How I’m Saving Money In 2017

The Pikachu money box that my sister made me
My sister made me this Pikachu money box to help with my saving. Let’s just pretend it’s really full and I’m super rich, okay?

So, last year, I started saving up for a mortgage. I set up a mortgage account, set up a monthly transfer and began building up funds for the future. And, being the dreamer I am, I imagined coming out of 2016 with enough money for my own house and more.

Unfortunately, this dream did not become a reality. Instead of saving properly, I became addicted to Pokemon cards, spent what I wanted and didn’t set a budget for anything. And, I somehow managed to squander a large portion of my savings on Christmas, even though I have no idea what I actually bought. Do I have a box of gold I’ve forgotten about somewhere? I bloody hope so.

Because of this epic fail, I decided that I was going to take saving a lot more seriously in 2017. I decided that I was going to manage my money properly and give myself real goals, so I wouldn’t have the “fuck it” mentality I had last year. Even if that mentality did buy me lots of cool stuff!

Saving has also become so much more important now, as I’ve just booked a second holiday for this year. I’m off to Scotland in June and London in September, which means I’ll need to tighten my belt if I’m going to be able to afford everything and still meet my mortgage goals. Wow, this is going to be hard.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s a list of the things I’m doing to save money in 2017!

Monthly Bus Passes

Instead of paying bus fare on a weekly basis, I’ve started paying it monthly, which saves me between £10 and £30 a month. I was hoping to switch to yearly, which is even cheaper, but don’t trust myself to keep a pass safe for that long!

Savvy Food Shopping

Up until recently, every meal I made was unnecessarily huge, which resulted in lots of food being thrown away. Obviously, this also wasn’t great for my bank account so, over the past few months, I’ve had a look at some recipes to help me understand how much of each ingredient I actually need. This has resulted in the weekly shop being much easier and much cheaper. Yay!

Packed Lunches

Last year, I bought the majority of my lunches on the way to work. While I tried to set myself a £3 budget, most days I’d just spend whatever I liked, filling my bag with expensive sandwiches, pastries and snacks. Some weeks I’d spend over £35, which was definitely not good for my bank balance. This year, I’ve started taking sandwiches, and I rarely buy anything at the shop anymore, decreasing the weekly spend from £35 to £4. Yes!

Cutting Down My Subscriptions

I love comics, which means I like to follow lots of different series’. At the end of December, my monthly expenditure was ridiculous and I’d subscribed to so many that I didn’t even have enough time to read them all! I’ve since culled this list, and I’m still trying to cut it further! £30 off so far, let’s see what else we can drop!

Trimming the Bills

I’d like to take credit for this, but Andy was actually the mastermind behind trimming our bills. While working on gas and electricity comparison at work, he realised that simply changing to a different tariff could save a lot of money, and also make it easier to regulate your payments. We now pay a set monthly price for gas and electric, which is so much cheaper than what we used to pay. And all it took was one phone call!

Looking for Deals

Now I’m taking saving more seriously, I’ve started researching how I can get things at a lower cost. If I want something, instead of going for the quickest and easier option, I visit lots of different shops and websites before making the purchase. I also look through my emails, to see if any shops have offers on, or to see if they have any codes for free delivery. It might be more effort, but it’s definitely great to get the same item at half the price!

Having a Treat Budget

So I don’t feel like I’m restricting myself too much, I set myself a “treat” budget for each month. With this I can buy anything I want, be that clothes, books or theatre trips. Having this set amount means I don’t go overboard on shopping sprees, and also makes me think a lot more carefully about whether I really want something. Before I make a purchase I now ask myself whether I’m going to use the item in question, which is something I should have been doing in the first place!

Are you good with money? Do you have any tips for saving?

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9 Comments

  1. Saving money is hard, but it’s certainly doable. I’ve been trying to curb my spending my eating out less for dinner and eating at the $3.50 USD place for lunch (all-you-can-eat Korean meal of the day) near my workplace. I also try to walk more and not use a cab when I am going home from work. I also try not to buy my hobby items unless it’s something I really want. These have help me save for my travels 🙂

    You have some great tips. I wish you a ton of luck for reaching your savings goal!

  2. “Unfortunately, this dream did not become a reality. Instead of saving properly, I became addicted to Pokemon cards, spent what I wanted” Hahahaha, I loved that bit. 2016 me could totally relate to clothes and shit I didn’t need. xD

    I actually got rid of my bus pass, it was a monthly one but since I became dedicated to my fitness lifestyle I have been dedicated to just walking everywhere and being in Sheffield thats a challenge with all its hills xD But I’m not spending £35+ on a monthly pass anymore which is good. I’ve started minimising my subscriptions too, especially with my NYC trip coming up. I need all the money I can get.

    I stopped eating out for lunch too! I used to just eat out all the time especially for lunch but nowadays I just pack my lunch – it’s healthier and cheaper for sure! 😀

    I love the idea of a treat budget 😀 Thanks for sharing Amy! Good luck on your saving goals.

  3. I had a yearly train pass last year when I was still getting the train to work, and as well as saving me money it saved me time. I didn’t have to queue up to buy a ticket everyday which meant I didn’t have to leave the house as early in the mornings.

    In a way I’m lucky because where I work there is only a couple of places to eat, and Subway, Costa and the chippy get boring after a while. So I have to take packed lunches. Tyrone is in the same boat too because he works in the middle of nowhere!

    Food can be so costly, and it’s easy to spend a fortunate on food without even realising. I find doing a food shop online is the best because it stops impulse purchases and you are more likely to meal plan in advance.

    I love the idea of a treat budget! Good luck with your savings!

  4. I’m in the same boat as you with wanting to save up for a house. It’s good that you’re taking more initiatives to be serious with your saving! These are some great ways on saving some extra money. All of the little things add up and your future self will be thankful for cutting some appropriate corners in the past. I feel like subscriptions are big money suckers. It might seem like $10 a month but having multiple subscriptions will cost hundreds per year! I started looking through Groupon for deals but I feel like I’ll end up spending money where I wouldn’t have planned on going anyways @__@.

    Having a treat budget is definitely smart! I try to save 1/2 of my monthly paycheck while spending the other 1/2 on whatever I need/want to do. As for the spending portion of my monthly budget, I am pretty unorganized with that ;~;..

  5. You make a lot of sacrifices when you’re saving up for a new place, car, etc. Sometimes, you need to cut out things you love best, such as subscriptions, fast food, and treats, but at the end of the day, it’s all for a great reason, and it’s worth it.

  6. 2016 was a shit show for saving for me, as well. I’ve definitely gotten better at it this year, but man. It’d hard to train youself into NOT buying shit you don’t need. (YOU’RE COMING TO LONDON IN SEPTEMBER. OKAY HELLO HMU GIRL)

    Monthly bus passes have been my lifesaver! Transport is the bane of my existence, but then I remind myself, “Well if you had a car imagine how much you’d be spending instead”.

    I came up with a spreadsheet, which I update monthly, and it lists all of my expenditure. Bills, food, transport, etc. Anything left over, I calculate how I really need to spend this month taking into account any birthdays, etc. and then put that aside and the rest goes into savings. I also do have a set amount I put in savings anyway, and a treat budget as well. It’s definitely helped and I feel way more confident with my money now too.

    My only weakness really is eating out and books. But whatevs, we can live a little 😉

  7. And now I realized how much money I waste on commodity. Unfortunately I can’t give you any piece of advice because I am the worst at putting money away. It is true that I receive money from my parents every month, but I realize that I could put some money aside for emergencies and maybe to use them for something useful like school books or I don’t know anything else.

    I want to start being more responsible with the money I receive and save some (of course, small amounts of money). I think would be very good for my future and the way I will manage my money when I will earn them and my parents won’t be helping me anymore, because we all need some skills in doing that.

    Good luck with your plan and I really hope it will work <3

  8. Hehe nice plan! It can be totally hard to save money and that’s not including some of the “extra” things you listed like subscriptions and treats, and holidays. Even with daily necessities sometimes we pay more than what is really really really necessary. I struggle with buying food big time, and also take my bus pass for granted. I get so lazy and tired of waiting for the bus that I use Lyft if I’m in a hurry, and that’s an extra $4 – $5 for no reason. Overall I would say I’m okay with money since I was able to save so much for rent and graduate school, though a mortgage would be a whole other thing! My biggest advice is cutting out a lot of things that I would label as “luxuries” such as haircuts, vacations, happy hours. And buy everything only on a deal. I’m not saying I follow my own advice 😛 but when I did need to save it came in handy!

    Good luck girl!

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