Hello everyone! How are you all? Welcome back to lucyrachaelx.com and my first post of 2017! I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and New Year. So this is usually the time of year where everyone is talking about their goals for the year ahead and their New Year’s Resolutions. I had posted on my Snapchat in the week leading up to Christmas asking if any of you would like to see a post on how I save money and my tips and advice in the New Year and you all messaged me to say YES! So here I am. I mentioned it in my Snapchat as well that I’m just one of those annoying people who are pretty good at saving the pennies. Before I got my first proper job at 17, I worked from age 14 where I started off doing Avon door to door and I only got paid on commission so I learned early how to make my cash last. In a normal month I would say I can save anything between £150 to up to £300 depending on what I’ve had on that month i.e. parties/holidays/weddings etc. I have a nice little system of how I manage my cash flow and what I do to save. I never deprive myself of anything I need and still manage to treat myself and do all the things I love, I’ve never had an overdraft or anything like that either so I feel like I have a decent lil bit of knowledge on the subject and I would love to share my tips with you all today. I should say before I begin I completely understand everybody’s situations and circumstances are completely different and I totally respect that but hopefully you will find one or some of the tips useful at least. So let’s get started!
1. GET TO KNOW YOUR CASH FLOW
So no matter if you want to save more money each month or just want to stop living out of your overdraft, you absolutely have to be really clear on what is coming into your account every month and what is coming out. Some people I know have Direct Debit’s for cars, insurance, rent/mortgage, Netflix accounts, phone bills, other people’s phone bills they pay and even subscription services they have signed up to or gym memberships. My best advice would be to sit down and make a list in a diary or notepad or even on the ‘Notes’ section on your phone (my favourite little piece of my iPhone for my OCD) and break it down into a list of exactly what comes out of your account each month and on what day. Get rid of any Direct Debits you don’t need or use anymore and eliminate things you are wasting money on such as an unused gym membership or a Netflix account you don’t use much anymore. Then once you are clear on that and have your set bills, add up all of your bills until you have an exact lump sum figure of what comes out of your account every month in total. My system is I calculate exactly what I have coming in and then I subtract from the total what will be coming off and then I know what amount is left for me. This just makes life so much easier and you feel a lot more organised about money so you won’t carelessly spend or be stressed about it. (Example: your income is £1000 a month, your bills in total all add up to £350 so you know you have £650 each month left for yourself).
2. USE MOBILE/ONLINE BANKING TO TRACK YOUR SPENDING
Almost every bank now have online banking or apps that you can use to keep on top of your bank balance and cash no matter where you are. I love my banking app and I use it almost every day. It shows me how much of my balance I have available and all of my transactions (incoming and outgoing) so I always know exactly what is coming in and what I’m spending my money on. Before you could only check your bank balance at an ATM but this way is just so much more convenient and allows you to be clear on what you can afford and can’t afford at just a click of a button. Another thing about having online banking is don’t be afraid to check your balance! I check mine every couple of days even if I haven’t bought anything just to make sure bills are coming off at the right times and I’ve calculated things properly. Using your banking app means you can quickly calculate a budget for the rest of the days/weeks until payday and figure out what you will be likely to save if you spend X, Y or Z. It is a really practical thing to have as you can plan ahead and it puts you in control of your finances which I love.
3. COME UP WITH A MONTHLY BUDGET FOR YOURSELF
Another great way to make sure you save some money at the end of each month is to plan a ‘budget’ for the month ahead. A lot of people don’t like hearing the word budget because it can make you feel like you are going to have to deprive yourself of things you want to get but that isn’t the case. This is just a practical and organised way to make sure you don’t overspend on things you don’t need and then end up coming up short because of an unexpected bill or something. For me I like to plan ahead for the month and calculate what bills are coming off, how much I will need for petrol and food and other things I get such as my hair/nails/brow appointments. I will deduct the money off for that and then take into consideration if there is an event coming up I might have to buy an outfit for or a present. It’s good to plan ahead for all of these things and again as I said, you won’t be left surprised by your bank balance once it’s all been paid for. I will give myself a budget for each thing once I have taken off my bills so for example, £40 or £50 a week on petrol and food, maybe £20 to get my nails done, £35 for my hair etc. I find this way I have a figure in mind like when I am paying for things so if there is something unexpected I want to buy or go to I take that off of the overall budget.
4. IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD IT DON’T BUY IT – LEARN TO SAY NO TO THINGS YOU DON’T REALLY NEED
Okay so as if I didn’t already sound like your Mum I need to say – loads of people ask me how I save so much money and I always give the same answer; priorities! If you are serious about saving money or having more money to use on other things that are important in your life, stop wasting money on pointless things! Prioritise exactly what you need your money for and what you desire but don’t actually need i.e. you could live without it. For example, you know you need money for this particular month because your car is due an M.O.T and may need work done, so don’t go and waste your money on things like takeaways or nights out which will set you back even further. Focus on the fact that your car is your main priority and takeaways and nights out will come around another time. Or for another example make-up. I know everyone wants to use all the high end brands but it is important get to know the high street dupes and bargains. Obviously I am a beauty blogger so I have tried a lot of different brands and products and I can hand on heart say I love drugstore make-up so much. There have been many a high end product I have bought due to the ‘hype’ of it at like £30 for a tiny little thing and never used it again, then I start using a £5 MUA palette from Superdrug and it becomes my favourite! It’s nice to treat yourself to nice make-up but try not to buy things for the sake of buying them, save money by shopping around for a cheaper alternative because there are always cheaper ones out there that do the exact same job!
5. ALWAYS LOOK FOR DISCOUNT CODES AND OFFERS WHEN SHOPPING ONLINE
Now I feel like I sound like a crazy coupon lady! (I’m not I promise). When I shop online for anything I always look through my e-mails for discount codes, special offers and things like that and I always 9/10 times manage to get a good deal or a bit of money off. With the rise of brands wanting to work with bloggers, loads of girls have discount codes for brands that you can use for an instant 10% or 20% off. The way I see it is they are there so why not use them? Also the best time to shop for an outfit is definitely a Thursday or a Friday because most online stores always give a good code for free next day delivery on those days. Another thing I do is if I really want to buy some new clothes I have learned to wait it out a little (sometimes I can’t and I admit I sometimes make impulse purchases) but normally within a month or sometimes less, things are in the sale for so much cheaper! Especially the brands all us girls love like Boohoo, Missguided and PrettyLittleThing who have a lot of new stock coming in every day and have lots of styles to get rid of even though they are still fairly new to the site.
6. DON’T COME FROM A PLACE OF LACK (LAW OF ATTRACTION TIP)
You all know by now that apart from blogging my other passion is almost everything sort of spiritual and Law of Attraction related. I am all about positivity and good vibes and just being really aware of the thoughts I put out into the Universe because I believe they always manifest and come back to us ten fold. You never want to come from a position of lack or negativity, especially when it comes to money. You should try to always use positive affirmations to yourself or in conversation with other people such as, “I always have so much money” or “I attract money like a magnet”. This way your affirming to the Universe that you have total abundance when it comes to money. Try never to say “I am always skint” or “I never have money” because then that is what you will attract to yourself, more of that same situation. If you want to know more about the Law of Attraction feel free to read any of my blog posts on it here or under the ‘Lifestyle’ section on the homepage menu of my blog.
7. OPEN AN ISA/SAVINGS ACCOUNT
It is really handy and useful to have a savings account with your bank just to keep all the money you have saved separate from your monthly incomings and outgoings. That way you will be able to see how much you have saved and also keep it safe within the bank. I have had an ISA Savings account since I was 17 and it was the best thing I ever did. I don’t touch the money in there until it is time to use it for something big like a holiday and then I know my hard saved cash is going on something worthwhile. I can easily also transfer money from my Current Account into my ISA at the end of each month using my mobile banking app and I can see which is in both of them which I find so useful!
So guys there we have it. My tips and advice on how I manage to save money and keep on top of my finances every month. It is hard to begin with but once you get the hang of things it becomes easier and almost exciting because you realise what important things you can spend your money on knowing you aren’t wasting it and are keeping on top of everything. Money is an important part of our daily lives and survival so it is just good to be organised and never leave yourself short. Thank you all so much for reading and your continued support. Remember you can follow me on any of my social media channels (buttons at the bottom of the page on a mobile or the right hand sidebar on a PC). I also post a lot of updates and mini vlogs on skincare, beauty, fashion, health/fitness and just general chit chat on my Snapchat: lucykennedy18 if you would like to follow me on there! Hope this post has helped some of you and have a wonderful day. Lots of love until next time,