Money Saving Tips For Buying Back To School Supplies For Kids

The back to school supplies shopping trip can be an expensive part of the summer, especially after spending a lot during the summer to keep the kids entertained. Research from Mintel has shown that Brits spend an average of around £400 on new school uniform and classroom equipment each year. But you don’t have to fear the long and expensive supply list: here are some back to school money saving tips and tricks to help you save before term starts!

Reuse stationary from last year

Many parents believe their children need new supplies for a new school year but that’s what the retail stores want you to think. If school shoes still fit or their pencil case is still well-stocked with working pens and pencils, you don’t have to replace them instantly. After the initial back-to-school surge, retailed reduce the price of most school essentials, so you could save a few pounds by waiting. 

Buy basic school uniform from a standard retailer

woman covering her face with an open book

Many school’s uniform policies don’t require you to purchase everything from the school shop. Some basic pieces such as shirts, trousers and skirts can be purchased from standard retailers as long as they match the school colour theme. Key items such as blazers, jumper and dresses (or anything with the school logo) may, however, have to be purchased at the school store or an official store. 

Look For Second Hand Items

Check local auctions on Facebook, Gumtree or even local newsletters to see if any former student’s parents are selling their old uniform, textbooks, calculators etc. You might find some barely worn uniform pieces in great condition, or even a copy of Great Gatsby with some useful notes in for a fraction of the cost. You should consider looking in charity shops too— they’ll quite often sell secondhand stationary that has been barely used before.

Plan well in advance

The best way to save money for the school year is by planning well in advance. What textbooks are required for the school year? Will your child need art supplies for school projects? Are there any school trips this year you’ll need to fund? Email the school secretary or ask a class teacher at the beginning of the year what extra activities are planned and the cost involved for the year. Knowing what you will have to pay for you’ll be able to budget and plan better for the year ahead.

Save on next year by buying now

From mid-September onwards, most retailers reduce the price of most school stationary and uniform. If you’re able to wait for the sales, this is a great way to save for this school year. If not, you could use this as an opportunity to stock up supplies for next year. Just remember if you’re planning to buy cut price school uniform, buy a size up in case your children go through a growth spurt! 

Don’t fall for retailer’s marketing tricks

assorted-color hanging clothes lot

It is common for retails to divide school supplies into two categories – girls and boys. For example, school shoes are always nearly marketing for either boys or for girls, but boy’s shoes often have much thicker midsoles making them far less likely to break as fast as the thinner girl’s shoes. Try to buy your children the shoes that and are comfortable and robust rather than the ones that are aimed at their gender for fashion and you might find that they last longer.

Spend less (or more) on tech

When it comes to purchasing new technology for school use or homework, it’s important to consider the age of your child and how advanced the gadgets needs to be. If they only require a laptop for typing up homework or researching, a very basic device will be more than sufficient – and you can worry less if they lose or break it. However, it’s also important to keep in mind the longevity of the product and how long it will need to support your child’s education – you may save more in the long run by spending more on faster, more efficient tech. 

Compare Prices

Lastly, shop around and compare the prices in multiple stores where you can. Some stores such as John Lewis, Currys PC World, Argos and Tesco offer a price match guarantee, so check online to get the best price. The chances are that your children won’t need the professional set of colouring pencils and are probably better off getting the cheaper set.

Top 5 Alternative Savings Accounts

Saving money these days can be a challenge, especially with interest rates at their lowest. Though spending your hard-earned cash on things you actually want sound much better than leaving it in a cold dingy bank, it’s important to save little and often so you’re prepared for those unexpected expenses. Fortunately, we’ve found some alternative savings accounts to help build an emergency fund. If however, you don’t have enough saved away when disaster strikes, My Financial Broker can connect you to a short term loan lender. 

Moneybox

Moneybox is a simple and easy investment app. It works by rounding up your everyday purchases such as your morning coffee to last night’s Uber to the nearest pound and investing the spare change. They also offer cash saving products and long term investment products that can be set up from your mobile phone in minutes. 

When setting up the app, you choose from three different investment options – cautious, balanced and adventurous. These options are made up of different allocations of a range of tracker funds. Cautious is fairly low-risk investments such as cash funds and government and corporate bonds. Whilst adventurous is high-risk with a majority of your money being invested in global shares.

It’s important to remember that there is a risk in investing as you not receiving a fixed rate interest, but over the long-term stocks have delivered better returns as they pay higher interest so there is also a risk with not investing. Though it’s true that keeping your money in a standard saving account gives you more certainty about the interest rates, it’s very unlikely the interest you’d earn will match inflation – meaning the purchasing power of your money declines every year. With Moneybox (as well as most banks and building societies), your investments are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme up to £85,000.

Monzo

Monzo is a smarter online bank account that helps you to manage your money. It allows you to set monthly spending budgets for things like groceries and household bills and notifies you if you ever go over your budget. You can also use your card abroad for free! But how does a current account help you to save?

As you can see an easy summary of your account at any time using their handy app, you can identify where you’re spending unnecessarily, cut back and put that money into one of their saving pots. Monzo has partnered with a variety of providers who offer competitive saving rate (all over 1%). You can also add customer images to your saving pots to stay visualise what your saving for (whether that be a house, car or holiday) and stay motivated. Similarly to Moneybox, Monzo will also round up transactions to add spare change to saving pots automatically and schedule monthly saving to deposit to keep you on track. S

Squirrel

Squirrel operated a little differently than other alternative saving account but it still makes saving for your goals easy and helps you create your own personalised budget. 

Squirrel is an online savings account and operates as a middle man. Rather than having your salary paid into your current account, the money will be transferred to your squirrel account where it will be held safely until your bills are due to come out. Squirrell will automatically transfer money to your current account the day before your bills are due so there’s no need to ever have to worry about accidentally spending bill money. You can also transfer some additional spending money to your debit cards, and leave the remaining safe in your squirrel account. 

Squirrel is different from a regular saving account as it makes it easy to save and importantly help to keep you motivated to not to withdraw your saving early unlike a normal account. Similarly to Monzo, you can create personalised saving pots for all things you might want to save for and add your names and pictures to saving and set goals and track progress.

The most important thing about saving is not necessarily how much you save but making a habit of it, so we hope these alternative savings account has inspired you to save up for a rainy day. Though there are other methods of cover rainy day costs such as credit cards and overdraft, they can have high-interest rates, and wouldn’t you rather earn interest that has to pay interest.

Plum

If you don’t know how much you can afford to put away each month, Plum is the app for you. Plum aims to make it saving easier so you can spend money on the things you want, rather than the things you need. It’s smart algorithm analyses your spending, and every few days transfers the perfect amount into your Plum savings account automatically

Plum works as an AI chatbot service, built into your Facebook messenger. You can adjust how much Plum saves for you whenever you like by messaging Plum via Facebook. When you’ve reached your saving goal, or need some extra cash, you can request to withdraw at any time. Having Plum built into Facebook messenger as opposed to its own app makes it easier for those who struggle to save. As it blends into your everyday life, you can rest assured that your money is safe and savings are building up little by little rather than downloading and checking a separate app.

Plum savings don’t pay interest, but you can invest part of the saving earn with a single command. Your saving will be invested at RateSetter – one of the biggest peer-to-peer (P2P) lenders in the UK. P2P lending is a rapidly growing, FCA regulated form of investing in which people with money who are looking to achieve an interest return are able to lend collectively to credit-checked individuals and business who are looking to borrow. 

Chip 

Similar to Plum, Chip is an AI-powered money app that calculates what you can afford to save, and securely saves for you automatically. The app analysed more the 160 million transactions to save you money without it affecting your day-to-day spending. It’s different from Plum as you receive a high-interest rate by recommending a friend.

You start with a base interest of 1%, but every time you refer a friend, you’ll get a 1% boost for the year, up to 5%. You need to ensure your friend signs up with your specific code and connects their bank account. After a year, you can again refer another 5 friends. The interest is calculated on a weekly basis but is paid quarterly so you may potentially lose money if you withdraw the saving early. 

Unlike Plum, Chip is a separate app but still features the simple chatting service so it’s perfect for those who want to keep their social account and bank account separate. At the moment, Chip connects to with traditional high street banks and building societies.


Get that ‘abroad’ feeling without leaving the UK

Long gone are the days when a ‘staycation’ suggests heading to the seaside or camping in the back garden. These days there are plenty of destinations, within budget, that will leave you feeling like you’ve stepped into a whole new country. Here are a few of our favourites!

Chinatown, Liverpool vs Shanghai

If you’re excited by the cuisine, culture and customs of China then look no further than Liverpool. Yes, you read that right – Liverpool! Liverpool is home to Europe’s oldest Chinese community who have lived and traded there since the 19th century. The famous arch at the entrance to the district stands at 13.5 metres high – the tallest in Europe. The area is home to shops, restaurants and community centres, and hosts a colourful event every New Year. 

A round trip to Shanghai could cost you up to £730 whereas a train from London to Liverpool is considerably less. If you can’t make it to Liverpool, check out London Chinatown or Manchester Chinatown.

Brighton Pavilion vs Taj Mahal

Created as a seaside getaway home for King George IV, the Brighton Pavilion brings a bit of India to the British coastline. Built in an Indo-Saracenic style, the building mirrors the look of the great Taj Mahal (though it is drastically smaller in size). As one of the most popular landmarks in Brighton, the Pavillion attracts over 400,000 people a year. There’s a small fee to enter and explore the museum however you can admire the grand Indian inspired architecture from the gardens for free.

Tickets cost £13.50 for adults and £8.10 for under 18s. You can get a 10% discount by buying tickets online.

Piccadilly vs Time Square

If you love the bright lights of the big city, hit the most famous road junction in the world. London’s Piccadilly Circus is particularly known for its electronic billboards and neon signs mounted on the corner building on the northern side. Though it is reminiscent of New York’s Time’s Square, Piccadilly has buckets of charm with its old yet beautiful buildings that surround the area.

The hustle and bustle may be too much for some with hundreds of tourists and racing traffic, but its an amazing attraction for visitors to the city who want to catch a slice of the city’s vibrancy. Best of all, it doesn’t cost a penny.

Isles of Scilly vs the Maldives 

If the city isn’t for you, how do white-sandy beaches, sub-tropical plants and scuba diving sound? It’s hard to comprehend that the Isles of Scilly are a part of the UK but these quaint islands off the coast of Cornwall make for a luxurious holiday. There are around 145 islands that are divided into 5 divisions. Similar to the Maldives, the island of Bryher has no cars and few inhabitants, whilst Tresco is home to over 20,000 exotic plants – you can even go snorkelling with seals.

Flights from Land’s End to the Isles of Scilly take only 15 minutes! Adults can fly from £90.50, whilst its £72.50 for children. If flying isn’t for you, you can catch the ferry from Penzance from £55 for adults and £28.50 for kids. Find out more pricing options here

Portmeirion vs Italy 

Built between 1925 and 1975, Portmeirion is a small tourist village designed in the style of a traditional Italian village. Though it’s is situated in Gwynedd, North Wales, the colourful buildings are reminiscent of the small fishing village of Portofino on the Italian Riviera. The exterior of the village has often been used in television and films depicting as an exotic European location.

The village is now owned by a charitable trust and is run as a holiday resort. Majority of the building are used as hotel rooms or self-catered cottages, but there are also shops and restaurants. Day passes are available for a small fee.

Spinnaker Tower vs the Burj al Arab

You can’t ignore the design similarities between the spinnaker tower in Portsmouth and the Burj in Dubai. Though Spinnaker is almost half the size of the Burj, the views are astounding. The unique glass floor is made from 60mm thick glass and can hold a total weight of 288 stone. This means that 2 black rhinos could cross the glass floor at the same time without it breaking.

Entry tickets for adults cost around £11.50 and kids go free. Students can get discounted tickets for  £10.50. Find out more pricing options here.

We hope these fun little finds keeps you busy this summer, but if you’re looking to take a trip out of the UK but don’t have the immediate funds, My Financial Broker can help. We can help you find the right loan lender so you can take a holiday of a lifetime and pay for it over a number of years. 

How to Manage Stress about Money

Money and mental health are often connected. Poor mental health can make managing money harder and worrying about money can make your mental health worse.

Reasons you may be experiencing money worries

  1. If you recently lost a job or had to take some unpaid holidays, which affects your regular income, you might find yourself experiencing money problems.
  2. Being an emotional shopper could put you in financial difficulties especially due to maniatic periods during which you spend uncontrollable amounts.
  3. You have lost motivation to keep your financial security under control.
  4. You are experiencing general anxiety around the topic of money.
  5. Problems in other areas in your life, for example: relationship or career can affect your ability to remain rational with money.
  6. You may not have enough money to spend on essentials or things to keep you well like housing, food, heating or medication.

How to help yourself   

Identify your stress points. You can only eliminate or target a problem you know about, therefore the more you understand yourself and your triggers the better. Your anxiety may be caused by upcoming bills or debts. Examine your spending patterns to see why you overspend. Write down your biggest financial stress sources so you know what you’re targeting. (Try to keep the list short so you don’t feel overwhelmed.)

Stay positive

Having the right mindset is key to not only living with your financial realities but dealing with the problems. Instead of focusing on how many bills you have to pay, try to imagine the load decreasing as you pay them off. Give yourself a small goal, like saving £10 per week that will go towards reducing your stress. Having the sense that you are doing something to make yourself feel better by itself should have a positive affect on your mood. Treat your financial changes as a diet or a new workout routine, you might feel the burn but in the long run it will benefit you.

It’s also important to stay active. Keep your CV up to date and invest in self-development. It is also beneficial to do some exercise. We understand that in the face of financial issues this might seem redundant, but a healthy lifestyle really improves your well-being and mental clarity. Click here to find out how to get healthy on a budget.  

Be rational

Remain realistic and set yourself achievable goals. Are your problems really that bad, or do they just mean less clothes shopping? Do you really need a new phone this month or can you wait a bit longer and save up? If you are experiencing serious money difficulties look for help. We understand that it might be a topic you would prefer not to share with your family or friends but their support, be it financial or emotional will benefit you. If you are an emotional spender you could ask your friend to keep your card for some time while you regain control. You can talk to friends and family about your triggers and warning signs so they can help you.  

If you are unable to talk about your difficulties with your close ones you can seek advice online or over the phone. Services such as Money Advice and Turn 2 Us are great sources if you need financial guidance.

If you need help dealing with debt we would recommend contacting one of these charities:

Money Advice Service (0800 138 7777)

National Debtline (0808 808 4000)

StepChange Debt Charity (0800 138 1111)

Act quickly

The worst thing you can do is try to ignore your problems. It’s best to face your fears head on before they get any worse. For example, if it looks like you’re going into debt, get advice on how to prioritise your repayments. If you remain calm and ready to change your situation it will most likely turn out less bad to what you initially imagined.

It’s also beneficial to stay organised, not to miss any payments and make a good budget plan. Choose a regular time to look at your money and bills each week so that things don’t pile up. You will find putting all important records and documents (payslips, bills and receipts) in one place, very helpful.

We would also recommend not masking your problems by turning to popular coping mechanisms like alcohol. Not only will it further damage your financial situation it will also make it harder to solve your problems.     

Make every penny count

If you put every bit of money to good use you will receive the maximum benefits your pay can give you. The key is to spend wisely and control any emotional spending. However, it’s also important to forgive yourself if you slip up. If you find it hard to control yourself in the face of temptations, try to avoid these triggers. You can keep a diary of your spending and revise it frequently to see where you can cut down and understand your shopping habits.  

Medical help

If your financial situation is causing you anxiety and depression over a long period of time see your GP. They may refer you to a psychologist near you who can help you with your situation.

Seek help immediately if you feel like you can’t cope and are experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Either see your GP or contact a helpline such as Samaritans (call free on 116 123) for confidential, non-judgemental emotional support.


Money problems and financial difficulties affect more than 68% of British adults. It is very common to experience anxiety or distress with regards to your budget and one of the best ways to cope is by understanding your spending, talking about your issues and being open to change. Every hard task becomes easier with the support of friends and family, so share your goals, be kind to yourself and seek further help if you feel like you need it.

What’s The Best Method Of Getting To Work?

Around 25% of British people travel more than 30 minutes to work, this is a long time and not always enjoyable. Perhaps you are getting fed up of the way you get to work and want a change, or your car broke down and now you are forced to think of some alternatives. Whether you are looking for a new way to commute to decrease your carbon footprint or save money, this blog post will give you plenty of options to choose from.

Walk

If you live close to your work place then this is probably the best option. However, it’s not just reserved for those who can get to their destination in 10 min. There are so many advantages to getting some fresh air before a long days work, that you might reconsider walking even if it takes you 30 min. Below we listed some of the advantages and disadvantages of walking to work.

Advantages Disadvantages
Exercise The weather might ruin your outfit
You breathe some fresh air You might get tired before you get to work
An opportunity to start your morning on a mindful note Might take a long time
It is relaxing You might not feel like walking early in the morning
It gives you an opportunity to lis-ten to music or an audiobook and get energised before workYour attire might not be appropriate for walking or perhaps you have a lot of things you need to take with you

If you want to get yourself properly awake and energized before work this short type of exercise is the perfect method of getting there. It is also a great way to relax and set your intentions for the day. There are however some disadvantages. If you want to look smart and your best at work a 30 min walk before hand might make that much harder especially if the weather isn’t helping.   

Cycle

If you live a bit further but you still want to get some exercise in before work, this is the option for you.   

AdvantagesDisadvantages
It’s therapeuticCan be too strenuous
It’s a great form of exercise You need a place to store your bike
Saves money You might have to change your clothes before you start work
It’s great for the environment Might be inadvisable depending on the weather
Can get you to work quicker when there’s traffic You might not enjoy it much if you have to go uphill a lot

There are so many health and environmental benefits of cycling. It’s also great fun, feeling the wind in your hair as you cruise down the streets of your city. The best part, no traffic jam will slow you down! You may encounter some problems with regards to this means of transport if the weather is bad and you get all wet to or from work. Furthermore, if the ride is long chances are you’ll get sweaty and then feel uncomfortable for the remainder of your day.

Public Transport

Public transport is a great option for those living far from their workplace, do not own a car or prefer a more eco-friendly manner of getting to work. It can range from very cheap forms of transport like a bus to more expensive, if you have to take the train. It also gives you an opportunity to do something productive during the journey as you are a passenger.  

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Economic benefits to the commu-nityCan be expensive
Reduces road congestionCan take a long time
You don’t have to worry about parkingOften late or unreliable
One of the safest modes of transp-ort Might not be very comfortable if over packed
The weather won’t affect you as muchIt’s easier to catch a cold

This is the perfect way of commuting if you want to read a book or check your emails on the way to work. It doesn’t have to be expensive even if you have to take the train if you get a railcard, buy a seasonal pass or use a fare finder. Nevertheless travelling on a late and packed bus or train where it’s difficult to get a seat could be a downside.   

Drive

If you want to choose exactly what time you want to leave and have maximum comfort and control over your journey driving to work will suit you the most.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
You can choose when you leaveParking spaces may be a problem
You can keep your stuff in your car Fuel is expensive
Could be relaxing if you like drivingNot eco friendly
You are protected from bad weatherYou have to focus on driving
You can take more things with you and leave them in your car You might be affected by traffic jams and road rage

If it’s possible, split the responsibilities of driving to and from work with a colleague. In some workplaces, schemes are set up to encourage this. If you need to find parking every day, instead of using the multi-storey car parks you could also look at car parking sites such as Just Park, which allows you to park in private residential parking spots at a much cheaper rate.         

Original

If you are looking for a more exciting way to get to work and maybe learn a new skill try: roller skating, skateboarding or riding a scooter. You can even get an electric version if you want to speed things up. Remember to practice a bit before hand so you don’t fall and hurt yourself on the way to work.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
You get to do a fun act-ivity before workCould be dangerous
You can try somethin-g new and develop yo-ur skillsDepending on your skills this might take a long time
An entertaining form of exercise Require investment in equipment which could be expensive if you want to get for example an electric scooter
You can be a part of a communityNot all attire is suitable so you would have to change
It’s eco-friendly You will need a place to store your gear

This could be an exciting way to start and end your working day. With the fresh air and an activity to wake you up you’d probably arrive lively and excited to work. However, it does carry some disadvantages. Be careful not to try something for the first time when you are rushing to work, not only are you risking being late but more importantly hurting yourself.

There are many ways to commute to work and you don’t have to stick to one. In the summer perhaps walking or rollerblading would be your favourite, this doesn’t mean it will be your best option for winter. Change it up to prevent boredom and don’t be afraid to try new things.  

Traditional Personal Finance Rules Revised

Some financial rules really survive the test of time. Don’t spend more than you earn, stick to your budget, save for retirement. However, some tips are outdated and plainly not valid in this day and age. These previously holly pieces of advice just do not stand in today’s economy and rapidly changing job market.

Buy or Rent?

House

The stereotypical response would be to buy property, putting the money into your own investment rather than the landlords wallet. Despite the fact that buying your own home can be expensive it could save you money over the years. Renting on the other hand comes with less freedom to alter your home but offers more moving out flexibility. There are benefits to both and it’s not as black and white as it used to be. Here are the benefits of each and how to decide whether to rent or buy.

  • Benefits of buying
    • Each payment goes into your property
    • Once you pay off your mortgage you can live rent free
    • You have freedom to alter your home the way you like
    • You can have pets
  • Disadvantages of buying
    • Upfront costs like mortgage fees and stamp duty can make it pricier than renting
    • Joint mortgages might make things complicated if you separate with your partner
    • You have to pay for maintenance
    • Moving can take a long time if you have to sell your house first
    • If you can’t pay your mortgage you’ll get into debt and it will be harder to move into a cheaper property
  • Benefits of renting
    • You can move easily
    • It takes less time to find a home
    • You won’t loose money if the property’s price goes down
    • The landlord has to pay for repairs
    • You may be able to rent a bigger home in a nicer area than you could afford to buy
  • Disadvantages of renting
    • You won’t own your house/ flat
    • You have to move out when your landlord decides
    • Your landlord makes the rules
    • You have to pay the deposit which is sometimes not rightfully kept
    • Rent could increase

Which is cheaper? In the short-term it is paying rent, however in the long-run it could be buying a house. It really depends on your life priorities. If you will travel a lot or if you can’t afford a mortgage than renting is definitely a better option, making buying property a questionable advice. The new rule is: don’t pursue buying a house blindly.

Save 20% of your salary monthly

Saving

For a long time we’ve been told that we should save 10% for our retirement, 5% for emergencies and the rest for holidays, weddings or other high expenses. This rule no longer holds true, with longer lifespans, the decline in retirement plans, altering social security benefits and higher individual diversity.

Now your best option is to calculate an estimate number depending on your life-style and personal goals. People may have varying income needs in retirement or emergency. Therefore instead of blindly following the 20% rule, be honest with yourself and calculate a more accurate number that counters in your passions, living expenses and frequent high expenses like cars etc. You can use a pension calculator to help you see the full picture of your likely retirement income.

Student Loan

Student loan

The pervasive though is that a student loan is a “good debt” because it’s an investment. The fact is that graduates do earn more than non graduates, so in the long term, you are statistically more likely to improve your earning prospects by going to university.

However, not all careers need a degree and some have job training pathways. Furthermore, not all courses will guarantee you a higher pay or even employment. Therefore it’s vital to weigh the costs and benefits of a degree. Unfortunately, the debt that comes with higher education isn’t always necessarily a good thing to take on.

Take time to consider all the pros and cons of getting a degree on your finances and the return on investment you can expect. Consider whether the industry you’re planning to enter cares more about skills and experience than it does for a university credential. If you’re going to school with a plan to “find yourself” or take a break from the workforce, think twice about the price tag that comes with it.

Assume nothing

Old man

There are endless sense gaps in finance, business and governmental processes that undermine even the oldest rules. The best method to currently employ is common sense, for example don’t save only 10% of your salary if you are planning to retire around 40, it will definitely not be enough.

Inquire more to find out about your rights. You might be entitled to benefits or discounts. Do your research rather than follow any old beliefs you might have and take your time making important decisions, especially if there is no rush.

Be in control

Writing

Staying stagnant in your finances will cost you more than you can imagine.
Not switching to a more competitive mortgage rate costs us £2.5bn a year, failing to consolidate credit card debts leaves us £10.5bn worse off and leaving personal loans where they are brings with it an unnecessary bill of £5.7bn. We have now more choice than ever and the fierce competition using new sales tactics is making it even harder for us. Try to beat through the overwhelming feeling and keep pursing the best financial option.

Keep track of your accounts and documents as you might be loosing money because of outdated addresses and organisations loosing your records. This is particularity worrying for our generation who is switching their jobs frequently and is loosing their pension income. If you want to track down your pension details click.

It’s clear that in this day and age if you want financial security you will have to pay for it. The generation inequality might feel unfair, but in this case you have to play by the new rules.

Tips For Living On A Tight Budget

Living on a tight budget can get tiresome, irritating and plainly hard. However, if you go the right way about it and save up where you can you won’t have to constantly feel deprived. You just have to make sure every pound has its purpose and you priorities expenses that really matter. Whether you have found yourself in this position because of general money problems, an unexpected emergency or you recently lost your job, these tips and tricks will help you make the best of your situation.

Have Clear Priorities

When living on a tight budget you can’t  afford luxuries. You have to focus on meeting your essentials and remaining within your financial limits. Priorities your rent, mortgage payments, electricity/water bills, food and any debts you have to pay off. The key is to separate your needs from your wants. By making sure you are staying on top of your necessities you will feel a lot calmer living on your tight budget.   

Receipt

Create A Strict Budget

Due to the fact you don’t have much space to manoeuvre you have to have a well-thought-out budget plan. Hopefully it will prevent you from any careless and impulsive shopping sprees, which can be highly detrimental while suffering from financial difficulty. Make sure all your expenses are covered before thinking of making any other purchases. Remember to keep tracking your outgoings to ensure you stick to the plan.

There are a lot of methods you can adopt to make your budget, from writing it down on paper to using fintech apps like: YNAB, Acorn or Chip .  

Once you have a well-balanced budget you can see where you can make cuts and perhaps start an emergency fund.

Budget plan

Save On Food

Shop at the right time! The ideal time to go shopping is an hour before closing time, or at 7pm in 24-hour stores. This way you’ll find the most products in the reduced section. Freeze the  items you purchased to prolong their expiration date and be mindful of how long you keep them for.

You can also check out Approved Food website for stock clearance food.

As obvious as it might seem, try not to shop on an empty stomach as you’ll end up buying things you really don’t need. Try to make a grocery list beforehand, which fits with your tight budget. You could even make a meal plan to make sure you will efficiently use all your purchased products.

Try own brand products as these tend to be the cheapest and you might be positively surprised with their good quality.

Don’t forget to set up loyalty cards everywhere you go! You can get some major discounts or even items for free.

Shop in Lidl or Aldi, there you’ll find the best bargains and brilliant deals.

Buy in bulk especially products with a long expiration date.

Don’t waste food! Freeze it or add a new ingredient if you are getting bored.

Before eating out check online if there are any vouchers available or discounts that apply to you. Unfortunately, you will also have to limit the amount of times you will eat out if you want to save money.

Have some space in your garden? Maybe try growing some tomatoes 😉 Then just keep the seeds, replant and you can have a sustainable source of vegetables.

Cook from scratch, potatoes, pasta and veggies are some of the cheapest foods out there. You can save a lot of money eating mostly plant based.

Shopping list

Shop for offers

Research from Santander says, UK households spend an average of £3,329 per year, on their: water, energy, Council tax and broadband bills. You can save significant amounts of money by switching utility providers and shopping around for the best offers out there. Remember to save electricity by turning off the lights or keeping the temperature down. For further information on how to save on energy bills check out this blog post: https://www.piggy-bank.co.uk/blog/tips-tricks/beat-energy-bills/.

When shopping for clothes ask yourself what sort of style you have. If you like to follow the most recent trends, shop in the cheapest fast fashion brands such as Primark and avoid Topshop or River Island unless they have some major sale, but even than be weary. If you have a more classical style, try charity shops or gumtree.

save deals shopping

Entertainment

Instead of going to the cinema, invite your friends for a movie night to your home. As a general rule, if you stay home you will spend less. Celebrate your birthday or New Years by throwing a party at your place rather than going out. There are many fun activities you can engage in not having to leave your house, including playing board games, cooking or doing some at home exercises (save on that gym membership).

We all love going to the cinema, the big screen, the darkness the high power speakers. You don’t just pay to watch a movie, you pay for the whole experience. However, it’s an expensive experience and as such it’s good to look for deals. Most cinemas offer great deals mid week or 2-for-1 deals so visit Odeon Websites frequently not to miss out.

Transport

Rather than buying a car, walk, use a bike or just take the good old-fashioned public transport. If you desperately have to use your car, check out which petrol station has the best prices in your area.

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Emergency Loans

If an emergency occurs you can try to borrow money from a friend, family member or a payday loan company. If it’s a small amount for some unforeseen circumstances a short-term loan will help you without burdening you for many years, being a short time repayment option. However, remember that not being able to repay your debt can get you into serious financial difficulties.  

Following these tips and tricks will help you enjoy life even on a tight budget and decrease your worries about running out of cash or drowning in debt.

Money Management

Taking the time to manage your money better can really pay off. It can help you stay on top of your bills and save £1,000s each year. You can use these extra savings to pay off any debts you might have, put them towards your pension, or spend them on your next car or holiday. Read on for money management tips, including how to set up a budget, sticking to it and how to save.

Over half of UK households keep a regular budget. Most say it gives them peace of mind about how much they are spending, and makes them feel better about life in general. Manage your money better with Budget planner tool.

UK small businesses admit to struggling with financial management

Almost one in three (30%) of the 1,000 business directors polled admitted finances were one of their major business concerns, while 29% of those with a turnover of £10m or more said the issue troubled even them.


UK small businesses admit to struggling with financial management