“No. I can’t afford to go on holiday/to the festival/go for a drink/eat food…” How many times have you thought this exact thought(s) over the last month? That sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach as you are invited out, and realise it’s a week after payday and all your cash has suddenly stopped flowing. And you still haven’t bought your monthly travel card….
Panic ideas: “PayPal? There must be some money left in there. eBay? Gumtree? If only I could get my shit together to sell it all online…” Although, I am already seriously considering selling anything that doesn’t move. In this age of austerity, it can’t just be me who is constantly scrabbling around for money and worrying about how to say “I just can’t afford it”, in a different way from last month…
I’m no Scrooge, I’m just 31 years old with zero savings and a small (‘tiny, honest mum’) credit card bill. Credit card debt scares me. So, I’d rather not eat, than rack that up. Again. Here is how I intend to reclaim my bank account…
Ambitions to start making it rain…
1 Say no.
Sounds easy. But have you tried it? Friends, it’s not you, it’s me. I’m relatively poor, with ambitions of things to save for! I will be practicing saying ‘no’ to nights out, but I do think this will help me become more creative. House parties are the way forward.
2 Stop buying expensive presents.
People still love hugs, right? (Although this will not cut it at a wedding… See below)
3 Shop in the basics aisle.
Affordable, healthy food just takes a little planning. And taking my lunch to work could save me loads. Read: I bought 12 cans of spaghetti hoops in Poundland yesterday. Score.
4 Don’t feel the pressure.
Hmmm… the weight of having to say ‘Thanks, but no’. Anyone got any tips on how to ease this feeling?
5 Hen doos, weddings, christenings, birthdays, baby’s birthdays…
Plan ahead for these. They aren’t going anywhere, and I love to splash out on spending special times with my friends, but you can wave ‘buh-bye’ to your money on gifts, travel, accommodation etc! So, just budget…
Taking out cash seems to be a better way of managing my money than endlessly spending on cards. And I try to write a plan at the beginning of each month to ensure I don’t run out for the big things I will need to pay for.
7 Pick and choose your battles.
Ok, this is a tough one. But working out a priority list of activities will be necessary to start saving. Wedding = priority. Another festival = not a priority. Birthday = priority. Drinking night out = not a priority.
8 Car boot fair.
Selling everything I can live without. This should be easy. I have a lot of tat.
9 Have a goal.
I want to go travelling. All my friends and family have their own lives, events and goals – so I am going to focus on mine.
10 Embrace frugality!
The best things in life are free! So if you want to join me for some frisbee, cook a meal at home, watch a film, share a bottle of under £10 wine, or take a walk around London’s finest parks, let me know.
11 Bye, bye Netflix/Spotify.
Paying a precious £5.99/£9.99 for these. So they might have to go, too.
Any tips/tricks for saving money – please let me know below.