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5 money saving goals you should implement this year

When I look back over the years, there have only been a handful of times I have truly managed to save a substantial amount of money.   In fact it was only four times, I have managed to save a decent amount of money, because for each of those time I was on my way to Florida for a holiday.   I don't know about anyone else, but saving for a holiday always seems a lot easier to do than 'most' other things.   I think a few people out there would agree with me on that one.    But what if you want to save for something bigger than that?  Like an expensive camera? Or a new car? Or a house of your own?   At this point, I will now admit to everyone that I do have a car, which I purchased about four years ago.   How did I afford that do you ask, well it's that wonderful little piece of plastic called a credit card.   I know we would all like to believe that we are one day going to pick that winning lottery ticket, but realistically the chances of that ever happening are next to none.   On a more positive outlook following on from this, as of last year I now no longer have a credit card.   

Saving money in the last ten years have really not been easy for me, and I am sure there are countless others out there that will agree that it is so hard to save, particularly as the majority of wages out there are still very low, prices are going up all the time on everything, and on top of all that, savings accounts are soon going to become extinct if that interest rate gets any bloody lower.   I have found that the only decent savings accounts out there now are the ones that have a 'risk' attached to them, and personally I don't do risks.   Right now if I want to save some money for anything, I put maybe a tenner (or more depending on what I am saving for) a week in a tin for about a month.   Ok so it doesn't make any money, but it doesn't decrease in value either.  Plus, the only person who knows about it and where it is is you, and Mr. Taxman can't get his hands on it.  

The money saving goals I have set for myself are pretty basic, but there is nothing wrong with that.  Basic is good....complicated is bad.  Keeping it simple in my mind is a great way forward. The key ingredient to making great goals is to make them achievable.   Most importantly this also means that your goals are realistic and are going to make a difference to you.

Goal 1

Always Eat Before You Go Shopping

I can't decide if this is an obvious goal or not.   For a start, the majority of takeaway food is bad for you anyway, unless you buy your lunch from Boots where I feel their meals are a bit healthier, though I have just read that even they have gone up to £3.99 or something, depending on what you have.  I'm sure I didn't pay that the last time I got one.  The meal I also really like is the Tescos meal deal, which luckily is still £3 because I've just checked.  But even so, £3 is still a fair bit.  Particularly as you could make your own at home for probably less than £1. The other thing about buying food from Tescos or Boots when you're out shopping is you then have to find somewhere to sit and eat it.  That in itself can be really annoying, which is probably why I have sometimes found it easier to dip into McDonalds or a coffee shop instead.  A really good tip is to eat a bowl of porridge before you go shopping.  Porridge is good because it is slow release energy.  You can have it with fruit or honey or jam, or my personal favourite, Nutella.  I feel must eat more of that.   Keeps you going for so much longer and you may not need to pay out for a meal whilst you are out shopping at all.

Goal 2

Utilize The Pound Shop

There is a lot that can be said for the Pound Shop.   Not only does it have really great snacks, healthy or otherwise, but it also sells stationary, and gifts, DVDs, gardening stuff, crockery and utensils for the home....all sorts of things.   At this point I will just mention obviously that the shop itself has started to bring in several 'special purchases' every now and again that are more than a pound, but they generally are things that you will pay more for if you get it from say Tescos instead.   For example, the Pound Shop has a 1 Metre USB cable for a pound obviously.  You can get the same thing in Tescos for £6.  Where do you think I'm going to buy my next USB cable when I need one?  The bottom line is you can't really go wrong with the Pound Shop if you are after every day snacks, cheap stationary for your work place, or an odd little gift you can buy for someone just like the little 'Car Bin' I bought my dad for Father's Day this year.  You should check your nearest £1 shop out, you will be amazed at what you can find in there.

Goal 3

Stop Impulse Buying

I should re-write this heading, it should read 'Stop Going Into Primark'.   To be truthful I have gotten a lot better at not buying loads of stuff from Primark lately, and I think it's because after I have been paid, which is on the 30th of every month or there about, I have started to write out a little list of things I NEED to buy for the new month first, such as food, toiletries, any medication and vitamins etc all the important things, most of which I can't actually get in Primark anyway.   Primark is a good example of how easy it is to spend more money than you mean to when you go in there.  Especially if you have just gone in for a browse on your lunch break.   You go in for a browse and before you know it you have come out with £30 quid's worth of stuff.   Another shop I was quite bad for spending a bit of money in was Accessorize.   Sadly that's not on my High Street in Lincoln anymore.  Not entirely sure if we will get it back on our High Street so I will be keeping a check on that, but I know I can buy online of course which is better than nothing.  But like I have said previously I do prefer to buy in a physical store now if I can.   Personally the one thing I have come to recognize is that impulse buying is what  really starts to put a dent in my bank balance.  So that is why it is on my list of goals.

Goal 4

Selling Things On eBay For Profit

eBay is a wonderful thing.   Sometimes I wish I had started selling things on eBay a lot sooner than I have, like when I was in my twenties instead of in my thirties.   In my experience eBay has become so much easier to sell your unwanted items on than it was ten years ago.   I reckon it's just the way eBay has adapted it's website over the years.  There are two main areas that I focus on when I sell on eBay.   1) Always provide a quality description of the item you are selling  2) Always leave constructive feedback, and that is to be done regardless of whether someone has purchased from you or you have purchased something from them.   The thing is, if you take the time to write a little bit of feedback from that one person who bought the little black dress you bought from Dorothy Perkins in 2012 for example, that person might come back to your eBay and buy the black boots you wore with it, which you have only worn twice and have also been in your wardrobe gathering dust.   It really is that simple to sell on eBay and it may just put a few extra pounds in your pocket.  A little bit of quality feedback does genuinely go a long way.

Goal 5

Set Up An Emergency Fund

Everybody should do this.   Seriously.   And before we go any further, I would like to point out that NO your overdraft should not solely be your emergency fund.   Been there, done that and it didn't end well.  Thankfully I don't have an overdraft anymore.    Again, there are a few ways I use to combat this.  These are 1) I check my bank weekly to ensure I am aware of how much I have left till the end of the month.  2) I take £50 cash out at the start of the week and see if I can make it last me for 7 days, which it usually does I am proud to say.   3) I make sure all my direct debits etc are paid for at the start of every month.   4) And like I said previously in this post, I make sure anything I need to buy for the month I put some money aside for it, so that comes out of the £50 I take out every week.   I have two ways I use to manage my emergency fund.   1) I keep £10 from that £50 I have already taken out aside, and only use that tenner at the end of the week if I absolutely have to.   If I don't use it, it goes in a box and rolls onto the next week where I repeat the process.  Ok so it doesn't always work every single week, but it has worked that's the main thing  2)  The second thing I do is very basic really but I think everyone should really think about doing it and that is I have an alert on my bank account that sends me a message on my mobile if I start getting too close to my monetary limit, which I have personally set up myself, and when my account reaches £100 it gives me a little buzz to say you are not allowed to spend any more money.   If you haven't done it already, I would seriously consider doing that.  Most banks I know of have that feature, which is free so you may as well use it and then you know where you stand.

I hope you find these tips can helpful to you too.   As I have mentioned in my previous posts on this blog, I am always on the look out for more money saving and money making tips.   If you have any thoughts or comments to share with me on this post please feel free to post a comment.   

And as always, thank you for reading x

Take care

Sarah x


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Raising Harry Blog said...

Great post!!

Things on here I had never considered, like eating before shopping, such a great tip!

K x

Richie said...

Hey Sarah,

Those are some great goals to set. My wife and I did goal #5 some years ago and it gives tremendous peace of mind (never used it but it's good to know that it's there if we need it).


Sarah Taylor Long said...

Thank you for your comment K x I always find eating before I go shopping a really good idea, because I do love food but it can get really expensive to eat out every time you go out shopping. Glad you liked the tip! Take care x

Sarah Taylor Long said...

Thank you for your comment Ritchie. I think it's great you have set up an emergency fund, It's always there if you need it like you said, for peace of mind. If you don't use it straight away, just keep building it up, at least its there!

Unknown said...

Great tips Sarah! Thankfully I already had an emergency fund - I've been out of work for months and my partner has too. And it's definitely a cardinal rule of mine never to go shopping hungry - mostly because being hungry with tons of food and that I'm not allowed to eat makes me big time hangry! 😂 Thanks for this!

Sarah Taylor Long said...

Thank you, I see the emergency fund has been the popular topic so far, and yes seeing loads of food when you're hungry is just the worst feeling. I think even if you just have a snack like a fruit bar or something it makes a difference x Thank you for your comment, really appreciate it x