is an unplanned decision to buy a product (or service) right before the purchase is made.

Nearly 78.2% of Brits have succumbed to the temptation to impulse online shopping, according to a recent survey. While it might seem like an impulse buy here and there is harmless, it can sabotage your goals such as paying off debt, building your emergency fund, or saving for a large purchase.

Related post:

Want to know more information on how to complete a no spend month and save a huge chunk of money? See the below post:

 

 

Mobile phone

We have all been caught out on this one. Mobile phone companies offer free phones to entice you into a two-year contract that you are then bound to. Emails flooding your inbox trying to persuade you to upgrade to the latest smartphone can be oh so tempting, but before you succumb, as yourself the following questions.

Do I really need a new phone? (Need, not want!)

What will it really cost me over the course of two years?

Do I really need 100GB of data a month?

Would a prepaid mobile phone be the better financial option?

You’ll know from your answers, what you should really do. It’s all about being sensible and not living above your means for the sake of having the latest smartphone.

 

Eat at home as much as possible

Eating out is a nice treat for every now and again, but when you get into the habit of dining out because you can’t be bother to cook, it becomes and expense game.

After a long day a work, when you’re tired, it’s just the easier option. I’ve done it before, we’ve all done it at one point of time. The thought of cooking after a stressful day is a chore, but there are ways around this.

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Batch cooking food is a great way to give yourself a break from the kitchen. For example, you could cook a batch of meals at the weekend and then freeze them. Each day you will then have a meal prepared without having to cook from scratch.

I do this with my workout meals for the week, it saves me a lot of time.

For a family of four, just by eating out a few times a month, you are talking about a few hundred pounds/dollars per month, if not more.

Top tip:

Supercooks is a website that helps you re-create recipes from leftovers.

Just list out the ingredients and let SuperCooks tell you what to cook! Never again will you have to stare at those leftovers in the fridge and wonder what to do with it.

 

 

Stop using disposable items

Some of the products you use from day to day are only used once, then thrown away. Paper towels, for example, are handy when you want to clean up a mess in a hurry, but reaching for one after every spill can become an expensive habit.

I don’t know about you but when there is a roll of paper towels in my house, I go through it like crazy, I wash my hands A LOT (a habit from working in the hospital years ago) and if I had to dry on a paper towel at home daily, I would be buying tons of paper towels.

Instead of paper towels or napkins, use hand towels. Using them will create a bit of extra dirty laundry, but will also cut out the cost of these disposable ones altogether.

You can also eliminate other items like dryer sheets by switching to wool dryer balls and sandwich bags by switching to reusable sandwich bags.

 

Bottled water

Bottled water is expensive! Spending £4-£5 on water every week when you could be using tap water/filtered water, will lead to savings that could be used towards something else.

Buy this reusable bottle and use it at work too.

It is mind boggling how expensive bottled water can get. If you have a fridge that has filtered water then even better, if not, tap water is great too!

If you are family of four getting through a 24 pack of water in less than a week is probably the norm. You could be saving £10 a week on just water.

 

 

Reduce your expenses – Final thought

Whilst these items individually may not seem like they can make big changes to your monthly budget, making small changes can, in fact, help you to save a few hundred extra dollars each month.

Those extra pounds/dollars can really help you make a dent in your debts.

Don’t be discouraged by having to cut back on expenses.

It’s better to look at your long-term goals and use that as your motivation to keep pushing forward to your financial freedom.

One thing I have realised is that you should never turn your nose up at small savings because eventually, they do add up to make a considerable difference.

Let me know what tips you have for cutting down on expenses!

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Save Money board for for later!

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smart-grocery-tips

Smart grocery shopping tips – Simple Guide!

Today I will be talking about smart grocery shopping tips.

Whether you’re budgeting newbie or pro, one of the hardest categories to budget is food. Unlike other fixed expenses (like Sky or cable), you can’t easily compare prices to see if you are spending too much.

Yet it’s a category that obviously can’t be overlooked. Here’s a compilation of hacks and tricks to help reduce your grocery bill and making grocery shopping on a budget easy.

 

 

Why would you want to save money on groceries?

For most people, food is the second largest expense every month. You have to have it to live. But you don’t have to spend a fortune on it.

Most people think that you have to buy cheap, processed foods to save money on groceries. But it is quite the opposite. Fresh (even frozen) foods and foods in bulk can save you quite a chunk of change.

The more money you save on groceries (and eating out), the more money you will have to save for other things. Like that big project around the house that’s been waiting to be finished, or a nice family vacation, or you can stash that cash in an investment account and earn money.

Read on for ways to help your wallet and save money on groceries.

 

Smart grocery shopping tips

These 15 tips for saving money on groceries are subtle and simple changes you can make, which can really add up to big savings over the course of a month.

By implementing these it’s likely that you’ll hardly feel the pinch at all!

 

Make a grocery list and stick to it

Creating a grocery list is going to be a crucial step in you saving money on food each month. There is nothing worse for your budget than when you walk into a grocery store without a list.

Without the guidance of a grocery list, you might remember everything you needed but, I bet you come out with a bunch of stuff you don’t need.

When you create a list, you can see what you need and avoid the things you don’t. Next time you go grocery shopping, make a list and stick to it. I think you’ll be surprised at how big of a difference it will make.

 

Don’t go shopping when you’re hungry

I’m guilty of doing this from time to time, and my budget suffers every time I do. It turns out that when you go to the grocery store hungry, everything looks delicious.

You end up buying things you don’t need because your brain tells you it looks good.

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Make sure you eat a snack before you go grocery shopping. Your stomach and your budget will thank you after.

If you absolutely have to go shopping while you’re hungry, make sure you have a grocery list and stick to it!

 

Shop during the sales

One of the best ways to save money on groceries is to shop for grocery items when they are on sale. Buying toiletries during grocery store sales can save you a huge chunk of money.

These items are generally overused at home and can be expensive. Besides, kitchen items like cooking oil, spices, cereals and other things that can be used over a few weeks should be bought on store sales to save you some extra amount.

Always make it a point to prepare a list of grocery items you need before you step out for shopping and use an expense tracker to keep a track of your grocery spending.

 

 

Buy in bulk

One budget grocery shopping trick to consider is buying certain items in bulk.

Analyse a few of your recent meal plans. Do you see a few recurring meals that appear often in your meal plan?

Consider purchasing some of the non-perishable items for these meals in bulk. In this way, you can end up saving hundreds of pounds/dollars on your groceries!

Some common items that can be bought in bulk include rice, canned foods such as sardines, vegetables, tuna, etc.

Buying in bulk is perfect because the unit price of each item is way less (sometimes less than half of the usual price!) than if you purchase one or two cans per week.

 

Also, bulk buy your meat

Personally, I tend to buy meat when I see it reduced in the supermarket but I know others aren’t always able to get there in the evenings when there are bargains to be had.

One of the best ways to stock up on meat for less is using a company like Muscle Foods. Muscle Foods  started out being aimed at those on high protein diet – but the prices are so good that many families have started ordering from them too.

It’s always worth comparing with supermarket prices to make sure you really are getting the best deal, but generally speaking, they have some fantastic deals. Just make sure there’s plenty of room in your freezer!

 

Use leftover to prepare next meal

Using leftover food can easily save you a lot of time and money. Food that doesn’t make enough servings can easily be reused for your next meal instead of getting wasted.

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I sometimes make some extra rice just so I can use it as leftover for my next meal. You can also create new meals out of leftover chicken, bread and boiled rice.

You’ll be surprised to know that leftovers can sometimes provide for an entire meal of yours, if done effectively.

Top tip:

Supercooks is a website that helps you re-create recipes from leftovers.

Just list out the ingredients and let SuperCooks tell you what to cook! Never again will you have to stare at those leftovers in the fridge and wonder what to do with it.

 

 

Pay with cash

Avoid carrying your credit cards to the store and pay only with cash. This is what a lot of people call the cash envelope method. This method includes setting money aside in an envelope every month for different spending such as food, gas, clothes, etc. So, you will pay your expenses with the cash that is inside the envelope.

By only spending what is in the envelope for that particular expense such as groceries then, you will stick to your budget and it will force you to save money immediately.

Believe it or not this method works and it would save you a good amount of money. This is because you don’t have another except paying with cash rather than credit cards.

Related post:

Want to find out more about the cash envelope system? Then see our post below:

 

 

Cashback sites

Cashback sites are way of earning money while you spend money on shopping.

Some good sites are Topcashback, Quidco and Boom25.

The cashback site will earn a percentage for referring you to the retailer through their website, and you take a cut of the profits.

It’s an easy way to earn some extra money while making a purchase you were planning to make anyway.

Here’s my posts with all the details of exactly how Quidco, Topcashback and BOOM25 work.

 

Buy seasonal produce

Seasonal produce is cheaper than produce that is out of season period. This is because most of the time seasonal produce is grown locally and they are in abundance.

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Besides, the cost of shipping for seasonal produce is not as much as the produce that is out of season. So, when you see a sale on seasonal produce buy it and use it in your meals.

If you still have some produce that is not being used you can always preserve, freeze, and use it for later in other meals. This would be a great advantage and serious savings on your grocery bill.

 

Try generic brands

Usually, generic brands are cheaper compared to products with a well-known name. You can save money on your groceries by just buying the store generic brand.

Sometimes, you will find generic brands 20% to 30 % cheaper compared to name-brand products. For instance, Costco sells their signature store brand products for around 20% less than other brands.

Try to check out the product’s label and you will notice that most of the time the ingredients are the same and even better with less amount of chemicals! I’ve been using Aldi’s own products for a while, and they’re amazing and very cheap too!

 

Plastic grocery bags

Instead of wasting money when we go grocery shopping, we decided to purchase reusable shopping bags that we now bring with us when we go shopping.

These reusable shopping bags aren’t only good for saving money at the grocery store, they’re also great to just have at home.

If you’re going away, you can use them to pack clothes, toiletries, games, and snacks in as well. The reusable shopping bags I use have many more purposes than simply being used at the grocery store, so you can bet they have more than paid for themselves many times over.

 

Use vouchers and deals

Honey is a great website for finding vouchers from thousands of retailers online.

I have saved money when making purchases on clothes through Honey on several occasions.

Also, Latest Deals is great website for bargains and deals.

While saving money you also earn points though the above sites, which can them be redeemed into a giftcard of your choice.

These sites are no brainer!

 

 

Stick to real processed food

Avoid the meals with pre-packaged pasta, sauce and spices just add a pound of meat. It really doesn’t take any longer to open a bag of pasta, a can of tomatoes or spaghetti sauce, chop an onion and some garlic while the meat is browning.

You save money and the environment by avoiding all that packaging. Stick as much as possible to things your great-grandmother would recognize and if you read the ingredients and it sounds like a chemical it probably is.

Pass on the chemicals and get something closer to real food saving money and eating healthier.

 

Get to know the markdown schedule

Take some time to talk to the employees! They will let you know when meat will be marked down.

You can get a heads up for the best time to raid the clearance rack for produce! I know that at my local store Wednesdays at 5pm is when they mark down meat.

 

Reduce your number of shopping trips.

One of the best things you can do to save money on groceries is to shop less oftenThe less often you’re in the store, the less often you’re tempted to buy more than you intended.

And the best way to do that is to start planning your meals and to shop for what you can online (more on that below).

 

 

Smart grocery shopping tips – Final thought

Budgeting your food and grocery expenses doesn’t have to be really hard and complicated as long as you know what options are available to you. You can keep your expenses to a minimum & keep more money when you try the options mentioned above.

Let me know what you think. What options have you already tried or willing to try? Which of these do you think will help you keep more?

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Save Money board for later!

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SAVE-MONEY-TIPS

10 Things to Stop Buying to Save Money – Simple Guide to Save Thousands!

As I was going through really hard financial times, I kept asking myself two questions “What are the things I should stop buying to save money?” and “How can I save money?”

After looking and analysing my spending habits, I realised I was wasting my budget on items I did not need.

There are so many things we buy all the time that at first glance doesn’t seem like a big deal. Even though these items hardly make an impact on our budgets, over time these things add up. Every single penny counts when it comes to saving money.

I am always looking for tips to save money. Another major shift that happened to me was that I stopped buying things to impress other people.

I started focusing more on the things that I really need instead. We all go through times in our lives when we need more money.

Today I will share with you the things I stopped buying that allowed me to save more money.

Not only did I save money but it also simplified my life.

 

 

Not sure what to cut from your budget?

Saving money can be hard at any time, but it is particularly difficult when you’re broke or living payday to payday. If you can barely pay your bills, saving money is probably one of the last things you can afford.

I save A LOT by being mindful and thoughtful about my spending. But I don’t cut off the things I enjoy, living life this way doesn’t mean you have to stay inside all day and can never enjoy life.

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Instead, I pay attention to the unnecessary purchases that don’t make me feel happy and cost a lot.

So, here are the things I stopped buying to save money every day!

Related posts:

Would you like to know how to create a budget, but don’t know where to start? Then see the post below:

 

 

Bottled water

We tend to not notice how expensive and how much it adds up when we are constantly buying bottled water.

A lot of us are also brought up believing that tap water is less healthy and more poisonous because of the smell of chlorine but there is a simple solution to changing that.

if you put a jug of water covered in fridge the chlorine taste will disappear, you just need to make sure that you replace it every 24 hours because there wouldn’t be enough chlorine to prevent bacteria growing if you keep it in the fridge for longer without changing it.

I used to love sparkling water and it had to be a particular brand because of the bubbles, it cost £1 per litre plus the average bottle of water is about 80p.

If you drink about 5lts a day on average as a household and each bottle cost 50p that means you will spend £2.50 a day on water. That is £17.50 a week, £70 a month and a whopping £840 a year.

 

Cut Sky/cable

This year we decided to cut or Sky/cable, by doing this we are saving £50 per month.

I thought getting rid of this would be brutal, and I would miss it, but that’s not the case at all.

Most of the time the TV was just on as background noise, we only actually sit down and watch TV for about two hours daily in the week, and a bit longer at weekends.

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You can cut back your package to save money, or get rid of it all together and use a subscription service such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. I have both of these; they are excellent value for money.

You might find this work out to be much cheaper for you.

There is always new TV shows and movies being added and the back catalogue on just these pair are huge. You will always discover something new to watch!

These are just two available, there is also Hulu, Disney+ and much more if you search online.

You are never tied in to a subscription service such as these, they can be cancelled at anytime you like.

Related posts:

Would you like to cut back your expenses, to save money? but don’t know where to start? Then see the post below:

 

 

 Branded fizzy drinks

I know fizzy drinks aren’t the healthiest and I’ll admit to drinking more of them than I probably should. However, I don’t drink alcohol anymore, so it’s nice having something I really like to sip on of an evening.

I know plenty of people that will only drink one of the other of the leading brands of fizzy drink, especially cola, but with the introduction of the sugar tax and supermarket offers seeming to be less frequent we found we were paying between £1.50 and £2.00 a bottle.

Giving up fizzy drinks completely would, of course, have been the most frugal thing to do – but we found this ended up making it a sort of forbidden fruit and we’d end up popping to the corner shop and getting some even though the prices were crazy expensive just because we were craving.

So as a money-saving compromise we decided to try and find an alternative that was reasonably palatable. I’ll be honest, nothing does taste quite as good as the branded ones but we have got used the cheaper version and the savings are worth it.

Our favourite is Aldi’s own brand Lemonade and Orangeade. At around 40p a bottle it’s about a 3rd of the price of the real thing.

 

Pre-packed/ prepped fruit and vegetables

It comes as no surprise that convenience cost more money. supermarkets charge you to cut your products for you. Prime example:  FRUIT; you buy a whole pineapple (800g and peeled yourself) and it will cost you £1, you buy pre-packed chopped pineapple and for the equivalent size you will pay £4 meaning you are being charged £3 for conveniences. This premium expense goes across most pre-packed products.

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Solution: Buy food that is fresh and whole and pay yourself the premium and chop it up yourself. This goes for microwave meals and grated cheese as well.

Savings: Using the pineapple theory as an example, if you a super pineapple fan and you buy it twice a week which is equivalent to buying one big one. That is £4 a week, £16 a month, £192 a year

Just to add up the total savings just from the three items above before we continue, we have saved a grand total of £1542/ $2000.

Related posts:

Would like to learn how living frugally can save you thousands every year? Then see the post below:

 

 

Stopped buying takeaways

One of my biggest downfalls used to be buying takeaways far more than we really should – often two or three times a week despite the fact I’m a decent cook when I put my mind to it (not sure my partner would agree!). Working long hours meant that I often didn’t feel like cooking when I got home. By the time I’d got home, showered, relaxed a little I just couldn’t be bothered.

Since leaving that job I now cook almost every night. Meal planning for the week has helped considerably with this and we now have a takeaway as a treat only once or twice a month. I’ve also started learning to cook various fakeaways – our favourites are orange chicken and homemade KFC – these really help when we fancy a particular fast food but don’t want to spend lots of money on it.

 

Impulse items near the checkout

The checkout lane at the grocery store is a danger zone, my friend. The aisles are filled with crap that you don’t need but is oh-so-tempting, am I right?

There are two ways to avoid falling into the impulse buy trap when checking out.

One, commit to developing serious tunnel vision when it’s time to pay. Or two, take advantage of your grocery store’s pick-up service.

Most of the time pick-up is free when you have a minimum dollar amount on your order. Letting someone else shop for you means you don’t have to worry about spending on impulse.

Related posts:

Would you like to stick to a grocery budget? but don’t know where to start? Then see the post below:

 

 

Gym membership

If you are like many people, you may have signed up for a membership at your local gym during January as the result of a New Year’s resolution. Only to realise by June, you are no longer going to the gym to workout.

Ditch the gym membership if you are not using it fully. This is one of the easiest things to stop buying to save money.

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There are many ways you can get in a great workout at your home. You can take a bike ride at the local park, take a walk or hike. Some people say gym memberships are one of the most stupid things to waste money on.

 

Stop being brand specific

I was seriously guilty of this! I’m not going to lie, I’m still brand specific when it comes to a few products that I really need (items that are really working for me) but for other things, like things that we use frequently, I opt for store brands or basically anything that is on sale or if I have a coupon for it.

I was so surprised by the amount of money that we are saving on our groceries every month by doing this.

 

Toys

Our kids have WAY TOO MANY toys right now. As we adopted our new frugal lifestyle, we opted to stop buying toys. They can use what they already have and get creative instead.

They already have all the basics such as Lego, dolls, cars, trucks, figures and so many more! Again, a more minimalist and simple living to save money.

Top tip:

  •  Have a car-boot sale or sell online the extra toys that your kids have outgrown to save even more money!

 

 

Coffee

Coffee is a must in my household so we have not completely eliminated it from our budget but we have stopped buying expensive coffee from coffeehouses. Instead, we brew our own at home and we stick to cheaper (but still nice!) brands.

This has helped us save tons! Of course, if you can see yourself cutting off coffee completely from your life, by all means, go ahead!

 

10 things to stop buying to save money – Final thought

Making some simple cuts can really free up a sizable portion of your budget. I am willing to bet a family would save a hell of a lot of money over a year if they put these 10 tips into practice.

What about you? Are you trying to achieve financial freedom? Are you working towards becoming debt free? Is there anything else you’d add to this list? Share with us in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Save Money board for later!

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9 Tips to Save Money – Simple Guide!

Doesn’t it seem like there’s never enough money? It’s like the more you make, the more you spend. At least it is at my house, unfortunately.

I’ve been trying to do better and spend less, and there are quite a few things I stopped buying to save money. The great part is, I don’t even miss them.

It’s kind of fun to see how I can cut back on stuff that’s not important, and save that money for something much better. (car, holiday etc).

The savings really add up. It might just be a few pounds/dollars here and there, but at the end of the month you can really see the savings.

Saving money can be accomplished by making small manageable changes. Making small changes is much easier, which in turn, keeps you motivated to continue. You are much more likely to accomplish your goals if you’re not turning your whole life upside down.

If you don’t like the financial situation you are in right now, you have to make a change to get different results! You can’t expect anything to change if you don’t do anything differently.

That’s why today, I have decided to gather 9 tips to save money to share with you.

So, whether you want to pay off a debt or save up for a family trip, cutting off these things can help you achieve that. Check them out!

 

 

Stop over & impulse buying

Always, always shop with intention. This is where the list and weekly meal plan comes in. I’ve realised that going grocery shopping without really knowing what we’ll be cooking for the rest of the week, just leads to me over buying.

We pretty much always end up wasting food, which means, we’re wasting money.

Now, before we go grocery shopping, we always make sure to create a weekly meal plan, make a list of what we need and always stick to it. That’s the most important part – sticking with the list!

If you want to start cutting your spending and save more money, you always have to look at what you’re buying. Be aware of where your money is going and make smart choices.

Saving money and living with one income is not easy but it’s also not impossible. I’ve learned that with just a few tweaks and changes in our spending habit, we can even end up saving more money than we anticipated.

Related post:

Would you like to transform your money mindset, to be better with your finances? but don’t know where to start? Then see the post below:

 

 

Unnecessary subscriptions

Have you ever fell into the trap of starting a trial and then you forgot to cancel your subscription at the end of the week or month? Me too! Companies prey on those who are forgetful! Don’t get me wrong, if I love their service and it’s something I need, I will absolutely pay!

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Sometimes, unnecessary subscriptions can be magazines, tv show/movie services, shopping and delivery services or educational programs. Analyse and decide if you really need each.

For example, I have decided that I no longer need to pay a membership fee to get certain products in two days. I’ve also decided that my subscription for Shutter was not necessary as I wasn’t watching it anymore! Therefore, I cancelled them both. Simple living to save money!

Related posts:

Would you like to cut back your expenses, to save money? but don’t know where to start? Then see the post below:

 

 

Stop being brand specific

For years, I was so caught up in buying certain brands for household and everyday items that I never even stopped to consider other cheaper alternatives.

I was just so used into buying them that I failed to notice why I was even buying these brands in the first place.

I mean, there was never really anything special about them.

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I just continued to purchase it because I didn’t want to bother looking for a much cheaper alternative (silly, right?)

In this case, it always pays to stop and think why you’re constantly buying this brand in the first place.

If you want to cut your spending and save money, switching from brand-specific products to generic ones can definitely make a difference in your savings!

Related posts:

Would you like to stick to a grocery budget? but don’t know where to start? Then see the post below:

 

 

Sky/Cable TV

When I was first learning how to live on a budget, Sky TV was one of the first expenses I cut.

The truth is, most of the time with Sky you’re paying for a bunch of channels you don’t watch. Streaming means you’re more likely to use what you pay for every month.

For example, we have:

Altogether, I pay about £25 for these channels compared to the £75 I used to pay for Sky. That’s a massive saving if £600 per year!

If you haven’t made the switch from Sky/cable to streaming yet, that’s 600 reasons to give it a shot.

Related post:

Would you like to cut back your expenses, to save money? but don’t know where to start? Then see the post below:

 

 

Eating out

Eating out eliminates the need to cook (something I hate to do) and can be relaxing after a hectic day. The trade-off is the price. Eating out can get pricey very quickly, especially if you eat out regularly.

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Not only can eating out suck up your hard-earned cash, most people tend to consume more calories when they are dining out than if they were eating at home. If you are going to eat out, drinking water instead of soda or alcohol will save you money.

Savings from limiting dining out can range from several hundred pounds/dollars to several thousand pounds/dollars each year if you eat out frequently.

 

Bottled Water

Bottled water is expensive! Spending £4-£5 on water every week when you could be using tap water/filtered water, will lead to savings that could be used towards something else. Buy this reusable bottle and use it at work too.

It is mind boggling how expensive bottled water can get. If you have a fridge that has filtered water then even better, if not, tap water is great too!.
If you are family of four getting through a 24 pack of water in less than a week is probably the norm. You could be saving £10 a week on just water.

 

Paying for gym membership

If you are like many people, you may have signed up for a membership at your local gym during January as the result of a New Year’s resolution. Only to realise by June, you are no longer going to the gym to workout.

Ditch the gym membership if you are not using it fully. This is one of the easiest things to stop buying to save money.

There are many ways you can get in a great workout at your home. You can take a bike ride at the local park, take a walk or hike. Some people say gym memberships are one of the most stupid things to waste money on.

 

Wasting Food

Wasting food can be a costly problem. If you cook in quantities that are more than one meal, having a plan for the left-overs is essential.

If you prepare a meal and throw half of it out, this could be costing you £10 or more a week. Eating everything you buy, will likely save you another £500 a year.

 

Buy in bulk

I started buying things in bulk and stopped buying small travel size bottles, individually wrapped toilet paper and paper towels. It always seems like a good deal to buy smaller portions of things but in reality, you end up saving much more money when you buy in bulk. That £1 for a roll of paper towel is way more expensive than if you bought in bulk.

I now shop at Costco’s for most of my household products. I refill bottles of shampoo, hand soap, detergent, body wash and dish soap. By buying in bulk and couponing I save money because buying a bottle of shampoo three times is more expensive than buying a bigger bottle once.

 

9 tips to save money – Final thought

So that’s it! These are the actions I recommend to save money. By putting this into into practice, you will definitely start to see the pounds/dollars adding up at the end of the month. And who doesn’t like extra money in their pocket?

What about you? Are you trying to achieve financial freedom? Are you working towards becoming debt free? Is there anything else you’d add to this list? Share with us in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Save Money board for later!

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How to Create a Grocery Budget – Simple Guide

Spending money on groceries is necessary, but are you spending too much? Grocery costs take up the majority of the expenses when it comes to most families.

Food is important, we need it to survive, but that doesn’t mean you cannot set a budget and shop for groceries at an affordable price.

Following a budget takes time and a little bit of planning ahead. Don’t expect to have a perfect food budget right away.

By doing a little bit of tracking each month you can figure out what you’re actually spending and come up with a realistic budget that you can follow!

In this post I’m going to explain everything you need to know on how to create a grocery budget for your family.

 

 

How to create a grocery budget you can stick to

I used to go to the grocery store, fill up my trolley of all the foods I wanted, and let myself be surprised at the register with the high price of groceries. This type of shopping was costing me a fortune!

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Over the past few years, I’ve been able to cut my family’s grocery costs in half with budgeting and planning.

One of the biggest factors that contributed to our drastic grocery savings has been my solid grocery budget.

 

Why do you need a grocery budget?

If you don’t have a budget to stick to, you find yourself spending big. And for some people, spending money you don’t even have – and then it goes on the old plastic friend, no thanks.

When you have a budget and a plan, you know exactly how much you can spend each week. You won’t overspend and risk leaving funds low for other expenses.

Related posts:

Read my post of cutting back your expenses below!

 

 

How much should your budget be?

Many experts suggest the average person spends £28 per week in the UK. So, if you have a 4-person family, your budget would be £112 a week. So, if possible, you should aim at this figure or there about.

Fresh food products

This is a great starting point but I think you’re more likely to be successful if you adapt this to fit your family’s specific circumstances. Here are some examples on what I mean:

  • Do you live in an area where groceries are very expensive? Your budget may need to be more.
  • Likewise, if you live in an area where groceries are less expensive, you can probably get by with less.
  • Do you have specific food allergies or restrictions in your family? That may increase your budget some.
  • Are you pregnant or nursing? You will probably need to spend a little more for extra food.

I grocery shop for my family of 6 – my partner, her two daughters, myself, plus I have my twins visit three time a week.

We eat pretty healthy with lots of produce and fresh ingredients. My twins don’t eat a ton of food because they’re only 6, so they’re grocery expenses are not much.

We shop mainly at Aldi, which is very cheap and has excellent products for the price.

We also shop and Farmfoods, Home Bargains and few other smaller stores.

So, because of all these things, my grocery budget is £120 per week.

All things considered; it is much less than we were spending on groceries before we started sticking to a budget.

Should your budget be the same as mine? Probably not.

You’ll need to consider your family’s needs in determining your budget. I know that’s not the cut and dry answer that you’re probably looking for, but it’s realistic and it will actually work.

Related posts:

Interested in finding out how living a Frugal lifestyle can save you thousands? See my post below:

 

 

Create a budget that challenges you

I encourage you to keep your budgeting attainable but challenging. Start by cutting back 5 or 10 pound/dollars each week. You’ll know you’ve hit your just right budget when it’s tough but still feeling possible.

Just sticking to a budget is sure to save you money. But the tighter your budget is, the more money you’ll save.

 

Know what your spending

You don’t need to carry a calculator around the store and be super precise down to the penny when you’re putting items in your cart.

Here’s the secret… Overestimate!

If you put something in your cart that cost £2.50, call it £3. Then if the next item rounds up to £4, your running total is £7. Keep a running total going in your head of what your spending.

It’s important that you always round up. You don’t want to round down because that will cause you to go over your budget. By rounding up, you’ll come in a little bit under budget. And that is a beautiful thing!

 

 

Track your grocery budget

It’s really important to keep track of all the money you spend! Keep all your receipts and add up every penny you spend.

I put all of my receipts into an envelope that I keep in the draw. On the outside of the envelope I add up how much I’ve spent so I know if I’m getting close to my weekly budget goal. I can easily check this to see how much I have left to spend.

 

How to Create a Grocery Budget – Final thought

Now you know everything you need to know to start budgeting your grocery shopping. Set the right grocery budget for your family and make sure it’s challenging but possible. Then, track your spending to make sure you’re sticking to your budget.

Do you have any tips for creating grocery budget that you can stick to?

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Save Money board for for later!

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frugal

Frugal Living Lifestyle – 11 Habits of Frugal People

Have you ever wondered what makes frugal people tick? What is it about their brains that are just hardwired differently from the rest of us? And do you want to see what you can do to be as frugal as they are?

But what I think is even better than having these Holy Grail of answers from frugal people themselves is that there is no one answer that is right. Some things work, some don’t.

But the biggest thing that separates those highly frugal people from the rest of us is that they keep trying. They keep moving.

Here are some frugal habits that have the power to save you thousands if you commit to sticking to them. Implement one or two habits at a time until you’ve mastered them all! You’ll be amazed at how much money you can save.

 

 

What is a Frugal Living Lifestyle?

Frugal living is a way to get more for your money and making it go further by spending wisely and buying only the things you need. Frugal people are always finding ways to save more money and avoid waste by using what they already have. It’s about smart money management.

So, what kinds of things do frugal people do that makes them frugal?

 

Set out a plan and then live the plan

It is crucial that you have a plan for your money. Some people (like myself) would call this a budget. Because a budget at its most basic is simply a spending plan.

You need to know where all your money goes! But before you even look at where it is going. You need to have a plan about where you want it to go.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • What are your financial priorities?
  • What are your goals?
  • What is important to you?

Once you have answered those questions, look at what you are spending money on and if that aligns with your money plan? If not, you need to make some changes.

Second point, once you have the plan you need to make sure that you are then doing the second half and living it! So, tracking your expenses, checking in weekly, consider making the switch to a cash budget, whatever you need to do to stay on top of your money– just do it!

Plus, hopefully, there will be something in here you can take and use to supercharge your frugal life!

Related posts:

Read my post on how to set SMART achievable goals below!

 

 

Plan your purchases and pay in cash

Stop impulse shopping all of your money away.

Think about the things that you need ahead of time.

Talk about all of your large purchases with your spouse.  Decide together what is a large purchase for your family.

save-for-future

For us, it’s £100 or more. Whenever we’re going to make a big purchase, we think about it and shop around for as long as possible (at least a month). We save money by waiting for a good price.

Sometimes it turns out that we don’t actually need that big thing that we were shopping for. And then we save a lot!

When you do decide to make a large purchase, make sure you can afford it — and that means paying for it in cash. Never go into debt to buy stuff you don’t need. It’s just not worth it.

 

 

Keep track of prices of items

It’s important to familiarise yourself with the prices of the items you purchase on a regular basis.

By doing this you will know whether an item is on sale or not, or how good the sale is.

How would you know what the usual price is?

Grocery prices can vary by location, so your best option is to keep track of the prices yourself.

Keep a little note book on you, jot the prices down of the items that you regularly purchase. This way you will soon memorise the prices.

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Click on the links above to find out more about saving money through these sites

Also, take a picture on your phone of any items for sale, so you can compare when you get home.

You might feel a little silly doing this at first, but you will soon see the benefit in doing so, when you see the savings you make.

Of course, if you’re actually buying the item, you can save the receipt to record the price.

After a period of time, the prices will soon stick in you mind and you will know what’s a good deal and what’s not from the top of your head.

 

Utilise vouchers and deals

Honey is a great website for finding vouchers from thousands of retailers online.

I have saved money when making purchases on clothes through Honey on several occasions.

Also, Latest Deals is great website for bargains and deals.

While saving money you also earn points though the above sites, which can them be redeemed into a giftcard of your choice.

These sites are no brainer!

Want to find out more about these two sites? here is my posts for Honey and Latest Deals.

Related info:

Cashback sites are a great way to save money online, you can earn cash back on your purchase you were going to make anyway.

 

 

Simplify your food

One of the highest impact frugal habits is to cut down on your food costs.

Try tracking your expenses for a little while and you’ll probably find that you are throwing away a ton of money on take-out and convenience food. And even though it probably tastes good and makes your day a little bit easier, when you see the huge effect it has on your finances it clearly isn’t worth it.

The easiest way to save money on food is to make your own as often as possible. This does not mean you need to be an expert chef. Just learn one meal at a time.

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A great way to be intentional about your food costs is to meal plan. I struggled with meal planning for a while, so I came up with a meal planning alternative that works just as well.

For maximum savings, make sure that you set a grocery budget and actually stick to it!

If you have leftover food and you’re struggling to think of a meal you can make from it, then Supercooks is a website that helps you re-create recipes from leftovers.

Just list out the ingredients and let SuperCooks tell you what to cook! Never again will you have to stare at those leftovers in the fridge and wonder what to do with it.

Related posts:

Read my post of cutting back your expenses below!

Read my post on how to save money with groceries below!

 

 

Buy in bulk

Bulk shopping isn’t just for big families.

We shop at Costco and stock up when we can. There’s a lot there that can benefit anyone or any size family.

We buy all sorts from there when we visit and it lasts us a long time. We buy our eggs, frozen veggies, meats (that we can freeze), spices, and olive oil from Costco.

Costco is also great for paper goods like paper towels, toilet paper, and tissues.

Bulk buying is great for saving money in the long run.

Here are some products with a long shelf life:

Disposables/Cleaning:

  • Toilet Rolls
  • Microfibre cloth
  • Toilet bleach
  • Laundry detergents
  • Garbage liners, dishwashing liquid
  • Hand wash
  • Diapers, wipes and milk powder
  • Sanitary towels
  • Shampoo, body wash, moisturisers
  • Over the counter pain killers also have a long expiry
  • Batteries – can come in handy

Groceries:

  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Dried Lentils
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Salt/Sugar
  • Cereal, peanut butter, jam
  • oil
  • Frozen food of your choice – vegetables, berries
  • Canned food – baked beans, tuna, soup, carrot/peas
  • Plain/Self Raising flour

Buy these items in bulk when there is a price drop and watch the pennies you save mount up.

 

 

Fix it, instead of throwing away

People in general, seem too quick to throw things away, I use to be the same.

Instead of being one of those people, try to fix or refurbish what you can.

YouTube is a great place for videos that show you how to fix and refurbish just about anything.

One person’s rubbish is another’s treasure. Just because something is old, broken or worn out, that doesn’t mean it’s at the end of its life.

Give it some TLC, work some magic and give it some more life if possible.

You never know, you might find yourself a new hobby you enjoy!

 

Used goods

Before purchasing something new, always browse for used items beforehand.

There is some great stuff out there, and there are more sources than ever online. You can find quality used stuff of just about anything on the internet

Ebay and Facebook Marketplace are just a couple of those available, that are great resources.

You can also buy used items on Amazon. When you’re looking at an item, check below the main price for it to say “new & used from”. Click that link and it will send you to the listing of the used versions of that item.

There are many ways to buy good used goods, when you think beyond only buying brand new.

 

Just say no

Don’t be afraid to say no to your friends and family when they invite you to an expensive activity. It’s a smart idea to talk to your friends about money and your goals. When you’re invited to do something that it out of your price range – or simply a waste of money – just say no. Offer an affordable alternative. If your friends really want to spend time with you, they’ll be happy to be with you without spending so much. And if they just really want to do that expensive thing, let them do it without you.

 

Create an emergency Fund

Frugal people are already on top of their finances, so it makes sense they’d have an emergency fund.

It doesn’t matter how much money you make, what’s important is to save 3-6 months’ worth of expenses in case of an emergency and you can’t work.

 

Never stop looking for Frugal ways to save money

Our last frugal habit is to keep looking for new money saving methods.

The first step is to know exactly where your money is going. Know exactly what your current costs are. Then, be constantly looking for new ways to lower your expenses.

Ask yourself how you can do things better. Talk about it with your spouse regularly.

 

Frugal Living Lifestyle – Final thought

Money is a tool. Learning to live well on less positions you in a place of power over your life and finances. Don’t be afraid to make changes to your life.

Maybe sign up for a few money saving apps. Check Google for possible coupons before you hit, ‘Buy’. Or maybe it’s finally making a spending plan for your money.

Wherever you start, the most important part is that you start!

I’d love to hear from you, if you’ve got any super frugal tips, I’d love to hear them.

Please comment below.

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Save Money board for for later!

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How to Cut Back on Monthly Expenses – 10 Tips & Simple Guide to Save Money!

We all like the finer things in life, so talking about cutting down expenses is a conversation no one wants to have.

We don’t want to be discussing cutting back financially, because it feels like you’re failing with money.

But that’s not the case.

If you’re struggling with money, the wisest move you can make is a plan to cut down everyday expenses.

If you don’t, then your situation will never improve and you will never lift the burden of struggling financially.

Unless you fall into some major luck by winning the lottery, or you’re left a big sum of money by a relative, your financial situation will worsen without doing so. If you’re relying on that happening, you will most likely be waiting forever.

In order to avoid financial ruin, there is nothing wrong with making financial cutbacks where possible.

You might not even be struggling financially, perhaps you’re just fed up of not be able to save enough money to move house or a make big purchase you’ve always wanted, or you’re just fed up of living from payday to payday.

I believe there is always a way to save money.

Here is a simple guide on how you can cut back your expenses and save a lot of money in the process.

 

 

Determine your financial goals

Most people want to reduce their monthly expenses because they want to save and accomplish more with their money. Knowing your goals can help you align your budget around achieving them.

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The best part is your goals can be anything you want. Perhaps you want to pay off credit card debt, save money to purchase a car, or build an emergency fund. The more specific you can get, the easier it will be to break down your goals into manageable steps.

Ask yourself – what do I want my finances to look like a year from now? But starting today, you’ll begin planting the seeds for a successful financial future.

Top tip:

Want help setting goals? See my post for setting SMART financial goals:

Want help with what method would be best for you for tackling debt? See my post below:

 

 

Eat at home as much as possible

Eating out is a nice treat for every now and again, but when you get into the habit of dining out because you can’t be bother to cook, it becomes and expense game.

After a long day a work, when you’re tired, it’s just the easier option. I’ve done it before, we’ve all done it at one point of time. The thought of cooking after a stressful day is a chore, but there are ways around this.

Batch cooking food is a great way to give yourself a break from the kitchen. For example, you could cook a batch of meals at the weekend and then freeze them. Each day you will then have a meal prepared without having to cook from scratch.

I do this with my workout meals for the week, it saves me a lot of time.

For a family of four, just by eating out a few times a month, you are talking about a few hundred pounds/dollars per month, if not more.

Top tip:

Supercooks is a website that helps you re-create recipes from leftovers.

Just list out the ingredients and let SuperCooks tell you what to cook! Never again will you have to stare at those leftovers in the fridge and wonder what to do with it.

 

 

Sky/cable

This year we decided to cut or Sky/cable, by doing this we are saving £50 per month.

I thought getting rid of this would be brutal, and I would miss it, but that’s not the case at all.

Most of the time the TV was just on as background noise, we only actually sit down and watch TV for about two hours daily in the week, and a bit longer at weekends.

You can cut back your package to save money, or get rid of it all together and use a subscription service such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. I have both of these; they are excellent value for money.

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You might find this work out to be much cheaper for you.

There is always new TV shows and movies being added and the back catalogue on just these pair are huge. You will always discover something new to watch!

These are just two available, there is also Hulu, Disney+ and much more if you search online.

You are never tied in to a subscription service such as these, they can be cancelled at anytime you like.

 

Gym membership

I have been guilty of this, having a gym membership I never used.

The money would be coming out my bank account every month, while I’m trying to convince myself I would start to use it.

You need to get rid of it – ASAP

If you haven’t been using it regularly and consistently for months on end you are not going to do it now.

According to This Is Money, Brits waste a collective £25billion a month each year on subscriptions they don’t use or want, and a massive 12% of that is on gym memberships alone!

That’s a whole lot of money!

If you don’t use your gym membership, look at alternative ways of exercise instead. I have invested in resistant bands and an exercise bike. I prefer this way, and there are plenty of workout tutorials on YouTube to follow.

If your finances are tight, then this one has to go!

 

Branded food/drinks

People love brands names, but in my opinion, the majority of the time, you are paying just for the name!

I have ditched name products and shop at Aldi and sometimes Lidl majority of time. There are alternative items of food/drink, are just as good if not better in some cases.

The money you save week in week out is massive!

The Same goes with clothes, I use to buy brand and designer all the time. Not anymore, there are cheaper alternatives out there, such as Boohoo, Primark and ASOS where you can look smart for cheaper.

As long as I look good and feel comfortable in my clothes and shoes, that’s all that matters to me, not what branded name I’m wearing.

Top tip:

See my post on cutting back grocery spending:

 

 

Resist impulse purchases

Have you ever walked into a shop to get something small, such as shampoo and you ended up leaving with a bunch of items that weren’t on your shopping list?

Don’t feel bad if you said yes. It’s called impulse spending and marketers are really good at encouraging consumers to make impulse purchases. This is an unplanned decision to buy a product (or service) right before the purchase is made.

Nearly 78.2% of Brits have succumbed to the temptation to impulse online shopping, according to a recent survey. While it might seem like an impulse buy here and there is harmless, it can sabotage your goals such as paying off debt, building your emergency fund, or saving for a large purchase.

Top tip:

Want to know more information on how to complete a no spend month and save a huge chunk of money? See the below post:

 

 

Vouchers/coupons

Take advantage of coupons/vouchers to save money.

Honey is a great website for finding vouchers from thousands of retailers online. I have saved money when making purchases on clothes through Honey on several occasions.

Also, Latest Deals is great website for bargains and deals.

While saving money you also earn points though the above sites, which can them be redeemed into a giftcard of your choice.

These sites are no brainer!

Want to find out more about these two sites? here is my posts for Honey and Latest Deals.

 

 

Cashback shopping sites

I use cashback shopping sites such as TopCashback or Quidco for my online purchases. Cashback sites are a way for you to save money every time you shop online at one of its partner retailers using a link from the cashback website.

A percentage of the purchase is returned to you as a cash back rebate when you complete your purchase. Cashback shopping sites offer cash back at thousands of stores and they are free to use.

cashback

I use both TopCashback and Quidco to shop online and like them both. I usually check to see which of the cashback sites will give me more money back on my purchase and then shop through that cashback site for my specific purchase.

Rakuten is a great cash back site for those over in the US. In addition, you’ll find thousands of coupons and promo codes from Rakuten. Every quarter Rakuten mails you a cheque or PayPal payment with the cash back you received from shopping online through them.

 

Cancel subscription services that you don’t use

No matter how closely you pay attention to your monthly bills, I’m sure if you take another look, you’d find at least one subscription that you’re not using. You may even discover a late fee you’ve forgotten about!

I recently went through all my monthly subscriptions and memberships and noticed there was a few I didn’t need anymore. Now the only monthly subscription I pay for is Netflix, Spotify and Amazon Prime.

 

Lower your mobile phone bill/cancel your landline

How much are you paying per month for your phone bill?

If you can’t afford to pay for a phone in full, it’s too much. There are cheaper alternative plans out there, or consider getting on a family plan with your close family or friends. That way you’re saving money as a team.

And call your provider to see if there’s any way you can reduce your monthly plan. There’s no harm in asking. The worst that can happen is if they say “no”.

But what if the answer is “YES”?

 

How to cut back on monthly expenses – Final thought

Whilst these items individually may not seem like they can make big changes to your monthly budget, making small changes can, in fact, help you to save a few hundred extra dollars each month.

Those extra pounds/dollars can really help you make a dent in your debts.

Don’t be discouraged by having to cut back on expenses.

It’s better to look at your long-term goals and use that as your motivation to keep pushing forward to your financial freedom.

One thing I have realised is that you should never turn your nose up at small savings because eventually, they do add up to make a considerable difference.

Let me know what tips you have for cutting down on expenses!

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save-money

How to Save Money on Online Shopping – 8 Tried and Tested Tips!

 If you’re someone like me, online shopping makes life so much easier. I don’t like busy places and being around crowds, so I shop online as much as I can.

I find shopping online is cheaper most of the time, and I especially love to use this method in the build up to the Christmas period. This is because I don’t have to leave my house, I can shop in my comfy clothes and I can avoid the crowds, particularly during during the Black Friday sales.

I almost always find just as good of deals, if not better, while online rather than going to the store.

Most of us shop online at least part of the time. Make sure you’re getting the best deal by following these 8 tips.

 

 

Cashback shopping sites

I use cashback shopping sites such as TopCashback or Quidco for my online purchases. Cashback sites are a way for you to save money every time you shop online at one of its partner retailers using a link from the cashback website.

A percentage of the purchase is returned to you as a cash back rebate when you complete your purchase. Cashback shopping sites offer cash back at thousands of stores and they are free to use.

cashback

I use both TopCashback and Quidco to shop online and like them both. I usually check to see which of the cashback sites will give me more money back on my purchase and then shop through that cashback site for my specific purchase.

Rakuten is a great cash back site for those over in the US. In addition, you’ll find thousands of coupons and promo codes from Rakuten. Every quarter Rakuten mails you a cheque or PayPal payment with the cash back you received from shopping online through them.

 

 

Rewards sites

Save money by shopping online using rewards sites such as and Swagbuck or PrizeRebel. With these type of sites you can earn points that can be redeemed for gift cards. Rewards sites also offer multiple ways to earn money or rewards by doing tasks such as searching the web, filling out surveys, watching videos, playing games, shopping, printing out coupons or completing a variety of other activities.

Once you accrue enough points you can redeem them for an eGift card for various popular retailers, or a PayPal deposit.

Top tip:

Read my post on how to save money with groceries below!

 

 

Deals and promo sites

Deal sites help you find promo codes, deals and coupons so you can save more on your purchases. One deal site that I often use is Honey. I have saved a fair bit of cash when using the Honey extension while shopping online.

Honey have people working constantly to keep promo codes and discounts current. And on Honey you’ll find unique discount codes for popular retailers such as Boohoo, River Island, Pretty Little Thing and Topshop.

shopping-Online-for-Clothes

Other deals sites that are popular include Latest Deals (UK only). On this site you will find deals, coupons, promotions and competitions for thousands of online retailers!

And another site that regularly have great deals are Groupon. This site offer different deals each day on activities, travel, goods and services in a city for discounted prices ranging from 40 percent to 90 percent off, but the deals are only offered for 24-72 hours. This is a great way to try out a new business, purchase an activity for a date night or find activities for the family that are less expensive.

Top tip:

Read my post on how to live a frugal life and save money below!

 

 

Deals on Amazon

If you shop on Amazon regularly, you’ll want to check out the Amazon Warehouse Deals where you will find discounts on open-box and pre-owned products such as computers and accessories, televisions, cell phones, power tools, grocery, toys, games, kitchen and dining and so much more.

And keep an eye on Amazon’s deals page, which features hour-long lightning sales and price-reduced items from around the site.

Many products have the option to choose Subscribe & Save on Amazon, which will save you up to 15% and includes free shipping. After your products are delivered to you, you can cancel Subscribe & Save anytime or skip an order.

Another way to save money on shipping is to sign up for Amazon Prime. With Amazon Prime, you get free, next day shipping, as well as exclusive access to movies, TV shows, ad-free music, Kindle books, original audio series and unlimited photo storage. You can try out Amazon Prime for free by signing up for the 30-day Prime free trial here. Right after your free trial is up you can cancel it.

 

Price Drop Alerts

Keep items on your wish list in your online shopping carts because some companies, such as Amazon, will send you an email alert or notification in your account when a price drops on an item that is in your online shopping cart or on your wish list.

While shopping online, as you see items you want, place the item in your online shopping cart and stay logged in. If the price drops, you will get notified. Not all retailers use price drop alerts, but it is quickly catching on with retailers.

ExcitedOnlineShopper

If you shop online a lot and don’t want to pay full price for items, Shoptagr is a free service that notifies you in real time when the price of an item drops, right down to your preferred size and colour.  You simply browse online and save products you like to your wish and watch list on Shoptagr.

Then you will be automatically notified when the items you selected go on sale, are about to sell out or if they come back in stock again. And if it’s the holiday season or if your birthday is coming up, Shoptagr has a feature where you can create and share lists with friends and family to make sure you receive the gifts you want.

Top tip:

Read my post on how to complete a no spend month and save money below!

 

 

Compare Prices Before You Purchase

Shopping online makes it super easy to compare prices from store to store. You can have several tabs up from many different websites.

There are also a few online tools that can help you compare prices. 

You can also Google a specific product that you’re looking for see prices from several retailers right next to each other. Google aims to show you the lowest prices too, so that is helpful.

CamelCamelCamel is a price tracker for all of the products on Amazon. It will help you see how the prices of those products have changed over time, so you can decide if the sale price is actually a good deal.

This can help you even if you’re not buying from Amazon. Amazon sells pretty much every product under the sun, so you can look up the product that you’re wanting to buy on CamelCamelCamel to see what the price history of that item has been on Amazon and then compare the price history to the sale price you’re seeing for that item on any store’s website.

 

Sign up for Emails from Retailers

For those stores you love to shop at regularly, sign up for emails from those retailers. Not only will they send you a 10-20% off discount code for signing up for their emails, but they will regularly send you promo codes and discounts to your inbox.

 

Save Money on Shipping

You may find an item on sale, but it may cost a lot to ship it to you. If the item you purchase isn’t shipped free to your house, see if you can ship it to the store and then pick it up there. Many stores have these options to get free shipping to the store. I do this often to save money on shipping and will pick up my purchased items while running other errands.

 

How to Save Money on Online Shopping – Final thought

These are only a handful of ways to save money when shopping online. By putting these 8 tips into practice, you can save money online.

The key to saving money while you’re shopping is in not buying anything extra just because it’s on sale. Stick to your spending plan. As you’re shopping online for the things that you do need, use these tips to save money.

Remember to compare prices, get cash back, earn though rewards sites, use a coupon through sites such as Honey, and consider signing up for Amazon Prime if you don’t have it already.

This simple guide has helped me save money, what tips do you have to save money when shopping online?

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Save Money Online



Finances

How to Organise Your Finances – Easy to Follow Guide!

We all know we have to “be financially responsible,” but what does that even mean?  Of course, we want to have complete and total control over our finances, but sometimes it’s hard to know where to start.

There are so many moving parts to having a healthy financial system, and it’s far easier to ignore the mess.  The problem with this is that we end up scrambling to clean up the inevitable financial problems that come along, instead of being prepared with the tools to minimise their effects on our lives.

You’re about to learn how to easily organise your finances at home, and keep up a healthy relationship with your money this year.

We’re going over five action steps to wrangle the mess and get you on the path to managing your money the right way.

Organising your finances is going to reduce clutter, reduce the number of times you have to think about it, and reduce your stress most of all.

If you’re not where you want to be financially or if you’re feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, or confused about how to manage your money, there is likely one thing holding you back: organisation.

Organising your financial impact can have a huge impact on everything your money touches. It will save you time, frustration and money! In this post I’m going to organise your finances.

 

 

 How to organise your finances

Organisation is vital to your financial success. It’s actually the one thing that will have the biggest impact on correcting your financial mistakes and setting yourself up for a successful future.

If your finances are kind of messy right now, cleaning them up can sound like a really hard, scary thing.

I used to be a complete financial mess.

Actually, mess is probably too gentle a word. Disaster is more like it.

I was spending way more money than I made, mostly on stuff I didn’t know that I didn’t need. I was completely irresponsible when it came to things that weren’t fun, like paying my bills on time. And I was too terrified of my debt to even think about it.

I thought my problem was that I didn’t make enough money.

I was wrong.

Finances

My real problem was that I wasn’t looking at the big picture. In fact, looking at the big picture wasn’t even an option because my finances were so unorganised, I didn’t have a big picture to look at.

It was when I finally got myself organised that everything changed for me.

And you know what? A few years later, I’m pretty damn good with my money. I have things like a savings account, a retirement plan, and have destroyed massive chunk of my debt.

You know what else? It wasn’t painful. In fact, once I adjusted to a different way of doing things, I kind of liked it.

So, if looking at those numbers and getting your finances organised is something that scares your pants off, I totally get it.

But truthfully, it’s not as hard as you think it will be. And the benefits are totally worth it!

 

How can organising my finances help you?

Organising your finances will allow you to reach your full potential.

And on the flip side, being unorganised will block you from having all the information so you won’t even be able to know what your full potential is!

 

Organisation will help you reach your financial goals

It will be harder to set goals and when you do, they’ll be more like vague things you want in the future instead of clear, pinpointed goals based on actual information.

Knowing exactly where you stand financially and exactly where you’re headed will make it easy to set goals in stages that lead you to reaching your big goals over time.

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When your finances are unorganised, you might not even know that you’re missing out on ways that could be doing better. You might think you’re doing just fine.

But organising your finances will show you your weak spots and where you need to focus.

In taking the time to get organised, you will probably find that with a few tweaks you could be doing WAY better at managing your money.

Top tip

See my post for setting financial goals:

 

 

How do I organise my finances?

It is so much simpler than it sounds!

Here are 5 steps that helped me!

 

Always look at the bigger picture

First, you need to take a step back from the day-to-day and look at the big picture of your finances.  How much money do you have? How much do you owe? What is your net worth?

If you’re afraid to crunch these numbers because you don’t want to see the big picture of the financial mess you made, I get it.

I felt the exact same way.

But you’ve got to do this step if you ever want to fix it. And you’ll probably be surprised to find out that it’s not actually as bad as you think.

 

Create a monthly budget

This is so important. You cannot just make one budget and use it again month after month. Income fluctuates. Expenses fluctuate.

A budget that is specific to the month ahead is essential.

Determine how much money is going to come in that month.

Then allocate each of those pounds/dollars to a certain purpose. Pay your essential bills and then filter the rest toward debt or some form of savings.

Top tip

See my post for setting financial goals:

 

 

Get on the automatic payments train

Why have to waste time and brain power pulling out your wallet, check book and computer several times a month, when you can set it and forget it?

Putting your bills and savings on autopilot is the easiest way to guarantee you won’t miss a payment and incur late fees.

Finances

In this day and age, where nearly everything can be automated, it’s silly not to have at least your fixed bills paid automatically.  I’m talking about rent/mortgage, utilities, phone, insurance, your baseline bills that 100% need to be paid.

Most bank accounts have the option to schedule bill payments online automatically. If your bank doesn’t, the companies you are paying will most likely give you that option.  You’ll be able to schedule the auto-pays online or by phone.

Don’t forget to “auto-pay yourself” first, and automatically transfer some cash into your savings account!

 

Always pay yourself first

Lots of people think that “pay yourself first” only applies to business owners.  I actually thought this too!

Here’s what “pay yourself first” really means: The second each payment to you clears in your account, you automatically take out a percentage to SAVE.  That’s it!  You are giving 5-15% of your take-home pay to YOU, right off the top, before paying anything else.

Why do this? You’re telling yourself that YOU MATTER.  You, and your future, matter to you.  They matter more than whatever dumb thing you were probably going to buy with that relatively small amount of money.

The easiest way to do this is to set up an automatic transfer into a savings account.

Finances

If you are totally new to saving, start with 3% or 5%, and increase that amount after a few weeks, once you feel like you can save a little more.

Right now, it may not be as easy to save, I know it isn’t for me. But, every little bit counts.

Make sure to go through your credit card and bank statements, and cancel or suspend any unneeded subscriptions or memberships. That will help put more money into the pot.

 

Create a financial improvement plan

Now it’s time to make some important decisions:

How are you going to save?

How are you going to cut back?

Where do you want to be this time next year?

What about in 5 years?

Ask yourself the hard questions. It will be worth it in the long run.

And unfortunately, it’s not a one-time thing. Instead, it’s something that you have to work on continually.

I can tell you though that this process is hardest in the beginning and it gets much easier with time.

 

How to organise your finances – Final thought

It’s important to have some level of organisation in all areas of your life, and finances are no exception.  Once you get the hang of it, you’ll see that all it takes is a little maintenance only 12 times a year, to keep your money working for you.

I hope you stick with your new Financial Organisation action plan.  Having a financially responsible home doesn’t have to be hard.  I’m rooting for you!

It’s time to improve your financial life and organise your finances.

Start by looking at the big picture, create a monthly budget and make a financial improvement plan.

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Finance/Save Money board for for later!

Finances

 



How To Do a No Spend Month – Simple Guide to Save Money!

Everyone loves a challenge. Especially one that involves not spending money, right?

Not really? but what if the challenge could save you a lot of money? Then, of course, you would be interested!

Don’t let the name no spend month scare you because it can be so beneficial to your finances.

A no spend month is a smart, efficient way to recover from overspending, to knock out debt quickly, or to give yourself a boost toward your savings goal.

I know the idea of doing anything for a whole month sounds really challenging. Especially something like not spending money for a whole month. But trust me, it is not as impossible as it sounds.

Here’s what this no spend challenge means, and what it doesn’t mean.

 

 

What is a no spend month and what are the benefits?

A no spend month is just what it sounds like. It’s a month that you try not to spend any unnecessary money to help you save as much money as possible.

This is a great way to help jump-start a savings goal or if you are paying down some debt. In both these situations, any little money you can find to put toward your goal is super beneficial.

No spending challenges are also great all year round.

Or maybe you just realise that you need to reset your spending habits because it’s been out of control lately.

Either way a no spend month can be really helpful for any and all your financial goals and you should strive to at least do one-month long challenge a year where you don’t spend any money.

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As great as a no spend month can be for your money, it honestly isn’t that fun or easy.

In fact, the first time I did a no spending month I failed miserably at it. It seemed so easy to do but that was definitely not the case.

Since then I have been able to not only successfully complete the challenge but thrive from doing a no spending month challenge.

I figured out how to easily make a no spend challenge a walk in the park for me and my family.

It’s even become a sort of standard to not spend if it’s not necessary.

Here are the proven steps you can take to do a no spend month-long challenge and be successful!

 

The rules

You’ve probably heard of a spending freeze, which is where you don’t spend any money at all for a set amount of time.

A no spend challenge is actually a different thing.

For a no spend challenge you can still buy some things – if you absolutely need them.

You have to feed your family, so you can buy groceries.

You need to be able to drive your car to work or school, so you can put petrol etc in the car.

Of course, you need to keep paying your bills too.

SML-11-Simple-Budgeting-Tips-From-The-Financially-Savvy-1

The point is that during a no spend challenge you don’t buy anything you don’t need.

You don’t need a new outfit, or concert tickets, or take-out food. Those are clear no’s.

There may be a few questionable decisions throughout the challenge. Does your child really need a haircut this month? Can you hold off on certain purchases? In those situations, it’ll be up to you to decide.

But basically, you are only buying essentials.

So, a no spend month is simply when you keep the challenge going for the whole month long.

 

How to make it work

I’ll be honest. There were a few times that I tried a no spend month and failed.

But I’ve learned from my mistakes.

I want you to benefit from my experience so you can be successful with your no spend month.

Here are some tips to rock your no spend month.

 

Set a goal

You have to know what you’re working for.

Where will the money you’re saving go?

This is absolutely essential for your success.

SetGoals

Set a very specific goal for the money you save.

Then, keep it top of mind.

Write it everywhere.

Put a post-it on the bathroom mirror or the refrigerator (or both!).

Most importantly, put a reminder in your wallet. Look at it before you whip out your money. It may make you rethink your purchase.

Top tip

See my post for setting financial goals:

 

 

Don’t do it alone

Get your family involved.

Set that specific goal as a family. Talk about your goal together and get excited about it.

If your children are old enough to understand the concept of not buying things (4 or 5, maybe even 3), talk about the goal regularly and make sure they know that you’ll need their help.

Then, when you’re in a store and they ask you for a lollipop or a toy, remind them that you’re not buying anything you don’t need right now because you want to reach your exciting goal.

Make sure your spouse is sticking to the challenge too. Talk about it together and keep each other accountable.

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Another great idea that’s worked really well for me is to do your no spend month alongside a friend.

Find a frugal friend who would also like to save money this month. Make sure this is someone you’re comfortable talking about money with.

When you’re tempted to spend, message your friend and ask them if you really need that thing you want to buy. You can even send them a picture.

And make sure to celebrate your successes together when you stick to your goal.

Saving money is so much more fun when you’re not doing it alone.

Top tip

See my beginners guide to Frugal living:

 

 

Avoid temptation

Be smart about the choices you make during this time.

Don’t go to a major store to walk around. Avoid the shopping, unless if for essentials. Do not window shop.

Don’t log into Amazon to look something up.

It’s so much easier to stay on track when you put yourself in a position to succeed.

 

Track your savings

Make sure you keep track of your progress throughout the month.

When you defeat temptation, track it. Write down the item you decided not to buy and how much you saved by not buying it.

When you find a way not to buy something you usually do, track that too.

You want to make sure you know exactly how much you saved at the end of the month.

 

How to do no spend month – are you up for it?

You’re going to feel amazing when you stick to your no spend month challenge and reach your goal. All you have to do is make sure you don’t buy anything you don’t need. Can you do that for one month? I absolutely believe that you can!

Set a solid, specific goal before you start. Get your family involved and excited. Partner with a friend who can keep you accountable. Stay away from the places that tempt you. And track your progress so you know exactly how much you saved when you’re done.

Get ready to save big!

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Save Money board for for later!

No-Spend-month