Maybe you want to get out of debt once and for all, or perhaps you want to save money for a deposit so you can finally get onto the property ladder. It might be that you’re just fed up of constantly working, without feeling like you ever have any cash left over. There are lots of reasons you might want to get serious about saving money, it could be a shorter term project for a year or two or it could be something you plan on doing indefinitely. Either way, there are some changes you can make which, although might seem extreme, can free up a huge amount of money in your budget. Here are some ideas for going about it.
Give up your car
Driving gives you such independence, but being a motorist doesn’t come cheap. There’s tax and insurance to pay, an annual MOT, breakdown cover, repair costs, fuel and so much more. Some people will absolutely need their car to get by, but consider if you really do. Could you walk or cycle to work? It would save you money and you’d get fitter in the process. Even if you like to travel and visit new places, it’s easy to hop on a coach and services like Megabus mean it’s far cheaper than it ever would be to drive. If you’re worried about things like grocery shopping, you can order what you need right to your door these days. Have a think about it, it’s not for everyone but giving up your car for a year could mean a big chunk of money in your pocket.
Move to a smaller home
If you rent your home, this is likely to be your biggest expense each month. It’s frustrating as it really is ‘dead money’- a huge chunk of your pay cheque lining your landlord’s pockets and giving you nothing to show for it. We all need a place to live, but are you paying over the odds? Moving somewhere cheaper could free up money that you could use to save up for a place of your own. If you’re lucky enough to be able to move back in with parents or relatives for a set amount of time, this could save you money and again give you the opportunity to save up. It doesn’t have to be forever, and could be one of the best things you ever did long term as you could get enough for a deposit rather than it being wasted on rent. A smaller home can also equate to lower bills.
Another option would be to consider a house share. Home is where the heart is, and if you’re renting a nice place that feels like your own it can be hard to give it up and can make you feel like you’re taking a step backwards. But think of the big picture. You don’t even have to give up all of your stuff; companies like PinkSelf.co.uk give you the option to store things and once you’re back in a permanent home of your own you can get it all back out.
Get rid of certain luxuries
We all like our luxuries- it might be takeaways and restaurant meals, clothes and haircuts, cinema trips, makeup, you name it. You shouldn’t give up everything you love in life as it’s these things that can make working all week feel worth it. But do consider what you’re spending, and where you can make cutbacks. If you have Netflix, Amazon Prime, Spotify and Youtube Premium for example, think of how often you’re actually using them. Are there free services you can switch to, to save the cash? If you’re spending a lot of money on food, could you limit this to once a week/ fortnight or month and get into cooking more? If you spend lots of money on date nights, could you look into ideas for cheap or free dates that are just as romantic? Give up some luxuries, at least for the short term and pocket the cash so that it’s better spent elsewhere.
Skip your annual vacation
It’s something that not many people want to do, but a holiday really is a luxury. If you need money for other things, then skipping it (at least for one year) is a quick way to save yourself some money. Look into cheap and free things to do instead, you don’t have to miss out on fun experiences. Try camping or backpacking, go and visit friends and family in other places if they can offer you a free place to stay. Consider volunteering where you can travel and your accommodation is provided free. Keep the cash and put it towards whatever you need it for more.
This is a collaborative post.