A mum who once saved £25,000 in a year to put towards her first home has shared her top five money tips.
Lara Joanna Jarvis is a blogger and YouTuber who became famous for completing a “no buy” year where she only spent money on essentials – like food and bills – for 12 months.
By ditching luxuries for the entirety of 2019, she was able to save £25,000 to put towards a house deposit with husband Stuart.
In her latest YouTube video, Lara has shared some of her favourite money-saving tips for those who aren’t quite ready to take a “no spend” year.
30 day wait rule
The rule Lara now “lives by” following her no spend year is to wait 30 days before making any non-essential purchase.
If you spot something you want, she suggests putting it onto a wish list before waiting 30 days and then seeing if you definitely want it.
“When I did my no-buy year for 2019 it was the foundation for changing my money mind-set.
“It stops that impulse spending. Often we’re not thinking things through.”
Meal planning saves you money by stopping you spending cash on something you may already have in the cupboard.
Another bonus is it saves on food waste.
By prepping her meals in advance, Lara says she reckons her food bill has been cut in half.
Lara said: “I do it backwards, so I will look at what I’ve already got and I will then think of the recipe that will work for those ingredients.
“I will then meal plan, working out what we need for each day and write my shopping list accordingly.”
Lara Joanna Jarvis / Instagram)
It can be easy to lose track of your spending when you’re using a card or contactless device.
By using cash or card instead, Lara says you’re much more likely to think about the money you’re handing over.
She said: “Handing over a crisp note from the bank is so much more effective than just tapping your card, or even worse, tapping the app on your phone.
“It just devalues money so much, cash just makes it a bigger deal.”
Take a photo when you like your outfit
If you’re prone to always buying a new outfit because you “haven’t got anything to wear” then this tip could come in handy.
Lara suggests taking a photo of yourself when you’re wearing an outfit you like – then the next time you’re stumped by what to wear, you can look at those photos instead of spending money on more clothes.
She said: “This is directed at people who like wearing nice things. Take a photo of yourself when you like what you’re wearing.
“Whenever you feel like you haven’t got anything to wear you can look at your photos and pick out an outfit.”
Know your ‘why’
During her “no spend” year, Lara said the motivation of saving for their first home – her “why” – kept her going when times were tough.
If you’re also saving money for a particular goal, it might even be worth writing this reason down so you have a physical reminder.
Lara saidL “Know your why, write it down and always keep a look on it and congratulate yourself.
“Celebrate the little wins along the way and just keep your why in your vision because otherwise you’ll lose your way a little bit.”