How to make saving money your top priority this year

Let’s chat about something that’s on everyone’s mind as we stride into this year: saving money. When you know how, it's easy to transform your financial habits into a treasure trove of savings this year…

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Now, I know what you’re thinking – “Oh, another boring lecture about cutting coupons and skipping lattes.” But fear not. I’m here to make this journey fun, relatable and, most importantly, effective. Let’s go!

The Budget: Your Money’s BFF

First up, we’ve got talk about budgeting. But hey, don’t hit the snooze button yet! A budget isn’t some boring way to shackle your cash. Instead, think of it as your personal finance GPS, showing you the way to save while still letting you enjoy those scenic money detours. So, how do you kick this off?

Simple: for one whole month, keep tabs on every single pound you spend. Yep, even that cheeky snack from the vending machine counts. Once you’ve got the lowdown on where your cash is sneaking off to, you can start playing the boss and direct it where you want it to go. To give you a head start, you can download my free budget planner from my resources library.

Be a Shopping Ninja: Deals, Discounts and the DIY Way

Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of savvy shopping. No, this doesn’t mean your dinner’s going to be beans on toast every night (though let’s be real, beans are awesome sometimes). What I’m talking about is mastering the art of the deal. Hug those coupons, dance through discount days, and get your Sherlock Holmes on with comparison shopping.

And hey, have you ever flirted with the idea of DIY? Yep, it’s time to channel your inner craftsperson. Whether it’s fixing that annoying leaky tap or whipping up some cool homemade gifts, DIY could be the new breakthrough for your wallet, allowing you to get what you need without spending a small fortune.

Mastering the Art of Saying “No” (to Yours Truly)

Okay, brace yourself ’cause this one’s a bit of a challenge. Sometimes, the trickiest thing about saving money is, well, dealing with yourself. We’ve all been there – those impulse buys, the oh-so-tempting sales, or the latest shiny gadget that’s calling your name. So, how do you put up a fight against these temptations?

Try this: give yourself a little ‘cooling-off’ period. If, after a week, that thingamajig still feels like a must-have, then maybe take another look. But more often than not, you’ll find that its allure fades and you’ve saved all that money.

Smart Storage Scoop: How Decluttering Can Be Your Wallet’s BFF

Let’s chat about a nifty money-saving trick that’s often flying under the radar: self-storage. People often only need bigger apartments or houses because they’re trying to fit in all those once-in-a-blue-moon-use items. But here’s the smart twist – renting a self-storage unit for these occasional items can be way more wallet-friendly than splashing out on a larger pad.

Keeping your home focused on essentials means waving goodbye to the chaos of clutter and help you to move somewhere smaller and cut the cost of your rent/mortgage and utlity bills. And who doesn’t love the feel-good vibes of decluttering? Once you’ve decided what can go, you can take the time to sell those items online or at car boot sales and put all the extra cash into your savings pot.

Side Hustles: Unleash Your Inner Mogul

Time to spice up life with side hustles! Got a hobby that you could turn into a gold mine? Perhaps you’re a knitting pro, creating cosy wonders, or an avid artist who loves to create. Picture launching a small online shop, turning the activity you love into a step towards extra earnings. 

And for animal lovers, pet-sitting could be your perfect venture. Your home turns into a haven for furry friends and your affection for them translates into a profitable, heartwarming business. These side hustles are more than just extra cash; they’re about infusing your day with joy and passion. So, why wait? Turn your talents into a rewarding hustle.

Smart Tech: Your Financial Fairy Godmother

Now, let’s talk tech. Your smartphone is about to become your financial fairy godmother. Budgeting apps? Check. Automatic savings? Check. Investment apps? Double-check. Technology has made managing money extra easy so set those bill payment reminders, use apps to track every penny, and watch your savings grow. With tech, you’re basically putting your savings on autopilot. How cool is that?

Choose Experiences Over Things: The Secret to Real Joy

Here’s a life-changing tip: spend on experiences, not things. Trust me, the joy of a concert, a weekend road trip, or a painting class beats a new phone any day. Experiences enrich your life, give you stories to tell, and guess what? They don’t clutter your home like physical stuff does. It’s all about creating memories without breaking the bank.

The Savings Snowball: Small Steps to Big Bucks

Saving money is like building a snowman. You start with a small snowball (like saving a pound a day), and before you know it, you’ve got a giant snowman (a.k.a. a hefty savings account). Don’t stress about saving big amounts right away. Start with what you can and gradually increase it. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your little savings snowball grows into a big, fat snowman of cash!

Health is Wealth: Invest in Yourself

Okay, let’s talk health. Spending wisely on your health is like investing in a high-yield savings account. Regular check-ups, healthy eating and a bit of exercise can save you on medical expenses later. Think of it as a two-for-one deal: you’re investing in your health and your wallet. Plus, being healthy means you have more energy to chase those dreams (and those side hustles).

Future You Will Thank You: Start Retirement Planning Now

Retirement talk might sound like a snooze fest, but hear me out. The earlier you start saving for retirement, the more you’ll thank yourself in the future. Look into retirement funds and, if your employer matches retirement contributions, jump on that! Imagine your future self sipping margaritas on a beach, thanking the younger you for being so financially savvy.

Generosity: Your Secret Savings Hack

Okay, get this – saving money by giving it away? Sounds like a brain teaser, but it’s totally a thing. When you donate to charities, it’s not just good karma; it can actually considered a tax relief that can be decucted from your total taxable income. Yep, that means potentially less money owed when tax season rolls around. And honestly, what are the feel-good vibes you get from being generous? Totally priceless. It’s like hitting a financial and emotional jackpot.

Become the Guru of Your Finances

Now, let’s talk about turning yourself into a money-saving ninja. Knowledge is like your secret weapon here. Dive into the deep end of personal finance blogs (like the one you’re reading right now), plug into podcasts, or jump into online financial forums. The more you soak up, the sharper your money moves become. It’s all about being in the know – it’s empowering.

Let’s keep in mind that it’s not about cutting out all the fun; it’s about those clever, thoughtful decisions that sync up with what you’re aiming for. Let me know how you plan to save more money this year in the comments below. Here’s to a year filled with smart savings, judicious spending, and a wallet that’s grinning from ear to ear.

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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