Make every shilling count
Are you a big spender? Not to worry, a little cut back on expenses here and there works just fine. With these tips, you can cut down on unnecessary spending and make every shilling count.
Cost of Purchase
Most of the items we purchase require maintenance or repair. For instance, when you buy a car, you will need to insure it and to service it on occasion. In this case, you will need to consider the frequency and amount of recurring expenses. If at the moment you cannot afford to incur these costs, you need to cut back from such purchases until your finances are stable again.
Equally, you need to reevaluate the need to purchase products and services that incur monthly interest rates. However, you can make exceptions for services such as mortgage or rent to own items. In this case, you are guaranteed ownership of the item when you complete payment.
There’s nothing wrong with having a spouse or friend with whom you can plan together to cut down on unnecessary spending. Of course, you might not be cutting down on the same things or for the same reasons, but you can motivate each other. When you have an accountability partner, you will become more intentional, and they help to keep you in check.
The envelope approach is a simple system that will help you stick to your budget.
What do you need to do? Literally, put your money in envelopes. Label each one according to an expense. It’s okay to have a miscellaneous or holiday envelope as well.
The budgeted amount for each category should last a month for recurring bills like utilities, rent, fare, and food.
This technique will help you figure out where you spend your money most and how to cut back on unnecessary spending.
Also, have a spare envelope where you keep extra change and label ‘savings’. This is where all the pocket change goes.
How you will benefit from this system:
- It works! You become a disciplined saver
- No overdraft charges
- No missed payments
- Cutback on expenses
Maybe you have a Netflix subscription or gym membership that you occasionally use? Or other unnecessary subscriptions that you barely get the most out of because you are barely around to use them.
It could be a high-cost internet, TV premium packages e.t.c.
With such subscriptions, you can always downgrade or put them on a back burner up until you get the time to utilize them properly. Unnecessary spending is usually one of those things we need once in a while but ties you down to monthly payments.
So make that shilling count and consider an alternative lifestyle.
Go for a 2 for 1 offer. For example, for TV and Internet service you can choose a service provider that offers both. Likewise, you can opt for a gym membership that charges by sessions taken.
Impulse buying can be triggered by anything from moods, environment, peer pressure, lifestyle choice, or time of the day. If you can identify your trigger, you can learn to avoid them and save that shilling!
For instance, you spend more when you are with friends, you can plan indoor activities that do not require a lot of spending or limit how much money you carry.
An ideal example could be homemade dinner plans instead of night outs or restaurant meetups, leaving your credit card at home, and the proverbial ‘Fleeing that situation that you know you will regret later.‘
The key is identifying your triggers and avoiding such situations. This way, you can make financially sound decisions that will take you a step closer to saving more.
Everyone has once in their life used a savings jar. Improvise any container. A pringles or Glenfiddich casing, a mason jar, even a sock if you have to.
Instead of misplacing and using that loose shilling, you can store it.
Set a personal target monthly, quarterly, bi-annually, or at the end of the year. Whichever you opt for, you’ll be surprised at how much you have accumulated.
Besides, you don’t have to restrict yourself to one jar. If the first one is full, take a second and even third.
The positives of such ideas are to limit your trigger spending. Notice that we most often like to use loose change to buy irrelevant things.
Remember a small leak can sink a great ship!
Have a List
The best way to shop is to utilize a shopping list to avoid impulse buying. For household items or foodstuffs, you can buy in bulk.
For groceries, you can shop weekly. If you’re going to buy something and it’s not on your list, then probably it’s not a necessity.
What better way to minimize expenses than by limiting your spending. You can challenge yourself by instituting no-spend days weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.
Once a month or a week is fine. During these days, you will commit to not purchasing anything.
Consider these your cheat dates where every temptation or impulse to buy takes a backseat. It’s difficult but rewarding in the long run.
If you have a spouse, you can set targets and reward systems. The one with most no-spend days or completes their no-spend days successfully is rewarded with an inexpensive gift. You can equally engage a close friend with the same financial goals if you do not have a spouse.
Switch to DIY
DIY or Do It Yourself projects are a common thing now.
As the name indicates, these projects emphasize on using easily accessible items at home as alternatives for branded products and as good recycling habits.
You can find DIY projects for nearly anything! From repurposing, home improvement, fashion, beauty, cleaning hacks, or gardening tips.
You name it, there is a DIY project on it.
All you need is an internet connection and navigation skills to help you find any DIY hack you need.
In the beginning, cutting on costs might take more time and effort.
But as you begin to implement these small cutbacks, you will notice an increase in your savings. Nothing is impossible until you try.
So cut back on that spending with savings jars, shoppings lists, separate envelopes, and having an accountability partner.
Every shilling you save from implementing such measures is going to count, and you will be glad you did it.