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discovering the best steps to saving money

Over the years I have found it increasingly challenging to save a substantial amount of money.  I have tried out several ideas to make extra money, and I am still doing so even now every day.   I enjoy reading blogs and searching social media for new ideas if only to try them out.   It's a great idea to experiment, because let's face it, if you are not willing to give things a go, you are never going to know if they are going to work for you or not.

For a rather long time now, I have tried and failed on numerous occasions to save money.   I don't just mean saving money by putting it aside for a rainy day.   I also mean, saving money every day on things I buy, and those dreaded monthly bills.   Saving money in this day and age is very hard.   In fact it is ridiculously hard, particularly because now interest rates at banks get you next to nothing for your savings nowadays, which is really rubbish.   Personally I think I would be better off taking a certain amount of money out of my bank every month, week or whenever I feel like it, and sticking it in a suitcase and stash it under my bed.   I get the impression most people today are not just in search of new ways to make money, but to more importantly make their money work for them.  I know that in itself is not an easy thing to accomplish either talking from experience.   I have always had ISAs.  Say no more.

I am always looking for new ways to save myself money.  About a year ago I started to specifically search for blog posts more related to frugality, rather than just general 'how to save money', or 'best tips to save money' posts.   I personally have found that frugality posts are a bit more in depth and I much prefer that, especially if they include an easy step by step list of suggestions.  I love a good list.   It is also a good thing to decide what it is you are working for.   Set yourself some little goals to begin with, little and often can be good you know, and then start working on the larger goals.  

My dream has always been to have my own place.  It is most certainly near the top of my wish list.  That and having a dog and a rose bush in my own garden.   Yet here I am, nearly 37 year old, still living at home and not saving much money.   This is what I am hoping to change around, and I am perfectly happy to try out new things, ideas, new apps etc to make that happen.   Like I have said already, it's mostly all down having a positive mindset.   A plan is a pretty good thing to have also.   I haven't got one of those yet.   This is something I need to work on.   It's good to start thinking about how you want to better your future, at any stage of your life.  Just think of it as the three 'Ps' Positive, Plan, Payout.   I reckon that has a pretty cool ring to it.  Stay Positive.  Have A Plan.  Get A Payout.  I wish at this stage I could say that was an easy thing to do but honestly, it's not. It is most definitely not easy at all.  Not at this stage anyway.  But I am working on it.

A great app I have just downloaded for myself is Shopmium.  This is one of those apps you always see advertised on TV over and over again, and you think to yourself that sounds really good I must look into that and see what it's like, but three months later you still don't have the app!   Well I have just got it on my phone now so I shall start testing it out this week and see how I get on.   I already have a similar app on my phone which is Receipt Hog, although, that free app is more of a general receipts one.  It basically does all receipts which is what I love about it.  Receipt Hog is very easy to use.  You scan your receipts you get on your phone every week and you get points for that, and you get entered into their sweepstakes to earn a gift card from Amazon - which is always very handy for little treats for yourself like books, stationary, or if you are like me I like to put the vouchers towards new colouring pages or books.  Or you can get your money loaded onto a pre-paid Mastercard loaded digitally onto your phone, or your can put your money into a Paypal account too.  I love all of those options, Paypal is my favourite, not surprisingly I suppose.  Because with Paypal you can leave the money you get in there and then transfer it too your bank so easily.   That way you can spend it as you wish.

I do have several different apps on my phone that allow me to get gift cards or Paypal cash for playing games or doing free scratchcards.   I will be honest in the beginning I was a bit dubious about this sort of thing, I have tried a few different apps over the years and they say you will get something for all the points you have accumulated and then nothing happens.  But that doesn't go for all of them and some of these apps are really, really good.  I have an app on my phone called Lucky Day which is a free scratchcard app.  You collect points and cash when you scratch your cards every day (you get about 16 a day roughly) you build your points up and you can redeem them for either a £5 Starbucks gift card or an Amazon gift card.   I was over the moon when I reached enough points for a £5 gift card.  I chose Starbucks, and today I had the treat of a free Cafe Mocha and a free chunky chocolate chip cookie.   It was fabulous.   I was really chuffed with that.   It just proves these free scratch card apps do work.   You might have to be a bit patient with them, some rewards do come through quicker than others depending on the app, but they do definitely work.

Here is a list of my favorite mobile apps that can earn you a little spare cash:

Lucky Day
Lucky Night
Lucky Maker
Lucky Spin
Lucky Dollar
Spin Royale

Check them out and see how you get on with them.  They are fun, and yes they do waste a bit of time if you are bored on your lunch break.   They are completely free to play, and you could make a bit extra cash for buying your takeaway coffee, or lunch, whatever it is you decide to spend it on.  

The one app I use quite a lot of, and I highly recommend it is Qmee.   I try to do at least a survey or two a day on Qmee if I can.   The really great thing about Qmee is you can cash out any amount at any time to Paypal, free of charge.   So if you only manage to do one survey and you get say 34p for it, you can cash that 34p immediately to Paypal.   I have earned £5 from Qmee in just over a week.  It might not sound a lot, but it's a fiver extra that you didn't have before.  You can spend it or save it.  There is only one thing I would say against Qmee, and that is sometimes you get a survey that will take say 20 minutes to complete, and you only get 15p for it, which is not a lot at all.   So I will be honest and say I have started to be a bit more selective when it comes to Qmee recently.   It usually depends on how much time I have to do the survey, remembering that you never really know when they will come through anyway.  Basically, don't try and complete a 20 minute survey when you only have 10 minutes left on your lunch break.   Because the thing is, if you rush it, they will not take your answers seriously and they might shut you down.   Apart from that it really is a brilliant app, and a nice little money earner.   You will be amazed at how quickly those little bits of cash can build up.

So there you have it, for now anyway.   Thank you all for reading my post.   Hope you all have a great day.

Take care.

Sarah x

P.S Just a little update.  I was exploring Pinterest this morning and I have just read this really great little article about money making apps with a few more suggestions.   Well worth a little gander.  


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SAM said...

I don't use any money saving apps-mostly because my phone is so ancient and it would crash, but I am trying to be more sensible, and share what I learn in my blog and with my kids. My goal is to stop stupid spending and put our money towards the things that provide real value to our lives. Travel, time with family and friends, education and experiences, and not stuff.

Sarah Taylor Long said...

Hi Sam thank you for your comment. It is also one of my goals to stop spending spontaneously too because I do that far too much. I have begun to do a list of things I need, and want to buy, then prioritize them. I shall see how I fair with doing that. See how long it lasts ;) said...

I feel you about saving money. It can be hard to start the habit with so many different things to buy. Love that you found different ways to save money, like using apps and such. Oooh I haven't heard of Qmee before! I need to check it out. Thanks for sharing the knowledge!

Nancy ✨

Sarah Taylor Long said...

Thank you for your comment Exquisitely.Me x I am finding it quite hard, saving as well. I would definitely recommend Qmee, it's one of my favourites and you can earn £1 pretty quickly. I know it doesnt sound like much but if you do quite a few different surveys you will be surprised at how quickly the money builds up x