When it comes to saving money, there are no real easy short cuts. You have to put the work in to get anything back. So I’m giving you a run down of the No Spend & Save Challenge that is sweeping the internet (& wallets) at the moment! Being thrifty always helps in the long run, believe me! 🙂
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Money saving sometimes, for most of us, comes at a time where you begin to struggle & start to realise you should have done something about this sooner! If you have a stack of debts, it is often worth looking at how you can consolidate them by trying guarantor loans from Buddy Loans. It is a hard to swallow knowing you aren’t as secure as you thought! Especially if you come to realise the savings that you always thought you’d have aren’t your reality! But there are a lot of things that you can do to improve your finances in just one year! – It seems long, but oh, so worth it!
One of the first things you can do when you are starting to save is – actually start saving! Saving on things such as gift cards can really be a big help, especially during the holiday season, Raise is a great way to get gift cards at amazing rates thanks to their collection of coupons and codes that can help you save with some of the top retailers, including Target! Additionally, begin to have some goals in mind. When we set goals, we are more likely to make every effort to meet them. They help us to remain accountable & when we reach them, the satisfaction is enormous.
A few goals that people like to aim for:
- New car
- House deposit
- Money to invest
- Big holiday
- Emergency funds
Ultimate ways to save –
The 5 Note Saving Challenge
This one can be a lot of fun & a great way to stash away little & often.
No matter your currency you put away your 5 dollars/pounds/euro notes. Get a special jar dedicated to this challenge. Start this month & do it for 12 months. Don’t keep a tally on the total, just remain focused on putting away your fivers! To make this really work, it has to be notes. & I’d advise you to cover it, so you won’t be tempted to break into it!
The Change Challenge
Much like the last challenges, except it’s all about the coins. Whenever you pay for something & have change left over put it in a jar. Rather than putting it in a small dish or pot, buy (yes spend first) something that is solely dedicated to holding all of your coins. It is a good idea not to take your money out and count it before the year is over. The idea that you can spend it and build it back up is going to be a big one. So, simply pop your change in the jar and walk away.
If you like to be cash free, then you can look at apps that will skim the spare change from purchases & set it aside for you. This is great if you are typically a debit card user like me & don’t often have spare change. The money is usually held in an account that you can access – which might be too tempting for some people, so carefully consider this before you decide to use a mobile app.
No spend Days/ Months
This is a big trend right now. And with good reason. It isn’t quite saving, but you won’t be spending cash either! You can choose to do it over the space of 30 days, you can opt for 5/7 days a week as spending free. It sounds easy, but actually, you might find that you are spending money in places you didn’t realise until the month you try this challenge out.
You can modify this to work for you. Typically people make allowances for doing the food shopping and/or have one takeaway per month. Or one entertainment item. But some of the quickest ways to make this challenge work is by being prepared especially when going out with the kids/family so make sure you always have reusable water bottles, preparing lunches & snacks in advance & making lists of the vital things to keep the household ticking over. If you are big spenders on days out, then you can spend some time looking for free things to do in your local area.
The 52 Week Challenge
The 52-week challenge becomes more & more popular every year. If you start in January, most people cash out a week or two before Christmas & buy everything in one go with what they have saved. It is also a brilliant way to save up holiday money. You start the challenge the year before your planning break & the week before you go, Cha – Ching!.
It is straightforward in the early days, you put in the same £ as it is the week of the year. So for example, week 33 is £33 week 7 is £7. The later weeks can be a bit tight for many people, but you can make modifications if you need to. By the end of the challenge, you will have saved £1378.
This is a really popular one for people to manage Christmas, or to plump up the emergency fund.
The Reverse 52 Week Challenge
Typically the winter months cost more on heating & electric. Which is why the traditional 52-week challenge can be difficult. But, if you switch it around, the start of the year (when people are going out less anyway) is where the significant deposits are. Then, as the year goes on, & you start to hit the colder months, you can put less in. You will still end up with the £1378, but the pinch at the end of the year won’t happen.
People often find this one psychologically easier because the amount goes down as it goes on, which is closer to how one might pay down debt or pay something off. But, have a look at how your finances from the previous years work out, & see if you can modify it to suit you.
Most of us are purchasing things we don’t need on a regular basis. Coffee while you are traveling to work, late night Amazon shopping (or is it just me?) 😛 take away’s or eating out more than once a week, the list goes on.
If you are doing these often, you might be spending much more than you think.
Add up petrol, tickets, food, drinks and other small things, and you can easily be looking at £100 or more.
It might sound hard, and occasionally it is. But if you are serious about saving then you know that you need to make some changes. So, if you get take-away once a week, cut it back to once a month & put the excess cash in an ‘I didn’t spend it’ jar.
The 5k Saving Challenge
This one is a real life changer. No seriously, be prepared to even cancel your Netflix to make it work!! :O But, trust me when I say, in 12 months you will have 5,000 sitting in your bank. It varies on a week to week basis what you need to deposit & some weeks are much more comfortable than others. This won’t typically work if you have a lot of debt & your money is being eaten elsewhere So you might need to work up to this one.
But here is the general rundown –
This one is one of the greatest options. More so if you hate having to transfer money into other places. Because you know what your budget is, you will know what you need to put away… or do you? Automated savings apps are intelligent & can actually create an entire budget for you by using your spending data.
Which means they will also know what you actually have free to spend and save!
These are a few tools that you might want to try out –
- Plum – it works with facebook messenger & really makes the most of your savings ability. You have a few options like aggressive, relaxed, or balanced. The aggressive saving option will put more money away for you, relaxed is less. The amount changed each week based on your incoming and outgoing and what you have ‘free.’ Plum also has investment options.
- Qapital has a lot of options. Rounding up your spare change, saving a set amount each week, and it keeps what you save separate – so you won’t be spending it any time soon.
- Automatic monthly transfers. This one is really simple. Your standing order will go straight to another savings account, and you never have to think about it. Because it is between your own accounts, you still have control over it too.
Go Hard or Go Home!
Employ a 30 day before spending rule. Don’t buy anything that isn’t essential for at least 30 days after you first saw it. Most people find after 30 days the ‘lust’ factor has long gone.
Be realistic. If you start the 5k challenge but realize you can make 2k more comfortably, then modify. The goal is to save in the best way for you.
When you are saving, it often works out better if you can’t see the money. This means you are less likely to take it out of a jar to spend it. It isn’t usually worth the hassle.
Hey! Could you start the ultimate no spend & save challenge? If so which one would you try? Let me know in the comments below & don’t forget to share!!