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Today I wanted to share with you how to save money every month and how I saved £5,000 in only six months, paying off credit card debt and ultimately saving for a house deposit. Read on to discover more.

How I Saved £5000 In Six Months

Today I wanted to share with you how to save money every month and how I saved £5,000 in only six months, paying off credit card debt and ultimately saving for a house deposit. Read on to discover more.

Ah, money. We have a love/hate relationship, don’t we? I love you when you’re there, I hate you when you’ve disappeared. One of my goals for 2017 was to become far more responsible with my monthly wage, instead of living like a king for one week and a pauper for the other three. Plus, going down to part-time and taking a 20 percent pay cut meant I had some serious adulting to do for the second half of the year.

And the result? I’m pleased to say that I did become more responsible. In fact, I became so responsible I saved up £5,000 in six months to pay off debts that weren’t so much hanging over my head, rather sucking up good mortgage deposit money.

Wondering how I did it? Here’s how…

Know Your Money

The first thing to do is to lay everything out, bank statements, bills, expenses, income. Everything. You need to know exactly what you have coming in and exactly what you have going out. Make an Excel spreadsheet so you’re able to make a note of all your monthly outgoings, including average weekly food shop, petrol, the money you spend on coffee, nights out, subscriptions. Everything. Try keeping a money diary for a week so you can make a note of every single penny you spend. Even 70p for a can of pop. At this point, all you need to do is work out what’s coming in and what’s going out. Simple right?

Do You Really Need to Netflix & Chill?

This is the slightly harder part. You need to go through all your monthly outgoings and see what can be chopped and where money can be saved. I live alone, therefore pay everything myself, so here’s where I made cuts to my monthly bills:

  • I called my utility company and made sure I was on the cheapest tariff for gas, electric and water. This saved me £20 a month.
  • I changed my phone tariff to less data, minutes and texts, but I increased my home broadband slightly to allow for more internet usage. This saved me £10 a month.
  • I cut out subscriptions to Audible (£7.99), HelloFresh (£139.36), Slimming World (£20), PureGym (£15.99) and Tailwind (£12.99). These were a complete luxury in my opinion. I could *run for free, I could follow the principles of Slimming World without going, I could use Pinterest without Tailwind and I didn’t need Audible or HelloFresh. *As if
  • I stopped shopping at M&S on my way home from work to buy unnecessary items (£50)
  • I made my own lunches and stopped buying a hot chocolate/peppermint tea from Starbucks every morning (£60)

Martin Lewis became the God Father

Martin Lewis, the money saving expert, became my go-to man when trying to save money. With his advice, I moved all my credit card debt onto one card with 0% interest on balance transfers. That meant I wasn’t wasting money on interest every month on three separate credit cards, equalling around £200, which went straight into the pot. It was also super satisfying seeing the balance drop every time I saved money and paid it into that account. Because I’d downloaded the app for my credit card to my phone, it meant that I could pay in or check in on the go. I’d definitely recommend doing this if you’ve got any form of credit card/bank account. I know sometimes you want to bury your head in the sand when it comes to money, especially if you know you’ve overspent like I did at Christmas. If we pretend we can’t see it, it isn’t there right? But trust me, once you take a look, know what you’re working with and stop any possible overdraft charges that might occur, you’ll instantly feel more at ease.

Look For Alternative Revenue

So you have your 9-5, which pays the bills. But do you have an alternative revenue stream which you can maximise? For me, it was this blog. I started to really work at monetising Apartment Number 4 and it became a substantial part of my monthly income. I spent a long time perfecting my media kit and update it monthly without fail. I dedicated time to reaching out and introducing myself to brands. I increased my prices. I invested in a business coach and even though that was spending instead of saving, the changes we made, increased my income in the long run. I started to get up earlier to organise my social media content for the day. I replied to every email with my media kit and explained how I could offer that brand a more bespoke service. I became the Queen of selling myself. And you know what? It worked. Except, whenever I was paid for a job, I would move the money straight to my credit card account. It didn’t even sit in my account for longer than an hour in most cases. Because you know what would have happened if it didn’t? There’d be a strong chance H&M Home would have reaped the benefits more than I would. My advice would be, if you have a blog then join affiliate schemes (AWIN is, without doubt, the best scheme I’m part of), create a media kit, approach brands to work with and reply to brands that contact you with your media kit and price package. Don’t have a blog? Look at utilising your talents. Offer to tutor local children in your specialist subject, work in a bar part-time, teach a language or dance lessons, launch an eBay business selling vintage clothing – consider all the ways you can make that extra coin.

Welcome The Challenge

For me, the challenge of saving £5,000 and ultimately becoming debt free as I entered 2018 became an addiction. I was addicted to saving money. I was frugal and proud. I would drive in a more economical way to work (55mph-60mph on the motorway in the highest gear) to save the slightest bit of petrol. I even kept a tally to tick off every time I hit another £100 mark. You have to make the choice between shopping at Zara again or investing that money into something you want much more than another floral dress. Stop and think every time you make a purchase, decide where it is on your priority list and sooner or later it will become a habit.

It took 6 months of saving for me to pay off £5,000 of debt and I entered the new year, three credit cards down. I still have an overdraft of £300 but that’s my next mission. And living to a budget is part of my day-to-day life now. I’m grateful for the money I have coming in, and I’ll continue to work hard at attracting more.

Are you on a saving mission this year? If so, what do you plan on doing to cut back/save/attract more money?

In case you missed it: Becoming Self-Employed & The Lessons I’ve Learnt | How Much I Earn From Blogging | Essential Blogging Advice You Need To Read

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Today I wanted to share with you how to save money every month and how I saved £5,000 in only six months, paying off credit card debt and ultimately saving for a house deposit. Read on to discover more.

About the author
Victoria Jackson is the editor of multi-award winning interior design blog Apartment Number 4. Designed to help you create a beautiful home on a budget, Victoria edits the inspirational and showcases the affordable.

16 Comments

  1. How can I not love this post? It’s one of my goals for 2018 to save money and cut my expenses – especially where I don’t need them at all (Yes, Zara is also one of my favourites). I want to become a money minimalist and only spend them on things I really need or know that would somehow make me feel content. We don’t even think on a daily basis how much we can save monthly when we don’t do the little things here and there. I think my sin would be getting some snacks in the buffet at uni when I have my own food brought from home. Now you made me think of it even more! Thank you for a motivational post, loved it!

    With kindness,
    https://gentileame.wordpress.com

  2. You’ve done amazingly well! I struggled to save any money the year after I bought my house, but I’ve started to save £50 a month over the last few months and it’s making me feel so much better! Well done! xx

  3. Sounds like you were just wasteful and overspending before and now live normally. There’s no real advice here for people living normally to increase their savings imo.

    Most people with not much money already avoid subscription services, eating out, lowering bills/credit interest, unnecessary spending etc. Aside from having a successful blog to earn revenue there’s nothing applicable to the majority here.

    Sorry.

    Ps – welcome to the real world of the low-paid.

  4. I’m struggling to work out from this how you saved almost a thousand pounds a month? Is that actual savings going into a pot or are you counting the interest that you are no longer paying on your debts? Well done by the way I think it’s great but just genuinely don’t understand the figures here. You must have a huge disposable income.

    1. I’m fortunate to have a fairly well paid 9-5 job lovely as well as working evenings and weekends on this blog to create another source of income, so from cutting back on silly expenses and working even harder to bring in more money, it equalled around £800 a month. I also then stopped paying £200 interest on credit cards so that went in the pot too 🙂 x

  5. Loved this post, Victoria – very helpful and I’ll be passing on to my friends who all live within their means and “normally” , as they’re always great tips to consider when giving ourselves a financial once-over. I myself completed a similar exercise with John just last year and found it so eye-opening and helpful. Thank you for being generous enough to share your excellent tips!

    xo Jaime
    Angloyankophile

  6. Great post Vic and something I definitely need to get onboard with this year, especially with having a new baby on the way and I’ll be out of work, as such.
    The small things, as they say, definitely add up and I think with having an ultimate goal in mind, paying off nasty credit cards, moving house etc, make it more of a better end goal!

    Caroline.x
    http://www.carolineelgeywhite.com

  7. Thank you so much for writing this! I have done something similar recently and am feeling so much better for it. It’s so good to read an honest post about money and your tips are really helpful!
    Christy x
    Stylerarebit.com

  8. Excellent work Victoria, what’s not to be proud off! And to be honest, it doesn’t seem like you had to sacrifice too much (plus shopping at Zara isn’t a bad thing at all!)

  9. Consider cashback too! I ‘made’ £150 in 6 months just by buying what I normally would but through cashback sites.

    Top Cashback is the best one I’ve found (and is recommended by Martin Lewis too). You can sign up here https://www.topcashback.co.uk/ref/sarahelsley5 (not an affiliate link, but I do get a referral amount).

    Completely agree with you on buying food and drink throughout the day. I always cook meals for 5/6 people even though there’s only two of us and take the leftovers to work which last a couple of days. Costs slightly more in the food shop but works out cheaper per portion than buying lunch.

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