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Debrief Staff | Contributing Writer | Monday, 14 September 2015

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7 Ways to Deal with your Finances like an Actual Grown-Up Even if you aren’t one

The Debrief: The Skint Girl's Guide To Saving

Possibly the worst thing about becoming a grown up is having to actually be aware of your finances. In truth, you’ve probably become okay with living in a flat share with a couple of international students, surviving on ramen noodles and spending your spare pennies on 2-4-1 cocktails, burritos and costume jewellery. But guess what? It doesn’t have to be this way! We’ve teamed up with the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) to help you take some easy steps to becoming a #Supersaver, with The Skint Girl’s Guide to Saving. Here are our 7 top tips for dealing with your finances like a grown-up.  They might sound a little simple, but you know what? It actually IS pretty simple...


1.    Make a budget.

This really needs to be caveated with: ‘and stick to it’. The rule is, if it’s not in your budget, you can’t have it, even if it IS in the sale.  Success is all about being realistic, though. If you KNOW you have a serious flat white habit that you just can’t break, factor it in! Don’t pretend like you’re not going to cave. You can shave pennies off elsewhere.

2.    Deal with your debt

It’s so easy to ignore your credit card statements, and just let the direct debit fly out of your account every month, but you need to rip off the plaster and start opening those envelopes. Can you afford more than the minimum repayments? Are you repaying too much? Are you missing payments? All of these things need to be paid attention to, now that you’re a grown up. Trust us, once you’ve got your head around it and make a plan, your life will be much less stressful.

3.    Get tech savvy

There are TONNES of apps available for iPhone and Android that can help you track your spending. These are a great idea for seeing just where that money is going. Sometimes, we don’t even realise we’re spending, so it’s good to see it in black and white. Although it’ll be scary finding out just how much you’re spending on lunch everyday, it might help you realise that if you start bringing in your own, you can afford those boots you’ve been coveting. Spendometer is free and quick and easy to use!

4.    Start saving

We know we sound like your mum, but saving is so important! Even if at first it means you’re just fattening up your piggy bank with the change from your clutch bag after a Friday night out, every penny counts! Cliché alert: look after the pennies, and the pounds will look after themselves. 

5.    Buying cheap stuff isn’t necessarily the best way of watching the pennies…

As tempting as it may be to buy cheap clothes ALL THE TIME, you’ll actually save money (and space at the back of your wardrobe) by, you know, not doing that. It’s better to spend a bit more on stuff that you LOVE and that won’t fall apart after wearing once or twice, than to be replacing your whole wardrobe once a month, right?

6.    Money mantra:  It doesn’t count as a saving until it’s in your savings account!

Cutting your phone bill down to a Sim-only plan is a GREAT idea, as is shaving money off your rent and bills wherever you can, however, that money doesn’t count as a saving if you use it for an extra night out each month. Put it STRAIGHT into your savings account (maybe set up a standing order?), that way, you’re saving, and you don’t even miss it!

7.    Don’t be a Pay Day millionaire!

We’re all guilty of it! Making that lunchtime dash to the high street to stock up on clothes that you really don’t need, before rushing to the pub after work shouting ‘THE SHOTS ARE ON ME GUYS!’ You’ll wake up the next morning a. hung-over and b. with a handbag FULL of receipts that you’re too scared to add up because you’re pretty sure you blew your monthly food budget. We’re not saying don’t have fun; just try to remember, amidst the joy of a nice full bank account, that it has to last you a WHOLE month.

 Now that you’ve followed these rules and can officially be classed as a #Supersaver, check your savings are protected! That means if your bank failed for any reason, you'd get your money back automatically - and it's completely free. Find out more at: www.fscs.org.uk/protected

We're giving away little prizes every day for the next 3 weeks, to make becoming a #Supersaver a little bit easier. Follow us @TheDebrief  and look out for our #Supersaver competitions, starting Wednesday 14 September! Ts & Cs here.