Coronavirus has been the worst for all of us, but it has taught me a huge thing; something that I thought was impossible – saving money! I used to spend quite a lot every month, even more than what I needed to. Living in London can be very expensive with bills, daily travel to work and of course socialising with friends and eating out a couple of times a week can add up quickly. And to be honest, I never really cared about it.
But since March this year, I have been at home, thanks to the current Covid19 situation and all I could do to overcome my travelsick feelings, was to plan my future holidays once we get rid of Covid19. And for travelling, you need money, so I have been saving quite a lot. Therefore, I thought I would share these tricks that might help you save money for your travelling too. So, if you are wondering how you can save some money, keep reading!
Avoid eating out
Cooking my own food has been one of the main reasons I had been able to save money. 40% of my saved money came from no more eating out with friends, or by myself. Although I love cooking, I never really had enough time to make my own meals. But I now make my own food at home and trust me, it is so much better than eating out most of the days of week. And if you cannot cook, don’t worry – there is YouTube! If people can make robots through YouTube, you can certainly cook a worthy meal for yourself. Just give it a go!
Plan your meals
It’s not just cooking your own food, but planning my weekly meals also helped me big time. Make a list of what you will be eating for the next whole week including breakfast, lunch, dinner and mid-meal snacks. Then make a shopping list of what you need to buy. See the expiry dates of the products and use them and plan your meals accordingly. For example, if the brown bread I bought had a 6-day date, I would rather use it later in the week and eat cereal or fresh croissants for the few days of the week or I would make my dinner meals using the fresh vegetables and freeze the chicken I bought to use later in the week. This way you would make sure none of the products are wasted due to passed expiry date and you would still be able to use all of them and also, saving money on multiple buys.
Eat out occasionally
If you really have to, and of course eating out cannot be omitted from our routine completely, only eat out occasionally. Find out the days your favourite restaurant(s) has special offers/prices and help, both your friends and yourself, save some bucks!
Invest in a reusable water bottle
Staying hydrated all the time is extremely important for good health. And if you spend a couple of £s on water bottles, like me, do yourself a favour and invest in a reusable water bottle. Whether you are in the office or at home, just refill the bottle and you’re on the go. Many restaurants can refill the bottle for you. It is a complete win-win situation here.
Sell your extra stuff online
Are you a hoarder? Selling the stuff in the cupboards that you don’t use is a great way to both free yourself from the mess of hoarding and making some money out of it. There has been some items hanging in my wardrobe that I sold off online and made some good bucks out of it. However, I also prefer giving out some to charities. You can sell these off through Facebook Marketplace, with no fee charged for putting your listings online.
Sell your art
If you have a secret talent, like sketching, painting or any other form of craft, sell your items online either via Facebook Marketplace or Etsy Shop. This is a great way to make some money towards your savings.
Rent your extra space
Renting out your extra space that you do not use, like an extra bedroom or a parking space, can contribute a lot to your savings. I mean if you aren’t using it, why not make most of it, right? For example, list the extra bedroom space you have on Airbnb and see people booking your space for as much as £50 to £250 or even more per night. Just imagine!
Control you shopping habits
If you are a shopaholic like me, this is something that needs to be controlled. Clothing shopping was the second reason for me for having no savings. How I have controlled the habit in the last few months, was that I asked myself every single time when I felt the urge to buy stuff online, whether I need it or not? Where and when will I wear it? These questions always gave me one answer – No, I don’t need these. Hence, no shopping since March. Woohoo! Really proud of myself, haha!
Track your spending
Another important thing apart from having self-control on your spending is to track them. Make a note of your monthly bills like gas, electricity, water, council tax, broadband and any other DDs that you have like Netflix, Sky, or if there are any charities you support. This way you will get a clear idea of what your monthly spending is. I always tend to leave some extra £s in my account for any unknown surprise expenses. And if I don’t use it, I keep it in the account for next month and so on.
Do not touch the savings
The moment your salary comes in, deposit the total difference into your saving account. And do not touch your saving account. And if you’re not careful, you might run out of money. Don’t worry, I didn’t accomplish my saving goals each month. And it can happen! Like I mentioned earlier, sometimes surprise expenses slither-in. But I kept going and you should do too. Don’t de-track from your goal and you will see fruitful result in no time.
Run a side hustle
Running a side hustle along with your FT job or studies is a great way to add something to your savings. If you have a skill, use it as much as you can. You can try freelancing – this way you can take on projects according to how much time you have and how much you finish until the required deadline for each project.
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Making a contribution to your savings account on a daily, weekly or monthly basis is very important. It might seem not much but eventually it can add up to a couple of hundreds towards your savings. For example, I used to save £1 per day, which saved me £365 in a year just from this single practice. Or if you prefer, save a specific amount per week or per month and keep it aside. You will see in a couple of months, how this can make a huge difference at the end of the year.
Save with Monzo
If you don’t have a Monzo Bank account yet, it’s time to get one now. Monzo is an online bank and applying for an account with them is simple and an easy process. A friend introduced me to Monzo and I have been using it since.
Monzo has this feature of ‘Money Pots’, which you can use to create multiple pots for things like travel, Christmas shopping, wedding budget saving and more. It is like separating your savings in different envelopes for different purposes – but just online in a bank. Worth a try, you will love it. All you need is ID verification done online and a UK address to receive your debit card.
Save despite having travel plans or not
Whether you have travel plans or not, saving is always a good idea. It can be so much helpful in difficult times. Applying some or all of the above techniques, you can save a huge amount in a year, which can be accumulated towards your long-term life goals, like buying a house, getting yourself a car, or for many settling down with family.
I already have a travel booked for next year. And right now, I have enough saved for travel 1 mini weekend break and a 16-day holiday across Europe with friends. Hopefully, this would happen in 2021, but if not (if corona is still around), I still have the expenses covered. So, when it would be the right time, I will simply just make the bookings and ready to board the plane.
Let me know in the comments below if you use any of the above methods to save money or if you use another method not mentioned above, please share that below. Hope this helps you saving much more next year. Happy saving! XX