Hello again As today is my 30th birthday (eek!) I really wanted to share with you all my personal favourite money tips I’ve learned over the past 30 years. Admittedly, it hasn’t been plain sailing. I’ve not always been the savvy saver you see before you today.
Also, some of these tips are more serious than others, but they’ve all helped me get to where I am today! I’m sharing these in the hope I can pass on some wisdom. Hope you all enjoy!
30 Money Saving Lessons I’ve Learned in 30 years
1. Start a budget ASAP
There are so many reasons why you need a budget, but if you’re going into your overdraft or dipping into your savings month after month a basic budget can help you avoid that.
The word ‘budget’ kind of sounds restrictve and scary, but it’s not really! Simply write down your incoming wage and make a list of all your outgoings.
Then, decide what categories you’d like to do for the rest of your money.
Telling your money where to go rather than wondering where it went each month is so powerful!
2. Learn to say no
This was a HUGE one for me and to be honest I’m still learning. I’ve always had a really hard time saying no.
To be fair, over the years, it’s been good in terms of me maintaining good friendships and relationships, but it’s not been great for my bank account.
During the past couple of years, saying no to nights out or trips I couldn’t afford has really helped me with things like saving money towards a house deposit and learning to budget better for important events.
3. Get a side hustle
Whether you want to save money for a big event like travelling or buying a house or just need some extra cash, you NEED a side hustle! Side hustles can be anything outside of your main job where you earn money.
For example, I used to find things in charity shops and at local car boots to flip on eBay during evenings and weekends. You can babysit, walk dogs, make products to sell, take online surveys, anything you can manage really!
Related: 15 easy ways to make money at home
4. Freebies are your friend
Freebies are AMAZING! If you read the blog, you’ll know I’m a HUGE fan of free stuff. I’ve probably saved thousands over the years getting free samples in the post and in-store.
You can get loads, from food and drink, to beauty products, and pet stuff too!
Want to know where to find freebies? Check out these posts:
- Latest Freebies, Deals & Free Money Offers UK
- 30+ genuine product testing opportunities to get free stuff
- Genius ways to get free food & drink
- How to get exciting freebies in the mail every day
- 30+ freebie sites to check daily for freebies
- How to get unlimited free perfume samples in the UK
- 60+ birthday freebies to claim on your birthday
- How to get free makeup & beauty samples
- Writing to companies to get freebies
- How to get unlimited SoPost samples in the post
5. That goes for coupons & discounts too
Alongside freebies, coupons and discounts will also help you make mega savings. Throughout uni, discount codes and coupons seriously helped me stretch my student loan further.
You can find coupons and discounts pretty much anywhere too!
6. Get cashback on everything
You can get cashback on everyday retailers, holidays, insurance, mortgages, and so much more. If you don’t get cashback on your purchases, you’re basically missing out on free money.
7. Pay yourself first
Onto my first ‘serious’ money lesson. Paying yourself first means saving and spending what is left, rather than the other way round.
This takes a lot of discipline but once you get into the habit or automate the process each month, it becomes a lot easier.
8. Buy cheap, buy twice…
Again, one I’m still getting used to myself! There is a big difference between being thrifty and bagging a bargain and being cheap.
Sometimes, it’s worth spending a little more on quality items like clothes and furniture for your home, as it’s much more likely to last longer.
9… But buy secondhand where you can
On the same note, I would never turn my nose up at a charity shop, eBay or car boot bargain! Especially when it comes to designer clothes. This can help you save money and the planet so it’s a win, win really!
10. Try a capsule wardrobe
Have you heard of a capsule wardrobe? It’s an amazing way to save money on clothes and still look as stylish as possible using a select number of key staples.
For example, a leather jacket, black dress, denim jeans, and a white shirt are all key wardrobe functional pieces you can mix and match with other things.
Start by decluttering your wardrobe and getting rid of what doesn’t work for you anymore. Especially items that are worn, stained, or have holes in!
Then, build it back up with items that make you feel confident and that you can wear again and again!
11. Find someone who is on the same page as you financially
This is another BIG one! It’s so important to talk about money with your other half and share your goals and aspirations. If one of you has debt, be honest and talk about it with your partner.
In my opinion, it never ends well if you hide your financial situation or don’t talk about these things before moving in together or marrying someone.
Plus, on a more serious note, if you open a joint account or purchase a house together, that person’s credit score could affect yours.
If they have good credit, happy days! However, if they have debt and things like CCJs on their account, it can drag your credit score down.
12. There is no one-size-fits-all money approach
I hate to be the one to have to tell you this. BUT… There isn’t any secret formula or step-by-step guide that you can follow to save money, start a budget, buy a house, pay off debt, etc.
I wish there was and I would love to share it if I had it! Sure, reading financial books and making sure you know your financial lingo can certainly help you.
But no one is you, no one has the exact same financial situation you have. They may be similar, but if you can’t afford to save x amount each month, that’s ok! You do you.
13. Sometimes financial risks pay off (& sometimes they don’t)
Sometimes you really have to be in the right place, at the right time, and take the leap. When we put an offer in on an old tatty house, the timing was just right for us.
And that was a big gamble because we weren’t even sure we could afford to fix it up. We just knew we really wanted to give it a go and had the initial funds to do get started.
That’s an example of when a bit of calculated risk paid off for us.
However, putting all your savings into a new multi-level marketing scheme? I would give that one a miss! It’s all about calculating risk and trusting your gut…
Speaking of trusting your gut! Moving swiftly onto my next lesson. Your gut exists for a reason – use it! Think something sounds too good to be true?
Time to move on from a toxic relationship? Have doubts about a purchase? Trust your gut, it’s usually right!
14. It’s only a bargain if you really need it
It can be so tempting to buy something because it’s on sale or cheap. Especially during high-pressure sale periods, January Sales, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday – I’m looking at you!
Take a deep breath and sit on making a decision purchase overnight. If you still want it the next day, always have a look around for a better deal first.
15. Your degree matters – but it isn’t everything
I think a lot of people in this country still obsess about having a degree. I work in Marketing and in most of the jobs I’ve applied for, employers have asked for a degree-level applicant.
My other half works in Finance, he never went to university and got an apprenticeship instead. He’s never been asked for a degree!
What I’m saying is, if you’re going into a competitive industry, it can help to have a degree, but I’ve learned that work experience is equally, if not more important in this day and age.
16. Done is better than perfect
This applies to so many things in life, but especially when it comes to finances and saving money. Sometimes, starting a budget or thinking about money-saving goals can be really overwhelming.
I don’t know about you, but I tend to work myself up and end up not doing anything at all. That’s why I love this piece of advice, it’s so true! Just start and work your way through it. Nothing has to be perfect!
17. It’s ok to treat yourself…
When money is tight, you might feel really bad for going out for a friend’s birthday or ordering a takeaway. Remember, it’s ok to treat yourself!
Everyone deserves to have fun and as long as you can plan ahead and live with the cost, it’s ok to give yourself permission to enjoy things! Life is too short…
18. …But remember, everything in moderation
At the same time, remember those goals and try to keep within your budget!
19. Be willing to sacrifice certain things
While I talk about treating yourself every now and again, if you’re saving for a house or for a car or trying to pay off debt, it’s a good idea to cut down on certain things.
Think about your subscriptions, do you use your gym membership or could you run for free instead? Are you going to watch Netflix AND Amazon Prime or could you just choose one? Or even go without both?
If you get your hair and nails done often, could you switch to home DIY treatments?
20. Build a good credit score
As I said earlier, having a partner with a good credit score can be beneficial to you but what are you bringing to the table? Sites like Clearscore offer a free credit check, which is definitely worth checking out!
You can also look for incorrect information like an old phone bill or incorrect address and request these things to be edited and removed from your report.
Also, building a good credit score doesn’t necessarily mean rushing out and getting a credit card. Things like monthly phone contracts also help you build your score if you pay them each month without any issues.
Remember, it takes time!
21.Buying a house is bloody difficult & stressful
This one!! You probably think saving a deposit is the toughest part, but actually, that’s just the beginning. For some reason, the home buying process is so ridiculously painful!
Dealing with solicitors, the risk of getting gazumped (where someone offers a higher price last minute) Buyers/sellers pulling out of deals, all the paperwork. It never ends!
So, just be prepared to play a long waiting game and read up on the process so you’re aware of what you’re in for… It’s all worth it in the end, though!
22. Try not to compare yourself to others
I say ‘try’ because this is another difficult one! Especially with social media. It can be really tough as it’s so easy to compare yourself when you see what others are doing. I have really been affected by this in the past.
Here is how I’ve tried to overcome this…
23. Unsubscribe & unfollow
This is it! Unsubscribe from emails that tempt you to buy things and unfollow people that make you feel like a failure. You don’t need that in your life!
24. Give back when you can
Can you afford to give £1-2 a month to your favourite charity? Or pop a tin round at your local food bank? Giving back is such a lovely feeling, and if you have struggled and are now in a good place, it always pays karma-wise to give back.
25. Sometimes life and emergencies happen
Sometimes, you’ll have to spend £1k fixing up a problem with your car, or your boiler might break, life happens! While in an ideal world, we’d all have an emergency fund, most of us don’t.
It can seem like the end of the world and feel like all your efforts have been put to waste, but it’s really not that bad! Take a deep breath and start working on rebuilding those savings…
26. Find a support system who will hold you accountable
If you were trying to lose weight, you would probably try to stop hanging around with your friends that go out eating all the time, am I right? So it’s the same thing when you’re trying to save money.
Find a group of people who share your goals. Who love getting a deal as much as you! Keep those people close, as they will help you achieve your goals.
27. Always have an end goal in mind
Keep going until you’ve reached your goal! Then what? Create a new one! Once you have purpose and a plan for your money, it becomes more real. Keep working on those goals!
28. Never stop educating yourself about money
Similar to the above, make sure you keep up to date with money-saving tips. Start a blog, download new money apps, read books from real people who have paid off debt or achieved a goal you love and can connect with.
29. Yellow stickers are also amazing!
I can’t believe I almost forgot to mention yellow sticker bargains! They’re an amazing way to save money at the market and you can get some brililant bargains like meals, sandwiches, even full birthday cakes for less than a £1!
30. Go easy on yourself
Finally, ending on a big one! Don’t give yourself such. ahard time. Try your best, keep going and make time for self care!
Hopefully, these money-saving tips tips have helped 🙂 what have you learned by 30? Let me know!