WE'VE all been there – you have every intention of saving some money this month when you make the mistake of going into B&M… and just like that, you're £50 lighter.
Well if you want to put an end to this cycle, then you might want to take a leaf out of Melissa Browne's book.
The former financial advisor – who has written the book Budgets Don't Work (But This Does) – told the Daily Mail that anyone can save £5,000 in a matter of months when they break it into smaller sums.
From cutting out takeaway coffees to selling unwanted treasures online, Melissa says her methods won't make you feel too restricted with your spending. Sign us up.
1. The 'Bowl Technique'
To begin with, Melissa recommends splitting your money into different accounts.
She said: "The idea is that when you have a large bowl or plate, the instinct is to fill it.
"Whereas when you spread your money across various accounts – and therefore create smaller bowls – then you can trick yourself into thinking you have less and therefore amass more."
Melissa advises having five different accounts – one for everyday expenses, another for bills, a third for holidays and a fourth called 'My £5k'.
The fifth account will be your "f**k off fund" – where you have a savings safety net in case you ever want to leave your job or go through a break-up and need to move home.
Above all, the expert says it's vital to split your income between these accounts and resist the urge to dip into them when you fancy making a cheeky ASOS order.
2. Cut back on expenses
Now for the less fun part: Melissa recommends cutting back on some of life's little luxuries.
For instance, work out how much you spend on takeaway coffees, lunches and dinners and put this straight into your savings.
What's more, the expert urges people to look around for better deals on your monthly subscriptions, utilities and insurance.
And if you do manage to cut back on the price of these essential spends, you know the drill: transfer it straight into your "My 5k" fund.
3. Claim any extra money
Now this step requires some extra homework as Michelle recommends looking for ways you can get some extra cashback.
She said: "Lodge your tax return, use savings sites like Honey Coupon and round up apps and sites to invest and pay down debt."
In the UK, websites like TopCashback also gives shoppers the commission they make from their purchases when they buy from brands such as eBay, Marks & Spencer and TK Maxx.
Last month, MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin Lewis urged anyone who has worked just one day from home due to Covid to claim up to £125 back in tax.
4. Sell your unwanted treasures & rent your stuff
You may have grown bored of some of your old things – but that doesn't mean they're worthless.
If you don't know where to start when it comes to selling, Melissa says it's worth putting old clothes, toys and furniture up on GumTree, Facebook Marketplace and eBay.
And if you're not ready to say goodbye, the expert says it's worth investigating websites where you can rent your possessions.
For instance, MyWardrobeHQ and Hurr allow you to rent your wardrobe while GetAround helps people rent out their cars when they're not using them.
5. Be smart with money
Once Melissa's first four saving tips have become second nature, the expert says it's time to get to reevaluate your relationship with money as a whole.
She said: "Cancel your buy now pay later platforms – sure they might be convenient but research tells us that you'll spend more if you use them which is hurting your savings goals.
"If you own [your home], refinance your mortgage for a better interest rate – your rate should have a 2 in front of it."
Or if you're renting, Melissa urges people to move if they feel they're being overcharged.
For more money-saving tips, Stacey Solomon shared her best thrifty Christmas advice – including how she cuts the cost of EVERY present she buys.
And this savvy mum revealed how she bagged £60 worth of Tesco food shopping for just £10.
Plus this mum shared her £15 Tesco shopping list to help people feed their kids for week & others gave tips to get costs even lower.
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