You can still be smarter with your money, even if you don’t have much time.
The first six months of my Save-Ometer challenge all seemed quite easy. But July was a lot trickier as I’m busier than I’ve been all year. Even so, I’ve managed to spend 37% less than someone who isn’t Clever With Their Cash.
Actual Spend £1,756.41
Value Of Spend £2,787.55
Saved £1,031.14 (including interest and cashback) – that’s 37%
Though I’ve made some fantastic savings this month, I know it could have been a lot more. I’ve started working full time writing for a big personal finance site, meaning I’ve been working on Be Clever With Your Cash mornings, evenings and weekends. The result is there’s been less time to shop around for the best prices.
Not everyone has two jobs like I do right now (well, one and half), but plenty of people do have commitments that eat into their spare time. If that’s you, you might have been reading the site and blog posts and thinking “It all sounds great, but I don’t have time to do everything Andy does”. There’s certainly truth there – but even before this new job, I didn’t manage to do all these things!
Being clever with your cash isn’t about making or saving the most money. I might be a little obsessed, but that’s my problem not yours! The most important thing is to only do what works for your life, and the time you have available.
If you only manage to grab the odd deal or bargain I write about that’s still great. If you manage to follow some of the tips, even better!
If you can keep in mind tips like buying train tickets in advance, using some of the Clever Sites we feature or fixing your energy deal, these savings will add up over time, giving you more to spend or save. I’m managing to spend around a third less than I could – but even five or ten percent would be a fantastic saving.
Prioritising what’s important to you, and what you can manage, is the key. For me I’m saving as much as I can so I spend that money on our wedding and hopefully a holiday instead.
Having said that July was pretty low spend – which is good for our wedding fund. There haven’t been any major purchases, but that just shows that the little savings really can add up.
Now I’m not at home during lunch, the temptation is there to spend on lots of exciting food stalls near my office. But as I wrote about in this Spendonomics blog, that’s not good for llbs or £££s! Over a year I’ll be saving over £500 by taking a packed lunch.
The big spend – and save – in July was switching my phone, broadband and TV deal to TalkTalk. I’ve paid my annual line rental upfront, saving £60. Add to that a half price offer, cashback, a voucher and a YouView box that’s mine to keep, and I’m over £200 better off than simply doing nothing and staying with Sky. Take a read of my new guide to see how you can get the best deal when your contract expires.
READ THE SAVE-OMETER INTRO BLOG TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HOW THE SAVE-OMETER CHALLENGE WORKS.
2014 Total so far
Actual Spend £14,963.10
Value Of Spend £23,072.74
Saved £8,111.64 – (35%)
Month By Month Totals
Actual Spend £2,401.21 / Value Of Spend £3,817.86 / Saved £1,416.65 (37%)
Actual Spend £1,305.25 / Value Of Spend £1,888.20 / Saved £582.95 (31%)
Actual Spend £2,209.29 / Value Of Spend £3,538.68 / Saved £1,329.38 (38%)
Actual Spend £2,339.99 / Value Of Spend £3,622.89 / Saved £1,282.90 (35%)
Actual Spend £1,883.45 / Value Of Spend £3,137.28 / Saved £1,253.83 (40%)
Actual Spend £3,067.50 / Value Of Spend £4,282.29 / Saved £1,214.79 (28%)
Actual Spend £1,756.41 / Value Of Spend £2787.55 / Saved £1031.14 (37%)