I know people can save plenty of money with Be Clever With Your Cash. I know because I already do.
But how much? To be honest I’ve no idea! So the mission I’ve set myself is to not just have a spending diary, but also a saving diary. Everything I save I’ll put into the 2014 Save-Ometer for you all to see.
In essence, as with everything on Be Clever With Your Cash, all my savings are about making money go further and still enjoying my life. It’s not about stopping doing things or just eating lentils!
It’s much harder to record and measure savings than spending. Many of the savings will be subjective and non scientific, but you’ll just have to trust me!
If you want to know how I plan to keep track, keep reading…
This isn’t an exact science, so here’s my logic for different ways I’ll keep track.
An Alternative Me
Imagine a person who never thinks when they spend. For example they book the train on the day,for the time they want to go, oblivious of advance fares, peak times and railcards. Now, pretend that person lives my life exactly as I do, does the same things, they just don’t know the tricks I do. This is the person I’ll measure most savings against.
The Visible Savings
These are easy to measure. The reductions, discounts and deals. I’ll know the value of the saving as I’ll have the original price.
Saving Isn’t About Buying The Cheapest Option
The Abstract Savings
I can’t say I saved money by not buying clothes or taking a holiday if I can’t afford it anyway. But I can afford to buy lunch each day, so taking a packed lunch is a saving. But how much will I save if I don’t have a product to compare it to? I’m going for conservative £4 for a sandwich and a drink as a benchmark price in London.
As with holidays etc, I won’t include things like choosing to go out less or not buying something. I’m doing that because my budget is smaller than it was.
I’m Not Saving for 2
Often I’m buying groceries etc for both me and my girlfriend. To make it easier I’ll just divide by two. I won’t include savings I get for her either, like cashback on a new mobile contract.
But bills or anything that I’m lucky enough to split because I live with someone will count as full costs.
Only Clever Savings
I also won’t count anything too obvious. The majority of Londoners use Oyster so it’s a cheat to say I’d be saving against cash fares. It is a saving if a season ticket works out better.
You Can’t Always Save
Remember sometimes you just can’t get the cheapest or make a saving, but it doesn’t count as an ‘anti-saving’. If your local supermarket is a Budgens (as mine is) then picking up a handful of basics on the way home will cost more. The savings have to fit into my life and sometimes I will have to pay more than I’d like.
Sometimes I’ll get Distracted by A ‘Bargain’
This will happen. Something that’ll seem too good to be true. If I buy something, or spend more than planned, be said it’s a good deal, then I’ll add the value back on.
It Only Counts When It’s In The Account
Cashback can take a few months, so though the saving might be in March I won’t record it until it’s in the account. Similarly I’ll count points on Tesco Clubcard as the minimum value when I receive them, and any double discount will apply when I use them.
So it starts Jan 1st! At the end of each month I’ll write a blog to summarise some of the best savings.
Any questions, just post in the comments below.