The ultimate Wonga guide to saving money

“Hello? Bank of mum of dad… hello?” *other line hangs up*.

The subject of money is touchy. Most of us, associate a lot of our self-worth to how much we earn. Growing up, I wasn’t surrounded by peers who discussed bank accounts, interest rates and tax with me which is why I’m so passionate about sharing my money saving tips with you.

Whether you’re saving up for a house, dream holiday, or you’re just trying to keep up with your Boujee lifestyle, let’s make it rain, together!

Write it down

Awareness is powerful. Get organised: log into your online banking or grab your bank statements. Find your favourite notebook (mine’s from Paperchase). Work out your monthly spend: rent/mortgage, utilities, transport, food, shopping & leisure. Calculate income minus outgoings to find out how much you can set aside per month. Why not open a spreadsheet and be super savvy by calculating the percentage of say, your food spending. You may surprise yourself. I was horrified by how much I spent on eating out!

Transfer on payday

I can’t recommend this enough. I swear by it. You need to trick your brain into thinking you have less money than you do. Weird, but it works. Open a completely separate bank account (savings account if you’re genuinely committed) and transfer a realistic amount, every month. You will not spend what you think you have unless you have to.

Set up bank accounts to get maximum interest rates

Okay this is complicated, but I learnt this by research, hear me out; I’ve been doing this for years. Open a current account that pays you 5% interest in transferring £X amount (refer to the bank) every month. While you’re at it, make sure it rewards you with cash back – like this one. Then, open a savings account that also pays you 3% interest on monthly transfers – this one is popular. Set up direct debits so that you move the amounts required from your paycheck to your current account and savings account so that you get the maximum interest.

Shop smart

Raise your hand if you have friends who send you pictures with the caption ‘should I buy this?’. I see your hands and I have a neat tip for you. Ask your mate to calculate their cost per wear/use of that item. E.g. if a coat costs £100 and they only plan on wearing it three times, that’s £33.33 per use which isn’t worth it, but, if they’re planning to wear it 30 times, that’s £3.33 per use. Apply this formula to everything you buy and you will only buy things you need. Shop using a discount only if you were going to buy it anyway – look out for my yearly Black Friday roundups for the latest.

Generate secondary income

If you want that house, car, dream holiday, as Britney says, you better werk b*tch. Here are my recommendations:

1. eBay – I learnt to eBay when I was young, it’s my second most profitable online secondary income (after blogging). Grab all the items that you no longer use or wear. Put some tunes on, take your phone / fancy camera out and prepare a mega snapping session. Get your selling cap on as you’ll need to write enticing descriptions for your products when you upload the pics.

2. Bar & Waitressing / Nightclub – if you like going to festivals, football matches or racing events, there are lots of temp agencies in hospitality which give you the option to work when you’re available and you get to go to the events for free! Or, if you much prefer being a night owl, why not try a local club? I worked in a nightclub as a hostess for a while – I was super knackered because I already had a fulltime job, but I was super determined to reach a certain level of savings. It was a big sacrifice but it paid off.

3. Cashback – I wish I knew about this sooner, it’s a doddle! Sign up here, and click on the links to the brands you’re about to shop. Cashback works in that the advertiser wants to pay you to buy with them over their competitors. It’s that simple.

4. Mystery Shopper / Dining – soo, being a lady of mystery (ha) I’m not going to say whether I have this role or not ;). If you like food or shopping, then this is for you. The way it works is that you shop or eat like a typical regular customer, but you report back on the customer service, atmosphere, cleanliness and quality of food/product. The mystery shopping company uses your data to create better customer service.

5. Focus groups / Surveys – get your thinking caps on and earn by telling research companies what you think. I haven’t done this so I Googled a few and here’s what I found: “www.valuedopinions.co.uk pays from 50p for taking part in a text poll and up to £5 for taking part in an online survey. Rewards are credited to your online account within 28 days and paid when your account balance reaches £10. Yougov.com pays you £1 when you register and then tops up your account intermittently. When you hit £50, you will receive a cheque in the post” – source The Telegraph.

There are also other things you look into like Bitcoin, Match Betting and Index Investments funds – do your research!

Discover the art of minimalism

Having a clear room = organised mind. I highly recommend Marie Kondo’s book ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying‘. You know when you’re cleaning your room and you find stuff that you lost ages ago, and you go ‘Ooh I didn’t realise I had this!’. The Japanese concept of minimalism suggests that we should only have material things that are in our present focus. I love this philosophy because it’s eco-friendly too.

Join me in my passionate plea

I want to use my platform to raise awareness that we have awful lack of financial education in schools. Seriously, if we can teach children algebra, then we can show them how to use money in the real world. We have a severe debt issue, in the UK, according to the BBC 8.3 million people in the UK are unable to pay off debts or household bills. This post contains money saving tips for the everyday saver, but if you’re in serious debt, please get help here.

I discovered how to become frugal at three critical stages of my life:
*Redundancy from my first graduate job (blog post coming soon)
*Quitting my job to travel the world
*Leaving my secure, permanent job to become self-employed

Adulting sucks, but budgeting is for your future. A year from now, you’ll wish you started today. Make my tips a habit, and it’ll be easy.

Itching to share your best saving tip? I would love to hear it!

Please leave it in the comment section below. I know it will mean a lot to anyone that is looking to save up.

Location: God’s Own Junkyard, London

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