Following a difficult two years with the pandemic, many Brits are looking to book a break away, but the cost of living crisis is seeing people pull in the pursestrings. However, one savvy shopper has revealed their eight-step plan to reduce spending so you can save more for a summer getaway.
Gemma Bird, also known as Money Mum, has 281,000 Instagram followers with whom she shares her top money saving tips. Now, the blogger has teamed up with eBay UK after a survey by the online retailer revealed that four in five UK adults are currently feeling concerned by the increasing inflation in the UK, and in particular, 34 per cent are worried about being able to afford a summer holiday.
Gemma has shined a light on some of the easy ways you can reduce outgoings, and be smarter with your cash, from no spend days to selling on eBay. And she’s not the only one, with eBay stating there’s been a 14% uplift in the number of people selling on the platform in the UK since the start of April when inflation increased across the UK.
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The mum of two said: “I’ve been selling on eBay since I was about 26 years old, finding a new home for anything and everything that I no longer used. Especially when the kids were younger and growing out of their clothes at such a fast rate, I always had a sell to buy policy, listing items before I let myself buy anything new.
“It was a great way to save money, and sometimes I’d even make a bit of profit. With the rising cost of living here in the UK, I think it’s all about just doing small things. So make the most of how many people there are now that shop online, and sell your clutter on eBay to make a bit of extra cash!”
Here are Gemma’s top tips for putting money away for a summer break:
Allocate a no spend day
Once a week, pick a day that you won’t spend any money on food or drinks. Say no to the coffee shop, and instead of buying ingredients for dinner, go through your cupboards and see what you can make with leftovers.
Check your statement
Reviewing your statement is a great way to spot your spending trends and where you’re spending more than you really should (takeaways!). By going over your statement every month, you can make sense of exactly what you have to play with when it comes to your spending money (or saving money).
Rotate your toys
A great way to get the kids involved is to bring their toys into the picture. Make it a rule that if they want a new toy, they have to sell one they no longer play with, I call this the ‘Toy Rotation’, and it’s a great way for kids to get into better spending habits for when they’re older.
Buying second hand isn’t only better for the planet, it’s better for your wallet too! Before buying something, I recommend checking on eBay to see if anyone is selling the same item, as chances are it will still be in pretty good knick and at much better value!
Get resourceful to save on energy
As energy prices jumped up in April, don’t ignore the little things that can reduce your energy bills! For example, when you boil the kettle in the morning, pour the remaining hot water into a thermos so you can use it later, rather than having to boil the water all over again.
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Opt for low-cost family weekends
One thing I’ve always done when saving up for a family holiday is having low-cost family weekends in the lead up. Rather than taking them to an indoor jungle gym, head out to the park for the day, or instead of going to the cinema, make some popcorn and watch a film at home. The most important things for the kids at the end of the day will be spending the time with their parents!
Be open and honest with the kids
Honesty is the best policy, I personally think. The kids are much more likely to understand having a meal at home rather than out at a restaurant if you explain it means going away over the summer holidays.
Diarise a money-making day
Once a month, go through your home and find at least five things you can sell on eBay. Whether it’s clothes, kitchen utensils or something from the attic - you can even get the kids involved, with them picking one thing from their bedroom they want to sell. Some of my top tips when it comes to listing items on eBay are:
- Perfect your styling and lighting - It’s important to get good pictures of what you're trying to sell. Make sure the lighting is bright, the pictures aren’t blurry - you can even add little props!
- Use the right key words - Use as many descriptive words as possible when you list your items! The more you include the higher the chance the item will pop up when someone searches.
- Get the timings right - When listing items for auction, I’ve found giving people 5-7 days to bid works best. Make sure you also set the auction end time to around 8pm in the evening, rather than mid-day when people are busy or at work.
- Remember, anything goes! - You might be surprised by what will sell on eBay. I once listed an old eye shadow make-up palette from MAC with some of the colours missing and it sold for £50 on eBay!