Socialising was my biggest ‘unessential’ outgoing. The reality is you might need to go out less, this of course depends on your income and your end goal.
I needed to cut right down.
Be honest with your friends, you don’t have to disclose the full plan and jinx everything. If you’re anything like me you won’t have a full plan! simply say you’re saving money, suggest a night in instead of going out.
If you’re going out… my favourite trick is take a hip-flask. I used to spend SO much money on going out drinking. Now I spend less than a fiver each time. And I feel so smug.
Avoid take aways. Home cooked food is not only healthier (start thinking beach bod…) but it is also SO much cheaper. I’ve always been pretty good when it comes to breakfast and dinner, apart from the occasional treat, but lunch was my fall down.
It takes a bit more planning, and a bit more organisation, but I’ve actually learnt to make a few new budget recipes (I might post some?).
Make simple swaps. Instead of choosing sugary cereal that cost £3 and last 1 week. Get some own-brand oats, they cost 50p and last for weeks. You can always dress them up with honey, nuts, seeds.
Take back control!
Shop around for cheaper gas and electric providers, do you really use that gym membership? Supporting charities is great when you can afford to- but we’re in savings mode here.
I shut down a couple of my direct debits and chose to volunteer instead.
Make smart decisions – Full disclosure, I’ve continued paying for my gym memberships because they’re important to me. For various reasons.
Between CrossFit and a regular gym I was spending almost £100 per month. You just have to decide what works for you, and maybe make sacrifices in other areas.
Speaking of sacrifices in other areas… I moved house to reduce my rent. At first I was not happy about this. I was leaving MY HOME, the nicest, biggest house I’ve lived in. It meant re-homing my pet rabbit, Teddy. Selling all my furniture, getting rid of 60% of my clothes.
My budget was limiting and my new home is small but you know what? It’s really fine.
My flat mates are now my good friends, we have fun, I’ve got everything I need.
And in reality? I’m actually happier. Just goes to show how a fancy house and material goods are really not the be all and end all.
When I started all this a few months back, I thought these things would bring me down.
I thought I’d find things hard, I thought I’d be miserable and have to ardently focus on the end goal to make it bearable. But In reality once you get used to a life style it isn’t that bad.
So to summarise:
- Make homemade food, using budget recipes
- Have nights in instead of going out
- Take a hip-flask if you have to go out
- Analyse monthly outgoings and see where you can make small savings. They add up.
- Sell things that you won’t take with you.