With summer fast approaching, the thought of a warm holiday abroad, where you feel the sun bathe your cheeks in a golden glow is a magical feeling that all of us would like to feel at some point in our lives. But when money is tight and you cannot afford to go on holiday, living beyond your ‘means’ seems to be physically impossible and believe me I understand 100%. I have been struggling financially for a very long time and not being able to treat myself to luxuries like holidays abroad or clothes can often be a bitter pill to swallow. As a blogger I am very grateful for all the opportunities that have come my way and through blogging I am able to review amazing restaurants and hotels, be able to partner with amazing brands who send me PR SAMPLES ( they are not freebies please do not call them that) and these are all things that help aid my dire financial circumstances as I am not having to spend the money on ‘eating out’ , clothes and hotels. But at the same time, I am not earning enough most months to live comfortably and that can be frightening because more often than not my card is being declined, and I have to find another way of travelling, sourcing food and of course paying for my bills and rent, not to mention the magical hidden bills that always seem to make their way into my home.
So naturally ‘money talk’ is not something that I have always been too comfortable discussing, mainly because it embarrasses me that I work so hard and yet have very little money to my name. But despite the financial barriers that I am currently facing, I am still determined to find ways to save money this summer, so that I don’t have to go through the financial trauma that has been prevalent throughout much of my life. And you can save money this summer as well; whether it is something as simple as swapping ‘household branded’ food items like Tesco’s 35 P Baked Beans Vs Heinz Beanz, or selling clothes that you have never worn or no longer use, here are some simple tips on how to save money this summer, because every little helps counts. Whether you save 50 P or £200 , whatever your budget, there are ways in which you can cut down on living costs.
1.Set Up A Budget Each Month By Calculating Your Average Living Costs
As a freelancer I understand how difficult it can be to ‘calculate your average living costs’ when you might earn a different amount each month, so setting up a budget might be hard if you are unaware of how much you are earning. So from a ‘freelancer point of view’ learning how to set up a budget works more on the basis of calculating how much your rent, bills, travel and food cost each month and how much you would need each month to have saved in case of any emergency costs like medical bills, weddings or anything else. So for example your rent is £800, you spend £200 on travel each month and your bills plus food equals another £200, which is £1,200 that you need to be earning each month to cover your living expenses. But if you are earning less than that, it can be tricky to save money if you are not earning enough, which is where recording your expenses comes in
Record Your Expenses Over A Period Of Two Months To Find Out What You Need To Budget
So lets say that your living costs are £1,200 but you are spending £200 on ‘luxuries’ (i.e. expenses that are not fixed) like ordering takeaways and eating out, what you would need to do is see what you can cut back on. Maybe its spending money on takeaways or something as simple as dabbling in the sales, while we all have the right to indulge and treat ourselves, at the same time we need to be mindful of how much we are spending on expenses. Then after you have analyzed your expenses report over a period of two or three months, you can compare it to revenue and see how you should plan out your budget. You might find that through a deep analysis of your expense report, you are spending money each month on things that you can cut out in order to find a way to save money this summer. So in my case, in my full time job I was always spending money on food and drink, when a more sensible option would have been to take packed lunches into work, which would have been easier on my bank balance.
Which is where ‘deciding on your priorities’ when it comes to spending money. For example lets say you would like to go abroad in the summer but don’t have any savings at present. It might be a case of checking that expense report like I had, to see what I needed to stop spending so much money on and in my case it was ‘food’ which while is a ‘neccessity’ packed lunches would have saved me more money in the long run as a loaf of bread costs 60 p from Tesco’s as opposed to sandwiches which are normally priced between £2-4 , which in the long run is only going to ‘feed you once’. Whereas that loaf of bread can allow you to have sandwiches for the whole week, with ‘cream cheese’ for £1 and cucumber for 70 P. It might not be the most nutritious sandwich going but that would cost £2.30 for a week worth of sandwiches as opposed to just one at a coffee shop.
2.Cancel Any Subscriptions That You No Longer Use To Save Money This Summer
And speaking of prioritizing your spending, it might be worth looking at what you have subscriptions for and seeing A. whether they are worth the money you are paying each month (or year) B. if you use it enough to justify the cost of the subscription service and C. whether you already have a similar subscription i.e. Amazon Prime VS. Netflix and which subscription service you prefer. So in my case when I was at university I had both Netflix and Amazon Prime but when my finances became tough I realized that I needed to choose between both subscriptions and choose the service that not only gave me more value for money but also suited my financial needs. In the end I chose Netflix because not only did it have a ‘pay monthly scheme’ as opposed to the ‘upfront cost’ of Amazon Prime, but it also had a better range of films, TV Shows and of course Netflix originals, so it made sense to stick with £5.99 per month as opposed to the £79 per year Prime service that Amazon offered. So you see, you don’t neccessarily have to cut all the ‘susbscription services’ out of your life, it is more about priortizing what you are spending money on and whether your purchase is being used enough each month. And since I watch ‘Netflix’ as a way to unwind, it is safe to say that this is the one ‘luxury purchase’ that I have each month.
In your case it could be subscriptions for beauty boxes, personal styling, food boxes or anything else, and if you find yourself being bored with the boxes you are receiving or are not using the products in your subscription, it might be a good idea to cut those subscriptions, so that you have more money left over in the long run.
3.Be A Savvy Shopper By Upcyling ‘Old Garments’ And Shopping In The Sales
As someone who is deeply invested in fashion, being on a budget means that I am not able to spend money on clothes as much as I would like to , which is where the process of ‘upcyling’ old garments, shopping in the sales and using discounted apps like ‘Depop’ comes into play. First of lets start with the process of ‘upcyling old garments’; when I was doing my A-Levels and even throughout my degree, I did not have money to be buying new clothes, so I would style ‘old clothes’ in as many creative ways as I could think of so that it did not look like I was wearing the same thing twice. It could be as simple as turning a dress into a skirt, by layering a jumper over the top and belting the waist to give definition or even to turn a ‘bandeau’ or ‘boob tube’ into a top, so that I could get multiple use of the same clothes, without having to put a dent into my bank account. For others who are more ‘crafty’ than myself, that might be sewing ‘new clothes’ out of old fabrics, personalizing their accessories such as ‘stitched lettering’ on their beret hats or ‘thrifting clothes’ from charities shops and re-personalizing the clothes to make them ‘their own’.
Another thrifty way that I found to save money when it come to fashion,was through a popular app called Depop, which would sell high street clothes for a fraction of their RRP , meaning that I could still own the latest trends but at the same time did not have to make a dent in my bank account. Now I don’t really spend money on clothes as I don’t have that money, but when I do have that spare cash, I always be sure to either check Depop or browse the sales, which is something I did extensively with my student loan during university. My wardrobe was practically bursting with the £10 jumpsuits that I was getting most weeks, but as the original price of the clothing was usually £35-40, I felt like I was definitely saving money!
4.Get A Short Term Loan
Now ‘investing’ in a short term loan might not seem like an obvious way to save money this summer but hear me out. We are all aware of how getting into debt can affect our emotional, physical and financial health and as someone who has been in the ‘red’ for quite some time, it goes without saying that I do understand financial anxiety. Which is where short term loan lender ‘Cash Lady’ comes in, a financial service that wants to take the hassle out of ‘short term financial solutions’ so that if you need money for something quickly i.e. to pay off outstanding bills, Cash Lady will work with you and the best lenders in the financial industry, to find you ‘money quickly’ without charging you for their services. Yes that’s right, using their financial services are free, which to someone who has financial difficulties, knowing that I would not be charged for consultations, while they find me a lender that can aid me with my living costs, is a solution that I have been pondering for some time. After all I don’t want to resort to having to use a credit card and risk getting a bad credit score, to pay off my debts, so its possible that getting a short term loan might be the past path for me to pursue. So in this sense I would be saving money, because not only would they help me pay off my outstanding debts but they would also give me that helping hand that I so need.
So what are the benefits of a short term loan I hear you ask?
- A Short Term Loan incurs less interest than a long term loan in the long run. While it might seem like a ‘short term loan’ has a higher interest rate, because the cost is spread over a shorter amount of time what this means is that you will be able to pay off the debt in a shorter amount of time.
- Money When You Need It – naturally short and long term loans also have their drawbacks, but if you are in dire need of money i.e. the washing machine has broken and you can’t afford to pay for it, a short term loan might be the solution you need to pay for your washing machine front, without having to go ‘without a washing machine’. So while it might be expensive, at least this financial solution will ensure that you will not go without.
*Please remember that Cash Lady is a broker and not a lender.
5. Get ‘Discount Happy’ By Signing Up To ‘Voucher Code’ Websites, Price Comparison Sites
Who doesn’t love a good discount, especially when it helps us save money on our favourite brands. So instead of just buying the first holiday that you see, why not use price comparison sites like Sky Scanner that can help you decide on what is the best bargain holiday for your needs, For example you might be looking for a holiday to Portugal but are unsure as to what would be the cheapest time to fly out to Portugal or what airline would help you save the most money. And what you also have to bear in mind is that airlines like ‘RyanAir’ are not necessarily the cheapest airlines, because of how much you have to pay for your suitcases. But using a price comparision site would definitely help you get the most bargain for your buck. And its not just holidays that you can save money on, you can also use price comparison sites for hotel stays, your food shop, clothes and more. Don’t forget to shop around for the best deals through the use of ‘voucher codes’ as well. In the case of fashion that might be using the ‘special discount codes’ that influencers have for fashion brands and in other cases it could be searching the internet to see whether there are any discount codes going for the retailer that you are buying from.
In some cases you can also find ‘toolbar extensions’ that can also help you save money like Qmee. Qmee pays you whenever you type in a ‘keyword’ into Google or Bing, which will come up with a toolbar with suggested recommendations for your search and how much you would earn if you click on their link. For example lets say that you search for pink bridesmaid dress, it might come up with a toolbar with recommended retailers that you can earn money from. So it quite literally pays you to browse the internet, which is a good way of making passive income. While it usually is 5 p per keyword, the great news about Qmee is that unlike other similar competitors there is no threshold and you can request payout at any time, even if you have only earned 10 p.
Do You Have Any Tips On How You Could Save Money This Summer?
Please note this is a collaborative post but all thoughts are my own and are not affected by monetary compensation.