It wasn’t long ago that I was drowning in debt and had no idea how to manage my money. I was making one financial mistake after another by applying for more credit and making minimum payments on my existing credit cards instead of clearing my balance in full. Until it dawned on me that my debt was holding me back in life.
I couldn’t follow my dreams because I had debt hanging over my head. I had to work and generate income because I couldn’t afford not to. I couldn’t quit my job and go travelling around the world for a year or two because I had to keep making payments on my credit cards. My life was on hold because of my debt.
I made a decision to get out of debt and do it fast. I created a budget and made a debt repayment plan. I realised that if I wanted to start making accelerated payments towards my debt, I would need to cut back where possible to free up some cash. I looked at my expenses and made some serious cuts. By doing so, I was able to pay off my debt in just 18 months – without giving up travelling.
Are you looking for ways to save money? Check out these awesome money-saving tips that will help you cut spending and start saving.
FOOD & DRINK
- Start brewing your own coffee at home and invest in a travel mug to enjoy it on your way to work.
- Do not bin food. Start planning your meals. Meal planning will help you save time, money and food waste.
- Start cooking at home. Stop ordering takeaway and buying ready meals. Make your own snacks, too.
- Make a shopping list of what you need to buy and stick to it. Ensure you know your way around the store and avoid wandering around.
- Buy in bulk and start building a pantry stockpile.
- Use your loyalty card to collect points at big supermarkets. Exchange them to shopping vouchers once you have collected enough.
- Start cooking in batch and freezing your meals. Occasionally, you may run out of time to cook. Do not get caught off guard – ensure you always have a home-made meal to warm up.
- Buy frozen fruits and vegetables. Buy in season, too.
- If you do your food shopping online, ensure you utilise a discount – money off your first order.
- Consider downgrading to supermarket own brands.
Related Post: How I Spend Very Little on Groceries
- Buy 2-for-1 cinema tickets or consider taking out a membership card that some cinema chains offer if you are a big film lover.
- Alternatively, stop going to the cinema altogether. If you love films, sign up for Netflix.
- Enjoy free admission to art galleries and museums. Take part in free open air concerts and street festivals.
- Look out for coupons you can use to reduce your restaurant bill. Some restaurant chains offer discounts if you dine out “off peak”, for instance, on Monday evening.
- Order tap water instead of an expensive drink.
- Cut down on drinking alcohol. For obvious reasons.
- Get your friends together at your house for a game night instead of meeting them at a pub. Each of your friends can bring a dish to share for dinner, too.
- Instead of meeting your friends at a coffee shop, consider spending time outdoors and go for a walk instead.
- Stop buying books, rent them from your local library or borrow from your friends for free.
- Make your own gifts to give to family members for Christmas and other holidays.
AROUND THE HOUSE
- Ensure that you are on the cheapest plan for all of your household bills. You can compare prices on price comparison websites.
- Sell some of your unwanted clutter on eBay or Gumtree. You can also join Facebook groups to sell your items.
- Unplug household appliances and electrical devices when not in use.
- Run full loads of wash and use less washing detergent than it says on the box.
- Stop buying bottled water. Get a water filter, such as Brita, or drink tap water if you know it’s safe.
- Stop taking long showers. Turn off the water when you brush your teeth or wash the dishes.
- Buy used furniture at car boot sales. Very often it requires minimum restoration.
- Make you own cleaning products using baking soda, lemon, and vinegar.
- If you use a dishwasher, run it when it’s full.
- Do not complete with your neighbours. They may have a better-looking garden or a fancier car, and that’s fine. There is no need to keep up with them.
- If you have debt, pay it off quickly.
- Keep track of your household bills and keep an eye out for errors.
- Create a budget that works for you and stick to it.
- Keep track of your daily, weekly and monthly spending.
- Renegotiate your rent. If this fails, consider looking for a cheaper place to move into.
- Your house could be in the wrong council tax band. Ensure you are not overpaying.
- Switch your bank account and start earning cashback.
- Consider using a rewards credit card and earn rewards or air miles every time you swipe it. Be careful not to overspend and use credit cards responsibly.
- Do not automatically renew your car or travel insurance policy. Shop around – there are some pretty amazing offers out there.
- Save your change in a jar. It will get full quickly.
HEALTH & FITNESS
- Cancel your gym membership and exercise at home for free. Alternatively, get free gym passes and use the gym for free.
- Quit smoking!
- Use free eye test vouchers to get your eyesight checked.
- Stop getting a bus or a train to work. Consider walking or cycling instead.
- Instead of taking your children to play centres consider going for long walks and have a picnic in the park.
- Regular dental check-ups are important. Preventative dental care is always better – it’s cheaper, too.
- Learn to bake and start making your own cakes. You can make them as healthy as you want them to be.
- Join free Facebook groups to get tips about fitness and healthy eating.
- Do not buy fitness magazines. Read online instead.
- Ensure that you have a valid health insurance whenever you go away travelling. Chances are, you do not want to be dealing with a sky-high medical bill.
Related Post: How I Keep Fit and Healthy on a Budget
These money-saving ideas are simple, yet very effective. Put them into action, and the money will start rolling in. I have been able to save over 50% of my income by making these small changes to my lifestyle. I’m not spending as much as I used to, saving more money than ever and enjoying my life all at the same time!