Bonjournooooo and welcome to my new money related series; Frugal Friday.
If you didn't see my introduction last week, then you can take a quick peek here to read a little more in depth about the series, but basically I decided to tackle the issues of everything money related including saving, spending, Christmas as well as loads of tips and tricks to help you save a few extra pennies every month.
So... I hope you are all well and ready to tackle this horrific issue that is *da da dummmmm* - saving EEK! Saving to a lot of people is probably something that isn't even an issue, why wait for that amazing bag when you can have it now and when you are young and have little responsibilities then surely you can just splurge and worry about all the scary grown up things later.
WOAH THERE GIRL FRIEND - how are you ever going to afford to do all these amazing things without a little wedge of moolah tucked away all snug and secure in yo bank?
Now I don't know what all your dreams and aspirations are or what career path you would like to take, but whether it is a holiday or house you have your eye on, without pennies you won't be going anywhere.
Lets start with the basics
The first thing I would recommend doing is setting up an ISA which is a tax free savings account. How boring does that actually sound?! But really, this is going to be such a great starting point to watch your savings grow. Pay in as frequently as you can with amounts you know you can stick to. When I decided I wanted to save, I was terrible. As well as the money I had in my usual 'spending' account, I knew I had other pennies in another account that I could spend if I wanted to. If I am just going to do that then what is the point in trying to save at all? Now I stick to a budget that I pay in every month and have increased the amount I pay in to cover any emergencies such as boring MOTs and tax. I can not even tell you how proud I feel in myself that I have been able to save a monkey or two and feel like things like my perfect house and beautiful new car can be a reality rather than something I day dream about.
With what ever money you bring in, putting the portion you intend to save aside, plan how you want to spend the leftovers and try and stick to a sort of pocket money rota. For example budget yourself £50 a week to spend on yourself after all your outgoings such as phone bill, rent, savings etc. This is a really good way of trying to optimise the money you want to put into your ISA by topping it up with what ever you have left at the end of the month. Alternatively, if you see something you really can not live without, by all means buy it, but swap it for other luxuries like posh dinners out or your daily Costa fix.
Shop Your Stash
Once you have set aside a realistic budget you think you can stick to for the week/month, before you rush out to Boots to pick up every shade of Barry M's new winter range and spend it all, rummage through the bits you have already.
If you're like me and are subscribed to a beauty box such as Glossy Box, then no doubt you will have a healthy sized stash of products piling up waiting to be used. In this stash I have added my own beauty bits like mascaras and eyeliners that I have bought on various shopping trips and due to them slipping to the bottom of the box, they have become forgotten and unloved. Sorry L'Oreal Super Liner, your day will come soon!
Since I have been making an extra effort to save, I have decided to venture into this box of gems and use as much of it as possible before any money leaves my pocket.
Not only does this mean that I am putting off spending, but I am discovering products that I may not of ever tried and have since become firm favourites in my every day routine - I would highly recommend Me Me Me Beat the Blues Highlight in Oyster Gold!
Get Thrifty With It (na na na na na na naahhhh - no? top marks if you know what I am on about aha!)
When I was younger there was a huge stigma against charity shops and even shopping in Primark, now there is a growing fashion following for people of all ages wanting to look and feel good about themselves for as little as possible.
Some of my most favourite items of clothing have come from charity shops and eBay and for the affordable price you pay, it is a superb way of updating your wardrobe on a budget. It does take a little longer than strolling into your favourite chain, but once you find something that has caught your eye, that you know someone else won't have, it is such a good feeling. Plus you might get change to treat yourself to a coffee - bargain hunting is thirsty work!
If charity shops aren't your thing then you can always attempt customising current items in your wardrobe that you don't wear anymore or are a little unloved. Bored of that jumper? Cut the front in half, hem the edges and you have a cardigan.
Can't be bothered to get creative then sell it on eBay or in a boot sale. It does take a little bit of effort but that won't be an issue once you have a few extra pennies in your pocket.
"But I Really Want It"...
I think every girl would be lying if they said they didn't have one single item of pure, beautiful perfection that they have had their eye on and have thought 'Screw It, I really want it!'
When it comes to spending, I think spending in moderation and being frugal with it is key; for example if you have been lusting after a particular item that you can afford to buy, get it and make sure you wear it to death. Don't buy it if it's an item that you aesthetically love but know you wont wear or if you do buy it and decide it isn't for you after all - return that mo fo! Also, don't buy everything all at once, this will give you something to look forward to next month and waiting will enable you to put a few extra pounds aside to buy your lust of the month as well as a few cheeky treats on top.
Being clever with your money is a must too! Did you know if you are employed as an apprentice you can sign up to UniDays to receive shed loads of online and in-store discounts?! Even if you aren't in training or learning whilst in employment, there are hundreds of money saving websites that provide discount codes, offers and coupons that will help your money go that extra mile, for example google 'ASOS discount code November 2013' and an array of links will magically appear. Don't get me wrong, a lot of these searches won't result in anything useful, but sometimes if you are lucky you might find a 10% off code or other offers that various brands are currently running.
Saving money doesn't have to be a chore, you CAN still enjoy socialising with friends and treating yourself every now and then, just remind yourself of the bigger picture and the end goal and be mindful of where your money goes!
I hope that this first edition of the series has been a help to some of you and inspired a few to get saving or to try and spend a little less. Let me know what you think and if there is anything you would like to see in the coming up Frugal Friday instalments.
Don't forget to send all your hints, tricks and tips to email@example.com to be included in the last edition of the series. Be sure to include your name, saving secrets as well as any links such as your blog, youtube and twitter to be shared with others! Make sure these are in by Monday 25th November to ensure your contribution is included :)
Check out the intro to Frugal Friday HERE | Fancy a few new blogs to read? Check out my current favourites