Sit down and work out your finances
Get bank statements and details of any bills and list your incomings and outgoings on a spreadsheet or in a notebook. This will give you a realistic view of your finances. You may be surprised where your money is going.
Look at your day to day spending
Can you cut your costs relatively painlessly? Do you have any subscriptions or memberships that you can cancel like the gym or a magazine you no longer read? Do you really need that extra coffee from that cute coffee shop at lunchtime, you could alway have a glass of water instead? Make lunch to take to work instead of buying it every day. If you are a shopper or a clubber, go out once a month instead of every week. Simple steps like this can really make a big difference to your finances.
Use pound shops, charity shops and supermarkets wisely
Use these shops but use them wisely. Pound shops do have some brilliant bargains but not everything is as cheap as you think. If you have children they grow so quickly, will they even know that the latest outfit you bought for them was from a charity shop? In supermarkets look for special offers and the latest deals. Find out when items are reduced and stalk out the bargain section for food with a short shelf life that's reduced.
Shop around and don't renew automatically
Look at bills like your home, travel and car insurance, car breakdown cover, gas, and electricity and see if you can shop around for the best deal. Sites such as Go Compare and Moneysupermarket will give you price comparisons on a number of products and could save you a lot of money.
Get rid of your debt
Before you can save you need to get rid of any debt. Debts like mortgage, rent, and utilities such as gas and electric cannot be put off and need to be paid. If you find you are struggling to pay off any large debt it may be worth consolidating your debt with a guarantor loan.
Set a savings goal
It can help keep you motivated if you set a savings goal, such as £1000 for that holiday to Vegas you've always wanted or £2000 to buy a second-hand car. Seeing your goal written down will help keep you focused.
Look at ways of making more money
Sell your unwanted items on eBay, Gumtree, or through your local Facebook selling pages. Get paid for your opinion by doing surveys or becoming a mystery shopper. If you have creative or office based skills considering doing freelance work through sites such as People Per Hour or Elance. Consider party plan work like The Body Shop, Avon or Ann Summer where you will get reduced price products as well as commission on what you sell.
Check out other ways to boost your income from Money Saving Expert. For more help and advice check out the Money Advice Service, for free and impartial advice.