Everyone and their cat are doing a no buy year in 2019. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing – I really do think that 2019 will see consumerism as we know it change drastically. We are all so engrossed in buying things for the sake of buying things (or for the sake of the thrill we get from buying things) that we have started to forget the real purpose of living our lives and having money as a means to do things we enjoy or to travel, to enjoy food we can’t cook, or perhaps to learn new skills. I do very much overspend on materialistic things I most definitely don’t need, there’s no denying that, but I don’t necessarily think that a no buy year is something I need to experience. I much rather sit tight and really EVALUATE my purchase behaviour and THEN restricting it (after I’ve understood what I do with my bloody money and how I’m making it drain from my account so successfully every month). If you’re a no buy year brigade then go you, if you’d like to try it the other way around, stick with me!
How to spend less
Isn’t this just the most typical advice! Loyalty cards can sometimes skew you to buy more but when you’re careful enough they can serve you rather well by giving you nifty discounts or even vouchers for money off. I’ve started using an app called Stocard which allows you to store all your loyalty cards on your phone so you don’t have to carry a single one around with you anymore. What’s also brilliant is that it pops up with a push notification whenever you’re in the shops (how does it know?!) so you never forget to swipe it!
Saving accounts & multiple bank accounts
This might not be such an obvious one, but it’s worth to have a few bank accounts rather than just one. It does not necessarily mean you have to have a savings account (although that’s always a good thing to have – just check what restrictions come with it because some of them don’t allow you to transfer your money until the money’s been in the account for a certain period of time!), you can just have a number of different current accounts. Not only that it can improve your credit ratings, but it’s useful for a number of reasons. It’s easier to monitor your money – you can have an account for all your bills (useful for those who have control issues – & go over their spending limit before paying all the bills), you can have an account where you put your extra money at the end of the month (like a savings account just without any restrictions), you can have an account for saving for the special thing you want to buy, a deposit for your dream house or just your next holiday. I also recommend getting an app so you can check your balance regularly.
Attractions & days out
Everyone loves days out and trips! Sometimes your trips might be absolutely spontaneous, which is adventurous and all, however you probably won’t have enough time to research all those amazing discounts you can get on the way! A simple search on websites such as Visit Heart of England can get you deals like 50% off or 2 for 1. Worst comes to worst and you don’t have the time to search for these offers online, always check the train station (they usually stock 2 for 1 booklets) or a local information centre!
Double check your bills
This might be obvious for some, but somehow it wasn’t for me and I’ve managed to lose a lot of money this way. After a few months of living in my first flat quarterly bills started popping up and I realised my direct debits were way too high too. First it was the SKY bill – oh how come I’m paying THIS much? Well, I was on the wrong plan. Then I realised my electricity bill was three times as high as it should have been. Oh, my neighbour’s growing a weed plantation in his living room & is stealing my electricity through a socket which was in the wall we shared between our flats. I was overpaying even on the silliest of things like Netflix subscription where I was paying for an extra screen for absolutely no reason. Watch your outgoing payments carefully, there might be some room for saving!
Another reason to watch your bills is to make sure that there are no mistakes that would possibly affect your credit score. Little things that you might not even take a note of such as getting someone else’s letters in your post box might mean that someone else, perhaps a previous tenant, is still registered at your address meaning his bad credit could accidentally affect your credit score. You can secure a loan without a credit check, however these usually come with stricter repayment terms so should a time come when you need one (or a mortgage perhaps) you might only be eligible for the no credit one and not for a regular one.
Another money saving tip which also doubles as a good deed for the future generations is to start what I like to call “intentional living”. This covers everything from being more eco friendly and not using plastic bags to buying either better quality clothes made out of natural fibres or buying vintage and second hand fashion to reduce other people’s waste. You can find more on intentional living in this section of my blog, it’s one of the concepts I’d love to explore more in 2019. Oh and soap nuts? THE BEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD. They are saving me so much money! Read about them HERE!
Decluttering goes hand in hand with intentional living. You don’t necessarily need to spend a week watching Marie Kondo on Netflix and then konmarying your whole flat into neat folds and stacks. It’s enough to just go through your possessions and get rid of everything that’s of no use to you anymore. I’ve written a whole post on this a while ago which also includes tips on how to save money if you’re plant obsessed like me.