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​Money and Wages: 10 ways to save money

14/03/2016 Sophie

There are a number of financial benefits to being an apprentice. You get to earn while you learn, will usually receive an impressive starting salary, and won’t be lumbered with substantial debt once you complete your training.

Having said that, apprentices living in London will still need to budget carefully and watch those pennies. After all, the capital was recently ranked the most expensive city to live and work in, beating New York and Hong Kong to the top spot.

With this in mind, Digital Futures has thought of 10 ways to save money while doing your apprenticeship in London.

1. Come up with a budget

One of the best ways to save money is to come up with a weekly budget that details all of your essential expenditure. Include things like rent, bills, travel, and food, and then see how much you have got left to play with.

2. Cook your own food

Ordering a takeaway might seem like an easy and immediate remedy to your hunger pains, but this can get incredibly expensive in the long run. Even if your expertise only extends to putting a frozen pizza in the oven, this can save you an untold amount of money.

3. Make enough food for tomorrow’s lunch too

Don’t hold back when it comes to cooking either, as any leftovers can be enjoyed for tomorrow’s lunch or even several days after that. For example, a simple pasta dish can be divided up into portions, kept in the freezer, and heated up again when you want it.

4. Buy unbranded groceries

There is no need to feel embarrassed when taking a value pack of biscuits or tin of baked beans to the supermarket till. A lot of the time, these cheaper alternatives will taste exactly the same as branded products anyway.

5. Recycle or sell your old belongings

Thanks to the Internet, it has never been quicker or more straightforward to recycle and sell your old possessions. On sites including musicMagpie you can accept an immediate price for things like CDs, DVDs, and mobile phones. But if you’ve got more patience, an eBay auction should command a higher price for your unwanted belongings.

6. Put spare change in a piggy bank

This might sound like something you would do as a kid, but it is surprising just how much money you can save by putting spare change in a piggy bank. If it sits in your wallet or purse, there will be a temptation to spend it on lunch or down the pub.

7. Think twice before making a big purchase

Don’t be fooled into thinking that you need a new iPhone or PlayStation after seeing the latest version being advertised. Big purchases can cause months of penny pinching misery and aren’t always worth the day-to-day deprivation that will inevitably follow.

8. Find free things to do

At the weekends or during your spare time, avoid London’s pricey landmarks and choose something free to do instead. There are an abundance of attractions to visit and activities to participate in, which won’t cost you a thing.

9. Seek out early bird and happy hour offers

If you don’t mind eating dinner or having a few drinks before you normally would, then you can capitalise on discounted early bird and happy hour offers.

10. Skip the sales and go social

Rather than hitting the January sales and spending more money than you originally intended, follow your favourite brands on social media and take advantage of the promotions they publish, which are often cheaper than scheduled sales anyway.