student life

Saving to raving: Using small savings to finance future fun

Written by Nigel Simpkins

Do you have plans for this year, the next, and even further into the future? Money seems thin on the ground lately, and people are having to side hustle and save to try and squeeze the most they can from the economy. Finding ways to make regular savings can be a route to future fun and frolics if you want to get away on a holiday or you want to go to a few gigs in the summer. Keep reading for some everyday ideas that can give you the budget you need to spoil yourself a little, even in the current financial climate.

Be Shopping Savvy

Every little trip to the shop comes with an impulse tax. You may think you just need a pint of milk or some tea bags, but before you know it your bank balance is ten pounds lighter. The key to saving for the future is to do little and often. Be disciplined when you go to the shop for something and stick to the shopping list. Adding on the little extras here and there is a huge drain on your resources.

Cutting down on your reasons to pop into the shop is a good strategy, especially if you can combine it with bigger savings. People who use tobacco products can save themselves a packet by switching to a vape pen. It is easy than ever to make the change too. Take a look at the Grey Haze guide to the best vaping starter kit for the full lowdown on vape pens and elf bars that can save you money on tobacco, and save trips to the shop every day that add extra pounds at the till.

Be Your Own Subway

Meal deals are not as good as you think they are. To be fair, if you can finesse the selection of sandwiches, snacks, and drinks the right way there are some big savings to be made. But what if you never had to make the purchase in the first place? If you subsist on a meal deal lunch every day of your working week, you could be spending £20 a week on premade sandwiches. That is nearly a thousand pounds a year on BLTs, salt and vinegar crisps, and medium-sized cans of Red Bull or however you do it.

The best meal prep anyone can do for themselves doesn’t make it to your Instagram feed. Make your own sandwiches. They do not have to be over-the-top or anything special, just on par with what you get in a box at a supermarket. If you are thrifty with your food shopping your new meal deal will cost you about £1 and will probably be much better for you nutritionally. This adds up to a much more reasonable £5 a week.

Haggle And Hustle

If you want to get serious about making savings, then every day you’re hustling. There are deals to be found everywhere and on everything. Never miss a coupon or a flash sale when you have items on your shopping list. Go to war with bills and take a tough but truthful inventory of your personal finances. From just a few hours of work and some in-depth research online you may be able to put an extra hundred pounds a month or more in your pocket. That could be another grand a year.

Every regular bill is negotiable, or you can switch to save. Energy bills are the biggest regular cost for every homeowner, after their rent or mortgage. Keep a close eye on changes in the market and try to find the best deal you can switch to without incurring exit fees. Look for deals like cashback or vouchers thrown in. Plan purchases like birthday and Christmas presents way ahead of schedule. Not only does this keep you in everyone’s good books but you can also save money using sales and special deals to cut the cost of giving. It is the thought that counts the most, after all.

It Takes Hard Work And Discipline

Time for the bad news. Saving money often means sacrificing short term satisfaction for a long term, long lasting joy. In fact, there is no way around it. Cutting back on your daily spending and making compromises on your mobile phone deal or the number of streaming subscriptions you have all mean making sacrifices. 

There is a lot of hard work and discipline on the road to your hopes and dreams, and sticking to saving is one of the hardest parts. It is all about mindset. Control your impulses and never spend unless you absolutely have to. Think about it like a second wage. Your hourly rate of saving may only be low, but they will all add up in the month to a decent salary, and potentially thousands a year. You’re giving yourself a raise with a little extra work every day.

Plot And Plan

You need a target in your sights to help you stay financially focused. Whether you fancy festivals in the summer, a breakaway to a foreign hotspot in the winter, or you have a big buy like a new car in mind, set your target and keep your eyes on the prize. Make your plans and set your goals, and when you get there you will enjoy the sense of achievement as well as your treat. 

If you are the kind of person that likes to visualise their goals, put a picture on the wall of your target as an inspiration or mark off the days on a calendar as you get closer to your personal milestones. Things like this really do work and keep you focused. Break up your savings goals into smaller chunks, and have weekly or even daily targets to hit and keep track of your data in an online spreadsheet. Harness your inner geek to help you get to the festivals or jet away to a tropical beach. Then unleash your true self. 

Don’t miss out on a holiday, an upgrade to your motor vehicle, or a summer of music. Start taking small savings seriously and you will be able to do what you want without feeling the pinch of inflation. Use these top tips to put more money in your back pocket every month and save up for something special.