How to save money fast

1) Pay yourself first – This is one of the best ways to save money fast. Rather than waiting to the end of the month to save (when there will be little cash left), I always move some money the day after payday. You can do this yourself or set up an automatic transfer, whichever works best for you. Make it easy for yourself to save and that way it will become a habit.

2) What can you give up temporarily? – To save up money for a travel fund, I gave up online shopping, clothes, trips to the movies and theatre for three months. I will admit giving up the cinema was hard but I didn’t miss the other things. You can give up 3 things for the whole 3 months, or you can build up to it. For example, giving up clothes the first month, then adding makeup/skincare products the second month and online shopping for the last month. If you find it difficult to save, the second method will phase it in. This is a great way to save up for an emergency fund, if you don’t have one. Life is full of unexpected surprises, so I highly suggest you do.

3) No spend days – In today’s culture, spending has become a habit, but it’s not always necessary to spend everyday. It wasn’t until I started doing this, did I realise just how much of my spending was on autopilot. Challenge yourself to three no spend days every week. It’s best to avoid the weekends at first, but once you build that muscle, it can lead to no spend weekends, which I highly recommend. It doesn’t have to be every weekend but as part of my money saving challenge, I did this twice a month to build up my
savings. There are so many fun things you can do at home such as a popcorn and movie evening with friends, a board game evening, a picnic in the park or learn a new skill by watching YouTube videos. That’s how I learnt about stocks and shares.

4) Saving money on food – by this I suggest looking at your eating patterns. If you tend to throw out food on a frequent basis, I would change your food shopping pattern. For example if you eat out a lot on Friday and the weekends, only buy a smaller amount of food for Monday to Thursday, this way you can reduce how much food goes into the bin. Pre-packaged salad and ingredients for a few meals will reduce waste. It’s about finding something that works with your lifestyle. I cook at home most days a week, but for other people this may not always work. Another trick I use is to have a ‘food about to go off shelf’ in the fridge. Every few days I will check the fridge and move a few items to that shelf. It means I know what I will be cooking that evening. Also, you can be on a budget and still indulge in a takeaway. Instead of buying lots of dishes order a main like an Indian curry and buy naan bread from the supermarket on your way home. Instead of ordering rice, cook it yourself. By the time the delivery arrives at your door, you will have had enough time to cook fresh rice.

5) Intentional spending – make a list of the top 10 things that make you happy. The secret to this list is to have items that you can do yourself and with others, but also adding a few things you can do on a daily basis. The big things like holidays or a promotion at work don’t happen often, so it’s best to focus on daily happiness. Rather than pushing your happiness into the distant future, focus on the here and now. By having a list you
will know what makes you happy, and two, it will reduce impulse spending. By spending intentionally on what makes you happy, you will increase the amount of joy in your life and also stop spending on things that don’t add any value to your life.

5 ways to change your money mindset

If you want to know more about how to change your money mindset, then read on. Many people don’t realise this, but half the battle to saving money is all in the mind. A lot of people have negative beliefs surrounding money that they have picked up from a young age. Perhaps there wasn’t a lot of money in the house when you were a child or you learnt from others that it’s hard to keep money. What if I said this isn’t your story.

What if I said it’s someone else’s? You could have picked it up from your mum, dad, siblings or other relative’s beliefs. The point is it’s not your money beliefs. You can decide for yourself what you want to believe in. And I highly recommend choosing a positive story. Money mindsets are picked up over time, but the great news is that they can be changed at any time. There is more freedom in this way of thinking.

1. What is your money story?

Like old baggage, lots of people carry around old stories and old beliefs not noticing that they have no place in their current lives. It’s time to ditch that old suitcase and create a new money belief system. It’s important to address these old beliefs and understanding where they came from, so they lose their power over you in the present moment. If you think you are bringing the past into the present, say this instead: “That was then, but this is now. Things are different and I’m learning to be good with money.”

2. Money mindfulness

Is having a negative mindset around money helping you? If it’s not, then may I suggest we change the narrative to something more positive. Don’t look back to the past or to the future, focus on the present moment. Look at what’s going right instead.

“Right now, I have money to pay for this lovely meal.”

“Right now, I can take my girlfriend/boyfriend to the movies this weekend.”

“Right now, I have £1,000 in my savings account.”

Be focused, be present and enjoy this current moment. Because ultimately, that is all we have. Something can always go wrong but what if… something can go right? I challenge you to question your own negative thoughts, and to ask yourself, is this true? Usually it’s not, it’s just the mind going into overdrive. And the mind loves going into overdrive. If you can learn to master your own mind, you will have less worries and enjoy life more.

3. Positive affirmations

The mind will believe whatever you tell it. And here’s the real kicker: the mind cannot tell the difference between negative and positive affirmations. It will simply believe whatever you tell it. Positive affirmations do work but they need two elements to be successful: they need to be (i) positive and (ii) true. Using the above example, adopt a more positive way of thinking, say to yourself the following: “I’m learning to be good with money.”

To make it more effective, say this affirmation 100 times a day. And do activities that positively reinforce that statement such as:

  • Watch one money saving YouTube video every day
  • Read one finance article per day
  • Buy one newspaper on the weekend and read the money section

Something interesting happens with the mind when you repeat an affirmation 100 times a day. The mind goes, “Wow, she’s repeating it so many times, it’s got to be true.” And the mind starts believing it. Try this out for a week, and then for a month. The simpler the affirmation, the better. Say it to yourself on the morning commute, in the queue at the coffee shop, during your lunch break, waiting for the lift at work, brushing your teeth, it soon adds up to a 100 very quickly. This also works with other affirmations such as, “I am loved,” or “I am enough.”

Most people walk around with negative thoughts in their heads, not realising they are feeding their minds with negative affirmations. Turn it around and feed your mind with good thoughts.

4. Keep a money journal

Something that really helped me was to keep a money journal. You can use a small notebook or if you are always on the go, may I suggest opening a Word document and saving it on your phone. Every day I want you to write down three positive things you did to save or improve your relationship with money. For example, the three activities I mentioned above, however, I want you to take this one step further. I want you to note down how you felt after doing the activity. It’s the emotion, the positive feelings, that will reinforce these new behaviour patterns. It’s a technique called priming and by doing these small things everyday you will be creating new money habits.

5. Realign your spending habits with your dream

This principle is a great way to save money and I have used this technique for three months to excellent results. Often, we do habitual spending i.e spending out of habit, such as going to the coffee shop for a coffee but leaving with a coffee and muffin. Ordering food on Uber Eats because we don’t feel like cooking. Doing online shopping in the evening out of boredom. I put my hand up to say I have done all three.

Over here in the UK, there was an old TV advert for Woolworth’s, where a customer would go into a store intending to buy only one item but will come out with two shopping bags saying, “What was it that I was supposed to buy again?” It’s exactly like that.

Before I started my money saving challenge, I jotted down my goals. I wanted to build up my emergency savings and also to save up for a travel fund. I wanted to go to Florence this year, so I decided to give up three things including clothes shopping. I unsubscribed from all shop emails (to avoid temptation) and every time I went to a store, I asked myself a very simple yet powerful question:

Will this purchase get me closer to my dream?

And 90% of the time the answer was no. So, I put the dress or book back on the shop rack or table. This approach radically reduced my impulse shopping. And instead, I did the following, I did one thing every day that got me closer to my dreams. I gave up online shopping and I started watching YouTube documentaries about Florence and the Renaissance. I even bought a guide book. I changed how I spent my time and was happier for it.

Another top tip is to save a photo of what your dream looks like somewhere where you can see it on a daily basis. In my case, I saved a photo of Florence as the background wallpaper on my phone. Or your computer screen at work. Pin postcards of future holiday destinations to the wall at work. All these visual cues will remind you of what you truly want and keep you motivated towards your goal.

After three months I had saved £1,000 for my travel fund. Not only did I have money for Florence, but I also have enough for Barcelona too. And the incredible thing is this all started with one simple mindset shift.

If you are not sure how to do this, sign up for my email newsletter and I will send you my Spending Diary template that will help you re-align your spending habits to your heart’s true dreams.

All journeys begin with one small step.