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Who knows about the best eating habits better than our loyal dieticians or personal trainers? Who has the best money tips other than marketing gurus and tax lawyers? And who would you want tips from about planning your upcoming summer wedding or big 30th birthday party other than an experienced event planner? That’s right, these experts are not only masters in their fields, but they also have pockets filled with tips and hints on how to live your best life. Each month, we will sit down with a specialist and ask them to give us 5 of the most common, disregarded, unique or even never heard before tips related to their field, and keep you guys as healthy, informed and aware as possible. PS: Please let us know if there are any experts you’re particularly interested in reading about, and we’ll make sure to add them on to our newest “Ask the expert” column for our next chat!

Anyone else here struggling to save money on a monthly basis? Whether you’re trying to save up for that gorgeous lace dress, or for your next big trip, you need to know that it is possible for anyone to turn their financial life around, and it sometimes doesn’t take much to save that extra hundred pounds. Which is why, we’ve sat down this week with a financial expert Steve, who has been working at a bank for over 20 years, and who has a couple of tricks to keep your bank account happy but most importantly, full.

It’s easy to read up on money saving tips online or try to set up budgets on your banking app, but the real first step to saving money according to Steve, is to “start thinking smartly about your money. If you’re the type of person that likes to treat yourself to a £5 morning coffee and refuses to give that up, I’m pretty sure you don’t really want (or need) to save money, otherwise you would be skipping the coffee in a heartbeat, and taking it from home” said Steve.

“Make a mental decision to think smartly about your money”

Just like when you decide to adopt a healthy diet, explains Steve, you need to get your head into the idea of saving your money on simple things. Otherwise, what will stop you from blowing all your cash on a night out? “What I usually tell my customer and family members, is that making a list of your priorities is the first step to saving money. For example, if you make a list of all the things you can’t stop buying, such as medicine, gym membership, transport etc. and then make a list of all the things you could technically live without such as take-away dinner, alcohol, cinema tickets, you’ll notice you can easily survive a month or two buying necessities only.”

Steve recommends making lists and sticking to your necessary purchases for a month or two. This will already have a massive impact on your bank account, and make it much easier to stick to budgets the months following that. “I’m not telling you to stop having fun and hanging out with your friends at the pub, but just like giving up chocolate or sugar for a month or two before hitting the Bahamas, you’ll just need to cut down on pleasure purchases for a few weeks to then enjoy whatever you’ve been saving up for.” I guess what Steve means here is that nothing comes without a price, if not hitting the club for a few weeks can enable you to pay your dream trip to Japan, I guess it’s worth it, right?

“Avoid convenience buying”

“One of the most common (and simple) ways most of my clients manage to keep up with their savings is by changing their habits at home, but most importantly, in the kitchen,” explains Steve. Funnily enough, this will benefit your wallet as well as your health which is something I am totally up for! “It’s worrying that most 25-35 year olds in London are trying to save for marriage, mortgages, babies and even honeymoons, and yet they spend most of their income on food and transport”.

“There are also a lot of schemes and apps out there that have coupons or deals which is also a good way to treat yourself when on a budget,” says Steve. Check out apps like Tails that give you cash back straight into your Monzo card if you dine at specific restaurants, or even Open Table who have great deals on. “But all in all, if you want to enjoy your weekends with your friends in a sunny beer garden, I would recommend saving your money by avoiding “convenience” expenses such as catching an Uber when the tube is running, ordering Deliveroo when your fridge is stacked with food, and going to Lidl although Waitrose is just around the corner”.

“Check your energy provider”

“Because I feel like you won’t be satisfied with my two previous points that involve giving up all the things you love to do on a Friday night, changing your energy provider should be something you should happily take on, am I right?” Asks Steve. Changing this could literally save you hundreds of pounds a year that that’s a lot of money you could be spending on better things. In London, renters and home owners are not aware of the offers that are out there, either because they take on whatever provide the landlord proposes, or what the previous homeowners used to have but that’s not a smart movie.

“There are so many websites you can check out that will give you competitive pricing, such as GoCompare and uSwitch,” says Steve. “I’m sorry I don’t have a solution for paying less rent or mortgage, but this is a relatively easy way to save up on some money on a yearly budget, trust me, I’ve done it!”.

We would love to know if you have some tricks on how to save money in this pricey city! Let us know in the comments below.

On another note, who needs to save money when you have bargains like this!

Featured images via Unsplash

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