If you're thinking about changing career, but aren't sure if you can afford it or will need some time to re-train outside of work, having some savings make all the difference.
I started aggressively saving as much of my salary as I could in the months leading up to my career change so that I had a small amount of savings to fall back on during what I knew would be leaner times financially. I drank significantly less alcohol. Pre-covid, I asked friends over to mine and to meet at their flats, rather than meet them at restaurants, pubs or bars. I stopped buying new clothes altogether. I took the bus instead of the train wherever possible. I also started to look around for ‘side-gig' type jobs that meant that I could earn a little extra during hours that worked for me.
Essentially, I went back to living with a shoestring student budget mentality, but whilst I was still earning a permanent salary. So, here are my top tips for how to save money from salary...
How to save money from salary now
Are there any clothes or gadgets that you could sell?
Delete Deliveroo and Uber (or switch to occasionally working for them).
Maybe you could pull out of that mates holiday this year?
Switch to shaving and painting your own nails over a wax and Shellac – you can get cheap DIY gel kits from Amazon
Go through all your direct debits and see if there are any that you could pause for a few months. If you are using Spotify, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Audible and a monthly coffee subscription box, for example, is there any room to cut a few of them temporarily?
Look at your utility suppliers – are there any savings that could be made by switching? Use comparison websites as well as websites for advice like moneysavingexpert.com.
The same goes for your phone contract; could you switch to a SIM-only deal for £10 per month instead of £30-40 for a contract. I use Smarty and get 30GB a month for £10 and it genuinely rocks.
Download savings apps and link them to your current account. Some round up your spending to the nearest pound so help you save without really noticing, others analyse your spending and advise on where you can make savings. Have a look at Moneybox, Chip and Squirrel, though there are plenty of others available.
Explore budgeting apps and current accounts like Monzo, to help you be more aware of your spending and improve budgeting.
Can you put everything you save into a high-interest bank account or one that will give you a cashback sum when you switch to them? Do your research: there are plenty of deals to be had with this.
Would you be able to take on a side-gig? A few hours a week doing things like tutoring, market research, TV & film extra work, managing the social media for a small business, babysitting and proofreading will all make a substantial difference over the space of a few months.
Could you consider something more drastic like move to a flat with cheaper rent for a year, or even back in with your parents or relatives if that’s an option?
Post-Covid money saving tips
If you belong to a gym, could you downgrade your membership to a cheaper option, change gym or stick to running outdoors for a few months?
When you do go out, live by Groupon deals and dining club discount cards like the Tastecard. Sign up for things like Meerkat Movies instead of paying full price for cinema tickets.
Make your own packed lunches for work. Every. Single. Day.
If you found this article helpful, check out my book ➡️ for lots more advice (and a few adventures!). The Radical Sabbatical is a bestselling career guide, named the Financial Times Business Book of the Month 🎉
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