Since January is here, many people are putting some serious thought into how they can better their lives this year.
I find that one of the best ways to achieve your goals is to set yourself challenges. In my opinion, challenges need to be difficult, and I like to set the bar high, which is why this year, driven by my money saving mission, I’ve decided that I am going to aim to save £12,000 in the next 12 months.
If I was to lock away £1000 a month from my wages alone, I’d have mere pennies left over once rent (paid to my mum) and direct debits were taken into account. And so this is going to be a real toughie. But I like to think that you can achieve (almost) anything if you put the work in and believe in yourself, which is why I’m aiming for such a high figure. If I achieve this target, or even if I fall a bit short, I should have enough for a small deposit on my first home, which is a good enough incentive if you ask me!
You can read some of my money saving efforts so far in my post ‘How I saved £3000 in 3 months‘. But I’m going to have to step it up a notch if I’m going to complete the challenge, especially since I’d like to go on holiday at some point this year.
Here’s a few ideas, resolutions if you like, for ways that I’m going to increase my savings throughout the year.
- Improve ISA interest rateI’ve been saving my money in an ISA for the past few months, which in theory should see me gain more interest than I would in a regular savings account because interest in an ISA is tax-free. But I’m not currently benefiting from a great rate, which is why I need to pop into my local bank and ask for them to switch me onto a different account. Before saving in an ISA make sure you look around to see if there are any regular savings accounts with better rates. Even though they won’t be tax-free, if the interest rate is much higher than those in an ISA you may end up better off, even after tax has been deducted.
- Sell things on EbayUnbelievable I know, but I’ve never used Ebay. I’ve never used it to buy or sell and I think it’s about time I signed up for an account and started using it to flog some of my old stuff. It’s unbelievable the wacky things you can sell on there, from empty perfume bottles to car tax discs.
- Do several car boot salesLast time I did a car boot sale I made £180 in the space of a morning. I sold loads of my old belongings such as clothes, DVDs and books, and my Dad kindly donated a pile of his old records.
- Buy things cheap to sell at a profitOne way of making a bit of extra cash involves buying things cheaply, say at a car boot sale or in a charity shop, and selling them on to make a little bit more. I definitely need to start setting some time aside to do this. I’ve spotted a few books in charity shops recently for only a couple of pounds that can fetch 5x as much online.
Saving 12k in 2015 isn’t for everybody.
I’ve had to make a lot of sacrifices to save what I have already, and if I hadn’t moved back in with my parents, it would take so much longer. If you’ve more responsibilities than me, or simply doubt that £12k is achievable, why not set yourself a smaller challenge. Whether it’s £5000 in the next year, or just £500, it’s better than nothing and you’ll be surprised just how easy it can be when you strip your spending down to the necessities and do what you can to make a bit extra.
If you’d like to join in, let me know, and take a look at the Money Saving Expert forum, where you can find plenty of others who are also taking part in the Save £12k in 2015 challenge. Also, please let me know in the comments below if you have any more money saving tips that you think will help me to reach my target 🙂