So that’s it, another decade done and dusted and what a few years it’s been eh?! Royal babies being born, around 234 general elections and, once again, I seem to have spent a worryingly large amount of money on overpriced Christmas sandwiches. It’s a problem, I know, but this January I’m on a mission to fix up my finances and make some #RealResolutions. Luckily, I’ve got the team at Tandem Bank for support who have launched a new savings giveaway today which you can find on our socials. T&Cs are here for that.
“But Benn, saving is too hard,'' I hear you cry, “I try every year but can’t build the habit.” Trust me, my wallet and I feel that on such a personal level which is why I’ve thrown together the list below. Now admittedly I’m no Emily Wright (check out my super-saving-savvy colleague’s blog series here) but these are the money saving quick wins that can put some pounds back in your pocket and help you saunter into this new decade like a winner.
Let’s do this…
1. Switch Energy Provider.
I put this one off for years thinking it would be a nightmare to arrange but it’s not and I can’t stress that enough. There are so many great deals out there from a variety of providers and they take care of the arranging for you. All you need to do is start the process. Saved myself an annual: £240
2. SIM Only Deals.
I’m a self-confessed Apple groupie but I’ve resisted the latest release. I stayed with my network but switched onto a SIM only deal with decent data and unlimited calls (there are countless great ones on offer) and I still use my trusty iPhone X. I may not look as cool, but I feel pretty cool on the inside. Saved myself an annual: £600
3. Get Budgeting.
It might sound like such a task but there’s something satisfying about sitting down and really working out how much money you have coming in versus how much you have going out. This way you can see where you might be over-spending and how much you have left to save. Better yet, if you’re using app-based banking then you’ll have all this information in the palm of your hand. Which leads me to….
4. Cancelling Unnecessary Subscriptions.
When working through Step 3 it can be a real eye opener to subscriptions you don’t need or use. Be honest with yourself and think in the long term. Are you reading those magazines? Using that gym membership? Will you need really Disney+ with all these Baby Yoda memes around? Saved myself an annual: £300
5. Smart Saving.
We’ve come a long way since piggy banks. A lot of banks now have smart saving features built into their products...can you feel an Autosavings plug coming...including Tandem! Our Autosavings feature helps you set up rules to get you saving in the background without noticing. Round Ups, Weekly Deposit or Safe to Save, more on those here. Saved myself an annual: £180 (based on my average £15 a month Round Ups)
6. No Spend Days.
Set these as little challenges. Work out your average daily spend on everything from travel to food to after work drinks and then set a couple of days a week where you don’t spend at all. Walk or cycle to work if you can, bring lunch in, alternate social weeks. It soon adds up.
7. Cut Back on Habits.
I don’t just mean the bad ones either, though we all know some aren't great for you so maybe add them to your #RealResolution list too. When it comes to saving money there are habitual spends we can cut out and put towards our savings instead. One less latte on the way to work, one less trip to the pub - figure them out then cut them back.
8. Buy or Sell Second Hand.
This one comes as a double win for being both financially savvy and environmentally friendly. The likes of eBay have paved the way for buying or selling second-hand items which are often not even that old. Don’t forget the classics like a good old-fashioned car boot sale, though. Make Greta proud.
9. Cook Up A Storm.
Dust off that cookbook you got back in 2014 and make this the year of the home cooked meal. We spend so much money on readymade meals and sauces when buying the ingredients to make ourselves is not only cheaper but healthier too. Get a couple of recipes down and cook with friends instead of eating out. Winner winner chicken (or tofu) dinner.
10. Set Realistic Goals.
The reason most people end up struggling to keep to their resolutions is because they were unachievable from the offset, like me with the sandwiches. Be realistic with yourself. Set these small targets listed above and push to complete the month whilst making note of all your little money wins. Then push through for two months. After that you’ll have a habit formed and you can look back in December feeling smug with a thicker wallet.
We’ll check back in next week with a new post and to see how you’re getting on but until then, check out the rest of our blog content for more ideas. Or, if you came in search of the #RealResolutions terms and conditions, here’s that link again.
Happy New Year and happy saving!