Everyone’s a little worried about money right now, especially if you’re a young woman, and everyone’s spending habits have changed majorly in recent weeks and months. So the idea of spending money when you’re trying not to spend money sounds counterproductive; if times are tight, why buy more stuff?
The thing is, sometimes spending a little money now can help you save a lot more money later. Yes, it may sound boring. But think of it like this: a tenner might seem a lot to drop on a reusable water bottle now, but in the long run you’re going to end up spending way more than that on bottled water. You can apply this mindset to anything.
Once you crack it, your bank balance (and Future You) will thank you when rent day comes around. Because it all adds up.
Read on for some ingenious ideas for things you can invest in right now to help set you up for the future…
If you can’t survive until payday
Not the fluffy thing that runs up and down trees but the app, which isn’t quite as cute, but is much more financially useful. To use it, you arrange for your salary to be paid into a separate account (it’s run by Barclay’s, so fully legit) and the app releases money gradually back into your current account so you don’t end up blowing it all on one (admittedly excellent) night out. It will pay money into your account on time for bills too, and you can override it in the unfortunate event of needing a wodge because you dropped your phone in the river. Or other money-based emergencies. All for just £3.99 a month.
If you always lose things
Does every night out end with you crawling around the floor trying to find your purse? Is ringing round the bars you went to the night before almost as integral to your hangover as a headache? You need to get yourself a Tile Mate. As do I. It’s only £19.99 for one and how it works is that you pop this sleek little friend onto your keys, purse, or anything else you don’t want to lose, and track it via bluetooth on your phone — because, aside from the emotional cost, constant key cutting and purse replacements are financially gutting, too. Tile Mate runs off a free app, and allows you to “ring” all the objects you can’t find.
If you’re always the one who cleans
Okay guys, it’s time to get sexy: if you buy a microfibre cloth, you can clean worktops using only water, saving money on cleaning products. Yep. I discovered this hack after being told my hob is ‘delicate’ and, turns out, these cloths are excellent. You just wet them, wring out the excess water, and are good to go/eat off the thing you just cleaned. It’s ideal if you’re the one in your shared flat who always ends up buying Flash and cleaning the kitchen. And you can get a 4-pack for £14.99 — a steal. Plus, while you’re saving money, you’ll also be saving the world; cleaning products, as it turns out, are pretty bad for the environment. Bonus.
If you have periods
I know, I know, you can’t imagine using a Mooncup because the concept grosses you out big time. But the thing is, menstrual cups aren’t as weird as the name ‘menstrual cup’ would have you believe. Just like your menstrual cycle is nothing to do with biking. Or men. More importantly, the average woman will spend over £18,000 on period products in their lifetime, so you owe it to your bank balance to at least try out an alternative to (taxed) tampons and sanitary pads, and at only £21.99, a Mooncup is the best alternative. The first time you use one, expect to be confused and grossed out. But persistence pays off — keep practising and you’ll be whipping it out one-handed while scrolling through Insta in no time, smug in the knowledge that you’re not literally flushing money down the toilet every time you’re riding the pricey crimson wave.
If you have sky-high electric bills
Bulbs are boring. I’ve spent months weeing in the dark because the bulb has gone in the bathroom and there are so many more interesting things to purchase. And weeing in the dark provides me with a sense of danger. Anyway, one bulb that isn’t boring is the humble CFL — it uses one-third to one-fifth of the electricity of a normal bulb. Which is loads. Drop £6.99 for two on Amazon, swap all the bulbs in your flat for CFLs, and stop crying every time you open your electricity bill.