For Halloween, a friend of mine spent £30 (about $50) on a costume for one night. I wondered how can you spend so much money for something that has no lasting value? I could literally think of a hundred better ways to spend even half that amount.
It made me step back and look at my own spending habits. And now I make sure I go through a few steps before making a purchase.
1. Think before buying. Really consider if you need the new thing and do you have to have it now? A good method is to wait about 30 days before parting with your money. A lot of the time I realise that I’m better off keeping my money. Also, think of the sacrifice. What am I giving up to buy this item? What else can I do with the money?
2. Do research. Is the item worth it? Is it a good solution to your problems? Check out review sites if you can and shop around for the cheapest place. Especially if you’re buying books.
3. Consider the long term. How long will it last? Will you be able to get rid of it easily/sell it on? Or is it destined to live in the corner of your room until the end of the year? What will you do with it when it is no longer useful to you? Finding solutions to these questions can help stop new stuff building clutter.
4. Want less. The best way to spend less is just to simply want less. Don’t fall for the consumerist mentality that the more things you own and the more things you do the better you are. The most famous brand isn’t always the best. Try to cut out the expensive activities that you can do without, like more than two or three nights out a week.
5. Find it free. If you are spending a lot of money on activities such as going out, maybe try doing things that don’t cost as much, or better yet, free. Go to the park, make a cup of tea at home or do some studying with friends. If it’s a thing you want, this may not be applicable to everything but maybe you could borrow it, or even make it. Be creative in finding ways to not spend money. Soon you’ll be actively seeking ways to save money, now that’s much more challenging.
Do you have any tips on how to spend less?