Being an adult means being able to do anything an adult is allowed to do. One of the major changes is earning your own money and spending it the way you want to.
However, adulthood comes hand in hand with its best friend “responsibilities”. If you are living in your own flat, you need to be careful you keep enough money aside for bills, and unexpected issues.
If you are still living at home things may be a little bit more relaxed, but unless you are counting on living with your parents all your life, you will probably want to start putting money aside for when you move out.
Start as soon as possible
The first “rule” is that it’s never too early to start saving money. If saving your birthday or Christmas money may be a little too extreme, putting a few pounds aside as soon as you step foot in the working world is the best thing to do.
Even if it’s a part-time job. It may not seem like a lot, but even as little as £10 a month is a good start. That’s always £120 towards something you really want at the end of the year, whether that is a car, a dream holiday or money towards your future flat.
Analyse your spending habits
If putting money aside is something you are just starting to do, or something you want to get better at, try looking at your spending pattern.
In which category do you spend the most money each month? Is it groceries? Bills? Subscriptions? Clothes? Home decor? Nights out?
Then look at each category and find the ones in which you can cut down expenses.
Maybe your phone or internet subscription is too expensive, maybe you don’t need to receive that magazine you are subscribed to each month of the year. Or maybe you could wait until seasonal sales to buy clothes instead of going clothes shopping each week. Same for home decor, and maybe you can cut down on takeaways and eating out.
Basically there is always something we can give up, something we spend money on that isn’t essential. By cutting out these “unnecessary” expenses, we can put money aside to get something much more important and that we really want.
Keep track of your savings
If cutting down on clothes shopping and evenings out is something difficult for you, write down what you are saving up for on a piece of paper and pin it somewhere you will see it often: in front of your desk, on your wardrobe or your fridge.
Then each month, or each week, add how much you’ve saved. Then each month or every two months add everything up so you see where you’re at.
To be sure you are not tempted to use that money on something else, it is best to keep it in a separate savings account.
If you feel like you’ve already cut down on unnecessary expenses as much as you can, have a look at your bills. Phone, internet, subscriptions (TV, magazines, monthly boxes…) and your groceries shopping list.
For your phone and internet bills, compare them with what other companies offer for the same price/service. Maybe another company has better prices, or maybe you don’t need as much internet data or to be able to make international phone calls.
This way you may be able to save a few pounds each month. You may also be spending more than you should on groceries.
To know if you are, check out our article about 11 ways to save money on your food shop. As you may have gathered, setting yourself a weekly budget for groceries is the first step.
Saving money isn’t easy, especially when you are just starting to own your own money. However, with time you will find something that works for you and will develop good habits.
It’s all about analyzing your current situation and trying new things until you find something you are comfortable with.
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