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How planning ahead can save you money

Posted 13 September 2016

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It’s possible to save money just by planning ahead a little more. Learn more here.

One of the best ways to save money is to anticipate the things that will cost you money and plan ahead for them. This may seem obvious but we’ll bet there are lots of ways you can save money that you haven’t considered before. 

Planning things in advance does require a little more effort but when you end up with more money in your pocket it’s definitely worth it. Here are just few ways planning can help you save. 

Plan your budget in advance of getting paid

We can’t really mention planning ahead without mentioning the importance of budgeting. Before you get paid, it’s a good idea to plan what you’re going to do with the money that’s coming in. Of course you’re not really in control of how much your rent or household bills are – but you do get to control some other areas of your spending. Allocate a certain amount of money to each area of your life with the aim of making sure you’ve always got more coming in than going out. 

Buy your train tickets in advance

You can save so much money on travel by buying your train tickets in advance. So if you know when you’re going to travel ahead of time make sure you buy them as early as possible. 

For instance, we searched how much it is to travel from Manchester to Edinburgh today and the cheapest fare was £66.60. Whereas when we searched for the same journey in just over a month’s time and the cheapest fare was £12.00. That’s a saving of £54.00!*

Buy in bulk

It makes sense to buy some things in bulk. If you work it out gram for gram, buying a bigger pack can sometimes work out cheaper and it means less trips to the shop, so you’ll cut down on transport costs as well. 

Make sure you pick the right products to buy in bulk – if it’s food, you need to make sure it’s not going to go off before you’ve had chance to eat it. The best things to buy in bulk are rice, pasta and canned goods – so foods with a long shelf life. 

If you know you’re going to constantly need a certain product, like toothpaste or shampoo, look out for deals on the brands you like. It makes sense to take advantage of deals on products you know you’re going to have to keep buying.

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Start your Christmas shopping early

Do you find that Christmas hits your wallet hard? Well if you do, why not see if you can spread and lower the cost by shopping earlier for your gifts? 

You’re more likely to find good deals earlier on in the year and side-step the price hikes close to the festive season. If you spread the cost out a little over the months, rather than put all the pressure on one month’s pay packet, you’re far more likely to be able to deal with the cost. 

Plan your food shopping and your meals in advance

See whether you can plan your meals a week in advance. Knowing what you’re going to eat and that you’ve already got the ingredients in should mean expensive meals out and takeaways are less tempting. 

And planning when you do your shopping can mean you’re more likely to pick up deals at the supermarket. Try shopping later on in the evening when items are more likely to be marked down or on a Sunday. 

And if you find sticking to your plan difficult…

If you find it tricky planning ahead for everything that’s going on in life, invest in a calendar and pin it up somewhere central where you can’t miss it. Seeing the upcoming days and events will encourage you to plan for them in more detail. Make sure you check and update your calendar often. 

If money is tight at the moment and you’re looking for ways to ease the strain, planning is most definitely your friend. Try some of our ideas and see whether you can succeed in increasing the amount of money in your pocket and reducing stress at the same time. For more money saving ideas, check out the rest of the blog. 

by Christine Walsh

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To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Advice Service, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.