Firstly, sorry about the stock photo, I wanted a photo and it’s the most appropriate one I could find.
I don’t know about you, but money saving and budgeting is something that is always on my mind. Am I getting the best deal, am I sticking to my budget and ‘oh my god that was expertise!’ As I work as a project manager I basically plan and write lists for a living (which is great btw) and I think to a certain extent this creeps into my home life as well.
I get a huge sense of satisfaction from getting things cheap or even free, and also getting the bests deals and saving money in the long term. I have been reading various articles on money saving all across the internet as it’s one of my favourite subjects. Sometimes when I read these lists I think ‘well I already do most of these things, and a lot more’ so I thought I would share my own knowledge. I have tried to come up with a list that is bite sized and easy to stick which. Money saving can often seem like a painful thing, especially with external influences such as advertising, lifestyle sites and generally trying to keep up with friends and family.
The big secret is though…… it’s really rewarding once you get into it, you start to become a money geek. You get that lovely happy glowy feeling when you’ve saved money, this is a feeling that lasts and makes you want to do more, rather than the short term happy that you get from impulse purchases.
The thing is this is like any other change in habit, it takes time to become a new one and even if you only try one or two things from the list please stick with them to see the benefits. It’s so worth it in the long term.
So here is my top 5 I hope you enjoy, please feel free to comment if you find your way onto my blog.
- Do not Shop as a hobby
I know it sounds like a no brainer right?
But so many of us do it, we start to think of what we can do in our lunch hour or what to do with our days off and sometimes the only thing that pops into our heads is to go shop!!! We have been conditioned this way, to become hobby consumers, to go to the big shiny places with bright lights and fancy shoes and spend all of our hard earned cash.
We just need to find something else to do, there are lots of things:
Go for a walk in the countryside or around your local area (not around the shops!! That’s cheating)
Go to a free museum (most towns and cities have them)
Make something or draw.
Read a book
Take up an ACTUAL HOBBY
There are just a few examples but there are plenty of things you can do that doesn’t involve shopping.
- Leave the cards at home
Again this is one that takes some getting used to, just take out your weekly cash budget and leave your cards at home…. It’s easy right??? I’m sure we all have some fully formed idea that there will be an emergency of some kind that we would desperately need to access £1000’s for.
Let’s face it, this just doesn’t happen!!
I’m sure our parents, grandparents and great grandparents (depending on how old you are) used to manage perfectly adequately with-out access to extra funds, so why on earth can’t we???
- Stop trying to keep up with the Jones!!!!
Everyone’s lives are different and impressions of people’s lives aren’t always correct. So what if your friend has a brand new car, new clothes every week and all the latest gadgets…. For all you know they could be drowning in credit card debt and on the verge of bankruptcy.
Don’t judge your happiness or the things you need or want based on comparison with other people, we are all different.
So what if your sofa isn’t the latest colour or you’ve had the same winter coat for more than a season!! You have a sofa and a coat, just don’t worry about it.
- Cut impulse buying (do the 24hr test)
This one is simple, if you want something write it down, go back to it in 24hrs and see if you still want it.
I bet that 9 times out of 10 you’ll be completely over it and thinking about the next thing you really need (want) by the time you review it.
And for the next thing you want…….. write it down and wait 24hrs and so on and so forth.
- Get stuff cheap or even FREE
Look at sites like Gumtree and EBay for second hand instead of new, you can find items in great condition that cost a fraction of what they would have fetched new. Be careful though always check what it costs to get new, just because its second hand doesn’t mean it’s cheap. Gumtree also have a ‘free to good home’ category and I have found some gems on there.
Sign up for sights such as Freecycle and Freegle they are great and while some of the stuff is not what you’re looking keep looking and you’ll be sure to get what you need. My king-size bed came from Freecycle, it’s a nice pine bed that is still available to buy new from Ikea for about 200 quid!!!!!! I got it for absolutely nothing ( I did buy a new mattress though)
Well there you go, that is my top 5, I think if you stuck to all 5 you would be well on the way to having plenty of money left at the end of each month.
Believe me it’s so worth it just so you don’t have to count down the days until payday lol…..