Never Pay Full Price Again With These Savvy Shopping Tips*

“I need to be more responsible with money!” How many times have you said that to yourself? It’s not always easy to show restraint, and if you find that your savings are always being sacrificed for the latest ‘must-have’ you could start feeling anxious about your financial future- I’m forever telling myself I need to spend less and save more, but then something exciting comes along and I find myself splashing the cash.
Is there a way to shop and save? There certainly is- and when you become a better bargain hunter you can learn to get the things you want at a lower price – allowing you to put those extra savings aside.

Want to learn what it takes to be a savvy shopper? Read these top tips and never pay full price again!

Never accept the first offer
When you’re shopping – the first price you see doesn’t necessarily have to be the one you end up paying. See that price tag as a challenge to beat and save yourself some money. If you always approach shopping with a view to saving money you’ll develop some great habits that will make you much more thrifty – without compromising on the things you want. You’ll need to work on beating your urge to impulse buy, but once you get past that – there’ll be a whole world of shopping opportunities at your feet.

Always compare

Comparison sites are great, they do all of the hard work for you so that you can get a clear picture of every deal that’s out there and make the best decision. Take cheap car insurance for example, to quote those (annoyingly true) TV ads – a quick search really could save you £££s on your car insurance. Comparison sites exist for everything from insurance and flights to makeup and blu-rays – always do a little comparison, even if it is a manual one to see which retailer offers the better deal.

Make money while spending

Are you using a cashback scheme? If not – start one right away. Cashback schemes like Topcashback or Quidco are great for saving money while doing your usual shopping. They work as a sort of gatekeeper to online stores, simply start your retailer search with them rather than Google and you’ll be given back a percentage of your spend into your account. When the cashback amount builds up you can swap it for gift vouchers or a bank payment to use as you please – it’s such a simple way to get some extra savings with barely any effort!

Search high and low for discount codes

There’s nothing better than finding a great discount code. Saving 10, 20 or even 30 percent can make a big difference when you’re unsure of whether you can afford to buy something. A quick search for ‘retailer + code’ could open up a lot of offers that you wouldn’t have found elsewhere. Sign up to newsletters, search Twitter and try every avenue possible to find a good discount code.

As a little bonus tip, you can buy discounted gift cards from places like Zeek. This means that if you can’t find a discount code for something you want to buy, you could buy a discounted gift card instantly and use that instead. Some cards are sold for as much as 15% off their actual value – which is a great discount to have off different items. If you do manage to find a discount code on top, your savings could be even greater!

Make wish lists

Wish lists are great for bookmarking items you might want to buy later or might be out of your price range at the moment. Having a wish list for places like ASOS, Amazon and Topshop means that you can find discounts and sale deals easily – without you having to search around for them. When sale time comes around, you’ll already be able to see the savings on items you liked in the first place – stopping you buying items on impulse.

Don’t forget eBay
eBay is a fantastic tool when you use it properly. Using eBay to shop doesn’t have to mean buying used or second-hand goods, there is still plenty of newness there for you to sink your teeth into. Some amazing eBay buying tips include searching for ‘new with tags’ on items you have been eyeing up elsewhere, and seeing what comes up. You could find yourself saving much more on an item that’s still in store simply because someone couldn’t be bothered to return it. It’s always worth a try, and you can even set up search alerts to make it easier for you to get the latest deals.

By becoming a savvier shopper, you can help your money stretch further to build up your savings. You can also grow your savings through investments, which can make those goals such as a house deposit or wedding fund much easier to get to. Good financial habits are important as you get older, so make sure you start adulting when it comes to your money.

end

How to Successfully Launch Your Business*

Setting up your own business is both extremely challenging and hugely exciting- we understand the huge amount of time and effort that setting up a new business requires, it is all too tempting to get carried away and to want to launch and show the world our new business before it is quite ready.

Here is our simple list of things that you should be checking just before launching to make sure that you have everything under control and that you can head into your launch confidently and with everything in its proper place. Whether you’re a blogger, crafter or launching some other exciting venture make sure you read this post.

(image)

It All Starts With Your Brand

Before you can launch you need to take one final step back and look at your brand to make sure that it is all good to go. You need to make sure that you have found the best way to ensure that your brand is going to connect with your customers and inform them what you’re all about. Take some time to make sure you are happy with how you have positioned your brand. Do you stand out and does your brand successfully tell a story? Do your products or service create customer desire? How does your brand make customers lives easier? Think about these questions and only move forward into launching your company once you’re happy with all the answers to these questions.

Look at the Areas You Can Save Money

When first setting up a company there really is no need to be too frivolous with money. Looking at the areas where you can keep expenses low is essential in order to focus on the more important areas that need investing in to ensure the growth of your company. You shouldn’t be worrying about impressing new clients with expensive gestures and gimmicks and slap up lunches. Generally clients are just looking for a service or product that delivers at a fair price. So all the money that you have at the beginning of your company should be put into proving that that’s what you offer.

Look at how you can also keep things tight with the new suppliers and providers that you are going to need to work with to move forwards. If you need to use the service of companies such as couriers then make sure you are putting the research into the cheapest and most cost effective options to avoid shelling out unnecessarily large amounts of money. Look for companies like https://www.shiply.com/ who offer a shared courier service which not only is so much more environmentally friendly- it also means you can pay anything up to 75% less than more traditional courier service provider.

Financial Advice

Before you really even think about launching your business you are going to need to receive some advice from a financial specialist who can help you plan for the first few months of your business. You must also protect your initial finances in order for them to grow with you as your company develops. There are are huge amount of companies that specialise in the set up, launch and initial phase of new companies so it is highly recommendable that you seek professional advice and put in some research on business advice sites like https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/250812, in this area to make sure that you feel confident that all your finances are in order so you can avoid any nasty surprises in the future.

If you launched your own business and would like to alleviate stress and tension then why not try an NLP Course or if you have any additional tips or advice then leave them a comment below.

end

Little Ways I Manage my Money*

I’ve always been pretty good at managing my money (thanks for that skill Dad!) so although I’ve been off from work for almost a year I’ve managed to cope without running up heaps of debt. Obviously this in part is due to moving back home to my parents following the end of my relationship- there’s no way I could have kept the flat on myself, or moved in to another no matter how much I loved it. I’ve always been very fortunate that financial help from my family has been available to me. But it would have been all too easy to bury my head in the sand and continue spending like I was on a full time wage. As it stands I’ve still managed to build up a modest amount of savings whilst still living a life so I thought that today I’d share some of the little ways in which I manage my money.

(image)

1.: Alongside my main current account I have several other accounts that have all been given a specific role. One of these is for buying gifts, another is to fund a social life and another is my savings. Whenever I find myself with a bit of extra cash- any income generated from my blog for example the first thing I do is divide it up- a portion gets put away for end of year tax return (so I’m not left having to find a big chunk of money), and I also add a bit to each of these accounts so I’m constantly building up resources so I can accept a coffee invitation or pick up a birthday present without needing to dip in to my current account funds.
2.: For my day to day spending I use cash, my debit card rarely gets used in a shop. It’s far easier to face up to an empty purse than it is to keep a regular eye on your bank account and once my weekly “allowance” is gone it’s gone and I have to put serious thought in to whether I withdraw a bit extra to tide me over. If I don’t carry cash it because far too easy to fall in to the “oh I’ll just pay for that diet coke and magazine on my card” mindset- a quick swipe of the plastic doesn’t feel like spending money and it quickly adds up.
3.: Every pay day I put aside a certain amount of cash for shopping trips- usually £50 per month and this pays for my bi-monthly shopping trip with mum and funds a few purchases in Monki along the way. I find that by doing this I a) have something to look forward to and b) don’t tend to buy clothes outside of these trips because I know the next one isn’t too far away.
4.: If I do want something outside of these shopping trips I try and sell something on e-Bay first to fund it. This has the added bonus of a “one in, one out” effect on my wardrobe and makes me address my hoarding tendencies!
5.: I like to treat myself as much as the next person but before making a purchase I do force myself to think long and hard about whether I really want/need it or if I’m just caught up in an “ooh, shiny” moment. As I’m fortunate enough to make some money through my blog I tend to use what I haven’t filtered off in to my bank accounts to fund these purchases and often find that by the time I’ve amassed enough to make a purchase I’ve realised that it was more of a whim and stopped myself from making an impulse buy of something I’d later regret.
It might sound pretty boring and rigid but I’m convinced that this is what has helped me through the last year and being forced to be more mindful of my money means that when I am back earning my full wage through work (first day back today, woo!) I’m fairly confident that although I’ll be feeling flush I’ll make sensible decisions and focus on re-building my savings rather than splurging as soon as it hits my account. Of course I won’t deny myself and there will be treats along the way but with wanting to move out again as soon as my health and finances allow I have more reason to save than ever.

Although I’ve managed to keep myself afloat it’s good to know that had it have been needed a short term loan from a reputable company such as Cash Lady would have been a short-term solution. I’m not suggesting, or advocating this kind of loan as any kind of solution, but in an emergency it’s reassuring to know that there is a regulated website out there to bridge the gap.

I’d love to know the little ways in which you manage your money, or if any of my habits have helped…leave it all in the comments below!

end