Saving for a wedding or new home can be a hard slog. This is where the fun really begins!
If you’re newly-engaged, congratulations and welcome to adulthood. Outside of the lump sums you will most likely be putting away, there are a few simple everyday saving tips that could help perk up your wedding budget. As they say, a little goes a long way. And in this case, perseverance and keeping your eye on the end prize most certainly pays off.
Start A Spending Notebook
This may seem a tad excessive and anal, but keeping track of everything you spend will open your eyes to where your money is going. Each time you purchase something, make a conscious effort to jot down what it is and the price. Being more aware of your pitfalls will help you to avoid impulse buys.
Consider Freelance Work
Sit down to analyze your strengths and qualifications. Thanks to the internet and social media, there’s a market for pretty much everyone to make extra cash these days. For example, if you’re a teacher you could start offering grinds to students. If you’re a writer, pitch stories to local newspapers or advertise your content writing skills online. If you’re a trained beautician, start doing house calls to family and friends. Every little helps, just be sure to keep track of any extra income and register with the revenue for tax purposes.
Bring Lunch To Work
Yes, boring and a pretty minor change. But bringing your lunch to work is a hidden cost that seriously adds up. Let’s do the math; a fiver a day adds up to £25 per week, which equates to almost £1,300 a year. This hefty saving could pay for your wedding dress!
Comparing prices on almost everything from car insurance to bill phone charges could save you a few hundred quid. You’ll be pleasantly surprised, getting the best rate will become a bit of a thrill.
Avail Of Online Discount Codes
Not to sound like a total Scrooge, but why pay full-price on clothing in-store when there are tonnes of ways to reap the rewards by shopping online?! You can still penny-pinch AND stay fashionable. Many high street stores offer a 10% discount just for signing up to their newsletter. Plus by doing so, you’ll be in the loop on flash sales and benefit from redeeming one-off online checkout codes. If you have any younger sisters or relations with a student card, ask them if you can use their UNiDAYS account. Sorted!
Have A Girls Night In
Organise a get-together with the girls and ask everyone to bring one item – alcohol, mixers, pizza. It’s the perfect opportunity for a proper catch up and chill session – minus the expensive bar tab and taxi home.
Cut Down On The Caffeine & Takeaways
Your Friday night Domino’s ritual may be costing you upwards of £1,000 annually – this could kit out your bridesmaids for the big day! Similarly, a £2 coffee per weekday adds up to almost £500. Instead, try stashing your own coffee in your work cupboard to combat that 3pm slump, and at weekends treat yourself to a homemade pizza or supermarket brand.
Batch Cook & Don’t Waste Food
Preparation is key to staying on track with your budget. Batch cook soups and casseroles on a Sunday to set you up for a week’s worth of healthy lunches. You will be less likely to roam off track if you stick to a schedule and use a shopping list.
Consider Switching Banks
Saving for your wedding is the perfect excuse to review your financial accounts. Analyze your bank’s interest rates and current account charges and compare them with competitors. It may be a good time to switch banks to avail of better rates.
Use Off-Peak To Cut Household Bills
Turn the washing machine or dish washer on before you go to bed. Rates are cheaper during these off-peak hours, ultimately cutting costs on your monthly electricity bill.
Clear Out Your Closet
Who knows what gems lie hidden at the back of your wardrobe. Unworn clothes or items that are in good knick can easily be uploaded to websites such as Depop and DoneDeal. You never know, those ancient Beanie Babies hidden in the attic could be worth a fortune on eBay!
Opt For Budget Brands
Of course there will be certain luxury products you will want to spend that little bit extra on. Items like deodorant, razors and hand-wash all do the same job, no matter what the brand. You get my drift, there’s no harm in trading down for a few months when it comes to achieving your goal.
Carpool or Cycle To Work
Do you have co-workers living in the same area? Organise a weekly carpool, taking it in turns to drive to save on petrol costs. If you’re living near a city with adequate bike lanes, cycling to work is not only cheaper, it will also improve your overall health and fitness levels.
Be Creative When It Comes To Date Night
You don’t need to spend top dollar to have a good time. Check the activity calendar for your local area, I guarantee there will be a range of low-cost and free events you never even knew existed. Instead of a fancy meal or night on the town, why not go to your local farmers market or outdoor cinema event. Get creative and play tourist by immersing yourself in cultural activities. Your outing could be as simple as a homemade picnic in the park or visiting the many free museums and art galleries in your city.
Stay Positive & Practice Patience
The urge to splurge can be overwhelming sometimes, especially if you are a gal who likes to keep up-to-date with the latest trends and styles. Take a step back and think of the bigger picture. My golden rule is – if you’re still thinking about it a week later, then buy it. This way, you will be sure it isn’t an unnecessary buy and you will value your purchase all the more. Remember, all your hard effort will pay off in the long-run, so stay positive!