A MONEY-SAVVY mum-of-one said sticking to strict spending rules has helped her save more than £6,000 a year – but insists she still treats herself to little luxuries.
Ami Pilkington, 29, said putting a ban on impulse purchases and buying second hand where possible had helped her save tens of thousands of pounds over the years.
Self-employed Ami, said her money-savvy ways had even helped her buy her first home with her partner Sam, 35, in Bristol when she was just 23.
Ami said: "I juggled four different jobs working as a barmaid, a shop assistant, a cleaner and a part-time auditor while I studied at university.
"I chose to work while my friends were out partying. But the decision meant Sam and I could save the deposit needed on our first home which mattered more to me."
From doing her own DIY to meal-planning and couponing, Ami saves thousands by using simple money and budgeting tips.
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Her tips will be welcome to anyone struggling to make savings in the cost of living crisis.
Millions of households are struggling with the cost of essentials as the price of everything from groceries to energy bills and petrol rockets.
Ami, who sells high-end camper vans for a living, said becoming a mum to her son Arthur in 2021 made her more determined to always make the most of her money.
It comes as research released exclusively to The Sun by the telecoms provider Plusnet shows that a third of Brits admit to lacking confidence when it comes to getting value for money.
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Some 47% of people surveyed said they regret buying a cheap product or service that didn't last and meant they had to spend more money replacing at a later date.
Ami said one of the key lessons she's learned is that price isn't always the most important aspect to saving in the long-run.
She said: "Becoming a business owner taught me that it’s always better to invest in products I can rely on that will stand the test of time."
Ami bans herself from impulse purchases and operates a strict “one-in-one out” policy meaning if she wants to upgrade an item, she must sell the old one first.
Ami revealed to The Sun how she saves £6,000 a year by following six of her own spending rules:
1. If you don't need it, don't buy it
You should always question whether you really need something or if you just want it, said Ami.
And that doesn't just apply to a new jumper or pair of shoes.
Ami said she applies the same rule to her household bills – for example considering how much mobile phone data you really need in your package, and what speed internet you need at home.
Using comparison sites is an easy way to compare deals and make sure you're not overpaying for add-ons you don't really need.
Ami estimates that she save around £204 a year with a no impulse-spending rule, and making sure she really needs what she's buying.
When it comes to food shopping, Ami saves £2,208 a year by careful meal planning and batch cooking.
2. Sell the old, before in with the new
You might be familiar with the phrase: buy cheap, buy twice.
Buying good quality items that stand the test of time means they are less likely to break quickly so you won't have to replace them.
But if it's time for an upgrade, sell the old item before buying something new.
You can sell your used goods at a whole host of online market places including Depop, Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, eBay or Vinted.
Ami said she saves about £264 a year doing this.
3. Always consider buying second hand
Circular fashion is now huge for shoppers – not only does it help the environment, it can earn you some extra pennies too.
Before buying any item new, you should check if you can get it elsewhere cheaper or even free.
Ami said: "Having Arthur made me realise that buying new is not necessary, and you can find high quality items second-hand for just a fraction of the cost."
We previously spoke to one mum-to-be who has saved £3,000 on baby clothes and toys by trawling the internet for freebies and offers.
Ami said she saves £300 a year on average with this trick.
4. Do your research
Shopping around to get the best deal is the oldest savings trick in the book.
If you want an item, make sure it cannot be found cheaper elsewhere. Google the item and compare.
Some places such as John Lewis, Boots, AO and Currys will price match if you can find the item cheaper elsewhere.
Ami saves £144 a year through price-matching and shopping around.
And when it comes to DIY – Ami's obsession with buying second hand and obsession with looking for the best deals saves her £2,352 a year.
5. Discount codes and cashback
Getting some extra money off is often only a Google search away, whether you find a discount code or head to a cashback site.
If you're a student, bluelight or armed forces member you'll often be entitled to special discounts too.
Check whether you could get paid for your everyday spending – some banks pay cashback on you purchases. .
For example, Lloyds Bank currently has 15% cashback at Hawes and Curtis, 10% cashback at Harvey Nichols and 10% cashback at Bicester Village.
Ami said she saves around £300 a year with cashback deals.
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