Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Our everyday money saving basics

Easy ways to save money every day
You know we love writing a good money saving post over here. We've offered advice on everything from inexpensive date ideas to saving for your first home and how to knock money off your bills. It occurred to us though that we've never shared our money saving basics, those simple tips that we use all the time that have just become a way of life for us, the things that allow us to save for the big stuff like a Disney holiday or a home project. So today, we're here to rectify that and share with you our money saving basics, a money saving 101 if you will.

1. Shop at a 'budget' supermarket - This is such a big one for us, without Aldi we'd be lost as this is where we save most of our money. We still use Asda for a couple of things, mainly for food for the cats but the bulk of our food shopping comes from Aldi. Just as an idea of the kind of money you can save I made up a basket online with all the things we frequently buy. Asda's basket came to £57.88, Aldi's basket came to £39.07. That's almost a £20 difference! 
2. Pay money into a joint/savings account on the day you get paid - Josh and I have our own bank accounts that our wages get paid into then we have a joint account. We make sure we pay a chunk of our wage into our joint account the day we get paid. Our joint account is what pays for everything from the boring stuff like our mortgage and bills to the fun stuff like holidays so it's super important to us that we keep it topped up.
3. Don't have a phone on contract - So we all like to keep up with the latest phone but is it really the best thing for your bank balance? The simple answer is no. Lets compare a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge on a 24 month contract with O2 to buying the same phone refurbished in excellent condition (with all genuine accessories included) with a sim only deal from Giffgaff. Both the O2 and Giffgaff tariffs are similar. Over 24 months you'll pay out a whopping £980 in total to O2. Buying the phone outright and refurbished will cost £490 then over 24 months you'll pay £240 to Giffgaff so £730 altogether. That's £250 cheaper. And FYI, Giffgaff runs on the same network as O2 and is owned by the same company!
4. Buy in bulk - Buying larger packs of things often works out cheaper than buying smaller packs so it makes sense with certain items to buy big. Examples of things we buy that are cheaper in larger packs are cat food, toilet roll, fabric softener, wash powder and washing up liquid.
5. Look into getting a water meter - We didn't have a choice on this one but thinking about it, if our home hadn't already come with a water meter I would have definitely had one installed. A little research tells me that the average water bill with our water company is £385 a year. Over the last year we paid around £200 (probably a bit less). Yes there's only 2 of us but we both love baths and I mean deep baths and we're still not hitting anywhere near the average bill price.
6. Any spare cash goes into the savings - At the end of the month if I've any spare money left and I know I don't have anything coming up like a birthday I pay that little bit extra into our savings. I find this spurs me on to not spend as much on unnecessary things throughout the month too as I like the satisfaction of being able to put more money away. I keep a small amount of money in my account at all times as a buffer but if there's anything left above that at the end of the month it tends to go straight in the savings (although sometimes I do treat myself because being good with money doesn't mean you can't have nice things every now and again!)

I hope these tips help. Our approach to money saving is simple and easy, we know what we like and we know what we want to spend our money on and these tips help as save as much as we can. Money saving isn't about being boring or not having the occasional treat, it's about making small adjustments that can have a big impact and that's exactly what these tips are. Small adjustments that we can all make to save for the things that make us happy!    

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