People call me tight. I’m not tight. Tight implies that I do not like spending money. Quite the opposite, I love spending money, investing money, and making my money work extra hard for me. The money I earn is a direct reflection on my time and how I spent my time to earn that money. So when I am mindful of what it took to get that money, I am much more mindful as to how I go about spending it.
I’m not tight, I like value for money.
I will spend £1000 on something if it is the right purchase for me, but I won’t spend £5 on the wrong purchase. A tight person will find a way to do something on the cheap, or not at all. Now, I’m not saying there is anything wrong with being tight… it’s just… I’m not that.
So with that said and out of the way, here are my top 5 ways to not spend money.
Expensive designer clothes
I always shop the sales. Very rarely do I ever buy anything “full price”. Trying to keep up with the latest trends can be exhausting, time consuming and above all – really expensive.
If you absolutely have to shop in the designer stores then seek the outlets, bargain websites or just wait until your local store has a sale on. Now I realise that a lot of these stores will wheel out all the old stuff and slap an unrealistic price tag on a fancy shirt and then tell you it’s 70% off. So ignore the stickers! The price it once was is now irrelevant – the only thing that matters is the price now. So do yourself and your wallet a favour and ask is the price now what you are prepared to pay.
Usually I shop in the mid-range priced shops, but as I say, only in the sales, or out of season. I know what I’m looking for – decent quality clothes at a sensible price. If I see something I like, and it’s a good price, then even if I don’t need it right now, I’ll buy it and keep it until I do. I’ve had bad experiences buying in discounted stores, so I don’t typically do that. On the other extreme, shopping in Armani or Dior is out of the question!
One of the worst culprits of overpriced goods there are.
This is a tough one for me, because I enjoy coffee. I enjoy it morning, day, and night. However, I will not pay £3.00+ for a Starbucks (other merchants are available!) If I do, it’s because I’m on holiday or something exceptional… but the point stands. Spending £3 on your caffeine fix before work might not seem like much, but over a year it adds up to an eye-watering £780 if you do that five days/week. Yikes. Often, you will want a a treat to eat with that coffee so you can expect to be overcharged on a slice of cake too. Just hold fire until you get to the office, or back home after the school run, and enjoy a homemade brew, just the way you like it.
I work in the city centre. There are any number of tempting eateries and shops that will sell me a sandwich or take-out burger. There are italian, cuban, chinese, american and european options to name a few. But they all cost money obviously. In some cases it’s £5.00 or more, even getting up to £8-9 depending on what you want and then factor in a drink on top of that. Hmmm… I say make your sandwiches at home and bring them with you for a fraction of the price. Also, if you are making at home and not buying the pre-packed sandwiches or similar, then you are also doing your bit for the environment by cutting down waste.
Hunks of plastic with hunky price tags to match, most often. Here is a real life example of how we saved on development toys for our young son. We were pretty clear we wanted a jumparoo – it’s a thing that supports a baby while they find their feet and learn to you their legs to bounce. Amazon will gleefully sell a Jumparoo for around £100.
A quick search of the local buy and sell and we had a fully working second hand number for £30. That is a huge saving.
Now he has finished with it, we will clean it up, replace some batteries and relist for the next family to enjoy it at a discount rate. The nett spend will be minimal and there has been no compromise on the enjoyment for our child. Again, it’s one less hunk of plastic to end up in a dump somewhere so we are pleased about that! (edit… we sold it at Christmas for £25. Nice.)
Unused gym memberships, TV services, music services, an over-powered mobile package – all these things that have us paying monthly subscriptions and yet we let it slide because “it’s just a few pounds per month”. All those “few pounds per month” will very quickly add up to a lot of pounds per year!
Take ten minutes and go through your direct debits to see who you are paying your hard earned cash and see if what you are getting really fits the need. I guarantee you will find some savings. Be picky about it. Be specific and you will find you could be saving a lot more that you are spending
I hope you have found some ideas in here to help you put your money to good use. If you have any other suggestions on how to avoid wasting money, leave a comment. Feel free to share this article on social media and get the conversation started with those around you.