I wrote a post quite a long time ago about how I confessed to be a shopaholic. I wouldn’t say I’m as indulgent in myself anymore as I now have a baby to look after but with that also comes cute baby clothes that just have to be bought. Madison has more stuff than you can imagine and most of it that she doesn’t really need, yet I still can’t quite stop myself from shopping. Sometimes I just want to spend money for the hell of it (especially when I’m sad) and now that Steve and I are trying to save even harder for a house deposit – it’s about time I stopped spending. And Fast! So this is how the shopaholic is coping on a budget!!
As a girl who is a self-proclaimed shopaholic it’s probably not that big of a shock when I tell you that I struggle to save or keep to my budgets. I mean, once the money’s in the savings account, I’m pretty good at not touching it but if it’s there to be spent then you can bet your bottom dollar I’m gonna spend it. It doesn’t even matter what I’m spending it on sometimes, when I’ve got the urge to spend money, I’ll find a way – even if it is just on a bag of spinach or a bar of chocolate!
Now that we’re in a new year though and the desire for a house of our own is increasing by the second it’s time to save big time and that means setting a budget and sticking too it. We even spent a weekend looking around show homes to solidify in our minds the need to save and it definitely brought me back down to reality. So for today I thought I’d write a post on how the shopaholic is (trying) to save for a house!
One of the things I’m terrible at is ignoring those glorious emails that come through telling me all about the new products, offers and SALES that my favourite brands currently have on. I have absolutely zero will power and so the best thing for me to do was to unsubscribe from them all. It took me a while but I finally got through them all (apart from Cath Kidston and Asos. I couldn’t bring myself to do that).
2. No more ‘coffees’.
Being a new mum my days are mostly filled with coffee dates with other mums. We go to a Costa or to a local hotel and sit and have a ‘coffee’ date with our bubbas to sit, chat and put the world to rights. I mean, I don’t actually drink coffee so this one’s more of a ‘no more hot chocolate’ rule but it still applies. Tap water only. The amount of money I’ve probably spent on these ‘coffee dates’ since having Madison is actually sickening to think of. Especially when it only really costs them about 20p to actually make the drinks!
3. Meal Plan!
Since I’ve taken the healthy eating pledge along with my new fitness goals for 2018, this next point is a little easier for us and as I cook meals for the whole family, a little cheaper too. Meal planning for the week ahead and buying all of the ingredients in one go is the easiest way to save money when it comes to food. I plan out the evening meals I want to make and add in a little extra to make myself leftovers for lunches too. It also means I can make meals with similar ingredients to save on wasting food (I hate having to chuck out gone off veg!). I find a lot of my recipes through EatWell with Lucy, The Body Coach Lean in 15 books or the Hello Fresh Website – *spoiler: you can actually access the Hello Fresh recipes without even paying for a box! I do this and then go to Aldi for all of my ingredients; it works out so much cheaper!*
4. Leave the Credit cards at HOME. Budget!!
This works for debit cards too! I have a credit card for keeping a good credit score and never take it out with me. I occasionally use it for larger purchases (like holidays or my new iMac) and make sure that I pay them off straight away but for everyday use I keep this at home so I can’t be tempted by the ridiculous £4.5K credit limit my bank has given me (who can pay that back?!). I also have started doing this with my debit card; I know it sounds a little more extreme but when you like to spend as much as me, getting a certain amount of cash out each week and leaving your debit card at home definitely makes it easier to not pick up unnecessary things that you really don’t need to buy. I’ve set myself a budget and for emergencies I have my debit card attached to Apple Pay on my phone but for the most part, cash is all I’m allowed to use!
5. Save your money wisely.
Now, this is a tip that Steve and I are only just acting on ourselves but after watching the Martin Lewis money show the other night we’ve decided to move our savings around a bit to get the most out of our money. We’ve finally given in to the fact that it’ll be at least another year, if not a little longer before we’re out of my parents and in a new house of our own and because of that we’ve decided to split our money into lots of different pots. There are so many different types of ISAs out there such as the Help to Buy ISA, Lifetime ISA and also saving accounts which are fixed for a year and give you waaaay higher interest rates than your everyday saver. We’ll be transferring our savings into these soon as you get much higher interest and with both of the ISAs I’ve mentioned above you also get a bonus from the government – getting paid just for saving with them? YES PLEASE! Steve and I will both be opening these kind of accounts and at the end of the year we should come out a couple of grand better off – absolute no brainer! Of course, all of these types of accounts need to be looked at carefully before you go popping your money into them, but once you’ve done your research it’s definitely worth while!
Have you got any money saving tips or first time buyer tips for me at all? I need all of your secrets – I need a house!