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Tuesday, May 20

9 ways to save money!


First and foremost, you need to clear your credit cards. These will carry the highest amount of interest out of any debts you have; including your mortgage, any loans and your overdrafts. There is no point saving money when you are paying out money every month in interest. Pay your credit cards as quickly as possible without overstretching yourself and you will then have money free to save.

If you're going to struggle with this one, move the balance to a 0% interest rate on balance transfers. Get the longest one you can find and then divide the remaining balance by the amount of months you have 0% for. So, if you have a £2,000 balance on your credit card and you get a 24 month 0% interest rate on balance transfers, you would divide £2,000 by 24 and discover you need to pay £84 a month to your credit card to avoid a single penny more in interest.


I can't reiterate this one enough. I sit down and budget my finances briefly every month and complete a full review every 6 months. You can do your budget however you like: handwritten, in a Word Document, in Excel or in one of the templates you can find online.

First, I note all of the income for the house and make sure I round this down. So if you have £1,234, I would round this down to £1,200. I then write down all of our outgoings, fixed and variable. So for fixed this will include the mortgage, electricity, phone line, internet, Sky, mobile phone contracts and council tax and the variable expenses are petrol and groceries. For expenses I round the amount up, so if your electric bill was £123, I would round this up to £125. Working with figures with a multiple of 5 (ending in 0 or 5) makes it much easier for adding and planning. It also means you will have an extra little bit of money unaccounted for; this is a great little bonus to reward yourself for staying focussed, or to move across to your savings account.



To maintain your groceries budget, you need to write a shopping list. It's as simple as that. This should be a must in every household; plan your meals for the week ahead and write a shopping list to top up on the things you need to fulfil the plan.

Include packed lunches in your meal planner and make them exciting so you don't get bored. People spend on average £7.50 a day buying lunch, that's almost £2000 a year if you do that 5 times a week. Buying things in multipacks will work out much cheaper and you could be spending only £7.50 a week on lunches, bringing your annual cost down from £2,000 to £390!


We all have our favourite brands and I'm not suggesting you go changing them all, but some products you could probably switch to a supermarket brand. I would never swap my Tropicana, Heinz beans or Cushelle toilet rolls; but when it comes to bread, milk, tinned tomatoes, cereal and crisps; I'm happy to go generic. If you check a lot of products you like, you'll actually find the ingredients to be very similar, if not exactly the same. This could save you more than you think. Or it could mean you buy more, cook in bulk and buy less the next shop as you have your meals planned.

Medicine is one of the big swaps you can make here; all of the ingredients are pretty much the same in a 20p packet of paracetamol as a £3 packet.


 Switch your bulbs to energy saving bulbs. Easy!


When you are completing your monthly budget, include the amount of savings you make monthly as a fixed sum and set up a standing order from your bank account to your savings account. By making your monthly savings a set expense, you can adapt your variable expenses and slowly increase your standing order as you decrease your variable outgoings.


Ready-made meals are full of rubbish ingredients and are overpriced for the amount of food you get; although they may seem like a quick and easy option at the time. If you learn to cook food at home, you can cook in bulk and freeze meals for your own future ready-made meals and you also get to impress your friends and family with your culinary skills.



Don't allow your expenses to leave your bank account, spend what you want from the rest and move any remaining money (if there is any) to your savings account. Instead, give yourself a monthly spending allowance to use on whatever you want. If you put this as a fixed expense, then you won't be tempted to just spend all of your excess money. This will also make you think twice about impulse purchasing as you only have your fixed amount and once it's gone, you need to wait until next month. You'll maybe find yourself using the overused phrase in budgeting 'Do I need this?'.

If you're saving for something in particular, don't take it out of your savings account, just don't spend your 'pocket money'. If you give yourself £50 a week/month to spend on whatever you want, but you want something for £500, then you're just going to need to sit tight and hold on to your 'pocket money' until you have £500. The satisfaction will be so much greater when you have what you want and you didn't need to touch your savings! 


Money is the reason many smokers try to give up. Many fail because they never really wanted to quit in the first place, but if you did, you could save £3,000 a year! Seriously. A cigarette is roughly 40p, if you smoke 20 a day, there you have the £2,920 (round it up to £3,000 as an expense). Need I say more?

I was a Financial Adviser for 6 years, so I do know a little bit about what I'm talking about. However, if you are truly struggling with debt or saving money, please go and see a Banking Adviser. They would be more than happy to organise your accounts with you and plan which savings accounts would suit you.

Do you have any money saving tips to share?

Kayleigh x

You will only ever come second if you try to be someone else, but you will always win 1st place at being yourself.