Don’t Scrimp, Be Savvy

How to start the New Year on a positive

You all know the saying; New Year… New You! Make January a positive start to your year and become savvy about your money. From your old francs to your shiniest sterling pound coins, make the most of your money and follow these simple and fun steps to help you benefit more from your pennies this year…

Set Goals

So, first thing’s first. How do you want your year to look? Do you want to go on holiday this summer? Are you saving up for a house? Or do you simply want to get yourself some savings? Whatever it is, set yourself some goals, but keep them realistic. Purchasing a notebook fit with a calendar could really help you keep you focused on your end goal. Try setting yourself short-term and long-term goals that are achievable. For example, a short-term goal may be ‘for the next week, instead of my daily coffee, I will put £3 a day in a jar and treat myself to something at the end of the week with the money I have saved.’ This is an achievable goal that will reward you with satisfaction and help you realise how much you are spending and ultimately spur you on to make more goals!

Top Priorities

Christmas has been and gone, and not only does the festive season squeeze the most out of your waistband, it is also known to squeeze the most out of your bank. Particularly you’re your credit cards. We know it is tempting to add to the collection or opt for a larger balance to spend but resist those urges and make paying them off your top priority. Make sure to pay off the debt with the highest interest rates first in order to decrease your monthly minimum payments.

Keep a ‘Naughty Jar’

A fun way to save the pennies, especially for younger children if you have a family, is to have a ‘Naughty Jar’. This can cover any topic you wish, for instance, if you are prone to stealing extra biscuits from the biscuit tin, make sure to replace your custard cream with an amount of money of your choosing. You could set a rate (e.g. £1 per biscuit or chocolate taken, which could also reduce those waistlines we spoke about… Bonus!) Or depending on the extremity offense, adjust accordingly.

Prepare for success

It sounds ever so simple, but if you are prone to the odd takeaway or dinner date, especially getting into the habit of dining out over Christmas, the spending’s can really add up. Purchasing your lunch whilst out at work can cost anything between a local £3 meal deal to a special Marks and Spencer’s salad for £5 – not to mention coffee purchases between an extra £2-£3.50 each! Whilst these are a (delicious) daily luxury, that is how they should remain: a luxury. Try a fortnightly or monthly shop of your favourite sandwich fillings, salad ingredients and soups and take the time to prepare your lunches the night before and try buying a flask and taking your coffee to work. (You could even go the extra mile and calculate how much you spend on coffees, lunches and dinners out and compare it to your fortnightly/monthly shop and put the difference in a piggy bank every month. At the end of the year you will be surprised how much you have saved and look forward to treating yourself when it comes round to opening it!)

You ‘Crafty’ Bugger!

This concept may scare some of you if you’re not into DIY, but hear us out… Whilst Kirsty Allsop’s regular TV appearances flaunting her homemade crafts may not float your boat, it could ultimately save you money, make you money and even release stress! Spending time to alter clothing (snipping off sleeves can take you from winter-wardrobe to summer-wardrobe in no time!), to making your own candles (all components can be bought off Amazon for no more than £10 and last you between 10-20 candles worth!) are just some of the ways to add to your wardrobe and home in very little time whilst taking your mind off that stressful work load. Here’s the money-making part: if you become increasingly interested in your craft work and think others will share your love for it, platforms such as Etsy can provide a place for you to showcase and sell your work to others.

If You Still Want Those Luxuries…

So you want to arrange a lad’s weekend, or a spa trip, maybe get your hair done… There are some great discounted stores online that can help you with these more expensive things to save yourself a bit of money. Sites like Wowcher, and other discount or comparison apps accessible on smart phones and tablets often offer you the best deal for that week or month depending on how many rooms hotels have filled or where is best to stay depending on what sort of break or treatment you are looking for.

Talk About It

If you feel like debt is overwhelming you or you feel that you won’t reach your goals, don’t be afraid to talk about it. Whether it is to your partner or to a professional money advice service, there is always help nearby. Even creating a finance book to help educate your family, partner or housemates can really help you feel like you are not alone in your journey (and teach younger children about smart budgeting!). Keeping a finance book with your ingoing’s and outgoings can help you see where your money is going and help you decide what is necessary and what isn’t.


Everyone has one. Yes, even you! We are talking about your change jar, and everyone knows that all change at the end of the day ends up here, even those old euros you’ve kept in your junk drawer for the last 3 years. Spending a little time to separate your shrapnel from your cents could help loosen the wallet/purse strings a little! If you have any enquiries about trading in your coins, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our experts today!


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