The ultimate expert-backed budgeting hacks for every type of spender

We love a binge-buy as much as the next gal, but online shops can quickly add up. “One way to get your shopping kicks on a budget is to adopt a slow fashion mindset and hit up your local charity shops,” says Robyn Rohloff, money expert from ‘buy now, pay later’ site, LayBuy.

“It’s purse- and planet-friendly, and they won’t put out clothes that aren’t in a saleable condition, so you don’t have to worry about secondhand garments being tatty or unclean. You can also update old clothes by getting crafty with a sewing machine, or use a bobble remover on old knitwear.

Another option is to check if your favourite stores are available on LayBuy, which is the only BNPL site that offers a weekly repayment scheme, so you pay back the cost of the item across six weekly payments interest-free.” You’ll find some of the chicest names in fashion using LayBuy, from ALEXACHUNG to Baukjen.

Money management is hard. Really, really hard. Add up monthly outgoings such as utilities, council tax and rent, throw in the burden of student loans and an economy crumbling under the weight of Coronavirus, and it’s no wonder almost a third of GLAMOUR readers are worried about money. In fact, our Money Matters survey found that a whopping 82% of you think you could be more organised with your finances.

That’s why we want to open up the long overdue conversation about saving and budgeting. And don’t worry, you won’t find any ‘stop buying avocado toast’ advice here. We know that our finances are way more nuanced than that, so we asked some experts in the industry for their budgeting tips and tricks according to five different types of spender.

If you’ve got a lot of student debt to pay off

When you consider the average debt of students who finished courses in 2018 was £36,000, it’s easy to see why we find repayments so stressful. “Remember, though, that student loans are the least pressing of all debts because the repayment terms are based entirely on what you can afford,” says Jake Butler of student money website Save The Student.

“With that in mind, when it comes to budgeting, consider putting your cash elsewhere rather than paying off your student debt early. Figures show that over 80% of graduates on the new Plan 2 loan will likely never repay their whole loan before the 30-year cut-off point, so you could end up repaying money you never would’ve had to.”

It also helps to brush up on your tax know-how, because “only taxable income counts towards the loan threshold,” says Jake. A good place to start is the tax guide at savethestudent.org. Finally, don’t forget to check if you’re due a refund. “So much overpaid money goes unclaimed, so check your statement and make sure you’re not being over-charged, or have started making repayments too early,” advises Jake. “If you think you are, visit gov.uk to find out how to request a student loan refund.”

If you’re splashing out on doing your home up

Home redesign has a money-guzzling rep, but there are plenty of clever hacks to keep costs down. “First things first, make a budget and stick to it – sounds simple, but this is the best way to ensure there’s no surprises,” says Robyn. “Also consider reducing structural costs, such as removing walls to create space instead of adding new ones, which is more costly.”

Check out istructe.org.uk to find a structural engineer who can assess whether your existing walls can be removed. “When it comes to filling your home, make sure to use price comparison websites such as pricerunner.com for appliances, and use resources like LayBuy so you don’t have to pay for costly furnishings – such as beds from Laywell Beds – in one go.”

If beauty treatments are your monthly self-care

We hear you. If salon trips are what make you feel good and contribute to your confidence, then there’s nothing superficial about that. In fact, that is self-care 101. But let’s be real, if you’re getting your nails done, hair dyed, eyelash extensions topped up, tan applied and feet pedi-ed to perfection? That’s some serious dough. “Consider ways in which you can do treatments yourself, such as using acrylic or get nail starter kits from brands like Missu,” says Robyn.

“Plus, inexpensive semi-permanent hair masks like Josh Wood’s Semi-Permanent Treatment Gloss (£19, lookfantastic.com) mean fewer hairdresser visits. When it is time for the salon, don’t forget that some are available on LayBuy, including Toni Guy and SkinSmiths.”

If you’re a new mum and costs are adding up

As much as they’re your little bundle of joy, they can put serious strain to your finances. Some new parents spend over £10,000 in their baby’s first year, but there are steps you can take to baby-proof your bank account. “First of all, don’t stockpile,” says Robyn, “it’s tempting to go mad on baby clothes shopping, but they grow out of them so quickly – you just need one set of everything. And if you can borrow any items from friends or family that don’t need them anymore, even better.

Don’t forget to join ‘baby clubs’ from supermarkets and brands that often do vouchers and free samples, and consider reusable nappies which are much more cost effective and environmentally friendly.”

You can also get help from the government and/or your local council with everything from childcare and uniform costs to tax credits and Child Benefit. Check the financial help if you have children page on gov.uk for more info. If you’re a new-mum-to-be, use the Money Advice Service’s baby costs calculator to find out how much you’ll need to cover your baby’s expenses.

LayBuy is a buy now, pay later payment model that’s completely interest-free so no nasty, surprising extra costs. Find out more at LayBuy.com

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