Last year, I`ve reduced my working hours for a while, and I was determined to make do with what was just over half of my old salary. Listening to people around me, I very strongly suspect that most people need, or want, to save money, so I hope you`ll find it interesting to read what I`ve been doing, and what works:
- think before I spend. Not that I haven`t always done that, but while I used to think “Do I really WANT this item?” I`m now asking myself “Do I NEED it?” Also makes me appreciate the luxury of sometimes being able to buy the occasional item that I do not need (but want :-))
- I eat before I go out and/or take a banana. Cafe meals can be extremely good value for money if you can enjoy them with a friend and then linger forever, but if I just want to satisfy hunger and thirst, they`re expensive.
- I refuse to save on or downgrade groceries.
- when I go to town, I’ll do at least two things to justify the expense of the bus ticket.
- I stopped drinking alcohol, and although this was for different reasons, it also drastically cut the price of a night out. In a restaurant, I tend to have just the main course – highly likely, you don`t need a starter or pudding, unless you`re *very* hungry, or desperately want to try a particular thing
- I think we all know situations where we have bought something for a one-off, purpose (a dress for a particular night out, a couple of champagne glasses to serve six guests, when I only have four glasses) or to meet the approval of a particular group or person. Before I buy, I now make myself think: if this one-off purpose was not happening, or if this group or person could not see this dress – would I still buy it? Surprisingly often, the answer is NO, and then I know I didn`t really want the item but something else – approval for the dress or lack of embarrassment with the glasses, or it could be wanting to buy a new body by buying exercise equipment or a nicer home with new tableware. All of this can be achieved in other ways, and without involving money. If I crave social approval, I arrange to meet a friend who makes me feel good about myself regardless of what I wear or which glasses I use to serve her drinks. If I want to lose a couple of pounds, I`ll skip carbs. And if I want a nicer home, I`ll tidy it up.
- I`m planning to use up *all* my beauty products and carefully consider what to replace and what with.
- Although I gave away two jackets recently, I have not bought myself a new one. I still got two for winter and one for autumn/spring. I’ll get a nice new one once this are worn. Will do the same with other clothes.
- Charity shopping is fun 🙂
- I cancelled my gym membership. I just didn`t go enough to justify the expense.
Feel free to add. I`d love to hear 🙂