Talking about money isn't something I tend to do. It's probably one of the most personal subjects out there and also an incredibly sensitive one and when discussing it, it's all too easy to come across as preachy and condescending even when you don't want to. So this post begins with a little bit of a disclaimer, no-one has the right to tell you how to spend your money and it's as simple as that. However, this subject is something that I've wanted to write about for a while because I know I'm probably not the only one who encounters this dilemma. Saving my money is something that I've found a lot of joy in over the years which is surprising as I used to have a terrible addiction to spending money when I was a serial emotional shopper. And for the most part I still do really enjoy buying things but as of right now I buy a lot less mostly because my income isn't completely disposable so that means I can't do that. So I thought I'd share some of the best ways I've found to save money whilst still buying yourself a treat every so often.
DON'T WORRY IF YOU CAN'T SAVE
A weird way to start this post I suppose but it's something that's important to mention. There is an awful lot of pressure on people to save and whilst I understand it's something that's sensible to do if you're able to but it's not an option for everyone. So many people are left with absolutely nothing left over from paying their bills and feeding themselves that creating a savings account isn't even an option. With the current state of our economy, I truly believe that having a savings account is something that is a luxury and not something that is available for all and it can make people feel really rubbish if they're not able to do that.
MAKE IT PART OF YOUR BILLS
One of the easiest ways I found to save, it doesn't how much or how little it may be is to make it part of my bills. Each month I have a new page in my finance book [I do it with pen and paper as it's how I know my finances better] and I write how much I want to save from my income that month. By making it something that is a bill means that I have to pay it and each month it might change but at least putting something away is better than nothing and it can really add up. Some people might be different but just writing it down as part of my monthly expenditure works wonders whereas if I didn't then I could easily just brush it off.
KNOW YOUR FINANCES
Probably one of the biggest money lessons that I've learnt over the past few years is you have to know your finances. Of course, I am self-employed so this is really important as I have to complete a tax return and not knowing what is going on with that is terrifying. But in general just knowing what is going in and out of your account is so important. I prefer to write everything I spend down as well as having a list of every single direct debit that I have so nothing can come along and surprise me. As well as writing down what you're spending also regularly checking in with your finances so you can physically see it in front of you might also really help. Having a good grip on your finances might not always be the most fun thing in the world but it does really help. I also find writing things down makes me more conscious of those small amounts of money which at the time we might not give much thought to but they all add up.
RECYCLE TO BUY
So this post is about shopping right? Well here is my number one tip to being able to treat yourself to new things and enjoy shopping without having to dip into your finances. Something that I started doing at university when I didn't have any spare money to shop is sold some of my old items on eBay and it's still something that I do now. I absolutely love recycling my wardrobe as it means that nothing is going to waste but it also allows me to buy new things. Not only does this mean not spending anything as I just use the money that I make from selling things but it also keeps my wardrobe fresh. In general, I do tend to buy things that are wardrobe classics but if I do buy anything that is more of a trend piece then that is what I tend to get rid of after a while.
MAKE A LIST AND STICK TO IT
Something that I used to be terrible for when browsing shops was seeing something and then instantly falling in love with it. And it wouldn't be something that I had ever shown an interest in before and I find those impulse purchases are where I tend to waste money when it comes to shopping. I'm sure we all know that feeling of spotting something from across the store and imagining all the outfits you could wear with it. And it's so easy to do and then spending money even when you know deep down you probably shouldn't be as that lust takes over. Something I now do every season is write a list of things I know that I will more than likely want to buy as well as having a list of things that I want to save for. And for the most part I make myself stick to that list so then I only have things that I've really considered and I can stick within my means. I find this is easier if you're interested in having a capsule wardrobe and don't tend to buy a lot of trend pieces.
Do you have any tips for saving money?