Tuesday, 16 April 2013

An update and ways to save money + win

Currently my life consists of collage work and driving lessons, I only have 4 college units left now and I'm not finding them too interesting (one of them is cream-self tanning, can you blame a girl who loves being pale for not being enthused about a tan?). My Driving test is booked for the end of May and I'm no where near ready so in the next 5 weeks I have 9 two hour lessons, sadly this also means I have no money left in my savings to be frivolous with. I'm having a carboot sale on Saturday and have sold a mismatched foundation on ebay so I should have money to get by on but I can't waste any at all... if only because I don't have enough to waste!
It seems fate that Moneysupermarket.com are having a competition involving up to 30 ideas on ways to save money (entering is simple so click the link to find out how). 

1. Where and how to save - it's all well and good saving pennies and pounds but knowing where to put it is key, for example looking for a tax free ISA if you've got even a little money you can put aside for a year or two. A freshly opened account will give you a better rate but if your rate has been lowed after time go into the branch to discuss a new rate, banks want your savings so give it a try.

2. Know what you spend - it's all to easy to ignore how much you spent or argue that owning dozens of the same nail varnish colour is fine because you didn't buy them all together. Try actually looking at your bank statements, if you use cash try using your card only for a month and keep a note of what you spend any cash on if you have to use it. 

3. Discount codes - googling the website along with 'voucher codes' can turn up all sorts, even if it just covers shipping costs, or consider signing up for their email newsletter since most come with initial discounts (for examples H+M's 25%). 

4. Change adds up - 'look after the pennies and the pounds look after themselves' we've all heard the saying but it seems a little old fashioned (from then pennies brought more) but try keeping your small coins in a jar until it's full then count them up, you can count it and take it to the bank (free) or a coin machine at a supermarket (for a fee) or pay the good Samaritan and drop the contents off at a charity shop.. or even use it to buy something at the charity shop.

I'm using a jar like this for 5p-20ps and when it's full I'll be donating the change, probably to the RSPCA.

5. Buying second hand - Charity shops are a great place to buy a bargain as are carboot sales and Ebay or Gumtree. When it comes to selling Ebay and Gumtree will earn you more (bare fees in mind Ebay 10% and Paypal are about 8% I think) but carboot sales will get you instant hard cash albeit less. Carboot pitch fee's are usually around £6 but after that it's all yours, if I take a full paste table of bits I usually make around £40-£60 (consider how the weather will affect turnout, undercover ones will draw a crowd as a cheap morning out in rain and outside ones help enjoy great sun).

6. DIYcyling - Simple things like sanding a paint a wooden object will provide great re-freshed storage (I brought a 40p letter holder and painted it for my eyeshadow pallets) as will modifying clothes by cutting, sewing or dying... though if you're using a washing machine dye in one that's not yours consider the damage, I want to dye a pair of jeans my perfect purple but my mother won't allow it. If you have an item you want to modify just youtube it for ideas and tutorials.

7. Shop around - if it's online its ease to look around (remember delivery charges) but it can feel awkward going from Boots to Superdrug to compare especially if you find the first place was cheapest to begin with but if you're shopping alone no ones really going to pay much attention to what shops you're going in... possibly with the exception of odd looks from the security guards but smile sweetly rather than staring them out and they won't really care. We think about this with big purchases but saving £'s now leaves you £'s for later.

8. Think - it's not just about what you spend it's about what you buy, do you need a dozen eyeshadow palettes  What about those 5 clear nail varnishes you have around the place?  You can argue until you're blue  in the face that you do or that they where cheap but there is a difference between stocking up on cheap-on-offer essentials and just buying things because their cheap. If you have 3 draws of clothes you've barely worn in the 6 months it's been since you brought them on sale, then it's probably time to let go of them.

9. Compare values - I don't mean prices, I mean what else you could be spending the money on. I'm going to Italy in July, thanks to my lovely mother, but understandably I need to bring my own spending money so everything I do buy I purchase with the Trevi fountain at the front of my mind along with its surrounding pretty cafes and shops!

10. Windfalls - Christmas and birthdays for me a great, my birthdays in November so I save my money and add it to my Christmas money for the new year sales. I was hoping I could find a Michael Kors watch on sale, I couldn't despite heading the Bichester outlet store, but luckily I'd saved enough money to buy it and the insurance without an offer. If you get this money consider it not part of the everyday money you rely on, the the amount varies anyway, save it and put it aside.

11. Outlet stores - Portsmouth's Gunwharf Quays is great they have a body shop outlet on Estee Lauder brand outlet (that means MAC and Bobbi Brown) as well as a Yo!sushi store or Tiger Tiger for hot hearty mac and cheese where as Bichester in Oxford is designer with Michael Kors and V. Westwood store along with an Alexander Mcqueen and a Starbucks as well as their Estee Lauder outlet.

12. Resist or remove - if you can't resist spending money thats in your account then get it our of there into an account you can't use with a chip and pin or online then leave the card at home as well to remove the temptation to pop in-branch for a little expendable cash boost.

13. Use it or lose it - If you're not using a product ask your self why, if you're not going to use it pass it on, sell it or throw it out. Take those one used and disliked nail varnishes to a carboot and label the box 50p or £1, those false eyelashes you brought in a moment of 'I can totally wear lashes, I should wear them!' only to regret buying them after trying the first pair; why not list them on Ebay as a set?

14. Cheapest isn't always best - buying a cheap £5 pair of shoes that last a fortnight before they begin falling apart may seem like a cheap option but buying a £15 pair that last a good 6 months will work out much better for your purse. A bottle of perfume will last longer than a body spray, Highstreet brands so great scents for under £10 that will last months so how does going through a two bottles of Impulse a month make sense?

15. Bogof - you might not need two bottles of conditioner now but if you can get one free when you buy your normal set of one shampoo and one conditioner then its logical to get the extra one especially if you know you'll use it.

16. Wishlists - if you're an impulse buyer make a wishlist and don't buy anything that has been on it for less than two weeks since this will give you time to think about it, would you rather wait two weeks or be looking at it with regrets in two weeks?

17. Returns - when buying online sizes can be tricky so check the return information before you buy, especially on sale items, if in doubt don't buy it. You won't save money in the long run if you're suck with clothes you can't wear and if it's on sale still you'll have to wait to list it online while people can find a cheap/cheaper version they can buy right now.

18. Size matters - if you know you have problems finding clothes that fit don't buy online unless you're sure, even with returns available, just go in stores and try clothes on. You'll save so much time and postage money (since if you're returning things from a problem on your end you usually have to pay the postage to return them).

So those are my tips and ideas for saving money. 
I'll hopefully be post more often again now I'm nearly finished with college for the summer, though I still have work experience to go which will be 10 hard days.

Do you have any tips? Are you entering the competition.
If you are post a link below since I'm always interested in ideas to save.