Hello and welcome to my blog. Happy New Year! This past year has been incredible for me, and I have been able to go on more trips than ever. This has solely been due to the fact, that for the last 10 years, since I was 15, I have saved a percentage of any money I earn. I have been doing this for many reasons, but the summary is life throws you curveballs and I like to be prepared.
When I discovered my love, and need to travel at least once a year, due to many years of living in London, with depleting vitamin D levels, my savings became my golden parachute and allowed me to access a new world, and new experiences greater than I could have ever imagined.
As we are about to enter into 2020, and a new decade, I felt there was no better time to share my tips (and a few tricks), on how to save money and maximise your income. As a disclaimer, I would like to add that I do not have a degree in Accounting or Investment banking, my advice is simply based on a decade of living on a low income, but being able to still accomplish all of my goals due to constantly saving, making mistakes and learning from them.
- Save a proportion of whatever amount you have going into your account, in a separate account
- The separate (and if possible limited access) account is the trick here. If you really struggle to save or you find yourself dipping into your savings a lot, I suggest you get a savings account with a different bank from your current account. This also helps you build a financial relationship with multiple banks, which can be very beneficial when it comes to getting a credit card or mortgage later in life, as you will have more options. Plus out of sight, out of mind. Regular savings accounts, or just putting £2, £5 etc. into a jar whenever you have it, are also a great way of accumulating savings easily. Most Regular savings accounts also tend to have higher interest rates, but more on that below
- Save in High Interest Paying accounts
- The higher the interest rate, the better. If you can get an account where the interest is paid monthly into the account, (and you can earn interest on the total amount, at any given time) then I suggest you go with that, as that can lead to compound interest which can accumulate and further increase your savings. If you live in the UK, MONEYSAVINGSEXPERT is a good website for comparing interest rates and regular savings accounts
- Cashback sites
- This has been a blessing in disguise for me as someone who shops a lot. My favourites are Quidco and Topcashback. They give you a percentage of whatever you spend on most websites, for using their Links. If you use them every time you shop, but do not withdraw the money frequently, it can really accumulate and has been a life boat for me many times. Here are my referral links for both Quidco and Topcashback. If you use them you get £10 extra free, just for signing up, and shopping the way you normally would, plus the cash back. I get the same back. Help me help you 🙂
- Voucher and discount codes
- Another you probably already know, but just incase, it’s worth mentioning that there are typically always discount codes floating about somewhere on the internet. Be it from discount website, browser extension tools which search the web for codes (my favourite is Pouch), YouTube and beauty bloggers, random ads etc. These can help reduce spending, leaving you with more to save. Sometimes they can even be stacked, so it’s always worth trying.
- Reduce expenses especially unnecessary spending
- By this I mean Ubers, Deliveroo, fast food, etc. whatever is unnecessary or can be for little effort, should be reduced to an absolute minimum. Obviously life is short, and these things exist for our convenience. So if you need them then definitely take advantage, but only in emergencies as these expenses may seem small at the time, but they add up and in a year, it can be a significant part of your expenses. So limit them now so that there are no regrets later.
- Comparison Websites
- whatever it is you are looking for, you can probably find a website that compares the providers of it, giving you the option to choose the cheapest one. Especially when it comes to essential items like utility bills, phone, broadband etc. Some of my favourites are USWITCH for Gas and Electricity bills, MONEYSAVINGEXPERT, and for my fellow travel lovers, SKYSCANNER is great for comparing flights
- Choose local and inexpensive restaurants/bars/pubs
- It’s not everyday you go to Nandos, Byron’s, The Shard, Hakkassan etc. I know these are all specific examples, but the point is unless it is a very special occassion or you have to, there is honestly nothing special about really pricey restaurants. you are mainly paying for the location in places like this, and that also loses its appeal when you go frequently. I find that the best food tends to be in the places you least expect, so be adventurous and explore the cheaper and local options, especially during the period you are trying to save.
- Websites (For great deals, discounts and cheap items)
- One in particular that I love is HOTUKDEALS, but as you can tell from the name it is UK specific. Other good UK ones are MONEYSAVINGEXPERT and VOUCHERCODES. I am not sure for anywhere else, but GROUPON and WOWCHER are in a lot of countries and often have good deals. FACEBOOK (including marketplace), GUMTREE, SHPOCK, EBAY, DEPOP, AMAZON etc. are all great websites for buying and selling at an affordable price
- Loyalty Schemes
- this is particularly relevant if you are saving for something specific, such as to travel more, or buy a house. It is 100% worth signing up for Airline, store, and other relevant loyalty and points based schemes, which gives you a point or something in return for your spending. Especially if you know you will be utilising their services repeatedly. Some websites even give more points if you use their links to shop, a bit like cash back sites. The points can then be spent on other things you love. Avios points from British airways for instance, have honestly saved me so much money when booking flights. I have earned them from sales, credit cards and cashback and trust me when i say it always adds up
- Apps and Pre-paid travel cards
- I obviously love to travel, so I can’t leave without giving some travel related advice. There are some banking apps such as Monzo, Revolut and Starling which allow you to withdraw money in any currency, without a charge. There is a limit to how much you can withdraw however, and some like Revolut, allow you to load the cards and then exchange and save the amount in whatever currency you desire at any time. This is a feature I particularly like, especially in times of uncertainty like this with Brexit (if you live in the UK), and it can be a way of generating extra money when the exchange rates rise or fall, as they do.
- Another great feature of certain app based banks like Monzo or Moneybox, is that they allow you to round up however amount you spend on the card and save the difference. Most times you don’t notice a difference in the amount taken, however if you leave it for a while it can really accumulate, and can be very beneficial in times of emergency.
- Sign up with my link and get a free Revolut card for awesome exchange rates abroad. https://revolut.com/referral/ravenipp
- Bulk Buying
- This one is definitely a classic but buying in bulk, especially essential household items like detergents, toilet rolls, Washing up products for the Bath, Kitchen etc. Can really save you money over time. Especially if you aren’t particular about the Brand, just the price
- As an extra tip, do it during the sales. If you space it out properly you can hit every single one of them and save even more. the best ones are in JANUARY, APRIL, JUNE/JULY, the week before and after BLACKFRIDAY, and BOXINGDAY through to JANUARY and then repeat. Just be conscious of reducing waste, and buy what you need.
These are some of the many ways I have saved and generated money throughout the last decade. There are some options that are more risky (as they can lead to more debt) such as spending exclusively using cash back credit cards, and investing in stocks and shares, but I am still learning about this myself, and I am not trying to put anyone in debt, or get sued (medical school is not cheap, so there’s nothing to collect anyway). Definitely research, utilise google and seek advice from investment experts if you need more information on investing, but it is definitely something worth thinking about as you progress along your savings journey.
I hope you enjoyed the blog post, and please feel free to like, leave a comment or share. Have a lovely day or night
Peace and Love,