Thursday, 17 July 2014

Little Steps, Big Savings...

Getting on to the property ladder in the current climate is no easy task.

It's something that Jon & I would very much like to do at some point in the not too distant future.

At the moment we are happy enough to rent as we are a little unsettled and undecided on the area we want to stay in long term, but we certainly hope to be able to buy our first home within the next 5 years.

Unfortunately, like many people today, we don't have the best credit ratings and we don't have oodles of cash stacked up to go towards mortgages.

These are things that we are working on....we're not in a position at the moment to put away huge sums of money each month, but we do believe that taking small steps to save money where we can is the way forward, and any savings we make are put to one side.

I thought I would share these money saving ideas with you today.

1) Be Shopping Savvy

I'm am not somebody who is going to tell you to stop shopping or buying things you don't need....of course it goes without saying that if you did that you would save heaps of money, but I am the world's biggest shopaholic and it would be so hypocritical of me to suggest that anybody else cuts down on their shopping!

However, there are ways to still enjoy shopping and make savings at the same time.

*Shop Around - if you see something you like don't just accept the first price you see in a store unless it's an absolute bargain. Take a note of the name of the item, go home and look it up online...chances are you will be able to save a bit of money buying it elsewhere.

*Don't be taken in by offers - It can be easy to be fooled by supermarket tactics, with their "Buy 2 for £5" promotions glaring at you in bright bold print it's so easy to be convinced that you're making a saving....but if you don't really need two right now, then its false economy. If you can live another week without it, save yourself the money.

*Use Cashback sites - shopping online these days is quicker and easier than ever before, and better still there are countless cashback sites you can use which will you allow you to earn a bit of money back each time you shop. 

2) Save to Buy Schemes

You can now open bank accounts specifically aimed at helping you save for a mortgage deposit. You usually have to commit to depositing a minimum amount per month into the account, and you can then be eligible for a mortgage through that bank once your targeted savings have been reached.

We haven't yet set up one of these accounts but I am considering it, however I do have an ISA which I use to keep any savings towards a mortgage separate from the rest of our money.

3) Save Money On Bills

Don't just opt to stay with the same energy suppliers, insurance providers, etc as last year out of around! Using comparison sites can save you a fair bit of money each year....always better off in your pocket than theirs!

4) Take Advantage Of Discounts

Do you spend your Boots points when you need to pick up a birthday gift for someone instead of spending real cash? 
Do you remember to check what your Tesco Clubcard points could treat you to?
Do you check discount sites such as Wowcher, Living Social and Groupon when looking for days out, gifts or even holidays?
We all need our leisure time and treats, but with so many discount sites and schemes around these days they really don't need to break the bank.

5) Sell, Sell, Sell

Your trash could always be someone elses treasure.....instead of throwing out clothes you don't like anymore, kids clothes that no longer fit, bits & bobs from around the house, etc....sell them on!

Sites like eBay are all well & good, but they charge pretty high insertion fees and then there are Paypal fees on top....Social media accounts such as Facebook or Instagram can be the perfect way to sell on these sorts of unwanted items, and if you sell on local Facebook groups the transaction can often be done face to no Paypal fees involved.

If you have any money saving ideas, I'd love to hear from you!

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