It’s January – the month of resolutions! The month of “I shalls” and “I wills” and (if you’re like me) resolutions to sort out your life! And where best to start than with your finances?
Enter the accountant in me to save the day! This week’s Money Monday is going to be to specifically address some common financial goals which we tend to set at new year. Namely SAVE MORE, SPEND LESS, STOP BUYING SHIT I DONT NEED, GET MY 5-A DAY & DRINK MORE WATER. Sound familiar?
Well here are a few tips from your resident beauty blogger accountant, to help you deal with these shouty resolutions. TIME TO SORT OUT MY LIFE.
First up, let’s start with the boring one. The one that your parents would tell you to do. The one we all know deep down inside..
1) Put something aside regularly, whether it’s £5 or £100.
Regardless of what you’re saving for, if you put something away regularly, you’re more likely to stick to your savings plan throughout the year!
What has really helped me is an automatic transfer from my bank acccount which moves a fixed amount of cash into my savings every month. I dont know about you, but my will-power is very low – if I have it, I’ll probably spend it so if it’s out of sight at the beginning of the month, it’s safe!
There are some great loyalty-saver accounts out there which give you a bonus (and high interest rates) if you save monthly for 12 months. For example, with First Direct, if you make 12 monthly deposits you get a 6% interest rate! Not bad given that the majority of savings accounts are less than 3% these days.
Not yet employed? Don’t forget you’re entitled to receive any interest tax-free so apply for a tax-free status on your savings!
Phew, now the finance is over, let’s talk about the frivolous one.
2) Have it all! Find ways to compromise.
If you can’t give up that monthly trip to the nail salon, the Dominos 2 for Tuesday or the weekly Friday-night hurrah, then don’t. You don’t have to give it all up if you can find a way to compromise.
And there are so so so many ways to go about it. Let’s take the Dominos example:
- Firstly, can you find an alternative? Will an oven-cooked pizza from Tesco fill that Domino’s shaped hole in your life? What about if you made your own?
- If no, can you find a cheaper way to get your fix? And that’s mainly participating in some extreme coupon-ing (a real TV show!) and shopping around before you buy. Dominos have loads of those vouchers which get dropped through your letter box – perhaps that 50% off voucher will work out cheaper?
- Last case scenario – you sacrifice something for another. I hate this one, I want it all! But we have to prioritise right? So if you have your weekly Dominos, how about you compensate by bringing in your lunch instead of going to Pret?
These sound like some big changes and if you hate change (or have already ticked all the boxes above – gold star for you) there are some smaller changes you can make which will make an impact.
3) Shop smart – Be cost effective where you can
That means no buying single packs of crisps for 60p when you can get a multipack for £1. You know what I’m talking about – step away from the vending machine!
If you’ve got the storage space, would it be cheaper if you bought household essentials in bulk? Wholesalers (like Costco) are no longer just for industry people only – get stocking up on that loo roll!
This time last year I was going through a juicing phase and wrote a post on how to get cheaper fruit and veg and there are plenty of simple things you can do to avoid falling foul of the clever tactics that supermarkets employ to FOOL YOU.
Ideas? How ABOUTTTT:
- Write a list of stuff to buy before you go and stick to it.
- No shopping from the last minute row of treats lined up by the checkout queue.
- Drop a brand level if you can’t taste the difference – or at least drop a brand level on stuff you don’t eat – like dishwasher tablets or tissues.
4) Get a sideline ..or sell your shiz.
It’s all about finding an income stream where you can! For example, some bloggers use advertising as an extra shot of cash, but if you’re not a blogger – what else can you do?
- Think about what skills you have – if you’re a creative type and you make stuff – can you sell them?
- Seize the cash opportunity where you can – for examples, see my posts Get Paid To Shop or Mystery Shopping. or ePoints rewards.
- If you’re devoid of any skills (or will power) – a common option is to SELL YOUR STUFF. Obviously, I’m talking about stuff you don’t need, not like the pants and shirt off your back. Ebay is easy peasy to use – and the mobile app is even easier as you can take pictures from your phone and upload them straight away.
- Talking of selling your shiz – I’ll be running a blog sale soon to get rid of all the products I really DON’T need! BUY MY STUFF. Thanks.
What are your goals this year? Are you saving up for something special?
I’d love to hear about what you guys are doing, so I can come up with more relevant Money Monday posts for you!
Also – I’m running my 1st Birthday Giveaway until the end of January – enter here to win Soap&Glory, Benefit, Rimmel, O.P.I, Clinique and more!