So I came to realise I had adopted a certain pattern when it came to spending, I’d flit to and fro between two phases. The first was the conscious, careful, I must not be reckless phase where the minimalist in me would rationalise the difference between want and need. The second was the totally reckless, less conscious phase where I would throw caution to the wind, declare how short life was and just buy the item on a whim, only to go on and later continually justify my decision. Does this in anyway resonate with you too? Once I sat down and drew up a budget one day with my hubby I realised a few things had to change. This is where many of these ideas came into practice for me and to this day I still live by them, not all the time and not all at once, but hey who’s perfect right?!
Avoid ‘I’m Bored’ shopping
Do not, I repeat do not go shopping out of sheer boredom for just something to do. I mean you are a free agent do what you will, but in this instance I’d say this would be one of the biggest tips to abide by. I still fall victim to this one sometimes as I walk 6 school runs a day right through the middle of a retail park, so you can just imagine the willpower I have to conjure up. Simply find other ways in which to occupy your free time or to eliminate your boredom~shopping is not the answer. Similarly window shopping is rarely just that, unless you are actually shopping for windows, in which case I guess that’s essential 😉
Stable Suzy Or Rollercoaster Rachel?
Ask yourself which one you are right before your tootsies pass through the doorway of say, River Island, Tesco, even the newsagents down the road. Emotional shopping can be extremely detrimental to your bank balance as it can really encourage impulse spending. Ever felt a little low in confidence one day and before you can stop yourself your like “Right I’m going to make myself look and feel better, I need some new clothes and while I’m at it some new makeup too”. Find another way to lift your confidence, practice some self care, read some inspirational quotes or affirmations, maybe go into your wardrobe and play around with some new outfit combos, dip into your makeup bag and practice a new makeup look with what you already have. Shopping is not the answer, certainly in this instance~self love is.
Remember What You’ve Got
Whenever you find yourself picking up a cute mug off a shelf in say TKMaxx, spare a thought for the other 87 unused mugs at the back of your cupboard. Yes you already have 6 cream cable knit sweaters that look identical to that one your holding up, do you really need another one?! We are creatures of habit who tend to be drawn to the same things, acting out the same habits, so the chances are you’ve already got it.
Recognise A ‘Want’ From A ‘Need’
We all know the difference between needing something and actually wanting it, although we can all admit to only declaring the former statement 95% of the time. “I need some new jeans”, “I need to upgrade my phone”, “I need a Costa!” Nope you need water, you need to pay your bills, you need to be able to afford to pay your mortgage. Of course anything else can be a valid object of desire, but it’s most certainly a want not a need. Unless your ass is actually hanging out of a huge rip in the back of your jeans well then that of course is debatable 😉
Put It All Down On Paper
Or in your phone if your more ‘tech minded’ than I am, I’m talking about a list. One thing I always abide by is my trusty list, I have certainly never done a food shop without one. Create a meal plan and only write down the ingredients you need, go through your wardrobe take note of any gaps. You have a birthday coming up? Make sure you already have in mind what you are going to treat them to, that way you don’t end up panic buying something costing twice as much. If you take note (pun intended go me) of any of these tips definitely put this one on you list 😉 ok stop it now Amz!
Set Yourself A No Spend Challenge Or Have A Saving Goal To Aim For
Setting targets or goals doesn’t have to only exist in the work place. I left corporate estate agency a little over 3 years ago and have since kept up a level of personal targets in my everyday life as a stay at home mum. Saving for family holidays, Christmas and birthdays are things we all have to contend with so looking at them as targets can help support all of the previous points I’ve written. Setting challenges can also be fun and beneficial for others such as charities. For example for me September has been a ‘No Spend September’ for anything that isn’t an essential, at the end of the challenge I will donate all unworn, old or unneeded clothing and accessories to Oxfam. This way I am spending less money (beneficial for the bank balance) decluttering (beneficial for the mind) and donating to charity (beneficial for others)~give it a go. Also having a financial/savings goal to aim for can keep you motivated for example~ must save £1,000 by October 2020 or be debt free by March.
Sleep On It
For a few days, maybe even a week. Give yourself time to think about the purchase, re-evaluate what you already have, decided if it’s a want or a need, basically to give yourself time to forget about the item quite frankly. Chances are you will change your mind or forget it, but if you don’t well you can decide what to do from there on.
Say No To Signing Up
Avoid the temptation of spontaneous purchases by never signing up to emails lists and by immediately unsubscribing to lists that ‘magically’ find you thanks to things like cookies. If your inbox is anything like mine it quickly fills up with 20% off promos, flash sale announcements the lot~do yourself a favour and just unsubscribe and then delete.
Cook From Scratch More Often
Not only is this going to save you money it will benefit your health, so now we are really multi tasking! There is most definitely some confusion with the whole ‘healthy food is more expensive’ statement. Sure this could possibly be the case if you are purchasing all of your fruits & veggies pre~cut or packaged, but buying a pile of loose produce is most certainly going to be kinder to your purse than a freezer full of ready meals. Just shop smart, the same weight in a bunch of bananas will cost almost double if it comes with a plastic package around it than if you buy them without. A pre picked stew pack will most definitely cost double than if you bought 2 single carrots, a loose swede & the odd parsnip I guarantee it. Also by cooking at home more often you limit the amount you spend on take aways and spontaneous lunches out. On the subject of lunches on the go, prepare in advance and pack it yourself. I am that sort that if I know I’m going to be out all day, I will always pack a sandwich for my children and I saving at least £10 a time.
Free/Low Cost Entertainment
Create a home cinema night, get down on the beach, play in the park, organise play dates with friends, bake, get creative with some arts and crafts, go on a nature walk with a scavenger hunt drawn up. A good, fun packed day doesn’t have to cost a penny but creates so many lovely memories.
I know these ideas are all common sense and ones we are all aware of, just sometime I think we could all do with a little reminder to keep us on the right track.
Have you any other ideas to add to list?
✨Leave a comment below & of course as always I thankyou for spending your time reading my post today~ have the most precious week my friends💞✨