We all know that saving money can be difficult especially with a low income and given our current economic climate. With that said, I thought it would be a good idea to put together a list of ways to help you try and stretch your pounds this year. I don't consider my income to be exceptionally large by any means so it does mean that I have to find ways to make the most out of my money. So, here are my top 10 ways of saving money.

1. Create a budget 📊

It might sound like common sense but you would be surprised by how many people don't have a set budget (just the idea gives me anxiety). In basic terms all a budget has to be is a document that you use to record your income and outgoings, that way you know how much you have to spare, save, and need to put to one side for your bills. You can do this yourself with a simple google sheet or excel doc or use one of the many budgeting apps out there. Check out my 'Apps' & 'Tools' page to find some of these.

2. Set yourself goals 🎯

The best way to motivate yourself to save more and spend less is simply to set yourself a goal. Without a goal, you don't give yourself any reason to want or need to save your hard-earned money and this can make wasting your money on unnecessary purchases that much easier. Goals like 'save for a house' or 'save for next holiday' etc can be great motivators as you have something to works towards and a reward at the end for all your hard work.

3. Lock away your money 🔒

Another simple way to help you save and stop you from spending is to put your money somewhere that makes it difficult for you to spend it. You can do this with most of the 'Smart' banks like 'Monzo' (What I use). These banks/apps (what are we calling them this week?) give you the option to set up pots that can be locked until specific dates or goals have been met. Of course, you could still access them if you needed to wanted to but the point is to put you off from the initial impulse.

4. Cut back on your expenses ✂️

A quick win when looking to save money is to try and reduce your expenditure. Some things that people commonly overspend on is their mobile phone, with most people spending upwards in the region of £50 - £70 for the premium brands. Over a 2 year contract, you could find yourself spending nearly £1.5k! madness. I Recommend getting a cheap pay monthly sim from someone like 'Smarty' or 'Voxi'. For your phone, you can find some bargains in shops like 'Game' and 'Cex' or on the Facebook marketplace or eBay. In my case, I pay £24p/m for my partner and I's sim, my phone was second hand from Game for £120 and my partner has my old phone which I also got from Game the year or so before.

5. Sell unwanted items 💸

We're all guilty of impulse buying something and then losing interest in it later down the line or clothes that didn't fit but we never get round to sending it back. Something that I like to get in the habit of doing is saying to myself "Have I used this in the last 6 months/do I plan on using this in the next six months". If the answer is no (it usually is) then look into selling said items on places like the Facebook marketplace or eBay. One man's trash is another man's treasure as the old saying goes.

I hope these tips aren't completely useless and even if it only helps one person then I will be happy. Let me know if you have any other suggestions and I may look to make a bigger list in the future. Thanks for reading! 

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