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Do you find that payday comes and goes leaving you with less and less disposable income each month?
Or, are you trying to save money for something special, a deposit on a new home, a new car perhaps or are you looking to go travelling?
Making and sticking to a budget doesn’t have to be difficult. There are so many ways to improve your finances just by looking at your current spending habits.
It’s surprising how all the small expenses throughout the week can add up, leaving us with less money than what we think we have.
However, something as simple as really taking note of what we buy can help us reduce our outgoing and save a significant amount of money each month. You will be amazed at the things we can quit buying to save money, you just need to be serious about it!
The following 22 things are all items many of us use or buy on a regular basis. However, by cutting back or not buying these items at all you will easily be able to save thousands of ,pounds in no time at all.
By using some of these tips I was able to save £5000 in only a year whilst at university. This allowed me to take 3 months out traveling Asia before starting my first job as a qualified nurse. It was defo the best way to celebrate finishing a very stressful course as well as my 40th birthday which I spent in Cambodia.
If you are serious about saving money, sit down and really take a look at what you are spending on a daily basis. How many of these items are on that list and how many of them can you live without in order to save?
If you are serious about getting your finances under control then check out my step by step guide to making a budget.
22 Things to quit buying to save money:
We all love visiting our favourite restaurants, but how much money are you spending each time? The average spend in most restaurants is around £20-30 per person with a drink or two. Even if you only eat out once a week that could amount to over £100 a month.
Instead of eating out why not start meal planning and try making some of your favourite restaurant meals at home instead.
I used to spend so much money on Starbucks and Costa coffee! At £3 a drink, those 2 or 3 drinks a day at uni really did add up!
Instead I bought a reusable cup and made my own coffee and just treated myself to a Starbucks or Costa every Friday. Although I was only saving on average £5 a day over the month this easily added up to around £100. A classic example of how small purchases really do add up!
I used to be a bit of a takeaway queen, living in student housing in the city centre it was far too easy to nip out to the local KFC, McDonalds or pizza place. Takeaways are defo one of the best things to quit buying to save money, not only good for your finances but also your health!
Do you really need that magazine subscription? Most magazine subscriptions aren’t that expensive, but if you have a few of them they can easily add up.
Do you even read them? I know I’ve had subscriptions in the past and usually I just had a quick glance before they ended up gathering dust on my desk. If you really do enjoy reading magazines then why not subscribe to the online versions which can work out much cheaper?
Books were another expense that I quickly got rid off! When I started uni I bought all kinds of books and text books that I thought I would need. However I soon realised that all the books I needed were available in the Uni library. The books I did buy I then sold on Ebay which made me around £100.
If you do enjoy reading, instead of buying the latest books why not buy the cheaper electronic versions and read them from a kindle, iPad or mobile phone?
You could also join your local library. Libraries are incredible resources that are often underappreciated. In addition to books, many libraries also have movies, free internet, magazines, and other things.
Ready meals are convenient but can work out a lot more expensive than cooking meals yourself.
Instead make a weekly meal plan and shopping list and stick to it! Why not plan ahead and batch cook some meals that you can freeze giving you the convenience of a store bought ready meal.
Home made meals will also be a lot healthier without all the added preservatives and excess sugar and fat.
Why not invest in a reusable water bottle which can be filled up throughout the day instead of spending a few pounds a day on bottled water.
Not only will you save a few pounds you will also be doing your bit for the environment!
Just like bottled water, the cost of buying bottled soda throughout the week can add up too. Why not try using a reusable water bottle and try drinking water instead?
If you don’t particularly enjoy drinking water why not add some fruit or some flavoured cordial.
Alcohol has got to be one the best things to give up if you are serious about saving money! This is especially true if you enjoy a good night out on the cocktails! For me cutting back on nights out not only saved me money on alcohol but also meant I wasn’t spending as much money on clothes and hair appointments etc.
If you do enjoy a drink, you don’t necessary have to go teetotal but just cutting down will give you some big saving!
If you usually enjoy a good night out with friends, why not have a night in instead. Buying drinks from the supermarket and having a games night with friends could be just as enjoyable at a fraction of the cost.
If you do enjoy a weekly night out and don’t feel like giving it up then why not just limit these night outs to once a month?
Do you have a gym subscription or health club membership? If so how often do you actually go? If you are anything like me you join these places with good intentions but after a couple of months you just give up or life just gets in the way! If so, why not consider cancelling?
If you do actually make use of these type of memberships but it’s costing you a fair bit of money why not consider training at home? Most people don’t need all the fancy equipment you see in the gym and can easily exercise at home or in the local park.
Why not check out some of the home work outs found online such as YouTube?
We all love sending gifts to loved ones or friends, however we can sometimes go a bit overboard and spend more than we should.
Instead of buying something expensive why not make a gift or give your time instead? I know myself I appreciate a homemade gift much more than something bought in the shops.
You don’t have to be particularly crafty either, why not put together a hamper style gift with a selection of their favourite food, drinks or confectionary?
Other gifts include pamper packages, if feeling crafty why not make some homemade gifts to go inside such as candles, soaps or body scrubs.
Whether its clothes, shoes, accessories and even food, these branded items often have non branded cheaper options.
Choosing non branded items doesn’t necessary mean less quality. In fact a lot of non branded products are just as good and in some instances thought to be better!
One of the best ways of saving money buying non branded products is with food shopping. Next time you head out food shopping why not change to a cheaper supermarket or try out the supermarket own branded products. Most supermarkets will also have premium items that are on par with the branded products but cheaper as well as own brand budget options.
Expensive mobile phone plans
We all have and need a mobile phone but do we really need the most up to date model or expensive phone plan that goes with them?
There isn’t much you can do if you are in the middle of a phone contract, however as this contact comes to an end make sure you check out the competition!
Many of us just continue with the same mobile phone provider and just automatically upgrade our phones as our contracts end. But ask yourself if you really need the a new phone? If your phone is still in a good working condition then why not keep the phone and just get a sim only contract.
If you do need a new phone then why not go for one of the older models which are significantly cheaper than the newer ones. It may also be worth shopping around with different providers, often your current provider will usually give some better deals if they think you are going to leave and go elsewhere. Defiantly worthwhile checking!
I myself decided to keep hold of my phone and just got a sim only contract with the same provider which saved me around £40 a month.
In the UK a pack of 20 cigarettes now costs around £10 for the cheapest option. That means for a 20 a day smoker the cost of smoking is £70 a week, £280 a month or £3640 a year!
As an ex-smoker myself I know how hard it is to give it up but the saving really do make up for it! I really don’t know how people can actually afford to smoke these days!
Its not only the saving that make giving up smoking worthwhile, it really can do wonders for your health.
Now I do love a good pampering session at my favourite beauty salon but treatments can be expensive!
Do you really need these expensive treatments? Why not try doing your own manicures or a DIY facial at home instead.
Just as beauty treatments can become expensive so can hair appointments. This is especially so if you regularly colour your hair.
If you really need to get your hair done at a salon, then why not consider going to a cheaper salon. You could also just get your hair cut if need be and then colour your hair at home.
Of course the results my not be quite as good as the professionals but for a fraction of the price its worth considering if you really need to make savings.
Many of us need to travel to work or uni on a daily basis, however travel costs can be one of the most expensive things we pay for each month.
Not all of us will be able to save money on travel as we may not have a car so public transport may be our only option or we may work somewhere were public transport is not an option therefore having to rely on the car.
If you do need to travel by public transport make sure you take advantage of monthly or weekly passes which can save you money.
If you do need to rely on a car, is it the most practical? I know when I was at uni I decided to exchange my petrol guzzling 1.6 sporty number to a more sedate 1.0 practical model. This not only meant I spent a lot less on petrol but my tax and insurance was also cheaper!
Another option for those living close to work is to ditch the car or public transport and walk or cycle instead? Not only will you save money you will get fitter as well!
How much do you spend on TV subscriptions such as satellite or cable? Most of us plan to just get the basic package but before long we have all the extras thrown in too!
Think about how much TV do you really watch, do you need all the different movie or sports channels? If you really do need to save money then can you do without?
You could also consider swapping your expensive satellite package to a cheaper subscription such as Netflix or Amazon Prime? Both have a good selection of films, TV programs and children’s entertainment for a fraction of the cost.
Trips to the cinema can be an expensive day out! By the time you buy your ticket and add popcorn and snacks it all adds up even more so if its a family trip out!
Instead why not use a subscription service such as Amazon and download a film for a small fee and buy in snacks from your local supermarket and have a family night in.
This is a great way to have some family time without the huge price tag!
Today these is so many subscription boxes catering for everyone. However they can be expensive and a lot of the time filled with stuff you don’t actually need or use.
Although its nice to get that surprise box each month, consider if its actually worth it and if you can do with out it.
I used to have a couple of different beauty subscription boxes, however I decided to cancel them and save the money instead which saved me around £50 a month.
I used to be a bit of a shopaholic, every pay day treating myself to new clothes, shoes and accessories, many of which I never even worn or used!
After learning how to get better mileage from my wardrobe, I realized that it was wasteful to buy clothes that I was only going to wear once. Instead, I started to buy clothes that I love and could wear over and over again.
When buying clothes I try and stay away of fast cheap fashion which doesn’t normally last and invest in pieces that I know will last and that I will wear again and again. However when trying to save money, clothing is usually the last thing I buy unless its something I really need such as a new coat.
If you do really need to invest in some new clothing why not check out some local charity shops or outlet stores. Most city centres also have some great independent shops selling second hand or hand made clothing at some great prices.
Do you occasionally give in and buy those sale items or suddenly buy something for yourself or home that you didn’t really need? If so, these unwanted purchases can end up costing you more than you think.
One way you can save on impulse buys is to ask yourself if you really need it? If so, give yourself a week or so to think about it and if you still want it try and find the same item cheaper in another store or even online.
By forcing yourself to wait gives you time to evaluate if you really need it and if like me more often or not I don’t!
As you can see, saving money doesn’t have to be hard. You just need to prioritise what you really need and what you can do without. You don’t necessary need to incorporate all these tips into your daily life but just choosing a few things will greatly help with your saving goals.
As you see your savings grow you may even start to cut back on some more items, however its important not to cut back too much and give yourself a little treat now and again otherwise you might just find yourself slipping back into old habits.
So there we have it, my 22 things to quit buying to save money. If you want to focus on becoming the best, happiest version of yourself, subscribe to the blog below or follow me on your favourite social media,
Thanks for reading,
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