A woman smiles in front of a brick wall

5 steps to financial fitness

Take the challenges today

Trying to save but find the cost of living makes it impossible? Don’t worry – you’re not alone. There are loads of ways you can save money without having to compromise the fun times.

The challenges

We invited four people in their 20s to take our five-day challenge, where they learned that saving isn’t as hard as they thought. Try it for yourself – you might be surprised. You’ll get one challenge a day for a full working week.

Challenge 1 – cut out the non-essentials

We’re all guilty of buying stuff we don’t need – morning coffees, chocolate or an extra pint down the pub – they all add up. Go through your expenditure and cut something out of your daily routine that you don’t need, then put that money towards something more important.

Challenge 2 – cook a restaurant-style meal for £5

Eating out or getting a takeaway is convenient, pleasurable – and expensive. But home-cooking can be immensely satisfying and it’s so much cheaper. The challenge is to spend £5 on ingredients for a delicious, home-cooked dish – you might discover a culinary talent you never knew you had.

Challenge 3 – the magic money tree    

Yes – you can generate money. Go through your stuff and see what you no longer want or need, such as clothes, music or books, then list them for sale. Better to get rid and use the proceeds for something you want, rather than storing something you don’t. Remember – one person’s junk is another person’s treasure.

Challenge 4 – check and understand your credit score

Everyone has a credit score – it’s used by lenders to help them decide how likely you are to pay back any credit. The higher your score, the more likely you’ll be accepted for loans, credit cards and even a mortgage, so a healthy credit score is important for your long-term future. Today’s challenge is to find out your credit score and what factors are influencing it – could it be improved? If it’s good, how did you achieve it and can you maintain it?

Challenge 5 – find a financial hack to help you save

Time to get savings-savvy by coming up with a hack to save money. This could be something as simple as cycling rather than getting the bus, or using discount coupons or offers with your food shop. There are plenty of possibilities – time to get creative.

  • Smart, everyday savings

    You don’t have to make drastic changes to save money. Student Nat, 21, tells us how he’s cut his daily expenditure without compromising his lifestyle, and how saving on little things can make a big difference.

  • Save for a goal

    Do you really need everything you buy? If you keep an eye on what you spend, it’s much easier to cut out the unnecessaries. Leah, 26, tells us how this approach is helping her save to open up an arts community centre in Barcelona.

  • Your first home

    Saving for a deposit may seem daunting, but changing the small things and selling stuff you no longer need all help. Listen to 29-year-old Hassan’s savings tips plus learn how he’s built up a good credit score.

  • Starting a family

    If you’re starting a family, saving for your new arrival could be easier than you think. Simple changes like not eating out all adds to your savings pot. Chayanne, 23, and Reon, 24, are expecting their first child – find out what they’re doing to save up.

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