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While I try not to get too bogged down by New Year’s resolutions, I would like to save money a bit better. I have always been pretty good at not spending unnecessary money, but I am always looking for ways to improve and save more. Travelling is something I would love to do more of, especially around the UK. I am aiming to save money in 2024 for that.
Use a spending tracker
The best way to save money is to track what you are spending. You can see if there are any unnecessary purchases or anything you could buy less. I use the app ‘Notion’ to organise everything, and it is great for budgeting too. I break my spending tracker down into months so that I can see my monthly purchases. In this, I add tags for what type of buy including groceries, entertainment, study, treat etc. Groceries, rent and bills are obviously all essential, and I love to treat myself every now and then. I have a separate page for tracking subscriptions, including the date they renew and how much they cost.
Using a budget planner is a great idea to plan ahead, as well as tracking what you are spending. By tracking what you spend, you will know how much money you have available to spend on each category. Some months are bound to be more expensive than others if Christmas or birthdays are coming up. But with a budget planner, you can look at the lower and higher end of what you can spend to ensure you have enough money for the essentials.
Use a high-interest savings account
Another great way to save money in 2024 is to find a high-interest savings account. What’s better than getting interest on money sitting still. If you are doing a bank switch, there are some offers on TopCashback which give you free money. Each offer has its own terms & conditions, but normally you just have to deposit a certain amount of money. I also use Revolut, and there is an offer on TopCashback where you can get up to £10 when activating an account through them. If you aren’t already signed up for TopCashback, I can’t recommend them enough!
Make use of local amenities
Another great way to save money in 2024 is by making use of the local amenities. What I mean by that is going to the library instead of buying books. My local Co-op now has a bookshelf where you pay 50p for a book. Then, presumably bring it back when you are finished, or other books you no longer want. Some cafes have book swaps, the Fioro Lounge in Cheltenham has one. Or even going to a local charity shop would be better than buying new books, it is so much cheaper and more eco-friendly.
Speaking of libraries, some places have a ‘library of things’. I have only heard of this recently as one has opened in Gloucestershire. It is at one of the libraries, so you just need to have a library card to take something out. It has a loan of 1 week and then you have to return it. There is a list on the website with things it has such as a candy floss maker (!), drill, tools, hedge cutter and gazebo. I think it is such a cool idea, like if you are hosting a party to borrow a gazebo for a week!
Another idea is to see if there are any free exercise classes. When I was living in Bournemouth, in the summer there were park yoga sessions for free. Unfortunately, I never ended up going but I know friends who did and I think it would be a really lovely experience.
Continue reading: 6 ways I am aiming to save money in 2024
Join loyalty schemes
I belong to most of the supermarket’s loyalty schemes because even if you only go a few times it does add up. Loyalty schemes often have better deals, and if it’s free to join then why not? Here are some of the loyalty card schemes that I use:
- Sainsbury’s = Nectar card
- Lidl = Lidl+
- Waitrose = My Waitrose
- Tesco = Clubcard
- Asda = Asda Rewards
- Waterstones = Waterstones Plus
- Boots = Advantage card
- Superdrug = Health & Beauty card
- Marks & Spencers = Sparks card
In Waterstones, for every £10 you spend, you get 1 stamp. When you have reached 10 stamps, you get £10 credit. As I normally get books from World Of Books or charity shops, I tend to buy presents from Waterstones so this is perfect for me. It also includes purchases from the cafe which is cool. I recently joined the M&S Sparks card during their 12 days of Christmas offers. I only joined on day 10, so only had 3 days worth but managed to get a box of free mince pies, and 10% off socks which were a gift.
This idea might seem a bit backwards considering most people pay contactless now, but it is something I want to try. I like meeting up with my friends for a day out halfway between each of us, and I try to set a budget for that day. I think it would be a good idea if I withdrew the budget so that I could only use what I have. Obviously, I would carry my cards with me if there was an emergency etc. but I think it would be a fun challenge.
Alternatively, you could put the specific amount on another card. For example, I have Revolut which I use for the saving pots to keep the money I make from surveys separate. So I could put £40 on the Revolut card and only buy things using that.
Go through your standing orders
Another great way to save money in 2024 is by going through your standing orders. Someone told me about going through their direct debit on PayPal to see what money is automatically going out. It reminds you to cancel subscriptions, such as streaming sites or a gym membership you haven’t used. I would definitely recommend having a look, so that you can start the new year by only paying for what you want and use.
How are you aiming to save money in 2024?