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Guide to saving money for a rainy day (or your big day)

Whether you have a big occasion in the pipeline- such as your wedding day, or simply want to start putting away some cash for a rainy day or an unexpected opportunity, the first steps to saving are usually the hardest. However, we’ve got a handy guide for you that will help you put away those pennies for something special, without having to lose out on all of your favourite things.

Make investments rather than impulse buys

Impulse buys are those that are made without any planning beforehand, these are usually on items found near the checkout that you see and make an instant decision to buy without any previous research. Many studies have found that around 60% of impulse buys leave you feeling guilty or disappointed afterwards, even if it was just a simple chocolate bar. So, in the future, try to think about each and every purchase a little more and make investments that are going to last, rather than purchasing throwaway items that are only good for now. This can be taken into account with many things including clothes shopping, household shopping and even umbrella shopping! If you make a slightly larger investment into a quality umbrella for example, this has a better chance of lasting, and you’ll look after it better. It will also likely save you money in the long run, as you won't be buying a new umbrella every other day to replace the one that has broken!

Set up a savings account

Although some still prefer the traditional method of the piggy bank, setting up a savings account that is a little tricky to access may be a lifesaver in your scheme to save. Often it is all too easy to dip into your savings for something that might be unnecessary, so the trickier it is to take the money out, the better. Just bear in mind that this might mean that it takes a number of days for you to withdraw the money when you actually need it, so if you know you need to put the deposit down on your wedding venue, ensure you take the money out in plenty of time. You may want to have a small piggy bank fund also, select 50p/20p/£1 coins and put only that type into your pot, this saves you from carrying around a large amount of change, and although only a small sum, all these coins will add up over a few months to a nice little collection of money.

Research cheap/free activities in your local area

Many find that their money is spent on entertainment purposes, such as eating out or heading to the cinema. So, why not try and find alternative ideas that are either cheap to free to do? Make Friday night date night into a stargazing extravaganza with a homemade picnic rather, than an expensive meal out. This is equally as romantic and might even be more enjoyable! You can still head out for a special meal every once in a while; just limit yourself to make it more of a treat. There may be free events that you can attend nearby that you never even knew about, or have people round for a dinner party, as cooking at home is almost always cheaper than eating out!

Freecycle

Platforms such as free cycle and other local items for sale groups are great ways to both save on buying new items including furniture and clothes, as well as being a perfect place to make a little cash! If your house is full of unwanted or unused items then why not make some money from them? You might even find that this is a therapeutic process, emptying your house of clutter and clearing the way for your new life! You can also look to up-cycle old pieces of furniture with a lick of paint that transform the room for little to no money.

Take a look at your subscriptions and direct debits

By checking out a list of all your direct debits and subscriptions- these can be obtained from your bank, you may find that there are things that you are still paying for that you simply do not use. When was the last time you used one of your streaming subscriptions? Are they worth the cash? How often do you actually attend the gym you have a membership for? Although these savings might be as small as £5.99 a month, they all add up throughout the year! Whilst reviewing this, you may want to see if you can downgrade your mobile phone package or find a cheaper deal on your bills elsewhere. Every penny helps in these instances!

Set a SMART goal

SMART is an acronym to ensure that you create goals that you can stick to, this stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Reasonable and Timely. So you must make sure you set yourself a reasonable time frame, an attainable amount and have a way to measure your success, for example, through the use of a savings account. A good example of a goal would be to save £500 in 6 months, meaning that you would need to save a minimum of £84 a month, and anything above this is a bonus. Setting a target has even been proven to give you a 50% better chance of succeeding in what you set out to do!