How to Start Earning Money from your Blog in 6 Simple Steps!

IMG_1533Working out how you’re going to earn money blogging is a pretty obvious dilemma right? Of course not everyone is mad about making money from their blog, heck some people don’t even really care about the views, it’s more of a personal outlet for themselves…

But wouldn’t it be pretty cool to get paid for something you love doing? You bet that’s a heck yeah!

(If you want the 6 Steps now then keep scrolling down! If you want extra juicy info then keep reading! hehe)

Now how many of you guys are blogging your life away and you’re feeling a bit down because you put all his hard work into it and yet you’re nowhere closer to making you blog a side hustle never mind full time income? I’d say it’s a lot of bloggers out there. So you’re not alone, in fact only about 10% of bloggers make big money from blogging, 20% earn nothing and then there’s a 70% in-between stage of bloggers who earn a moderate amount of money. So where are you? The 20% who earn nothing from their blog? In the 70% but are still not earning at the level you’d like to be?

Well blogging isn’t easy, that’s no surprise! But there’s a reason why only a small percent actually make it big time from blogging. The bottom line is, if you want to make money from your blog, your blog has to have purpose, a meaning, some sort of solution for your readers.  Many blogs simply don’t have this, remember a blog doesn’t make money, a business does! So are you ready to switch your blog into a business? 

So How do I Earn Money?

One of the easiest ways to start earning from your blog is quite frankly selling something! A lot of blogs may get around $10 a month from ads or affiliate links and that’s fine but wouldn’t it be a lot simpler if you had your own product to promote? Even if only one person bought  your product it in a month, that could be a $10 profit depending on how much it’s priced. Ads and Affiliate links are difficult to earn money from especially at the start of blogging that’s why many get frustrated. Remember though this doesn’t mean your blog isn’t good or the quality of your content is great, it’s just that people simply aren’t clicking links or ads on your site.

When you’re new to blogging it’s hard to gain an audience (am I right or am I right?) and what normally puts people off are adverts and affiliate links. Yes they can be done in a clever way on your site so they don’t look like clutter many blogs do this successfully, but for me it’s not worth the effort, I’d rather give my readers an easy experience on my blog so they want to keep coming back! On the money side of things its difficult too, you have to rely a lot on heavy traffic to increase the chances of someone clicking on any ads or links, and as a newbie blogger, heavy traffic is something that you probably don’t have yet (if you do, share your secret!)

Soooo Creating your own Online Product might not sound so bad now? Does it?

Yes it does mean you’d be putting a lot of work in at the start but you’d still be getting paid for that product months down the line, so don’t freak out, it’s not scary! And in a moment I’m going to give you a run down on a the potential steps you can take to get you ready to sell your first online product! I’m yet to  come across a simple guideline of what to do and when and how to do it without an overload of information about business funnels, SEO and a get rich quick promise. No I’m not saying this will make you rich in a matter of weeks, it could but it’s unlikely, business takes time especially a good business!

So here is simplified list of steps you could take to begin creating a professional looking blog/website, creating your first online product and making your first sale! There are a ton of other things you can research online about how to create an automated blog funnel etc, but I find this scares away people from beginning to create their first product online. Nobody expects you to know everything at the start! You WILL learn as you go along but for now here are:


6 Steps to Start Earning Money from your Blog! 

1.Perfect your Website!

For even just a couple of months, forget about making money and simply increase the standard of your blog. It’d be a dream to start earning money without having to spend any but your website is the tool you use to gain trust with your viewers and potential customers/clients.Here’s three things I would spend money on once I know I’m going to be selling an online product:

  • Make sure you own your Domain Name and your site is Self Hosted. Very important for having Google and other company’s to take your website seriously.
  • Paying for a high quality theme or getting a website designer to perfect the interface of your site and the design can save you a lot of time too! Sometimes DIY isn’t the way to go, hence why people have jobs in these areas.
  • Establishing a high quality Brand is also very important! You can learn more about Branding Here! It’s so important to be consistent on your blog because that’s another way you build trust with your potential customers!

These are a few things I would definitely spend money on before I would even think about trying to sell anything on my site, what’s the point if no one trusts me as a blogger or believes in the product that I’m selling, it would inevitably be a waste of time. However once you Do start earning money recycle that money back into your blog and you’ll see even bigger results! 

2. Content!

Focus on gaining enough content so you can blog maybe once a week or every two weeks and the rest of your time you can spend creating your online product. I.e. Cut back on the amount of posts you’re publishing and instead save up some pre-written posts so you can use those while you focus on creating your online product to sell! Having content that is good quality and consistent builds trust, so even when you’re busy creating your product you can still be publishing your blog posts on time and to a high standard! (Don’t let the standard of your blog drop!)

3. Create a freebie!

A lot of people skip past this, however your readers are greedy! I don’t mean to sound bad but they want something from your blog, they won’t stick around unless there is something in it for them, so give them that! Creating a high quality freebie that make people go ‘What?? They’re giving this away for free?!’ Is exactly what you want! The higher quality the freebie the more your reader and potential client will trust you and be more likely to buy from you, considering they love love love the freebie you just gave them! Getting an email in exchange for a freebie is a big deal so if you can incorporate that into your freebie then you’re on to a winner! A super special email subscriber is an even more likely client one day!

4. Create your Online Product!

Here’s a link to a list of over 20 potential online products you could sell online! Remember to:

  1. Make it high quality! Make your readers and buyers want to come back for more!
  2. Make it something you are knowledgeable about!
  3. Make it a Solution for your ideal reader (people love products that will help them do something more efficiently or solve a problem)
  4. Price it right! Charge what you feel the actual value of your product is. Selling for less in hope for more sales can work at the start especially if it’s your first product but don’t undersell yourself either, if you’re creating a high quality product then people will pay for that! don’t worry about sounding too pushy or annoying, limit yourself to a certain amount of promotional posts a day but ultimately if you know your product is going to help someone then there’s no shame!

5. Create blog posts and subscriber emails that promote your product!

Now it’s time to get people hyped for your product! Send you special subscribers (who signed up because of your awesome freebie!) emails letting them know you have an exciting product you can’t wait to share with them! Give your readers a teaser of what they can expect from your product in a blog post or a short email course! Get creative! You can even host a giveaway for your new product and get your readers to share for a chance to win it!

6. SELL! YAY!

Release your product and promote it! Don’t be afraid to promote your product if you know it is high quality and works! You’re sharing something that can actually help people so there is no shame in that! Try to get feedback from customers/clients and put this feedback into practice when you go and create your next product!

You can Save this Image to your Device or you can Pin it to one of your Pinterest boards at the end of this post to remind you of these 6 Steps!

IMG_1509


So when can you start?

The beauty of creating your own online product is that you can start at any time. If you’re knowledgeable about something or even willing to get knowledgeable about something then with a lot of hard work you can create your own product and start selling whenever you like! Don’t think this is limited to creating products about something blogging related, if you are a DIY Arts and Craft Blogger you can create an online video course to teach people how to do crafty things (because you have established yourself as a pro and people want to learn from you!). If you specialise in Travel you could create a detailed info product about the must see attractions in Thailand or wherever it is you’ve visited. The Key is creating something that is better than the information people can try to go and find for free. If you can create a product that is super easy to understand, helpful and contains everything they need in one lovely bundle then you’ve created something amazing which you can promote as better than free information they could take ages finding somewhere else!

Even more encouraging is that you don’t need a whole load of page views or followers to do this. All you need is a good quality product that anyone who visits you page could potentially buy from you. Whether you have 10 views a month or 10,000 makes no difference, more page views basically means more of a chance that someone will buy from you. Don’t set your goal too high at the start, it does take practice to perfect your product and promote it well, consistency is key so don’t give up!

During the 6 steps it’s pretty inevitable that you’ll get an Increase in views to your blog and at least a good few new subscribers. Why? Well if you have properly branded your site then it will look pretty professional and because you’ve created a high quality freebie you’ll immediately get interest! Heck when I see ‘Free Templates!’ I’m already on the site..because who doesn’t want a freebie?

Side note: Don’t slack on promoting your blog throughout the process. How will people see all the hard work you’re putting into your blog if you’re not sharing it with anyone? Posting on Facebook for example “check out my blog here at exampleblog.com” doesn’t interest me. Try a post more like “Hi guys I’m soo excited to share with you my new post to help you learn all about *example* plus I’m giving away a free *example* linked in my blog to help you *example* Hope you guys enjoy it!” In one short sentence I can see what your blog will help me achieve, a freebie to get me interested and a reason why I’d even want the freebie! I love seeing bloggers put effort into their Facebook posts and even tweets because it shows me they care! A blogger who cares and is genuinely excited to share their post with me as a potential reader makes me 10x more likely to go onto their page! So promote you post with that in mind and you can’t go wrong!

If you’re still apprehensive…

If you’re still nervous about making an investment before you start making money then why not create a whole load of prewritten content to publish, your freebie, your actual product and even come up with promotional ideas for your blog. Once you have all of that finished you can then simply invest into your self hosted website, your branding, and then focus purely on promoting whilst your product and next months worth of content is already created! This means in a short amount of time after investing you’re more certain of a faster return!

So tell me, How do you plan to start earning from your blog? What kind of Online Product are you thinking about creating? What’s the hardest part about creating a product like this? Let me know in the comments! Also Interested in more information like this and a whole load of FREE Stock Images for your blog? Well you can sign up here!

Check out some other Posts you might be interested in:

Stock Images: Why you should and How you can make your own! Plus FREE Stock Image Bundle! 

5 Blogging Mistakes YOU could be making!

5 Blogging Tips for Beginners

 

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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, in some form at least. 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?

    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 my husband and I 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. Clothing is something I’ve tried to work on dramatically, after feeling the urge to purge my wardrobes I decided to invest in a book. That doesn’t sound too amazing until I tell you I purchased ‘The life-changing magic of tidying up’ by Marie Kondo. No, I didn’t need a book to tell me how to purge my wardrobes but I did need a system and I had heard good reviews about this book. It’s safe to say that it got me motivated. I’ve dramatically cut down the number of clothing items I own. It’s still not perfect but it’s 100% better. If you want to save money, in the case of clothes and material possessions I definitely suggest first clearing and sorting through what you already own. This process lends itself to appreciation and it quantifies in your mind just how much stuff you already have. Now when I purchase an item I try to remember what I already own and where this purchase would live in my house. I’m a big believer in trying to buy second hand first. Not only do you give items a second lease of life but in the case of clothing, you also reduce your impact in the fast fashion industry. Save money, save your time, save the planet…okay that last one is a stretch but every little helps.

    Transport can be another area where money goes to die. Between petrol, insurance, tax, road safety tests, breakdowns, car washes, and those little green pine trees you hang from the rearview mirror, they cost a lot. Yes, you can walk more and use public transport, but if you already own a car you’re going to have to pay for a car anyway and also pay for bus tickets etc. You can at least focus on keeping your car well maintained and hopefully cut down on unexpected breakdowns.

    Food is another area where you can cut expenses. For example, I used to buy a lot more food than I needed every time I’d go grocery shopping for me and my husband. 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- saves money on food and petrol, so it’s a win-win. Some might call this lazy but I’ve started to do my grocery shopping online. I didn’t think it would make a big difference but it really has. Some months during the year I go meat-free, I’ve been trying to make more conscious decisions regarding my consumption of meat. Buying my shop online has made me very aware of the food I’m buying, it feels less impulsive and more purposeful and planned. I don’t get tempted by cheap meat offers, I just search for organic or free range and that’s all I allow myself to see and buy. Choosing meat-free alternatives saves you a lot of money and you get to experiment with some new recipes. If you are anything like me I tend to eat the same meals over and over again so sometimes change is very welcome.

    You might even want to consider getting a side job or turning your hobby into a small business. A little bit of money on the side can be very helpful to get your savings started, or if you have to save for something in a shorter period of time. I’ve enjoyed working part-time from home as a virtual assistant, let me know if you want to know more about running your own virtual assistant business below and I can write a post or we can chat.

    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?

    You need to find a system that works for YOU. My biggest piece of advice is to set yourself a very attainable goal at first, you’ll fall in love with the feeling of accomplishment and hopefully, stick to your saving routine.

    Here’s how we stopped living Paycheck to Paycheck!

    My system is actually very simple, I’m not a big fan of categorizing absolutely everything but Monzo has been a very big help. (Monzo is an online back that both my husband and I use. There are probably very similar bank accounts but that’s just what we use.) Monzo lets you make loads of different money pots, we have one for rent, food, petrol, emergency fund etc. As soon as we get paid, we move whatever money needs to go into each category, the rest we leave in our main account pot.

    The game for the rest of the month is too see how much we can save, instead of racing to spend our money. Since we have separated out the money we need for the month, including our savings, the money left in our current account is quite low, but just enough so we don’t feel like we’re completely broke.

    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 realizing 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 the money you need to cover your bills and should help you get on track to build 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.

    What’s your biggest struggle when it comes to saving? Share in the comments below!