I’m currently in the process of saving up some money, hopefully with an end result of getting a mortgage for my first flat. It’s a very tedious journey, and saving money isn’t easy at times but I’m gradually heading in the right direction. I can’t wait to start doing interiors and home posts for you all! Therefore, today I thought I’d share with you four thrifty ways to pinch the pennies and build a credit score – all with the same end goal of being approved for a mortgage. And this time, I’m planning to do it with real money. Unlike when I played Spend or Save at the GiffGaff Game Night!
Take Packed Lunches
In my opinion, this is the most upsetting penny-pincher of all. Instead of opting for that meal deal, take a packed lunch to work with you! Most offices these days have microwaves and kettles so that you can still have hot meals and a cup of tea/coffee, but cutting back on the daily costa (£2+) and meal deal (£3+) could be saving you over £20 per month. That’s £240 over the space of a year!
Saying goodbye to my favourite Spicy Bean wrap from Tesco is not an easy choice and I do really miss it, so for this reason I usually choose to allow myself ‘treat days’, where I’ll go and pick up my favourite lunch if I’m having a really bad day. This stops myself from falling into bad habits, as I know I always have something to look forward to!
It’s easy to think that packed lunches are boring, but there are some great choices on the BBC GoodFood website to create some easy, tasty packed lunches.
Reduce Your Travel Costs
Reducing travel costs is quite a difficult one, but also the easiest when it comes to saving money. I always have a mental hierarchy of transport, and it’s a great idea to look at whether you could be taking a lower option to save some pennies. For example, if you drive to work, could you look at taking the bus or car-sharing with a colleague? These options both save on petrol costs and also reduce our carbon footprint too, so it’s a win win! Additionally, you should question whether you live close enough to walk or cycle to work. Fortunately, I live in Birmingham and they are currently in the process of setting up a cycle route on my route to work – so I know what I’ll be doing soon! A bike is a large payment, but it’s one off and for me, it cost less than a yearly bus pass to work and I won’t have to keep paying it.
If you have no alternative method of getting to work you can also look at other options, for example drivers may wish to seek out a less expensive petrol station, invest in a hybrid/electric car such as the Nissan Leaf (which I love), or find a car that is less expensive to generally run. On the other hand, you could look at saving money by purchasing bus passes for larger periods of time – I recently saved over £20 by buying monthly bus passes instead of weekly ones, and I save further money by purchasing it through their app on my phone instead of buying a paper version. The 16-25 Railcard is a great purchase if you use trains often!
Build Your Credit Score
This point doesn’t directly save you money, but building a good credit score will help you to generally form a healthier relationship with money as you’ll learn about budgeting and repayments. At the moment, I’m hoping to be able to get a 0% Interest Credit Card so that I can build my score over time, though other options include purchasing a new phone on finance, or taking out a short term loan (through companies such as CashLady). If you do choose these options for building your score, it’s really important that you can get the card or loan paid off in order to both build your credit score, and reduce the interest that you need to pay.
Building a credit score is one of the most vital parts of being approved for a mortgage, so make sure that you don’t forget this part!
Declutter Your Home
Finally, my favourite part of money saving. It’s time for a good old declutter! We all have so many items in our homes that I can guarantee, we all have items that we don’t need or use. It’s worth spending a couple of hours scouring your house for these items and putting them into a box. That way, you can list all of the items on eBay/Depop/Facebook Marketplace at a time that suits you and you can get some money back on those items. In the last two months I’ve earned over £200, just buy selling unwanted clothes and games on eBay. As I didn’t use the items that I sold, I hardly even realise that they are missing. It’s great having some extra money in my savings! Always make sure you have a Google of an item before you sell it, so that you can find out how much the item is worth. You don’t want to sell something for £5 when it’s worth £50! You may enjoy my previous post which outlines how and why you should simplify your space.
I’d love to hear your top moneysaving tips in the comments!
*This post is sponsored by CashLady, though all thoughts and opinions are my own.