Being Shit With Money
Noticed that the majority of traffic is going to personal posts so figured I'd drop another one this evening.
As the title suggests, i'm not much of a saver. I like going out for dinner, buying movies, going to the cinema, etc etc. I never have any bills unpaid but with a mounting credit card and overdraft, I've started making some changes that I think might be helpful to those of you in a similar mindset.
1) Cut the shit
It seems silly and super-obvious but heres the scenario - I've lost a decent amount of weight. I'm newly single. I've got rid of a few old clothes. The urge to head to a shopping centre and buy an entire wardrobe's worth of clothes is KILLING ME (figuratively). In my mind, i'm a few months from treating myself but know that when I can i'll be entirely guilt free. I'll be able to walk in and treat myself to the suit my career so desperately needs or a swanky new polo to wear out on a weekend with the guys. But for now, thats all off limits. Unless its food - I ain't buying. Its tough but necessary.
2) Lock up your credit card
My parents have my credit card (don't worry, I trust them!) to avoid any unnecessary temptation. I pay off at least the minimum amount each month and while I'm tempted to put something on there every now and again I know that I need to chip as much away as I can. As soon as my overdraft is cleared I plan to double the amount I pay off of my credit card.
3) Cut the shit
I know, same as before. But the discipline required really needs to be emphasised.
4) Go out less
Ok, this is the tough one. Your mates are asking for you to come to the pub. It'll only be one round each, but your wallet is crying already. Why not invite them over instead? They can bring the beers and you can supply the games console or Netflix as entertainment. A true friend will understand your scenario and appreciate your honesty.
At one point this year I was paying some kind of monthly amount for razor blades, Netflix, WWE Network, Amazon Prime, Xbox Live, Playstation Network, magazines and Apple Music. At the time of each signup it seems to be a tiny amount, but taken together thats a considerable chunk of money going on needless expenses. I cut back to half of those subscriptions and even thats too many - Apple Music is the most expensive one I kept and since using it a few months ago I can't be without it so consider that my treat.
6) Use cash
I'm awful with money until I see how little I have. I use my card EVERYWHERE, often contactless. The convenience is great and all, but having cash to hand and seeing your weekly budget deplete is sure to change your mind about what you're spending it on.
7) Buy cheap food
This may seem simple but the difference between a £60 weekly shop at somewhere like Waitrose and a £60 weekly shop at somewhere like Lidl is night and day. Due to training I eat a fairly predictable amount of food and what I order rarely changes from one week to the next so I'm able to monitor how much I'm spending - for example I know what I get each week and how much that costs. If I want to try something new for a meal, I can cut out one of my usuals to balance the cost. Also, doing parts of your shopping at another supermarket chain is another way to make sure you're getting the most from your money.
Coupons coupons coupons. Seriously.
9) Be patient
In my situation I know that I can be relatively debt free by the end of the year. I've given myself 6 months to achieve this but also know that i'm not going to beat myself up over it if it takes 7. Life gets in the way and a car repair or utility bill can often surprise you. Just hang in there and keep focused. You'll get there.
What are your money-saving suggestions? Let me know in the comments below!