Top Tips for Spending Less Money

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Here I share our top tips for spending less money. Whilst my own debt declutter is now a decade old, mental and physical decluttering has really only started in 2018.

I’ve had to learn a whole new set of skills/coping mechanisms for dealing with life’s challenges which don’t involve spending money mindlessly and needlessly to self-medicate or reward myself.

One of the things I learnt about myself since we started to adopt a well-lived life with less, is that I was reluctant to spend any money because I felt guilty about buying things for myself. I guess because we have been through such an intense period of decluttering and the emotions the process stirred in me. This is definitely something I need to address and work on as there has to be a balance.

I even struggled to think what I wanted for my 40th. I settled on a stand mixer which I asked everybody to contribute to but even that was half-price as it was discontinued. But I did my homework beforehand and it’s a Kenwood so a reputable brand which will last. Admittedly it’s still in its box in our loft, but I plan to use it when we redo the kitchen. It’s an unusual stripey design but will not be left out on the worktop for people to admire when they come to the house, as was suggested by one family member.

Top Tips For Spending Less Money: Tote Don’t Tout

I used to carry my stuff around in branded bags which many of us have done. I cringe when I think about it now because it feels like bragging, i.e. ‘look at me and where I can afford to/am cool enough to shop at’. I could make the excuse that I was simply reusing my bags but I know that’s not really true. These days when I go shopping, I take a tote bag and if I am given a branded bag I use it for next charity shop collection.

Top Tips For Spending Less Money: Shopping Envy

Nowadays, when I see people laden with shopping bags I no longer think lucky them for being able to afford it or for having a high disposable income. I just assume they have paid for things on credit but hope that they haven’t and can actually afford it. The thrill of the purchase will be short-lived and way more expensive than its price tag if not.

It seems that it takes more effort not to succumb to buying stuff. In western society we are conditioned to shop and accumulate possessions and bombarded with adverts convincing us to buy, buy, buy. Record the number of adverts you see in one day (TV, Radio and online). You’ll be amazed.

Top Tips For Spending Less Money: Experiences vs. Stuff

For years each Christmas, experiences or vouchers had been on my wishlist for family. Dave I have agreed to take it one step further from Christmas 2018 and not buy stocking fillers for family anymore. I’ve had a stocking all my life so not doing so is a big deal in the Hanson family. Having said that, the best Christmases have been those when we were really skint and made food hampers. I’m pretty sure everything got eaten or used those years!

Top Tips for Spending Less Money: Kicking The Habit:

  • Adopt a one-in-one-out policy when you want to replace something. Can’t do this before you make a purchase? Then either list the old item for sale to make a bit of your money back or give it away
  • Borrow or rent things you’ll use once or a few times. You don’t have to own everything you need to use, e.g. tools, ski gear, etc.
  • Cancel magazine subscriptions – in my case, the constant adverts and editorials for aspirational purchases were having a negative influence
  • If there’s something you want to buy, put it in your diary for a later date. Then see if you still have the urge at that point. If it’s online, save it in your basket and come back to it – do you still want it?
  • Keep a spreadsheet of your weekly purchases and monitor monthly totals/price rises, etc.
  • Remove saved credit/debit cards from your online accounts so you aren’t tempted to make impulse purchases
  • Remove shopping and reward Apps from your Smartphone/tablet (if you have one – even easier if you don’t!)
  • Use online trading sites to earn a bit of extra money from your unwanted stuff, e.g. eBay, Facebook, Gumtree, etc.
  • If you’d prefer to give stuff away, Facebook, Freecycle and Trashnothing are all good options
  • If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it and especially not on credit – save up! An age-old and obvious adage but always worth mentioning

Unsubscribe from emails which could tempt you to make online purchases; you can’t buy what you don’t know about.

  • Do you get a lot of emails or find the idea of mass-unsubscribing overwhelming? There are some great unsubscribe services out there but be careful. I’ve been a victim of the unroll.me App who sell your data on to other companies. A reputable App is Unsubscriber but do your own research first
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