No one said saving money was necessarily easy, but changing your spending habits is surprisingly so. The key is to pick and choose between what’s really important to you, and what’s merely an automatic reflex.
Keep your experiences, but ditch the expense
If you love buying your morning coffee, what is it about the experience you like the most? The actual coffee, or having it to sip on for the drive to work? If it’s the latter, buy yourself a fabulous portable cup and make it at home before you go. Apply this to all automatic spending and you’ll shave dollars off your weekly expenses, while keeping your favourite experiences.
It’s very rare that you ever need something ‘right now’. Impulse buying is one of the top reasons we all blow the budget, often with very little reward. No matter what you think you want, put it back down and walk away. If you wake up the next day with as much enthusiasm as before, go right ahead and buy it. If not, congratulate yourself for avoiding an impulsive purchase and pop the money on your mortgage, investment or in a holiday fund instead.
Have friends with expensive tastes? Suggest alternatives for get-togethers.
Don’t feel pressured to spend
Feeling pressured to spend money is always a choice, though it often feels like a necessity.
Feeling pressured to spend money is always a choice, though it often feels like a necessity. For example, perhaps you have a group of friends who always head to fine dining restaurants for get-togethers. Maybe you’d actually much prefer to go hiking and have a picnic, not to mention save what might amount to a week’s worth of groceries. Don’t be afraid to break routine and suggest a different option. Chances are, others will feel the same and you still have the experience, without breaking the bank.
Shop around and ask for discounts
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When you’re busy, it’s often easier just to buy what’s in front of you or pay bills without questioning. However, the discounts and savings available are quite astounding, when you invest time in shopping around. Remember that competition is fierce for consumer attention, so use your buying power in every way, to get the best deal.
Remember to love what you have
Chances are you have a lot of things you once couldn’t wait to buy and cherished - for a few months. Rather than look at things as old or in need of updating, remember to love what you have. Reinvent items, instead of replacing them. Move furniture around to create a new appearance, without needing a new couch.
Saving money, much like everything else, is a mindset. Make yours one of abundance, instead of hardship. Apply easy lifestyle changes so you won’t even notice the changes - until you get to celebrate your savings.
Nicole Leigh West
Nicole Leigh West is the author of fiction novel, 'The Gypsy Trail' and an internationally recognised travel and lifestyle writer.
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