Top tips: saving for a big buy

A calculator and pencil.

Ever since we got together, Kate and I have always been saving for something and, with baby number three on the way, we’ve suddenly found ourselves saving for lots of things! Of course, there are a fair few items that we already have, but some haven’t stood the test of time. Or, more accurately, the test of Dylan and Xander. Top of the wishlist are a new pushchair and a video monitor, so we need to do some serious saving – particularly as I’m freelance now and earning much less. Here are my top tips for saving for a big buy…

Cut down

If you’re anything like me, you have a taste for things that are nice but by no means essential. I’ve resolved to reduce the amount I spend on wine and beer for this reason. As well as showing a bit of solidarity to Kate who, for obvious reasons, can’t drink at the moment, it’ll save us a tenner a week.

Change providers

Something we’re looking at doing at the moment is changing our energy supplier. We’re always sensible with the electricity and gas that we use and keep a record of what we spend year on year and, despite our usage being similar, our costs have been rising. We’ve found that we can save hundreds of pounds, so it’s well worth doing.

Sell stuff!

According to a consumer survey I read recently, the average home has £4,000 worth of unwanted goods, so selling them is a no brainer that could boost your savings considerably. There’s something very therapeutic about getting rid of unwanted clutter too, so it’s a win-win situation.

Buy in bulk

If cashflow allows you to spend a little more on grocery shopping and to do so less frequently, you can make some good savings by buying in bulk. Obviously, you’ll still need to buy items with short dates regularly, but purchasing large packs of things like nappies, tea bags and canned foods can significantly reduce the cost per unit, saving you plenty over an amount of time.

Get a good savings account

Of course, doing all of the above will help you make savings, but it’s great to get a reward for doing so in the form of interest, so a savings account is a must. As our savings goal is relatively short term, we’ll be using our instant access account but I would normally go for an ISA to enjoy the benefits of tax-free saving.

Disclosure: this post was produced in collaboration with TSB.

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