Wednesday 28 March 2012

spring clean series: money

I was inspired to do this post as I keep seeing adverts to use up your cash isa allowance before the end of the financial year.

a little info on ISAs:
  • Stands for individual savings account
  • If your aged over 16 you can open one
  • Basically it's a saving's account in which you earn interest without tax being deducted.
  • Your only allowed to open one ISA a year and each financial year you have an allowance
  • For this financial year you can add £5340 (next year this will rise to £5640).
  • If you don't use your allowance for the year you lose it
  • There are different types of ISAs, the main ones are instant access , so you can withdraw your money at any time, or fixed, this is for a specified amount of time, the interest is usually higher but if you withdraw money before this time you usually lose out on the interest bonus.
  • You don't have to add everything in one go and can add bit by bit. however if you withdraw money and you have already used up your allowance you can't add anymore. So for example say you have opened an ISA with the full amount £5340, and you then need some money so you withdraw £1000, seeing as you have already made the limit you can't deposit the £1000 back in.
  • You don't need to have to have the limit to open the account usually you can open with a minimum of £1, and you still earn the interest tax free.
I hope that information was somewhat useful. Most of us have that something that we want to save up for whether it's for a rainy day or it's for that handbag you've always wanted or whether it's for a car like myself.

So here are some of my tips for saving:

Student discount
A lot of places give 10% off for students. Most shops have events at the start of term offering up to 20-25% off so make use of this if you can! ( after graduating i do miss my student discount!) 

Store discount cards/loyalty cards
Many stores offer discount if you take out a store card.
BUT BEWARE: storecards usually charge you a very high interest rate so make sure you pay of the balance off straight away otherwise it can end up being more expensive.

Online discount codes
Before making a purchase online it's worth trying and seeing if you can find any voucher codes for a percentage off your purchase or even free delivery. (I like to use hotukdeals, and go on the voucher section, where you can type in the name of the site and they will have any current discount codes that are available )

most supermarkets are always having BOGOF deals frequently so stock up on items when they are on offer especialy if it's something that you like to buy regularly.

Shop around 
If your looking for a big purchase for example a laptop, camera etc. have a look online, instore, at different sites to see where you can get the best deal.

Make a list 
When going grocery shopping make a list of things that you need, this will keep you on track and you can avoid impulse purchases. Equally don't go grocery shopping when your hungry, as this will tempt you to fill your trolley up with unnecessary items.

Direct debits
Look through your bank statements and see if you have direct debits for anything that your not using for example to magagzines you don't read, the membership to the gym that you haven't been to for the past few months and cancel these.

Prepare your own lunch
If your buying lunch everyday, and spending say an average £3 a day, thats £15 for 5 days, £60 a month, if you make your own lunch it's fresh and you know what's going in it and plus you can save yourself a few quid to!

Buy in bulk
Most groceries for example pasta, tea, coffee etc. are things your always using and aren't going to go bad. It's often cheaper to buy a bigger bag of something rather than the smaller bag. (the price labels in supermarkets usually have a price per kg so take a look at this and go for the cheapest option)

Set up a standing order to a savings account
consider arranging to have a percentage of your income automatically going in by direct debit each month to a savings account. Even if it's it's as a little as £10 a month, you'll still have £120 at the end of the year. 

I hope these tips were helpful. I would love to hear some of your tips so feel free to share!


  1. Hi Sita.
    This is such an awesome well-thought-out post. So helpful. :)
    I think you should contact to feature your post as they do a weekly post on helpful and fun links for college girls and otherwise.
    Keep on truckin'! :)
    Lot's of love.

  2. Hi Vera, thanks for your comment..I'll definitely look into that! xx

  3. Great post hun. Very helpful. Now following doll.
    My Blog:


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