6 ways to Stop Wasting Money

Do you find yourself looking down into an empty wallet whilst trying to pay for groceries wondering how could you have run out of money for the week…again?? Well then you’re in luck because today I’m going to give you a few ideas on how you can stop wasting money so you have the cash there for the important things!  and hey you could even end up never having to look at an empty purse ever again! So let’s begin! 

  1. Set Goals: Get out a good ole fashioned notebook and pen and jot down financial goals you have for yourself. Saving for a new car? Saving up for an emergency fund? Once you have clear goals set in place and a system in order to reach those goals I.e. Saving €20 a week for 4months then all of a sudden you understand the worth of €20. Instead of paying for a dominoes mega deal with cookies (lush btw) you could buy a cheaper frozen pizza and that’s your €20 saved for that week.
  2. Meal Plan: Yes I’m at it again. Meal planning is by far thee most dramatic change you’ll see in your spending if you put it into practice. Forever I had loaves of bread go out of date, that I hadn’t even opened yet. I’ve found the best way to not let food go mouldy is simply planning ahead and knowing that you WILL use it. If you know your menu for the week ahead then you don’t even have to think about what you need to buy at the shops, you have a specific list on hand and that will help you avoid buying food that ultimately you don’t need and will end up being wasted.
  3. Ice Ice Baby: In addition to meal planning, I also like to plan how much I am going to cook. Sometimes if I’m going to be making a stew or soup or anything I know can be easily frozen I’ll purposefully buy enough so I can eat half and freeze the other half of the meal. It means next week I have one less day to worry about! My next big spend will hopefully be on a bigger freezer, that way I can try going pro with freezer meals (there are some amazing Pinterest posts on learning how to cook in bulk and live off freezer meals for up to whole a month!).
  4. Cable TV: Now this one would be a lot easier for me to commit to if Impractical Jokers wasn’t on TV (It’s a monday night tradition). Other than that I could very easily give up cable TV, and eventually one of these days I’ll convince my husband. There are other great alternatives out there like Netflix (I literally watched the whole of season 6 PLL in two days, I’m a real binge watcher). You could be saving up to €1000 a year depending how much you pay for your cable monthly and also you’ll be watching less TV and focussing on using your time doing something probably more productive so it’s a win win!
  5. Gym Memberships: Now this really depends on personal situation. If you use the gym like more than twice a week then yes a gym probably is worth the money you’re paying for it. If you go once a week or more like once a month, is spending up to nearly €100 a month really worth it? Well the answer is no, it isn’t worth it. You don’t need fancy tech machines to be able to exercise, and if you’re only going once a week you’re probably not even really making the most of the expensive heavy weight machines. Buy a bicycle instead, or go jogging, walk up mountains, walk the dog, do home yoga with YouTube videos. It’s easy to exercise without a gym, in fact it’s very easy. So if you’re wasting money on a gym membership, go cancel it…like now…I wasted €90 for two months gym membership (I went once….and that was the day I signed up #neveragain).
  6. Haircuts: Now I know hairdressers need to make a living but seriously €50 to give me a trim? eh no. Hairdressing is a skill and I’m not saying don’t get your hair cut, all I’m saying is that if you get your hair cut like every three months like you’re apparently supposed to then that money really adds up fast. So why not use groupon to find half price haircuts or there’s always students who need to practice and may even be doing them for free. In between cuts try to keep your hair healthy and condition the ends well to avoid really bad split ends, you could see your amount of visits to the hairdressers decreasing by just doing some basic good hair care.

Now there’s 6 simple ways to cut back on wasted money! But by far the best way to stop wasting money is by tracking it. Learn where all your money is going to! A tenner here and there really adds up so take control and make the most of what you have. If you want to be at peace with your income you have to learn how to live within your means and be content with that! 

Hopefully these tips have given you a few ideas to think about and also all you budgeting enthusiasts if you want to hear more tips and tricks that I’ve learnt along the way then you can Subscribe Here! You’ll be updated when a new blog post is out so you’ll be the first to take a sneak peak and also a few more surprises will be coming along you way for you special dedicated followers! 

Happy Budgeting! 

  

How to save €1000 in One Month! 

 save 1000 in a month how to  save money budget expert We all want to have the security of some savings behind us for when those unexpected bills pop up; flat tire, new washing machine or even some savings for a rainy day. But a lot of us are stuck in the cycle of living pay day to pay day which is a hard routine to get out of. Maybe saving little amounts at a time doesn’t work for you because you don’t see results, or maybe you only have a short period of time to save some money up and that’s when you can set yourself big goals, A.k.a. saving €1000 in a month! 

If you have a partner and you share both your incomes together then of course this is going to be a lot easier than if you’re saving on your own. If that’s the case don’t worry just try to save €1000 in two months or a goal that’s big enough to challenge you but also doesn’t mean you’ll be living off ramen for the next while.

My husband and I decided that we needed a couple of no-spend months, just so we can build up a good amount of savings and then relax a little. So we sat down and decided that we were going to basically live off one Income. My husband’s wages every week would go into our joint bank account where all our bills comes out, including petrol money and groceries. Basically that’s how we plan to save €1000 in a month. However, of course we still had to work out how we were going to just live off one income. So here’s my top tips for saving €1000 in a month!

  1. Budget Aggressively. Work out how much you need a month/week to pay all your bills and necessities. If you need more of a guide on this then here’s a link to how to start budgeting so you’re not living Paycheck to Paycheck. Seriously try to work out how little you need to spend in a month and most importantly stick to it! I’ve often read about the 30day rule, which basically means if you want something wait for 30 days, and if you still want it after those 30 days then you can go buy it. Most of the time the desire for whatever it is you wanted to buy has passed by then, so it really narrows down impulse buys and you’re left with only purchasing the important things. Even better the 30day rule means you should have a whole month of no spending once you begin! Hence saving €1000 in a month should be easy as ABC! 
  2. Meal planning! This is something I’m pretty passionate about and here’s a more detailed post on how you can Meal Plan in 5 Simple Steps. So once you’ve budgeted a certain amount for food, simply planning your meals out can help you stick to that budget. With a meal plan you’re less likely to buy food that you’re just going to waste, and you’ll save petrol and time by planning one big shop a week instead of several smaller trips (where you end up buying things you really didn’t need in the first place). Also try different shops and compare prices, sometimes you’ll find a better deal in the bigger supermarkets in the sales over a typically cheaper shop like Lidl or Aldi.  
  3. Entertainment Now here’s where things can really make a difference. If you’re the type of person who lives for the weekend or loves going out for dinner with your friends. Instead of going out and spending €30 each on dinner and a glass of wine, why not invite a friend round and learn how to cook a meal together. You can even split the cost if you ask them to pick up a few of the ingredients. You’ll get to spend some quality time with your friends doing something new together and save a pretty penny too! Or if you’re a big movie buff and are always forking out on expensive cinema tickets and the crazy popcorn prices, try going to matinee showings which are nearly always half price. Big tip: If you eat beforehand you’re not as tempted to hand over your life savings for a small Coke and popcorn. You could cut the cinema alltogether and still get your movie fix by signing up to Netflix to save even more bucks. Another idea Is having a pot luck Dinner, invite friends round but have them bring round a dish each. You get loads of food, and even better the pressure is off you to buy, prepare and cook everything! There’s loads of ways to cut back in this area! Just find your weak points and brainstorm cheaper alternatives. 
  4. Travel. Here’s another area where you can cut back alot on. Running two cars is very expensive: Fact. Both me and my husband are young drivers so the insurance is sky high for us, not to mention money for petrol, tax, maintence and repairs. If you have two cars and its a necessity then by all means run the two cars. For my husband and I we didn’t have a notion how we were both supposed to get to work with only one car, especially because I start work an hour earlier than him and finish 2 and a half hours earlier than him. That’s when compromise kicks in. He compromises getting up early with me at 7a.m. And brings me to work, and for the days when he can’t collect me I have to compromise and hang around work for a couple of hours until he’s finished. We’ve both worked out ways to try and make the most of this time though. I spend the extra hours waiting after work writing blog ideas or doing research (a.k.a. Spending hours on Pinterest looking up kittens). Although this may not be ideal for us, we’ve made it work for now at least. If there was a bus stop near our home then we’d definitely consider using it more. Public transport can be a great way to save money if you’re trying to go car free. Once you start using buses/trains/trams you learn the routes and schedules, and nowadays you can get almost anywhere with public transport! 
  5. Don’t get discouraged. The worst thing you can do is give up before you’ve even gotten started. Saving doesn’t come naturally to a lot of us in fact it could be your worst nightmare. So don’t set yourself a goal that’s unattainable, you’ll only disappoint yourself later. You have to start off small and build your way up to be a pro. So if you’re not ready for the challenge of €1000 in a month then set yourself another goal that you know you can accomplish. Everybody is different and we all use different techniques in order to save, so makes a savings goal that’s personal for you and figure out what strategies work best in your circumstances. Once you start you’ll never look back! 

But remember saving isn’t about how much money you have, or how much money you wish you had. It’s a personal savings account for you and your circumstances.  Someone who is saving for a deposit on a house is going to be very different to someone who is saving up for a holiday. We all have our reasons but let yours be to give you peace of mind to know that your wages aren’t going down the drain. Now you can sit back, relax and make the most of your spare time! 

Happy Saving! 

    5 Simple Steps to Easy Meal Planning! 

    5 Simple Steps to Easy Meal Planning? Really? Yes I know what you’re thinking, ‘Meal Planning‘ and ‘Easy‘ don’t belong in the same sentence. But guess what? It does now. Meal planning is definitely something that takes a little bit of time and a bit of dedication, but after doing it for a couple of weeks, you honestly won’t even know how you ever made it through the week without it. This is also one of the easiest ways to save money. All of a sudden you’re not going to and from the shops 4 times a week, you have cupboards full of food that is ready to be made into a meal and wasting food because it went out of date tends to not happen, like ever. 

    Food is one of those things that everybody needs, and you’re always going to have to spend money on it. So why not take control of that, otherwise you could be wasting hundreds every year on wasted food and take outs. Not only that but without a properly planned diet bad eating habits become your worst enemy. Alas, not all is lost, I’ve given you 5 Simple Steps to get you Meal Planning like a Pro

    1. Make a list of all the meals you love and other recipes you’d like to try. Gather as many ideas as you can so you have a great go-to list of dinner ideas. Scour through recipe books and if you’re cooking for a family then get the family together and share ideas. Including your family in the process can help make meal planning a breeze and placing your meal plan somewhere for everyone to see in the home is a must! My husband and I leave our weekly meal plan on the fridge so at a glance we can see what we’re going to be eating that night, which makes meal times something to really look forward to, instead of dreading the thought of trying to come up with something to eat.
    2. List the ingredients for each meal. This part is optional, but for those who want to be super organised and often forget ingredients whilst shopping this can really help. Maybe write down all the ingredients you need for each meal on flash cards, on your phone or anywhere that is convinient for you. This will help when it comes to creating your shopping list because you already know all the ingredients you need for each meal, hence forgeting something whilst shopping will be a thing of the past!
    3. Work out how far ahead you want your meal plan to be. Are you planning a week at a time? 2 weeks? 5 days? Whatever your time scale, work it out. I like to work week by week, simply because fresh food doesn’t last that long, but if you’re into monthly shopping and like to prepare in bulk and freeze a lot of your meals then that’s fine too! Everyone is different and so it may take a couple of go’s before you get it figured out, which is completely fine! 
    4. Now pick the same number of meals to match the number of days you’re shopping for. And remember if you don’t want to, you don’t necessarily have to assign a meal for a specific day. I like to pick 7meals for 7days and then be able to pick freely which meal I’m in the mood for or go in the order of which ingredients go out of date first, that way I’m cutting back on the amount of food I’d be wasting through the week too! Sometimes after  I shop and I know the use by dates of the veggies and meat etc I will assign a meal to a night then. 
    5. Now create your shopping list! The first few times I was doing grocery shopping I found myself going up and down the aisles multiple times because I kept forgetting things on the list that where in the same area as each other . Now I try to keep dairy food together on my list, canned food listed together and meat listed together and so on and so on. Don’t forget to take into consideration enough food for the week for lunches or breakfast too (Of course if you want to make a plan for breakfast lunch and dinner then go ahead! The more planning the better!)

    And there you have it! That’s how easy meal planning is. And if you’re like me then obviously you have to have a stack of great stationary to help out with all your organisation. Personally I use a range of stationary from Kikki.K.

    Amazing Dinner Planner and handy perforated ‘to buy’ section:   

    Meal Planner for Pros:
     Shopping List for the Super Organiser: 

    I know, cute stationary right? Anyways back to the main point, don’t be afraid of meal planning. Once you start you’ll never go back, and once you get the hang of it, planning your meals out becomes an ease. Let me know how you plan your meals out in the comments! 🙂 

    How to stop living Paycheck to Paycheck! 

    how to stop living paycheck to paycheck

    Budgets….bluergh!

    Who needs one of those?….Wellll if we’re honest we all do actually.We live in a world where money seems to be ‘the be all and end all‘, but wouldn’t it be great if it didn’t have to be?

    Well one way you can stop worrying about money so much is by having a Budget. It takes the stress out of bills/debts or savings because you know you already have everything accounted for and so you can spend time on the more important things.

    I’m going to share with you how Me and my Husband personally manage all of our expenses and how you can too! (Bear in mind this is super easy to do! the hard part is STICKING TO IT!)

    So here’s a step by step guide to help you start your budgeting adventure:

    1. Work out your Monthly Expenses

    That’s right, go grab a pen and paper, and sit down with your spouse (if applicable) and together work out every bill that needs to be paid in a month e.g. Rent, Car Insurance, Pet Insurance, Electricity, Mobile Phones, Internet, TV etc.

    2. Other Miscellaneous Payments

    Now include in your Monthly Expenses anything else you need to spend money on during the month that aren’t necessarily ‘Bills’ but still something you must spend money on, such as Groceries, Petrol, Clothes.

    3. Add up all the Monthly Expenses

    Okay so here’s the scary part, total up all of the amounts you’ve written down and minus it from how much you earn in a month. Hopefully you’ll find that you have some extra money left over. If not, then changes need to be made. Start by cutting back on unnecessary expenses -do you really need a new shirt every week? And maybe consider using public transport instead of driving if you can, or even just cutting back on how many journeys you make in the car to save on petrol. Simple changes can make a big difference.

    For example, I used to buy waaaay to much food every time I’d go grocery shopping for me and my husband. Even worse a lot of it went to waste! So to make changes I cut back and started meal planning, so now I know what and how much to buy. I even make extra portions some nights so I can freeze it and reheat it next week.

    What can also make a big difference is doing one big shop a week instead of loads of smaller trips, which saves money on food and on petrol!

    4. Save, Save, Save!

    So once you have your monthly expenses equal less than your total income then you’re on the right track! All you have to do now is work out a system that makes you save as much as that extra cash as you can! This will help you stop living paycheck to paycheck and build up a healthy amount of savings for those unexpected bills.

    What sort of a System should I use?

    Well ultimately you need to find a system that works for you, it may take a few goes to get it right, but remember it’s not successful just because in theory you’ll be saving loads, the key to success is using a system that actually works in practical terms.You could in theory work out that you could be saving 200 bucks a week, but in practice it puts you under too much of a strain and you give up and go back into old habits. However if you set your goal to 100 and gave yourself more leeway you’d be more likely to see positive results, saving may take slightly longer but at least its effective!

    Here’s how we stopped living Paycheck to Paycheck!

    Okay, so the system that me and my husband use is that we have three bank accounts each, a Joint Account (where our bills come out of) our own Personal Current Account (where our Pay goes in to) and a Personal Savings Account (for the money we save each week).

    Once you know how much you need a month for your expenses, divide it by 4 for each week in a month, call this your Weekly Expenses.

    Each Pay Day me and my husband put aside our Weekly Expenses into our joint account. We leave the rest of our pay in our Current Accounts and our goal till our next Pay Day is to see how little we can spend in our Current Accounts.

    Then when the next Pay Day comes we move any remaining money from the last week into our own Personal Savings Account then Move our Weekly Expenses from our Pay for this new week into our Joint Account. And so the saving game starts again, to try and spend as little as we can until the next Payday.

    In effect we pretend as if we are living paycheck to paycheck although in reality we are building up a separate savings account without really even realising it!

    This is what works for us because some weeks we need to spend more and others less which of course is normal! A budget shouldn’t feel restraining, and if it does, then you may have to go over your expenses again and work out if they are a ‘need‘ or a ‘want‘. A budget should give you peace of mind that you have all then money you need to cover your bills and should help you get on track to building up some healthy savings.

    But remember money isn’t everything

    It’s true! Money isn’t everything! This should simply help you take debts and bills off your mind so you can go enjoy life a little less stress free! Rethinking your view on possessions can really help you if you’re struggling to stop spending. Even if you have all the latest gadgets or the most fashion forward clothes, that won’t result in happiness but understanding that money is just money can make you focus on the more important things. Budgeting can help you learn to live within your means and help you understand the real worth of money and help it go a lot further even when you’re living on less.

    Hopefully this has giving you some insight in to how to make a budget that works for you. At the start it may be difficult but the key is to stick to it! It’s like a diet, the more you stick to it the more you see changes! So keep working on it! If you have any budgeting tips that work for you then let us know in the comments!