10 Ways to Save Money for Summer
The majority of my posts have been around changing your mindset around money, saving over the long term (I wrote extensively about saving strategies in "4 Ways to Save 40% of Your Salary" and "The Pain of Pay and an Ironman...How to Overcome Your Spending Habits") and detailing ways to earn more money (check out the Earn More series here).
However, with the advent of summer, and the need for some quick additional summer funds, check out the below top ten ways to free up some cash:
Cancel Direct Debits: a lot of us have direct debits to subscriptions and products we don't use or need any more. Magazine subscriptions, phone contracts, Netflix, insurance payments, and even gym memberships. Over the course of the year they can add up. If you're no longer using them, cancel them and channel the amount you were paying into a savings account instead.
Do one month giving up something (that is expensive) and put the money saved into the holiday savings jar.
- one month of not smoking
- one month of not drinking
- one month of being meat free
That sexy summer body may also feel the benefit of it.
Find a Cheaper Option:
- Happy Hour...those two words make me smile. If I'm going out drinking with my friends, starting somewhere with this offering saves us money and sets the night off well.
- Eating Out: I wrote extensively about this in this article on adopting these habits.
- Working out: between classes and unused gym memberships you can really rack up the gym bills. Reduce your work out costs and get super fit by adopting the following tips and tricks in this article.
- Switch your energy provider, or mobile phone provider: there are so many better deals out there than you are currently paying. I recently moved all my energy supply and mobile phone to Utility Warehouse, saving me over £100 a month. Martin's Money Saving Expert lists out comparisons for energy, mobile phones, credit cards here.
Hate Studying Your Bank Account? Get tech savvy, and start using one of the many saving apps out there to make you aware of what you are spending. Studies have shown that those that have an awareness of what they are spending, tend to spend less. Revolut's CFO uses Mint.com, Joel Stephens uses Monzo and some CFOs just use cash.
Get the money out of your account: if you see left over money in your bank account at the end of the month, you tend to spend it. The first thing you should do on pay day is move a considerable percentage of that money straight out of your account into a savings account or stocks and shares ISA. Having less money in your account means you spend less.
Want to Get Clever? Use credit cards wisely. If they are cash back, points, air miles or reward cards, great. Combine them with being FX free on holiday spending and you have your perfect holiday card. Joe Adams (Space Ape Games) swears by Tandem card for his holiday money, as it's FX free, and gives cash back. Just make sure, if you take out a credit card, you pay off the outstanding balance.
Fear of Missing Out? I occasionally have serious FOMO about the world. When this hits me I run around like a headless chicken trying to do all the social activities and see as many people as possible; I end up spending a lot of money going out, and being utterly exhausted. Find an activity that means you don't have to be out spending money. I took up cycling a couple of years ago; from a commuting perspective, I no longer pay for the bus, from an exercise perspective, I have a ready built form of exercise that cuts down the amount I need to go to the gym, and weekend cycling means I can't go out spending money, and I need to sleep earlier than going out for drinks, so again saving money.
Food Shopping: I'm going to say it and you're going to hate it as much as I hate saying it...but...take your own lunch in. Bulk make dinners, and take them in for lunch. With inflation really upping the price of food, the last thing you want to be doing is spend £8 a day on lunch. That can get close to £200 a month or £2,400 per year. The same goes for breakfast. Pret is lovely, but £4.50 for breakfast is steep.
Holiday Savings: I mentioned how to save money on accommodation over in this article. Another holiday favourite I use for saving money is on Jack's Flight Club; it's an email newsletter where you receive a weekly breakdown of all the cheap flights. Check out his website here.
One month of saving hard: set a goal (holiday, mortgage, shopping, car etc) reduce the social plans, adopt the above ideas and try and save at least 40% of your salary for one month. Just do it for one month, bank the savings and then go back to normal. You'll feel great after.
Don't forget the holiday reading though. If you're looking for some reading suggestions, check out my reading list. My most recent read was Mark Manson's The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck, and I'm currently reading The Hard Thing About Hard Things, which is brilliantly mind shifting for the way you work and behave at work.
I would love more savings suggestions though so feel free to list this at the bottom of this article.