Cutting Back To Enjoy More Later
Your spending will always expand to match your income unless you specifically plan to live beneath your means. You can do this as a lifestyle choice or for short periods of time to save for something you really want.
Shop around to save money on the things that you buy regularly – buy in bulk, get products where they are cheapest instead of just going to your favourite shop, use coupons and take advantage of discount days at local stores.
However, there are some things that you can live without completely;that is the topic this blog.
We get so used to buying what we always buy that we don’t usually stop to contemplate what’s necessary and what isn’t. To help you think through your own shopping list I’ll go through some things my friends and I cut back on to save:
You could live in a cheaper area and save thousands immediately. I did this when I first started work. I was spending almost half what my peers were on rent just by living a little further out of the city. Of course, many of us are unwilling to compromise here so we have to look at the small stuff.
For what you get, it’s not cheap at all. I was having a chat with one of my best friends about cutting back and she said, “Can you believe it, we’ve even had to stop buying juice!”
I was like, “You were still buying juice? I stopped buying juice ages ago because it contains way too many calories. I’ll only buy it if I have guests coming.” I also find juice to be poor value for money besides being completely unnecessary for the weight conscious. Juice packs in a lot more calories than one might suspect.
We spend A LOT of money on eating out every month. I personally find it very hard to cut back because I think of it as a “treat” after a week of hard work. However, right now my husband and I have just spent a small fortune renovating a flat that we just bought so we’ll use that thought to spur us on during our financial fast in September.
To stick to our resolve we add“treat foods” to our shopping list to encourage us to eat at home. For example, buying a frozen pizza that you just stick in the oven when you feel lazy is a lot cheaper than going out for pizza. We wouldn’t normally buy this type of food because it’s not healthy but it does the job of keeping us at home when we want to eat out.
News flash: you don’t have to eat meat every day. Some people would think this is unthinkable and perhaps an utterly ridiculous suggestion but it’s true. If your partner is against this suggestion remind them that desperate times call for desperate measures.
You can also cut back by eating less meat rather than cutting it out completely. For instance, unless it’s a very small chicken I only ever eat one chicken piece, I find two to be excessive. If everyone in your home has two pieces your chicken will immediately last twice as long by enforcing a one-piece rule. The same goes for sausages and other meats. I normally cook minced meat with beans to bulk it up. Less meat means a heavier wallet and a more attractive waist line!
You could go for offal aswell. Liver, oxtail and tongue are delicious.
Body Products & Makeup
There are so many options here. If you use a range of upmarket brands explore supermarket “equivalents” to see if they work just as well. You could save a tidy fortune here.
Take a close look at what you tend to spend money and see what else you could do without. Magazines? New shoes or clothes? And so on.
“Cut back on your rent or cut back on what you spend on food but never worry about investing money in a good book.” Robin S. Sharma
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28/8/2015 10:00:51 am
A little goes a long way indeed Heather. I'm count every cent on what I buy, I am just thrifty like that.
28/8/2015 01:37:01 pm
I sure need these lessons..thanx heather
3/9/2015 05:38:31 am
Thanks for this Heather! I've been dealing with an injury for a while and have been trying to save whilst I'm not working.
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Heather on Wealth
I enjoy helping people think through their personal finances and blog about that here. Join my personal finance community at The Money Spot™.