17 Ways to Save Money!

17 simple changes you can make to save money, it all adds up over the year.

money

These are 17 ways you can save money in order to budget and cut back on your spending, I hope you find them useful:

1.  Beauty Treatments

  • If you pay to get your nails done, learn how to do them yourself.  I used to pay £50 to get Shellac on my Fingers and Toes, I invested in a Shellac Kit, I halved the costs with my sister (so she’s saving money too).  If you can paint your own nails, you can do Shellac, it’s very easy, looks great and lasts for weeks.  It basically paid for itself after one or two treatments.
  • I also used to get my eyebrows waxed and tinted at a cost of £12, I admit I am not brave enough to wax them myself (I just pluck now) and use either an eyebrow dye which lasts a few weeks or Maybelline Brow Tattoo  This is so easy to use, it does only last a few days, unless you really avoid getting your eyebrows wet, but I love the results, the little brush ensures precision as you shape.

2.  Cooking

  • Cook from scratch and batch cook, I will often cook enough to last me at least another day, I can get three meals out of just cooking the same dish once.
  • Limit getting takeaways, good for the waist as well as the pocket
  • Make healthy dog treats, rather than buy ones that are often unhealthy.

3.  Walk Wherever You Can

  • I am lucky, I am able to walk to and from work, although I don’t always walk home, I am building up to this.
  • Again good on your waist and your pocket

4.  Shopping

  • As I order my groceries online, I have reduced this down to two deliveries per month, I stockpile, things I can freeze and just pop the supermarket for fresh items once, at most twice a week, usually on my way home from work as it’s near to where I work.
  • This saves on delivery charges, although I have purchased a delivery pass with Asda, there is a minimum spend of £40 and I don’t always need to spend that much, I will sometimes ask family members if they want anything adding and they just transfer the money to my account.

5.  Stop Buying Water

  • I used to buy bottled water, I invested in a cheap water filter (£8 from Wilko’s) and fill a water flask I love these pretty colours.  You can take this to work to ensure you are drinking your daily recommended amount.
  • Take  your water flask to the gym, or out and about.

6.  Underwear

  • I now only purchase black, white or navy underwear, I used to spend a lot of money on pretty underwear in multiple colours, but you are sometimes limited in what colour underwear you wear, for example you could not wear red underwear under white.  So now I have every colour I need and they go with everything I wear.

7.  Public Transport

  • I gave up my car two years ago (2016), yes there are times when I miss it, when I am going somewhere not on a public transport route, I will get a taxi then, with the money I have saved not having a car, I can afford to take taxis.
  • If I was going for a night out I would always get a taxi to and from my destination, this would cost anywhere between £20-30 per night, I now, whenever I can and weather permitting get the bus or train, at least one way.

8.  Exercise

  • I, like many paid for gym membership but never went, I paid for 18 months without going, I eventually cancelled my gym membership and started to exercise at home.
  • I often use either an exercise DVD or put a You Tube exercise video on and exercise to that.

9.  Make Your Own Cleaning Products

  • I used to buy cleaning products for everything, I have cut right back on this and plan to make my own, apparently you only need white vinegar and baking soda for most household cleaning.
  • You can buy large volumes on Amazon

10.  Buy Second Hand or Use Discount Websites

  • Try to buy as much second hand products as you can, you can buy really cheap clothes, handbags etc. on Ebay, Shpock, or Gumtree
  • Groupon is a great site if you want to buy a cheap trip or a gift such as a Spa Day.

11.  Household Maintenance

  • You can learn to do almost anything online, You Tube is great for learning how to do your own repairs, maintenance or decorating.  You can learn how to fix your own leaking overflow pipe for example.
  • Try to repair something broken, rather than buy a replacement product, super glue is my staple when small items break.  I also nearly purchased a new shredder, until I decided to take it apart, turns out it just had some paper jammed in it, it’s now working fine, I saved myself some money there.

12.  Take Your Lunch to Work

  • If you add up what you spend on work lunches throughout the year, you would be astounded, why not take your lunch to work.
  • I often do this, by overcooking the night before and taking what’s left to work.

13.  Save on Bills

  • Hang clothes out to dry on the washing line, rather than use the dryer.
  • If you like the softness of towels from the dryer, hang them out until they are partially dry and then put them in the dryer for 10-15 minutes.

14.  Stop Using Paper Towels

  • Paper towels are such a waste and are not recyclable, buy some dish cloths that can be washed and re-used, dry surfaces with tea towels.

15.  Grow Your Own

  • If you have a garden, you can easily grow your own vegetables, including potatoes, these are so easy to grow, you can also grow your own lettuce and herbs.
  • Even if your space is small, use pots to grow herbs and small greens.

16.  Save to Save

  • Put a small amount of month away to save for home or car emergency breakdowns or repairs, this will save you reaching for a credit card when your washing machine breaks down for example.

17.  Prescription Pre-payment Certificate (PPC)

In the U.K. if you get more than one prescription per month, you will save money if you purchase a ‘Prescription Pre-payment Certificate’ (PPC).  As at October 2018, the monthly cost of a twelve month PPC is £10.40 per month paid over ten months, see here for further details

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How To Achieve Your Goals

These are the processes and tools I use to achieve my goals, all of which I consider to be key to making changes in your life!

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How To Make Your Goals Achievable!

(The processes and tools needed to achieve your goals)

 

Wow, goals, we all have them, but many of us don’t achieve them, why?

I have just read ‘The 12 Week Year’  by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington,  and am about to use the accompanying ‘The 12 Week Year Workbook’ and feel this may just be the book that inspires me to achieve my goals.  Of course, I haven’t implemented all the strategies in the book yet, give me a chance, but I have done my first 12 Week Year Plan and have to say, I have already completed one of my 12 week goals in just over one week.

Here are my Top 8 tips for achieving your goals, I hope you find them useful:

1.  The Written Word  

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Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

There is something about the written word that makes it feel real, when I hand write something I feel the emotions as I write, whereas when I type, no matter what I type it just doesn’t bring as much emotion to the content.  Try this brief exercise, type out ‘I Love   You …… ‘ whilst thinking of someone you love, typing their name after ‘You’.  Now hand write the same phrase, see the difference in your emotions.  When you hand write, you ‘feel’ what you are writing about.  So, when you write down your goals, feel the emotions that you may feel   when your goals are achieved.

2.  Know Your ‘Why’

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If you have a particular goal because it will impress others, think again, if it impresses you, then you are on the right track.  The reason behind each goal is vital, it has to be what YOU want to achieve, what fills you with emotion, passion and a desire you want so bad it fires you up inside.  The thought of achieving that goal may even bring tears to your eyes, that’s a good thing.

3.  Know Your Target

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If you know the target you are aiming for, you can be more specific  about your goals.  Being specific will make it  easier to take actions that will lead you to your goal.  If your goal isn’t specific, how can your actions be specific and if your actions are too vague, you simply won’t do them.  The more detail you add to your goals, the more passion you will inspire in yourself, the more likely you are to follow through on each step it will take to achieve them.  You will have to break down every goal, I recommend doing 1 hour minimum slots if you can dedicated to one action.

4.  Limit Your Goals

less is more
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I would advise you to limit your goals, having too many goals it just not realistic.  Whilst, you can have a long-term plan with every goal you want to achieve in your lifetime, it is best to focus on one or two, definitely no more than three at a time.  This is where the 12 week year comes in useful, as over the year you can have up to twelve goals, but at any 12 week period you are only focusing on two or three.  Too many goals can feel overwhelming, feeling overwhelmed can lead to procrastination, thus you achieve nothing.

5.  The How

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Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

The methods you use to achieve your goals will be specific to you.  I use the ‘Deluxe Law of Attraction’ planner, ever since I got this beautiful planner, I have more clarity about the life I want and have achieved more in 6 months than in my lifetime in working towards my goals.  The concept of law of attraction, tells you not to concern yourself with the ‘how’, but I disagree, as long as your ‘why’ is clear, you can then start to plan the steps you need to take you there.  If you are not to sure of the steps, start doing some research, ideas will then flow.  Brainstorm if you need to, don’t limit yourself in this, even if an action seems impossible, write it down anyway.  Schedule time in each week and dedicate that time to taking steps, no matter how small to achieve your goal.

6. The Mindset

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This is the key to achieving every goal, you have to believe it will happen.  This can be difficult when most of us are plagued with self-doubt, but practicing self-belief will get you there, and the more you work towards your goals, the more you will believe.  If you find it hard to believe in yourself, just pretend you do, you will be surprised how over time this works.

Photo by Rachel Pfuetzner on Unsplash

7.  Resilience

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On your journey to achieving your goals, you will be met with setbacks and failures, this is normal.  Some of the greatest achievers in history, had a string of failures before succeeding, there are also many unknowns throughout history that gave up when they met with failure.  The difference between these two types of people was resilience or self-determination, the relentless trait of carrying on regardless, committing to never stopping until your goal is reached.  Harrison Ford, at the age of 24 was told by studio executives that “he would never make it in this business’. There are numerous similar stories of famous people despite rejection and failures, continued to pursue their dream.  So never ever be deterred by other people’s opinions, they are just their perceptions, they are not fact and in many cases they get it wrong.  Resilience has won wars, hearts and greatness, be that resilient person, never ever give up on your dreams.

8.  Being Flexible

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Photo by Brendan Church on Unsplash

You may find that your goals change over time or as you start working towards one, as you become more self-aware you may realise that goal is not for you.  Be flexible and don’t be discouraged if you have been working towards a goal only to realise it’s not what you truly desire or it’s not achievable (yet).  My goals have changed dramatically,  I had a goal from childhood I had dreamt about for years, only once I started to work towards it, I realised that I couldn’t achieve it from where I was in life.  So I had a re-think and changed my goal to something that was far more realistic and some levels down from my initial goal, but if achieved may help me move towards that initial goal.

Final Thoughts

If you use the above tips, with perseverance, you will move ever closer to your dreams, one cliché you really should heed is “Never give up, like never ever”!

Why Failure is a Good Thing!

Failure is a good thing, if you don’t give up, even if you repeatedly fail, it can mean you are moving closer to your dream.

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Failure – Good or Bad?

Most of us seem to associate failure as a bad thing, but if you talk to most successful people, they will probably tell you of their many so-called ‘failures’ and ‘rejections’.  By success, I mean whatever success means to you, it doesn’t necessarily mean fame or wealth.  Your idea of success will be based around your core values.  If ‘success’ was easy, it would not be worth having or at least it would have little value to you, you simply would not appreciate it and that is something we all do, until whatever we have is gone.

“99 percent of success is built on failure.” – Charles Kettering

What Failure Means to you

The Oxford Dictionary online  gives 3 explanations; 1. Lack of Success, 2. The neglect or omission of expected or required action, 3. The action or state of not functioning.  Failure is simply describing a moment in time, yes in terms of someone’s heart failing, that will be permanent, but in terms of ‘lacking success’, it is not. Just because you fail at something once, twice or a hundred times, it does not mean that you will never succeed, in fact each failure means you are getting closer to success and if your mind truly believes that, you will achieve your goal.

“The way to succeed is to double your failure rate.” – Thomas Watson, (Founder of IBM)

Dedicate Yourself

The things we work the hardest for are the most rewarding, even if we consistently fail, each failure is a lesson, but failure can be disheartening, when we lose sight of what we are striving for.  This is why it is important to keep the end goal in mind in difficult times.  The lyrics of The Script’s ‘Hall of Fame’ comes to mind ‘you can be the greatest, you can be the best, you can be the king kong banging on your chest ……. dedicate yourself and you could find yourself living in the hall of fame ……….’ Dedicate yourself to ‘your’ cause, whatever that is.

“I failed my way to success.” – Thomas Edison

Successful Failures

I know this is stating the ‘bleeding obvious’ but most successful people have previous failures under their belt, whereas had they given up, they would have never succeeded in what they did.  Some famous ‘failures’ that never gave up and it paid off include; J. K. Rowling, Harrison Ford, Stephen King, Michael Jordan, Walt Disney, Oprah Winfrey, Elvis, Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, Lady Gaga, Bill Gates, Albert Einstein ………. the list goes on and on.  For every famous ‘successful failure’, there will be many ordinary men and women that have been their own heroes, that have carried on regardless, despite obstacles in their path.

“Failure doesn’t mean you are a failure it just means you haven’t succeeded yet.” – Robert H. Schuller

Be Inspired

I don’t know about you, but knowing the above extremely successful people in their field did not have an easy ride, but reached their destination regardless, really inspires me.  It gives me hope that my life can change, if I never give up.

“Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.” – C. S. Lewis

Believe in Yourself

So what do these ‘successful failures’ have that differ from those of us that do give up, I believe they have, above anything else an unshakable self-belief and this belief drives their determination to follow their dream, making the rejections and obstacles they face merely stepping-stones and learning curves in achieving what they want.

“When I was young, I observed that nine out of ten things I did were failures. So I did ten times more work.” – George Bernard Shaw

Change Your Perspective

The lesson here is to take a different perspective on failure, failure is merely a chapter, not a book.  I now view failure not as the end of the road, but as another step taking me closer to my dreams.

If nothing else, try to take a piece of inspiration from this article and you too may be living in your own ‘hall of fame’ wherever that may be.

 

Ways To Simplify Your Life ‘Reduce The Traffic!’

These are some of the things I do to be more organised and make life that little bit easier

These are some things I do, partially do or aspire to, which help me to be more organised, therefore making my life just that little bit simpler, these are mainly recent things I have implemented.  Some of these are just common sense, but sometimes we all need reminding.  I hope you  take on board and apply some of them to simplify your life, if you don’t already:

Go Paperless

  • Go paperless with any online accounts such as banks and utility bills, most have the option to turn on paperless.
  • Write to the companies / organizations that don’t provide the online paperless option, advising them you do not wish to receive correspondence via post but want to receive via email, advise them that you want to reduce your carbon footprint on the environment, they should do this as it will save them money in paper, postage etc.  Click to download Email Correspondence Template for my free template to get you started.
  • I have created folders in my email account, e.g. Bills, then sub-folders e.g. Gas, Water etc. and as correspondence comes I simply move to the appropriate folder.  I now have copies of all correspondence that is super easy to find.

Top Tip

You can also get a door sign from Amazon, requesting no junk mail, cold callers etc.  I like this one, it’s clear and discreet, £5.50 with free delivery, click link ‘No Junk Mail / Cold Callers Sign’  

Digital Storage

  • For those physical documents you already have or can’t go paperless with, invest in a small home scanner. You can scan and save documents electronically, don’t forget to back up in case your computer crashes.  Alternatively you can take a photograph of the document on your phone and download on to your computer.

Top Tip

It works out cheaper to purchase a printer with built-in scanner than a stand alone scanner for home use.  I have this one, it’s cheap and does the job ‘Canon MG3050 All in One Printer’

Journeys

  • Try to plan your journeys to do your errands in one go, plan your week and put in your diary, phone, calendar or whatever method you use to remember things to do. This will not only save on petrol, but time also.  This is even more efficient if you haven’t got a car.  By doing this you will be super productive, a top achiever some might say, well mainly me!

Top Tip

If anyone else is going your way, for example the post office and you need stamps, ask them to get them for you.

Online Shopping

  • Order your shopping online, create a favorites or shopping list in your favorite online supermarket. This reduces petrol, time, you don’t forget essentials and you tend not to be tempted by extras such as cream cakes, as if I would!

Top Tip

I have a complete list of all foods, toiletries etc. that I order and simply add to trolley delete off what I don’t need that week.

Pre-Scheduling Appointments

Okay, this is for the obsessive compulsive organizer, don’t look at me!

  • Book your regular appointments for 6-12 months in advance, this will work for hairdressing appointments, dog grooming, dentist, health checks etc.
  • Type them out to give to your hairdresser for example, put them in your diary, phone, or calendar. This avoids not being able to get the appointment date / time you want.

Top Tip

Set reminders in your calendar / Phone just so you don’t forget because they were booked so far in advance,

Meal Planning / Prepping

  • Plan your meals at least one week ahead if you can, you can then prep to make your working week easier. I often cook 2 or 3 meals in one go, for example if I make cottage pie, I make three, have one that night, one for dinner the next day at work and one for the following evening, some people would not like the same meal on the run like that, but I don’t mind it because I enjoy the meal.
  • Also prepare your work lunch the night before, this feels so good knowing you are saving precious morning time and money too.

Top Tip

I also prepare my smoothies by putting my frozen fruit and veg in a smoothie cup in the fridge, so in the morning I just have to add the liquid, blend and take to work, I have as soon as I get to work, easy, healthy and delicious too!

Birthdays and Occasions

  • Go to the card shop and buy all your birthday cards in one go, you have them in then for the year.

Top Tip

If you gifting cash or gift cards buy one each payday and put in relevant card, just make sure the expiry date on the gift card won’t expire.

Planners and Diaries

Oh my god, don’t you just love planners!

  • Plan your week ahead, I have a notebook where I brain dump everything, this evolves over time, some I add some I remove because I have changed my mind or simply don’t need to do anymore.
  • Use a planner or diary and once a week go through your brain dump and schedule some ‘to do’s in your diary.  For sheer beauty and to increase productivity I recommend the Deluxe Law of Attraction Planner by Freedom Mastery, it is undated and I use Frixion pens, so writing can be erased, click link ‘Deluxe Law of Attraction Planner’ and this link for ‘Frixion Pens’
  • Some people put three tasks a day in their planner, it really depends how big the tasks are (even after they are broken down).  I find I work best if I put one task in that is aligned with my goals, if I am having a particularly productive day, I will do things scheduled for other days.

Top Tips

I tend not to use my planner for menial must do things like cleaning tasks.  I put these on one sticky note in my planner so it does not fill my planner.

De-cluttering

  • Try to make de-cluttering part of your weekly schedule, Some people like to blitz the de-cluttering, this doesn’t work for me, I am little and often as clutter periodically builds up again.
  • De-clutter by category, e.g. clothes or books, this keeps it simple and ensures you don’t make more of a mess trying to sort everything at once.

Top Tip

Keep a bag in your wardrobe (out of sight) for charity, so that whenever you have a little de-cluttering session, put it in,then when a charity comes to collect you have items already sorted or you can drop off at the charity shop whilst out on your errands. 

Emails

  • Unsubscribe from emails you don’t want and schedule in deal with, file, delete or junk your emails at least weekly, you can even do this on your phone when you have some downtime, in a queue, waiting for a bus, the doctor’s surgery etc.

Top Tip

Stop over-subscribing to websites, add a site to your reading list if you want to revisit, don’t subscribe just so you remember to return to it.

Pomodoro Method

  • I use the pomodoro method to do things I really don’t want to do, for example I set timers on my watch say for 10 mins, 20 mins, 30 mins or 1 hour depending on what I am doing.  So when I really need to iron (because I have no clothes), I set my timer for at least 10 mins, sometimes 20 mins, you iron quicker as it’s a race against the clock, I find this method works very well for me, occasionally I even keep going once the time is up (Yaay me!)
  • To find out if the Pomodoro method can work for you, click link https://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/the-pomodoro-technique-is-it-right-for-you.html

Top Tip

Use the timer on your phone to apply the pomodoro method.

Create a Capsule Wardrobe

  • I admit this is still on my wish list, once I started to research it seamed more complicated than I thought.  However I have implemented some aspects, my colour palette has reduced from the colours of the rainbow to black, white, blue and pink and everything coordinates much better.  I have also sold about 40 items of clothing, shoes and bags on Ebay, so my clothes don’t need ironing again once hung.  I have lost count of how much I give to charity but overall I have taken the first steps to a capsule wardrobe.

Top Tip

Start selling on Ebay, if you don’t already, it’s not a great way to make money, but it’s a great way to de-clutter.

Social media

  • I must admit, I am not a great fan of social media, I just find unless you are extremely disciplined, you can waste a lot of hours with no output.  Whatever social media platform it is, ask yourself do you use it? is it good for you? or do you waste time?  I recently deleted my Facebook account, because it didn’t add any real value to my life so after saying for a long time I would delete I finally did.

Top Tip

Facebook allows you to save all your content into one file including pictures before you delete your account, so you won’t lose everything

Learn to say “No”

  • Learn to say no to things you do not really want to do, if other people are regularly taking up your time or you feel obliged to attend an event or accompany someone and you don’t want to, learn to say no. This is your life, do what you want to do.

Top Tip

Practice saying no in a nice but assertive way, have excuses ready.

Simple Minds

  • Apart from the physical stuff, it is important to reduce the mental traffic.  The world we live in feeds our brain with stimuli overload.  The best way to do this is through mindfulness, particularly meditation.  I did an online course for ‘Wellbeing and Peak Performance’ on Future Learn  it’s completely free,
  • I also like the apps ‘Headspace’ and ‘Calm’
  • Get rid (and I don’t mean kill) the people who drain you, you know, the negative people who drain your brain or at least reduce the amount of time you spend with them.

Top Tip

Make your bed every morning, I don’t know why this reduces the traffic in your head but it works for me.

Prepare the night before

  • Pick out, lay out or hang out your clothes the night before, again I don’t know why this works but it does, it gives you that organized feeling first thing in the morning, what better way to start the day.

Top Tip

Check the weather forecast the night before, so you don’t put that dress on that easily rises with a gust of wind :O

Be an Early Riser

  • I am usually up by 6.00am, for someone who when I was younger used to sleep until midday, this is major for me, but it just goes to show people can change with practice.
  • Although I do slip at the weekends, my aim is to eventually get up at 5am, 7 days a week and use that time for me; meditation, exercise, yoga, journaling, gratitude, walking, all things that are not only good for me, but make me feel good.

Top Tip

Choose an ideal time you would like to get out of bed and slowly work towards it, start with getting up 10 minutes earlier than usual for one week, then 15 minutes etc. until you reach your chosen ideal time.

Final Tip

Only keep things you want, love or need!

# Challenge

My challenge to you is to choose one of the above ideas and start to implement, for example, if you want to write to companies to request they correspond by email, start now by writing a list who you want to write to.  Choose an idea that you feel will have either the biggest impact or you find the easiest to do, it doesn’t matter, it’s up to you. Take action, any action, just make a start.  Taking action feels so good, especially if it makes your life easier, because lets face it, life can be pretty overwhelming at times.  Good Luck!

Final Thoughts!

Don’t forget with all the free time and head space you clear from doing the above, make time for yourself, read, pamper yourself or let someone else pamper you, whatever it is you like to do to relax, do it!