Lifestyle Month: Rethinking my Spending Habits

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:

  1. 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 :-))
  2. 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.
  3. I refuse to save on or downgrade groceries.
  4. when I go to town, I’ll do at least two things to justify the expense of the bus ticket.
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. I`m planning to use up *all* my beauty products and carefully consider what to replace and what with.
  8. 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.
  9. Charity shopping is fun 🙂
  10. I cancelled my gym membership. I just didn`t go enough to justify the expense.

Feel free to add. I`d love to hear 🙂

 

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14 thoughts on “Lifestyle Month: Rethinking my Spending Habits

  1. Vic @ Dad is Cheap says:

    The alcohol cost is $! I have a habit of buying a drink or two whenever we dine out. I’m trying to cut back as it doesn’t particularly add that much to the experience. I think it would help my waistline too. 🙂

    When at work I go out to eat for lunch only as a last resort. There are times when it might be good to go out to bond with coworkers, but I try to limit that as much as possible. I know that even though it might be fun at the time, that most coworkers don’t end up being lasting friends and you’re spending money just to “keep up”. I used to go out all the time on an older job a few years ago and I barely talk to most of those people anymore.

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    • culbia says:

      I didn`t lose an ounce in weight since I stopped drinking, but I do find myself opening a packet of sweets more often.

      At my last work, we had a Friday morning ritual of one colleague going to get hot rolls for everybody and a takeaway coffee for himself and myself. Both overpriced, but it was a ritual that we all enjoyed and that bonded us.

      Although I agree that most relationships we establish with colleagues will only last for as long as we work together (or maybe a couple of months longer with facebook) I still think going out together is important. – not to make lifelong friends but for the athmosphere in the office. I worked in an environment which could be very, very stressful, with people having no time to chat or sometimes even snapping at each other. Lifting a glass on a Friday night provided a bit of a balance. People who never participated (mostly managers) were looked upon as not wanting to mix, so yeah, there was an element of peer pressure.

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  2. Lilith says:

    Gestern habe ich extrem Klamotten aussortiert, es ist alles rausgeflogen, was ich nicht mehr, oder noch nie angezogen habe. Nachgekauft wird ganz gezielt und zwar lediglich Statement Stücke, mit denen ich meine aktuelle Garderobe ergänze und auf den neusten Stand bringe. Keine Lust mehr auf Masse, die ich eh nicht trage. Kosmetika dasselbe, alles raus, was nicht genutzt wird und nur nachgekauft, was ich wirklich brauche. Ich steh gerade total auf wenig haben, dafür aber das, was wirklich gut ist und genutzt wird. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • culbia says:

      Ich ja auch im Grunde, aber bei Kleidern und Beautyprodukten (und Buechern!) werde ich immer wieder schwach. Da kaufe ich brav ein halbes Jahr gar nichts und gebe dann einen viel zu grossen Betrag auf einmal dafuer aus.

      Demnaechst gehen mir 3 altrosa Lippenstifte verschiedener Marken zuende, und ein vierter liegt noch kaum benutzt bereit. Ich muss doch definitiv zu viel Geld in der Tasche gehabt haben. Aber dieses Mal werde ich diese drei Lippentifte nicht ersetzen (weil ich sie alle so gern mochte) songern endlich mal den vierten anfangen (der ja auch sein Haltbarkeitsdatum hat…)

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      • Lilith says:

        Bis jetzt bin ich stark geblieben, hab nur ne neue Mascara gekauft, weil ne Kollegin mir die empfohlen hat. “Miss Manga Punky” SO gut! Macht Wimpern, als hätteste Dir Falsies aufgeklebt. Besser als meine irre teure Mascara von Guerlain. *hmpf*

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        • culbia says:

          Danke, werd ich nachschlagen und kaufen 🙂 Ich hab meine letzte wesentlich (!!) billiger gekauft als my usual, bin aber richtig, richtig unzufrieden damit…

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          • Lilith says:

            Die “Colossal” von Maybelline ist auch gut, aber nur die waterproof. Ich kauf immer nur wasserfeste Mascara, die hält den Schwung besser.
            Welche benutzt Du denn zur Zeit?

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            • culbia says:

              Rimmel, glaub ich. £7.99. Kannste vergessen, die Buerste ist einfach so bloed. Frag mich nicht warum, sie ist es einfach. Meine Lancome fuer £22.oo, die lieb ich, aber ich probier als naechstes mal die von Dir genannte…

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              • Lilith says:

                Rimmel gibts in D gar nicht mehr zu kaufen, lei-der.

                Wenn Du auf lange, volle Wimpern stehst, die den Schwung halten, wird Dir die Mascara gefallen. Ich benutze seit fast 1,5 Jahren übrigens M2 Lashes, kann ich nur empfehlen. Ohne geht gar nicht mehr. 🙂

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  3. weltbeobachterin says:

    that’s a good topic!
    my recipes
    to consume all my supplies first
    go to libraries instead of buying books (exception everything from A Song of Ice and Fire or cookbooks
    decluttering
    go walking instead to Mrs. Sporty

    Like

    • culbia says:

      I`m weird with books. I can`t even say why, but somehow, I want to own the books I read. I usually buy second hand though, most likely Amazon Marketplace, or two particular second hand book shops which cater for my particular interests very well…

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      • Weltbeobachterin says:

        hihi, an old post – and I still work to eat all my supplies. Today I just made a list with all my supplies, because I want to see all I have. Maybe I will not buy so much, when I use this list to have an overview about them. I am just shocked, how much Goji-berries I have. 600g! And I am not fond of them. And I have a lot of jams. And I ordered pomerians – so I can make a jam again. I just want to use them before I buy something else or similar. a example.
        I think this list is very inspiring. Thx for sharing.

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  4. twinkletoes says:

    I find charity shops useful for one-off occasions, such as an evening dress, for example. But having said that: As my husband and I dance, I need a cocktail dress more frequently than I used to. I have three in my wardrobe now, and I have no plans to buy any more or a new one. Nobody remembers what I was wearing at the last ball anyway – just as I don’t remember what they were wearing.

    Luckily, I have next to no requirement for beauty products – not because I’m so beautiful already, but because I’m too lazy. 😉 I just don’t buy them, because I wouldn’t use them anyway.

    LONDON is what costs me! If I want to see my friends from my former working life, I’ve got to go to London, paying for the train ticket, a meal out, a few drinks of course … Last week I had a night out in London that I really couldn’t afford. 😦 But with dear and lovely friends, that’s why I’m doing it.

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    • culbia says:

      If I want to buy something specific, I do not go to a charity shops, because I feel I`d probably not find what I`m after, and I refuse to buy something second hand and then pay a seamstress to make it fit.

      I like browsing, though, when I`ve got time. Someone once gave me the invaluable advice to go to the wealthier parts of town for charity shopping, because there`s good clothes to be found that won`t have been worn much – they were right!

      Like

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