My Money Saving Diary
Written by Beth (she/her), who loves having pink hair and wearing makeup. She’s also a key member of the NCS Youth Advisory Board.
4 min read
Inspired by Talk Money Week, Beth decided to take on the #DoOneThing money challenge. Over the course of a week she made one change to her spending habits and saw how it could improve her financial wellbeing. Here’s how she got on…
Budgeting tips for all the Savvy Shoppers!
For the #DoOneThing money challenge, I became a savvy shopper.
I don’t know about you but I love a bargain. So this week I shopped around to find the best deals on things I needed to buy. Life is feeling pretty expensive right now, as I have a holiday coming up, so it’s really important for me to save as much as I can.
This is how budgeting tips became my best friend…
Monday: Saving Money Stories at the Supermarket
My first savvy shopper budgeting tip is to shop around. So, I did my weekly shop at Lidl. According to statistics published by Which?, Aldi is the cheapest supermarket but Lidl came a close second and it’s the most convenient one for me.
Lidl has its own rewards app, with discount codes:
- I had a coupon for a free bakery item
- I got a code for 15% off skincare
This saved me £0.63, which is not the best start but it's more than nothing at all!
Tuesday: Storecards are a Money Saving Tip
My second savvy shopper budgeting tip is to take advantage of store cards and discounts! If you didn’t know, Superdrug offers a 10% discount if you have the Student Beans app or if you show them your student card — all you need is to be in full-time education or studying an apprenticeship. When I went in, they had lots of offers on products I needed to buy. Here’s what I saved:
- £5 on the offers
- £1.90 student discount
That’s a total of £6.90 saved. Not bad! FYI, Superdrug also offers a points card for anyone aged 12 and above. With that, you get £1 off for each £100 you spend, and there are also exclusive deals.
Wednesday: Budgeting Tips for Students
I wanted to have a crafty evening with my friends, and we fancied painting mugs. We went to The Works and bought three mug-painting kits. We got a 10% student discount so we saved £0.30 each — between us that’s £0.90. I had no idea The Works had a student discount until I asked when I paid.
Also if you're like me and never remember your student card, the UNIDAYS app is brilliant to show, and most shops will accept this as a valid student ID.
Thursday: Only Buy What You Need
Today’s savvy shopper budgeting tip is to only buy what I really need — but because I’m going on holiday there were a few things I needed to buy:
- New suitcase. The one I already have is too big for the restrictions set by the airline. I went to a range of shops to look for a new one, but they were all expensive, so I went to Primark where I found one for £28 (£29.99 in Home Bargains).
- Luggage tags. On Amazon, the ones I liked were £3.99, whereas they had them in Home Bargains for £0.99.
- Carry-on bag. This time Amazon was cheaper than Primark (£8.99 on Amazon, compared to £12 in Primark).
- Luggage scale. This was averaging £5 in the shops but £2.75 on Amazon.
By looking around, I saved a total of £10.25.
Friday: Take-out Budgeting Tips
Me and my boyfriend wanted a takeaway. So we went online and looked at different options:
- Franco Manca had two pizzas and a dip for £21.70
- Domino's had the same for £22.48 (after student discount)
We went for Franco Manca and saved £0.78.
My Saving Money Success Story
By shopping around, and using rewards apps and student discounts, my budgeting tips helped me save £19.46 this week. I know student discounts aren’t accessible for everyone but shop rewards cards are available to most people. My advice to you is to check what you're buying as sometimes quick isn’t always cheap — so do your research and find the best deals.
How to Build The Best Money Habits
Want to have your own saving money success story? Here are some ideas to help you on your way to better money habits:
- Make the switch. Can you switch out branded foods for the shop's own brand? Maybe even do a blindfold test with friends to see if they can tell which is which?
- Make a budget. Then try to stick to it! (Check out this interactive article on how to create your own budget).
- Tend to grab coffee outside the house? Try replacing it by making a cuppa at home and taking it with you in a flask.
- Have a convo with a friend about money and see what you learn. Ask them what their attitudes to spending, saving and borrowing money are. For more conversation starters, check out this post on sharing goals and attitudes to money.
- Set up a savings account for specific savings. Would you like to take a big trip in the future? Always dreamt of buying a car? Here’s a guide on how to get into the savings habit.
- Set up a tip jar. Some bank accounts allow you to do this. For example, Monzo lets you round up all your payments and the extra pennies go into a tip jar for a rainy day.
- Eat at home. Instead of going out to eat, challenge yourself to make a tasty, and affordable, meal at home.
- Have a clear out. Find items you no longer need and sell them on Vinted.
- Give some money to charity. It’s cool to be kind.
- Listen to a podcast about money. See if it changes your outlook.
Remember to talk to your friends, family, or anyone else about how you get on with your saving-money stories. You can also learn how to be moneywise, while making new friends, on NCS — sign up to an NCS experience near you!