Know your numbers
Fiona, our purpose squad change champion, says "Work out a budget at the start of the month. There are many ways you can do this, depending on how your mind works. The savings pots in the Virgin Money mobile app Link opens in a new window as well as the Budgets section of the app are great tools to use or you could use a spreadsheet (find one that’s all set up for you here Link opens in a new window). Start by putting your regular salary at the top, then individually list every regular outgoing you have (don’t leave anything out: if you spend £10 on Spotify, get it on your list). Once you have a total for outgoings, subtract this from your salary and whatever is left is yours to spend (or save)."
Do your research
"My biggest expenses are holidays and festivals. I set money aside each month and sacrifice luxuries to save for them (I might buy 2nd hand clothing, say no to a social event or cook at home more rather than get takeaways). Then when I’m booking, I like to look for flights that fall on cheaper days, such as Tuesdays, and I will spend time visiting booking sites for accommodation, looking at reviews/location and trying to find the cheapest apartment but for the best value. A nifty tip is to sign up to Jack's Flight Club Link opens in a new window email alerts to find out when flights to incredible destinations are going for super cheap!"
Follow the ‘One Year Rule’
Arianna, our assistant editorial manager, looks for ways to save and make money around the home. "Are you guilty of hoarding clothes? I know I am, holding out for when leopard print jackets come back in! I introduced the “One Year Rule” recently though – if it hasn’t been worn within the year then off to eBay Link opens in a new window it goes. Flog it on Instagram Link opens in a new window, pop it on Depop Link opens in a new window, whatever suits you best. It’s a great way to help create extra space, money and helps to curb the fast fashion dilemma the world is facing."
The beauty of recycling
"A great way to save those pennies is to tap into initiatives like trading in your old, empty cosmetic containers for some new products when required. Who doesn’t love to treat themselves, especially with that free feeling? Not only are you saving those pennies you are also doing your bit to help the world! Lush Link opens in a new window & Mac Link opens in a new window are great advocates for this."
Be focused on WHY you are saving
Darrell, our Newcastle growth manager, explains how he saves savvy. “If you're seriously thinking about budgeting, there's usually a solid reason why. Maybe you regularly spend more than you earn, so you're getting into debt, or maybe you're saving to buy a house. Get that goal in your mind and really focus on it. Visualise a time in the future when achieved your savings goal and then, every time you think about spending on something non-essential, get that vision back in your mind. Is this impulse to buy strong enough to derail that goal?”
Make it fun, rope in a friend
"Channel the wisdom of slimming groups around the country and bring a competitive element to your money-saving. Challenge your friend or partner to a budget-off: can either of you make it through a whole month with £10 in your wallet/purse without spending it on anything? If you can then you’ve just successfully budgeted for a drink with your budget challenge partner…"
Make meal planning a habit
Alina, our store enablement manager, reveals "As we continue to live in the loom of a cost of living crisis, planning ahead and shopping smart is vital. Jack Monroe Link opens in a new window, food writer and anti-poverty campaigner has recently called out that there's been a big price increase on the essentials budget range within a Big Four supermarket. I try to plan smart (so not to waste) and pick dishes that have some of the same ingredients so I’m not ordering loads of different ingredients, and instead use the same stuff across a few dishes. I scan recipes and plan which meals I’ll have that week, before placing my online shopping order or popping out to do my weekly food shop (always take a list so you're sticking to a plan and never go hungry or you'll over buy!)."
Educating yourself on environmental impact
"This might sound a little different but stay with me! I find the more I educate myself on the importance of us becoming carbon neutral the more it has a positive impact on my spending! Learning about this has really changed my perspective – I am much more careful with spending money on ‘convenient’ throw away items in lots of plastic packaging that are also far more expensive, I’m less wasteful, use my car less and feel good about my choices. I’m early on my journey but already seeing positive impacts to my physical and mental health as well as my wallet!"
Spring clean your bills
Kevin, our Inverurie store manager, states "Carve out an hour of your day and take a look at your direct debits to see if there's any you can ditch or switch. I try and be as ruthless as possible when doing this because let's be honest do I really need three different streaming services? No is the answer! With any regular payments that I can't get rid of, like my car insurance, I have a look to see if switching to a new provider could save me some cash."
Sell, sell, sell…
"Get selling. Whether it’s on eBay Link opens in a new window, Gumtree Link opens in a new window or Facebook Marketplace Link opens in a new window, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. If you have something you haven’t used in ages, get it up for sale. And always put an extra £5 more than you hope to get on your item so that when they ask if you will take less, you can knock the £5 off – you’ve got your ideal price and the buyer feels like they’ve got a good deal, so it’s a win-win."
Whatever your spending habits are right now, Virgin Money customers can get help with budgeting via our clever app.
You might also like...
The five-part toolkit for calming financial anxiety
The theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is Anxiety - so, if you’re feeling worried about your financial situation right now, this toolkit is for you.
How to talk to your partner about money in tough times
Talking to your partner about money can be tricky at the best of times. But during a cost of living crisis, the M word can feel more toxic for your relationship than ever before – here’s some tips to help keep the conversation positive.
Five ways to start a savings habit - and make it last
Starting a savings habit can be difficult, but saving just a little and often is a great way to get on a solid financial footing and take control of your money for the long run. Here’s how to do it.