Are your spending habits getting a little too wild, and do you need to go on a cash diet? Living in a big city, it’s easy to spend on everything. Take-out coffee, ordering in on late nights at the office, a little window shopping… it all adds up. Here’s how to keep your spending habits in check, and keep your cheque book in your pocket.
1. Take a long, hard look at your spending habits
If you want to change, you have to be real. You need to know exactly what comes in and what goes out. Write down all your spendings and categorize those in essential (say, groceries, rent, electricity and phone bills, travel expenses) and see what you can cut down on in terms of take-out food, clothes, magazines, ordering online, expensive sports classes, manicures, dry cleaning and all that good (but often unnecessary) stuff.
2. Set a strict budget per item/object
Need a new black blazer/notebook/office chair? Set a clear budget beforehand, so you won’t end up falling for the fanciest version that’s more than you can afford.
3. Don’t fill up time with window shopping, or lunching out
Much of what we spend goes without it being planned. Reduce temptation by not filling up time with money-spending activities, such as coffee breaks or window shopping. If you don’t know what’s in stores, you can’t buy it!
4. Set aside money when it comes in
If possible, put way at least around 30% of what comes in. You’re unlikely to get in to debt and are more careful and thoughtful about spending money you’ve saved up on a different account.
5. Wait for sales
A great way to save money on pricey/luxury products is to do your research online and in stores and wait for sales to hit. Now that they start sooner and sooner, you’ll almost get an entire season of wear out of your sale buys. Score!
6. Sleep on it
Walk out of a store and see if you still think about the item during the day. Chances are you’ll totally forget it – which means it definitely isn’t that one item you couldn’t live without. A good rule is to sleep on it, so you won’t be falling for impulse buys.
7. Don’t use your credit card
Using a credit card is tricky because you don’t feel the ‘pain’ instantly. That makes it trickier to keep track of ecactly what you spend. Leave your cards at home as much as you can, so you can only spend the cash you have on you and that’s it.
8. Trade with friends
Have a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear? Gather your most stylish besties for a closet-swap. Let everyone brings snacks and drinks and items in great condition that they just don’t wear anymore. Everyone has a good time and goes home with new gems without having spent a buck.
9. Set realistic goals
A shopping diet doesn’t mean you never get a snack. Be easy on yourself and allow yourself to purchase one pretty item that you want istead of need. It can be anything as simple as gorgeous notebook that cost a few euros.
(Image via Pinterest)