Money makes the world go round but it doesn’t always work, if I had a penny for every time I heard somebody talking about money problems then I would be rich, though I might lose a penny along the way.

Saving money shouldn’t be seen as a burden, as it is a gateway into giving us the opportunity to do more of what we want. Whether you have a change in circumstance and new addition to the family or simply need ideas on how to reduce your expenditure and shop savvy these tips below should help start you on the right journey.

Saving Money – For saving money, especially with children, making into more of a game provides much more incentive to save than simply the command of having to reduce expenditure. As well as this, setting a goal that you have to reach – something that you have really want to have or do, such as a new car or a family holiday – will drive your saving and helps curb your spending. Here are some examples on simple patterns and styles you can use when attempting to save money.

Eg. £1 first week, £2 week, £3 third week, £4 fourth week etc. Eventually you will be saving upwards of £30 a week!

£100 first month, £110 2nd month, £120 3rd month etc. This will give you over £2000 by the end of the year.

Shop Around – Charity Shops and Second Hand – Gumtree, Ebay, Facebook Marketplace…. Do you need a new one of these? Or would a second hand one work just as well? Being patient with what you want and frequenting your local charity and second-hand stores will always produce great results. As they say “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!” If you really do need to buy a new item, spend the time shopping around and using resources and websites available to you online such as the step change, a government backed scheme and price comparison site Money Pug.

The One Month Rule – If you haven’t used it or worn it in the past month, sell it. It is a s simple as that. This can be quite a ‘destructive’ approach to ‘decluttering your life’ but it is always effective. Not only will it provide you with more items to potentially sell or donate to your local charity shop, but it will also influence you habits when you consider new purchases. It goes without saying that season/activity specific items aren’t included in this, but make sure you don’t use similar excuses for items that you just don’t want to lose.

Start ‘Bulking Up’ – I am not talking about the gym, however beneficial that is to general health and well being, I am talking about buying in bulk. More than the savings on each individual item you would usually buy, it forces you to plan ahead and be efficient with what you buy. Whether it is food, kitchen roll or stationery for the children as they go back to school, buying in bulk is always the smart choice.

Go Cardless – It might seem like a silly idea in the current world we live in, especially with the ease it provides as we only have to carry one card and not worry about pockets full of change. However, what this has done is increase peoples probabilities of making impulse purchases. Gone is the feeling of physically removing the money from your wallet and handing it over, and in the process having time to mentally weigh-up the value of the purchase and whether it is a smart financial decision. This includes that muffin, coffee or sandwich you bought while on your way somewhere else. These small purchases really add up, a sentiment echoed by the english phrase “Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.” To combat this, at the beginning of each month take out a certain amount that will be your budget for the week. This will help you combat these impulse buys and keep track of your expenditure. If the thought of carrying physical money with you seems far too outdated, simply cash-in (see what I did there!) on the plethora of spending advice apps available on apple and android devices.

Stay focused on the task in hand and you will inevitably successful in reaching your saving goals.

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