For more than 2 years now I’ve worked as a freelancer meaning my income can vary quite a lot from month to month. As this is largely out of my control my savings goals don’t focus so much on banking a specific amount to save each month but instead how to reduce my spending in controlled ways whilst still enjoying my life.
First up – I don’t intend to spend any money on make up in 2019.
Whilst this may sound extreme I don’t wear a full face of make up daily and in the last 5 months of 2018 I started really upping my game when it came to getting freebies. I started applying online for samples, I joined the Glamour Beauty Club online and signed up to the Debenhams Beauty Club for a card to redeem freebies. By doing this as well as keeping an eye out for Facebook ads from companies like Clinique inviting customers to try new products via samples, making the most of O2 Priority Moments and signing up to big brands like Estee Lauder and The Body Shop who offer free gifts during your birthday month I quickly amassed some great things. My make up bag now contains Kat Von D eyeliner, Estee Lauder mascara, Laura Geller highlighter, Chanel lipstick swatches and perfumes by Dior, Givenchy and several others and I haven’t had to spend a penny.
I am already pretty frugal with toiletries, where possible I visit discount shops like Savers, Home Bargains and Poundland for products and I don’t tend to buy anything too excessive. I intend to keep an eye out for beauty freebies like I did last year and just apply for everything! I’ve ended up with at least 10 face masks from The Body Shop, Clarins and The Sanctuary, 2 full size lip balms, 3 top brand mini moisturisers and more.
I intend to stock up on items like cotton pads in bulk in Primark as they’re 50p and it will save me having to pay a much higher price elsewhere. Other products that I really specifically like such as a particular Charles Worthington Shampoo and Le Roche Posay skincare I intend to be really vigilant with shopping around for the best offer. For example the shop below was a mix of Primark, Poundland and 25% off in Boots.
In 2018 I didn’t have my hair coloured in a salon at all. Previously it used to be about once or twice a year but last year I decided to give my hair a break. My long term goal it to have all of my hair back to its natural colour as it used to cost me around £100 for my hair to be coloured per trip. In terms of having it cut I just plan to visit salons that offer discounts for new customers or look on Groupon.
I moved back to London just before Christmas and buses cost £1.50 during rush hour (you can even tap in twice within one hour and still pay once) as opposed to £2.90 for Zones 1-2 travel. I intend to try and be savvy with my travel and take the bus where possible or look into buying weekly / monthly travel cards if I know I have a busy week.
There are so many free things to do in London and I don’t feel like I’ve maximised their full potential yet. I want to look at visiting museums I’ve never been to or revisiting others with new exhibitions on as well as going to some art galleries.
I also plan to visit some of the parks in London I haven’t been to before for some nice walks so long as the weather permits!
I hate eating out when you do so because you’re caught out hungry and haven’t planned the day so intend to plan ahead and really think about where to eat so meals out feel like more of a treat rather than lazy convenience. I want to experiment a bit more with cooking this year so am hoping that by discovering new recipes and trying new meals that eating at home will be a bit more exciting.
When meeting up with friends I’m aiming to largely stick to coffee or a drink rather than 2 course dinners or go for breakfast.
I am aware that Groupon has some really good deals but rarely think to check the website. I know they have deals in some chain restaurants and cafes as well as more unusual experiences so I want to look into some of these money saving deals when planning going out with friends to try and do something different without breaking the bank.
- Treating Myself via Gift Cards
I’ve accumulated a backlog of gift cards over the last 18 months which for some reason I’ve yet to spend. To give myself the odd treat without actually having to dip into my bank account I intend to use these vouchers I’d held on to. I’ve got £20 for the cinema (so intend to look for cheap offer days to get as many trips as I can!), £25 for Itunes and £25 for Waterstones.