Money being a bitch? We hear you. Saving for a holiday can be a total uphill battle that at times, you feel you’ll never win. But trust us, it IS all worth it and more than that, it IS possible. Try out these 15 easy budgeting tips and we’ll be seeing you in the sunshine…
Pack you own lunch
An obvious one we know but seriously, do the maths and you’ll be amazed at what you’re spending (or what you could be saving). Instead, cook a little extra dinner each night or stock up on a Sunday on all your lunch essentials for the week ahead. Cook your lunch dishes in bulk (think pasta, quinoa, frittata or soups) then just pop them in the fridge and take a portion each day. Try it for a week and watch the pennies roll in.
Top Tip: Invest in some cute and colourful Tupperware to make your packed lunch even more appealing.
Cut out the coffee
Coffee fiends, just say no. That morning pick me is setting you back more than you can imagine. 5 coffees over 5 days, every week for 52 weeks – you do the maths. So what if the coffee is extra strong or the milk extra frothy? Buy yourself a percolator, a milk frother and a sexy little keep cup and voila – barista coffee on the go without the price tag.
Dust off your trainers
Because really, who wants to sit on a stinking, sweaty packed bus/tube/train anyway? Swap public transport for the great outdoors and hit the pavements (or jump on a bike) for your daily commute. So you may have to get up a little earlier but with all those endorphins swimming round your body, you’ll be too happy to care!
Actually check your bank balance
If, like most people, you live in constant fear of checking your bank balance, be brave and take the plunge. Actually analyse your monthly expenditure and get to know where your money’s going. Do you have any direct debits you can get rid of? Did you sub a friend who forgot to pay you back? Get on top of your spending and figure out where each and every penny is going.
Open your post
Inciting as much fear as the dreaded bank account balance, the unopened post. Bills on bills on bills that stare at you, all red writing and final demands, asking to be opened and paid. The bad news is these won’t go away, so bite the bullet and settle your debts. Yes you’ll be temporarily broke but it’s better than seeing that final demand amount get higher and higher.
Change your phone to pay-as-you-go
Do you really, REALLY need the latest iPhone when you can pick up a cheapie older version off eBay for a fraction of the price? Breaking free from your mobile phone contract and living life on the edge with PAYG is actually pretty liberating but more than that, it means you can be completely on top of what you’re spending. Remember the days when you use to call your friends just to say ‘call me back’? Bring them back, even just until your holiday is over.
Sell your old stuff
Open your wardrobe and look inside – how many items have you actually worn in the last month? Most people at some point in their lives have bought off eBay so you know how it works – why not flip the tables and become a seller? Take it from someone who sells regularly – it is ADDICTIVE. That price battle between bidders 5 seconds before the sale ends – pure tenterhooks excitement.
Top Tip: Don’t forget to do your research on the postage. If an item needs to be recorded post or you don’t know how much it weighs, look at other sellers selling similar items for guidance.
Set up a separate bank account
Have a small portion of your salary automatically paid into a separate account and DON’T TOUCH IT. If you get a pay rise, increase the amount that goes in so you’re still living off the smaller account. People say you spend to your means and it’s totally true (Parksinson’s Law – check it out), so buck the trend and get rich quick.
Take out less from the ATM
If, like me, you always panic once at the cash point and end up getting out more than you need, break the habit. Having cash in your purse gives you the feeling of free money and the temptation to buy ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING IN SIGHT. Instead of rounding up how much you need to withdraw, round down then subtract 10.
The first flight you find will almost certainly not be the cheapest. Flight comparison sites like Skyscanner, TravelSupermarket and Kayak allow you to compare multiple airlines and flight routes so you know you’re getting the cheapest rate. Plus, don’t forget that airlines have sales too! Follow your favourite airlines on Facebook/Twitter for all the latest updates.