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'My friends and I save together': People share the tips that help them stick to their budget

From saving for holidays to planning nights out with friends.

WELCOME TO SMARTER Spending. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing expert advice and real-life experiences, giving you the tools to spend more mindfully and get more from your euro.

WHILE THERE ARE many benefits to setting a budget for each week or month, following through on what’s planned isn’t always easy. 

From unexpected expenses to simply falling off track, there can be multiple reasons as to why a budget didn’t work out. However, there are a few tips and tricks that can help reduce how often this happens. 

We asked six readers to share the different ways they stick to their budget throughout the year while still leaving room for the things they enjoy. Here’s what they had to say…

1. ‘I keep my savings out of reach’

For my savings, I have a separate account where it’s harder to withdraw money from. I set up a direct deposit so I don’t even see it coming out of my pay check, and I adjust the amount accordingly. So, if I’ve less on in the month, I add to my direct deposit – or if there’s a lot going on I leave it as is. - Emma

2. ‘I assign myself a budget for ‘fun’ expenses’

I take out my spending money as soon as I get paid and put it into a different account. This is to cover any ‘unnecessary’ spending throughout the month, like nights out, coffees, trips to the cinema etc. Having it separated means I know exactly what I have to spend and can keep an eye on it, plus it gives me peace of mind because I know I have essentials like rent and bills already covered. - Sean

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3. ‘I put cash aside weekly for Christmas’ 

​​I bought a folder that I keep aside and I put at least €20 cash in it every week. If I have extra, I put that in too. Then at Christmas time, I have roughly around €1,000. It worked great last year as we were in the process of a buying a house, so there wasn’t a panic about money for buying the kids’ Christmas presents. – Aisling

4. ‘I use my ‘spare change’ to save for holidays’ 

I have the ‘spare change’ setting on my Revolut card accelerated x4. I saved nearly €300 over the last two months to spend on holidays this way. It doesn’t make that much of a difference when you’re shopping as you don’t notice it coming out, but it’s so worth it when it comes together. - Roisin

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5. ‘My friends and I save together for nights out’ 

My friends and I have a shared savings pot. We each put in a small amount each week and go out when it’s built up nicely. We haven’t gone out yet since we started, but hope to soon. There should be about €300 in it between the four of us when we do, so it should at least cover dinner! - Jen 

6. ‘I avoid impulse purchases by making myself wait before buying’

I always have good intentions to stick to my budget, but as soon as I get paid they go out the window. If there’s something I haven’t already planned to buy and it’s a ‘want’, I write it down in the notes app on my phone and leave it for a few days. Usually, the ‘need’ to buy it fades, and I don’t end up with lots of impulse purchases. – Amy 

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