It’s so easy to judge yourself if your lacking discipline in the money department of your life (most of us have or probably will at one time)…I know I personally have! But modern life can be expensive, and we all know that emotional spending can also take a role in our spending habits too…I know what it feels like to spend in an effort to feel better, even though in the long run it doesn’t work and just makes you feel guilty and more low about your money situation! And it’s even more harder when you start adding credit cards in the mix or online shopping because it can make the money feel less real. Even if you are organised with your money and stick to a budget for the majority of the time, just a couple of necessary extras each month like a home repair or birthday gift for example, can mess everything up.
I’m NOT a strict saver or ‘perfect’ when it comes to money. There have been many times that I have bought an item that I really didn’t need but just loved it at the time and I can be a sucker for a sale but then realise I have totally overspent however, I have been learning myself how to tighten my purse whilst enjoying a couple of pleasures too and I wanted to share a few ideas that have helped me out massively to spend less and save more. I have never actually written a money/finance post before but I bet there are many of you reading this who can relate and just don’t know where to start or how to spend less so that’s why I wanted to share my own personal ideas with you in the hope that you find at least one helpful.
- TAKE YOUR NOTES – Keeping track of every expenditure in a notebook can do wonders for helping you to cut down on what you spend your money on. I personally have found it incredibly helpful to write down every item that I have spent my money on, I have certainly noticed that I spend less now. I have been doing this for about 6 months so far and it’s been extremely helpful. I also have started to plan ahead of the next month and write down what expenditures are coming out (For example; home and food bills, my own spending like phone top up, money for charity and my own personal spendings like subscriptions to magazines and beauty boxes), I then write down what items I really need to buy for the month (maybe something has broken or I have run out of a product I use daily etc…) and then I write what items I have seen that I would like to buy but are not necessities. Having this written out helps me to prioritise how I spend my money.
- PAY YOURSELF – You’ve probably heard this before and there’s good reason for that…it definitely works! Make sure some of your pay is automatically directed to your savings account as soon as you receive it on your payday. Doing this kind of makes that sum of money ‘disappear’ and you won’t miss it, you’ll just naturally start adjusting to the smaller amount that you can spend. Some people wait until the end of the month and save whatever is left over, but most often what’s left over is very, very little or nothing at all.
- DON’T BE TOO STRICT – Being overly strict on yourself can backfire, it’s very tempting to rebel (yes, you can rebel against yourself) if your following a set of strict money rules. The best way to handle a money temptation is to give into it but do it in a conscious way. Write down how much you have put aside for yourself for your ‘pleasure money’ and then make sure you spend it…but only that. Like the famous saying goes…‘Everything in moderation.’ You won’t be finding temptation hard because you won’t be limiting yourself strictly and you can look at all the luxury things you did treat yourself too for that month.
- CALCULATE THE COST – It’s all too easy just to splash the cash especially when it comes straight from the card and your not having to hand over actual cash. Calculate what you earn per hour accurately, when you’ve done that you may think twice before purchasing an item because you will be aware of how much you worked to pay for it, this may make you choose to not purchase it in the end.
I’m really hoping you find at least one of these ideas useful and I hope that you can start to enjoy a more healthy and less stressful relationship with your money and spending habits if you’ve been struggling with spending less money.