Spending less and saving more

Spending less and saving more | Joseph BurrowsThis post is in collaboration with Leeds Building Society.

So a month ago, I shared a post about teaming with up Leeds Building Society to learn how to be a better saver. Well after a month spending less and saving more, it’s time to reflect on how I did with the challenge, and what I’ve learnt!

In my last post, I used the tips and guidance from Leeds Building Society to set myself some targets to help me be a better saver:

  • Set up a savings account and set aside at least £250 a month.
  • Plan my lunches rather than buying at work.
  • Change my gym membership and start actually going again.
  • Enjoy a cost-free experience, rather than an expensive day out.

Now I’m going to be straight up with you and say I didn’t manage to stick to all of my targets. But I’m still proud of what I’ve achieved. A lot of saving relates to having willpower, and I’ve definitely developed a lot more of that through doing this challenge.

First up, and undoubtedly the best thing I did, was setting up a savings account. I’ve got a direct debit now so I’m guaranteed to be putting aside money each month. I’ll also directly transfer over any little extra bits I have. It’s amazing the difference setting up a savings account can make – it’s actually changed my mindset a lot and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who hasn’t got one.

Another target for Rhi and I was to do our shopping in advance and generally use lists so we only ever bought what we needed. This is one of the top tips from Dr Frank Ryan, Consultant Psychologist and author of the book ‘Willpower for Dummies’ and it definitely makes a difference to saving. When we did this properly it worked great and we ended up eating a lot better AND saving money. But when we didn’t make time to go to the shops, such as when we had weekends away etc, it just didn’t work out. Whilst I may not always stick to it, I’ll definitely make more of an effort to plan out all my shopping in future, be it for food or other things like clothes.

The other little things were more about spending less, rather than saving more. I’ve found a cheaper gym membership which can save me around £20 a month, and Rhi and I are enjoying some more free experiences like museum trips. That doesn’t mean I get it right all the time. Sometimes I’ll buy some rubbish I don’t need or splash out on a takeaway, and that’s okay. You’ve got to treat yourself sometimes, right?

Doing this challenge has shown me how attainable spending less and saving more is. It sometimes feels like some insurmountable task, but actually it’s totally achievable if you set your mind to it. Sure you’ll sometimes have hiccups and splurges along the way, but that’s part of life.

Thank you to Leeds Building Society for setting me on the path of a saver. I feel like I’m finally on my way to having the adult life I’ve always wanted.

This post is in collaboration with Leeds Building Society. All words and thoughts are my own.

  • Abi Street

    This is a great post Joe! I’ve been thinking of setting up a new account and using direct debits to put savings in so I feel like I have to! Otherwise I get distracted by buying stuff haha! x

    Abi | abistreetx

    • Thanks Abi! It’s definitely the easiest solution and it means I can’t spend it before I get chance to save, haha!

      Joe x

  • Yay! Great post – I’ve found it so hard to be a saver and not a spender, but I think, I think, I’m finally getting there! It is hard though, and you shouldn’t ever deny yourself a little treat sometimes. x http://www.aimeeraindropwrites.co.uk x

    • Yay Aimee! Well done on getting there! You’re right, it’s definitely difficult, but we’ve got to treat ourselves from time to time!

      Joe x

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  • My boyfriend is a savvy saver and he’s taught me well. My favourite tips are to use topcashback before buying anything online to see if I can get money back. I’ve made about £250 so far from buying things I’d actually have bought anyway.
    I have a list of our food staples (like pasta, rice, bread etc), split up into categories of where I find them in the kitchen (fridge, freezer etc) so when I plan our meals on a Friday evening for the following week, I can go down the list and check off what I need to buy at a glance 🙂 xx