1. Skip the luxuries
You can start to save money by skipping little luxuries you might be spending money on during the week. For example, that Starbucks coffee you get two or three times a week can add up to nearly £500 a year! Similarly with lunch; I know that where I work in London, lunch is usually £5 or over, which when buying everyday adds up to over £1300 a year! Even bringing in a homemade lunch one or two times a week can save a substantial amount of money, and is often much healthier. Also, if your office has free snacks, definitely take advantage of them. I’m lucky enough to work for a company that provide free cereal and breakfast items like toast, so when I’m trying to save money I use these as my 11 o’clock snack items to help save some of my snack money.
2. Open a dedicated savings account
After skipping some of the luxuries, a good move is to open a new savings account, and transfer any money you might have spent into this account. For example, on the day you bring in your homemade lunch, transfer £5 into the account, and do the same whenever you skimp on everyday items. This will make you feel like you’re achieving and working towards something, but you also won’t be tempted to spend the excess money left in your account at the end of the month. Lots of banks let you open up multiple savings accounts online nowadays; I know my bank (Halifax) also let you rename them which is really handy, so you could use your dream bag as the name of the account!
3. Print out a picture of your bag
Print out visual reference of what you want to buy, and stick it up somewhere you’ll see it a lot. It’ll remind you what you’re saving towards, and also (hopefully!) stop you buying things you don’t need. I have my ‘visual wishlist’ stuck above my computer, so whenever I feel tempted to spend money on ASOS or other shopping websites (yes, I’m a bit of a shopaholic if you haven’t already guessed!), I’m reminded that the money could go towards my dream bag instead.
4. Buy pre-loved
Buying pre-loved (the ‘luxury’ word for second hand) is a great idea if you’re on a budget. Shop around for price points, and always check re-sale value. I used Vestaire Collective this month to buy my first designer bag, and got a great deal, saving me over 50% of the current retail price! Make sure you always inspect the pictures and information the seller provides to check the bag is genuine – although Vestaire Collective do authenticate the bags they sell, it can be frustrating buying a bag and then having them contact you a few weeks later to tell you it isn’t actually real! If in any doubt, you can always ask the lovely members over at the PurseForum to see if they can spot anything out-of-the-ordinary with the bag.
5. Visual your savings
Keeping a visual reference of how much you’ve got saved up definitely motivates you more and helps you see how far away your goal is. There are loads of mobile savings, budgeting and banking apps that will do this for you, but I also like keeping a physical chart. I find that marking off £50 that I save here and there really helps to keep me motivated.
Do you have any great tips that you use to save money? Let me know in the comments section below if you do!