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Small steps for sizeable savings

When it comes to saving money for your next family holiday or trying to set a good example for your younger children, it’s important to get into good habits. So, whether you’re opening your first savings pot or already an experienced saver, putting money away is something everyone can get into the habit of doing without making it feel like too much of a chore.

While there’s various ways to save your cash, it can often be easier said than done. So, why don’t you challenge yourself? Become a habitual saver by trying the 52-week saving challenge. Save £1 in your first week, £2 in your second week and so on. By the end of the challenge, you’ll have saved an impressive £1,378 plus any interest!

Sainsbury’s Bank Visual Guide to Habitual Saving

Balancing Money Saving with a Social Life

One of the biggest problems people seem to face when saving money is to be able to socialize at the same time. It is often misconstrued that these two things cannot be compatible, which is totally false. It requires is a little bit of budget analysis and bargain hunting in places, but most of all it just requires more research.

Work out the Budget

Firstly, look at the amount you need to save and work out a time frame so that you can budget effectively for that period.  Make sure that you don’t try and save too much so that you are able to spend money on other essentials and leisure. This requires a fair amount of time to make sure all of the numbers are worked out, with a contingency plan for any unexpected occurrences.

There may be a way to rearrange your funds to accommodate your leisure time. For example, if you only eat home cooked meals 4 times a week, you could change that to 5 or 6 times. You may spend more on groceries, but a lot less in the long run.

Bargain Hunting

This is pretty self-explanatory, people every day are constantly looking for ways to get bargains, whether it be through coupons or discount codes. One of the best examples of this is Groupon, which is a website/app that finds discount deals for group events. The brilliant thing about this is that the deal literally requires you to have a social group to attend with you.

Choose the Right Event

When money saving, choosing the correct event to attend is an important part of both of the previous points. This goes hand in hand with budgeting as you shouldn’t go to an event that you know will cost extortionate amounts of money for minimal experiences. There are so many options for reasonably priced, great experiences, comedy clubs London being one example among many. It is all about how much effort you put in.

It is always important to prioritize certain things, but it is also important for the mind to enjoy yourself from time to time. Even if you still can’t afford these things, don’t let it stop you from socializing. You can still go to cafes or invite friends to your home, which can definitely brighten your day. For something extra to brighten your day, check out this brilliant infographic containing some entertaining jokes.

Savvy Studenthood Doesn’t Mean Skimping

Becoming a student is an exciting time for any young person, with a lot of changes coming their way. You will have loads of newfound freedom, a chance to learn about something you love, and, most importantly, your first opportunity to manage your own money. Finance is probably the scariest part of getting into this part of life. Having never managed it before, you will have a lot of learning to do, and not much time to do it. Of course, though, if you’re savvy enough, you might not have to have a hard time at all.

Savvy Studenthood Doesn’t Mean Skimping - student working image

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What You Spend: In reality, most students have little reason to spend money on anything other than rent, food, and the other essentials which come with life. Of course, you will probably want to spend something on yourself, too, but this shouldn’t cut too far into the money you have. Companies like Urbanest can help you to find student accommodation in luxury locations and with beautiful interiors, and they don’t have to cost more than what you would get with the university itself. Often having bills included, this can save huge amounts of money, and you won’t have to compromise on your living situation to achieve it.

Books, Books, Books: One of the most expensive parts of studying is the paperwork which you have to buy to go along with it. With some books costing as much as a new smartphone, it’s easy to see how it can be hard for people studying to afford these materials. In most cases, though, you can find very similar content in the form of e-books. Digital books like this are best read using a tablet computer, but this will only cost the same as a couple of your core texts, and may be able to save you money.

Something On The Side: While the life of student can be a very stressful one, it often isn’t very busy. For a couple of months each year, everything will be full steam ahead with your work. But, for the rest of it, you will either be slowly learning or away on long breaks. During these times, you have a great chance to make some money, and it will only take finding a job or starting small business to do it. With some extra finance in your pocket, it will be a lot easier to get through the year with a good amount of money saved up. Of course, it can be worth dropping this once you have gotten back into your studies.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start working harder than ever before on your studenthood spending. By finding ways to make things cheaper, make some extra money, or even get things completely free, you will make it easier to avoid compromise in your living. When everything is new and life is getting overwhelming, being comfortable will be very important, and a lot of people will find it hard to learn how to look after their money when they aren’t earning anything.

 

How to Teach Your Kids to Cut Household Expenses and Save Money

Cutting down on household costs is a goal for many families. It’s where you live and relax, so your home is most likely eating off a big chunk of your budget every month – it’s how it should be. Still, wouldn’t it be nice to keep a bit more of your paycheck next month, live the way you’re used to, and even get your family to help pull the load? Here are some pieces of the best advice we have heard and found useful on how to cut household costs for the whole family.

How to Teach Your Kids to Cut Household Expenses and Save Money - children writing image

Image source: Pexels

If your children are old enough, you should involve them in your finances by talking to them about it. It doesn’t quite cut it to simply say that times are tough or that you can’t afford something; they need the context that you already have.

Energy Savings

It is the most obvious one, so we better get it out of the way fast; a green household is a wealthy household, or at least a more frugal one. There are a lot of ways to saving money on your monthly energy bills without being too warm, cold or left in the dark. Now that it’s summer, you’re able to save a lot more than during winter, so you better get started.

First of all, keep the aircon off by keeping the heat out. A wide open window with curtains blowing in the wind seems perfect for summer, but it will only allow that cool inside air to disappear out into the humidity. Keep it closed when it’s at its warmest, even the shutters should be drawn, and any rooms you don’t use should also be closed off. You might spend your days walking around the house and closing windows after your family, so turn the aircon off, and you’ll see how easily those windows can stay closed on their own.

Give your oven a break; it deserves it. By focusing on cold dishes, you can involve your children more in the kitchen, too. Food full of colors, fruits peeled, cut and decoratively hanging out on a plate, is sure to get them interested.

When the bill arrives, show it to your children and give them an energy tour around the house. Point out the different expenses on the bill, what they mean, and what you can do as a family to make the household use less energy. Explain that there are more advantages to using less energy than financial ones; it will make the planet happier and give you all a better future.

A low energy bill means more money to spend on other things, as well as less financial worries. If the worries get the best of you, or if you have an unexpected and big amount to pay, it could be better to look at different ways of covering the debt initially. Get loan details here and make sure you read this article on questions you should ask before taking up a loan.

Grocery Savings

When you want to cut down on the amount you spend on groceries, you have an ocean of opportunities. Besides from using those coupons, and planning your weekly or monthly shopping ahead, you should also try to substitute your meat meals with beans and rice – at least for a day or two of the week.

Getting children onboard with this is usually not a problem, but if it is, a good advice is to bring them with you to the grocery shop. Not just to run around and be in the way of other shoppers; involve them in the grocery shopping, point out the prices on different products, and explain that you’re trying to save as much as possible.

If they are old enough, it’s a good idea to let them do a bit of the shopping once in awhile. Send your two oldest off together or make them bring a friend and a bicycle – just make sure to write a list and give them a limited amount of money. That way, they’ll be forced to manage the money when finding the right products and it will make them more aware of the prices, too.

Try to stick to the more budget-friendly grocery shops, by the way. The better you know a shop, the more likely it is that you’ll also know where their best sales are, how low you can go, as well as their in-store policies in general. The largest shopping of the month should be done when it’s relatively empty and when you’re not hungry or stressed – it seems obvious, but it’s a tough rule to follow.

Budgeting

A parent who manages his own budget is one thing, but that doesn’t mean your child is secretly watching and absorbing all of your knowledge. They need to learn these lessons too – and you should be the one teaching it to them. Giving them an allowance every week or month is something most parents find useful; it teaches their children the value of money as well as the skill of budgeting.

How to Teach Your Kids to Cut Household Expenses and Save Money - painted piggy bank image

Image source: Pexels

Some choose to give allowances after certain chores are completed, which may work well for some, but not everyone. It might end up teaching your child the wrong type of lesson; specifically that if they don’t get an allowance, they don’t have to complete their chores either.

Unbelievable as it might sound to us hard-working grown-ups, this is a deal that could be worth it to them. The bed will still be warm and cozy at night, and there will be dinner on the table in the evening – so why do these tedious tasks when all they have to do give up is a couple of dollars per week? The lesson they learn is not what you had in mind at all.

If allowances based on completed chores works for you, then continue with this system. If not, on the other hand, you should consider giving them allowances for the sake of learning how to budget and expect them to keep helping out at home nonetheless. Nobody gives you money for making your bed, taking out the trash or walking the dog; it’s just something we need to do.