We could all do with saving some money at the moment. By having a low-buy year and eliminating any excessive spending, you can achieve your financial goals and put that money to better use.

What is a low-buy year?

With a low-buy year, the aim is to eliminate any unnecessary spending from your budget. You’re limiting yourself to only buying the bare necessities and essentials, such as groceries, personal hygiene products and bills like gas, water and electric.

Things like makeup products, clothing for leisure, and sweet treats would be restricted to fit within a certain budget for the month. For example, you could give yourself £20 a month to spend on takeaways or eating out, but once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Setting these rules and having a strict plan to follow will result in less money being spent without thought and a greater saving at the end of the year.

Setting goals

So, you’ve decided to try a low-buy year, great! Now you need to set yourself some goals to stick to in order to make it happen.

Make sure your rules suit you and are manageable enough to follow. Don’t be so strict that you don’t enjoy your low-buy year, but instead think of the benefits and how much you will save if you cut out certain things.

Write down all of your outgoings and order them in priority of importance. If you notice a lot of transactions cropping up for things that aren’t as important, work out ways that you can cut them out. For example, if you spend a lot of money on online shopping each month, try restricting your purchases to a set amount of money that you can’t go over.

Obviously for emergencies, like a leak in your property or broken oven, you can spend the extra money on getting these fixed.

Organise your finances

Think about organising your finances in ways that can help you save money on your outgoings. For instance, could you switch to a cheaper energy provider or save money by paying your yearly water bill in one bulk sum?

Many people will stick with the online suppliers as it’s convenient and saves time, but in as little as 10 minutes you can compare different providers and save yourself a fortune in the process. Also think about having a smart meter installed as you can literally watch your utility spend and realise which household routine is taking up the most money. If you notice that your washing machine is eating up the electric, try only washing laundry when you must and making sure you do big loads rather than small ones.

Paying off any looming debts will save money in the long run as you won’t be gaining interest on these any longer and your credit score will be boosted in the process.

Anticipate future expenses

By thinking about future expenses before they happen you can plan and be prepared for your outgoings, without receiving any nasty surprises. By keeping a spreadsheet with all your expected outgoings for the month ahead, along with expected income, you can keep track of how you spend and recognise any outliers.

Inevitably some months will be more expensive than others, like when a close family member’s birthday arrives. Spreading the cost on a credit card in such instances can help keep your budget intact. Your credit score will also be boosted if you make your repayments on time. Consequently, the money you save can go towards a bigger goal like a house deposit.

Environmental benefits

Being money-conscious and buying only when you need to will mean there is less waste being produced. If you’re not buying disposable items as much and are getting more wear out of your clothing, taking shorter showers and only doing laundry when you must, this has a positive impact on the environment because not as much energy and fuels are being used to power your home.

Not only is a low-buy year great for your wallet, but it’s also good for the planet too.