How I managed to start saving!

I’m guessing you’re either here because you read the title and want to know how me…a shopaholic managed to start saving or you’re in the same situation and want some help. Well I have good news, it doesn’t matter what reason you’re here for because you’ll be getting answers to both and more.

About six months ago I wrote a blog post about the money problem and it actually got a great response, I think a lot of people could relate to how I was feeling and how shocking I was with money. I basically admitted that it had got to the point where my lack of sense when it came to money was getting totally out of hand.

Fast forward to now and I’m happy to say that I’ve changed my ways…well I’ve made a good start at least which is definitely something. I didn’t want to write this any sooner as I’ve tried so many times to combat my spending and ways with money that I didn’t want this time to be a fluke yet again. I wanted to go through how I managed to combat my spending ways and how I aim to still keep on track on with saving money.

The biggest thing I needed to combat was my urge to shop and buy unnecessary things…mainly clothes and coffee. I would go into Primark almost twice a week without fail and buy items of clothing I just didn’t need. I would buy a vanilla latte before work every morning. Regular payments like coffee and eating out even if it’s just a sausage roll from Greggs adds up and would probably shock you more than the bigger payments over time. Those small payments don’t require much thought as it’s only 99p or £2…it’s not going to matter that much right? Well you’re wrong because it does and for every 99p you’re spending on a sausage roll, it’s 99p you could be saving towards moving out or a dream holiday. Which brings on to the topic of context which my friends will definitely help you here but we’ll come back to that in a moment.

I think a big factor when it came to my clothing spending was the need or temptation to have new stuff all the time and I obviously massively brought into fast fashion, much like a lot of us. It was so easy to walk into Primark or New Look and buy a new jumper or dress because I liked the look of it and saw another blogger wear it. I wanted to appear like I was keeping up with trends even though half of the time I wouldn’t actually end up wearing it because deep down it wasn’t something I truly wanted to wear day to day. I might have worn a dress for an outfit picture and nothing else, then it would either go in a charity bag or on Depop. I needed to get out of the mindset of buying things because other people had them and that I needed something new. And how I hear you ask did I get out of that mindset? Well my wardrobe broke which is the long and short of it…I remember that moment being key in waking myself up and wanting to change something. My spending obsession had got to the point that my wardrobe couldn’t even handle so I had the most brutal clear out and decided from then out, I didn’t need anymore clothes (well you know what I mean). From that moment, when I would walk into a shop my mind just switched, I was looking at clothes in a whole new way. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve walked into Primark since and been emptied handed. It almost felt liberating that I didn’t have this need or urge anymore. That buying clothes didn’t matter anymore.

So what you can take from that in order for you to apply it to your life is;

  • Look at your wardrobe (check it’s not on the verge of breaking like mine) – is there anything missing from it? Chances are there isn’t because you’ve got everything you’ve ever needed.
  • Wear the same outfits over and over again – it’s normal and I hate how social media has made it seem like it isn’t. We literally buy clothes to wear repeatedly…there’s no such thing as disposal clothing.
  • Every thing you buy counts towards something. Money is precious and you don’t realise that until it’s gone and staring at you in the face in the form of 5 dresses and 2 jumpers you purchased but never wore.
  • Limit yourself to buying certain things…if you own a lot of dresses, I think it’s safe to say you don’t need any more.

Context is your friend when it comes to spending and reasoning with yourself. Out of context of saving for a house or holiday, a £3 coffee doesn’t seem like much but when you add up all those £3 coffees you decided to buy that week, suddenly a day in your dream house or on your dream holiday seems a little further away. Whilst it’s nice to treat yourself once in a while to a coffee or lunch out, don’t start making it a habit. It’s the age old saying, all the pennies count but they really do and I can’t stress that enough. When you next go to buy something, think about what else it could or go towards instead. The minute you start thinking like that, things start your change and so does your shopping habits. Suddenly a £11 jumper in the sale doesn’t seem like so much of a need and saving that £11 sounds more appealing. So maybe treat yourself to a coffee once in a while but for the other days, bring instant ones in (you can get super tasty ones from Aldi for as little as 69p for like 8 coffees), not only will you be saving money, you’ll still be getting your caffeine fix…just not with the hefty price tag.

So we’ve gone through what I spent most of my money on and how I managed to combat it and still am managing to. Cutting out your spending isn’t the only way to save at the end of the day and I know that all too well. The minute you see you’ve suddenly got more money the urge to spend it comes back again but that can quickly turn into pride and determination. The pride of having a certain amount in your bank and being determined to not let it go under that amount. It’s easier said than done but you’ll quickly see how nice it is not to worry about money no matter what time of the month because you haven’t stupidly gone into Primark and treated yourself to a whole new wardrobe.

Now I’m getting the fear that this blog post has gone on for too long already so I’m about ready to wrap this up but not before I say this…

I celebrate a pretty big achievement last month and that was having saved £1000 in just under 4 months which is something I never thought I’d be able to do. I tweeted this and it’s what sparked my desire to write this post and it seems like people wanted to know how I did it. Hopefully I’ve covered that now but the one thing I didn’t mention and probably the biggest tip of all…saving the best until last after all.

The biggest way I managed to save money was putting a certain amount of money away every month on pay day. That way the minute I got paid, I would transfer a certain amount depending on how much I got paid to my savings account then for the rest of the month, it’s as if I never had because I don’t see it in my current account to miss it or be tempted to spend it. I was only able to do that because I cut down my needless spending over time. Saving money is all about finding the balance that’s right for you and figuring out how you can fit your lifestyle around saving money. It may take a few trial and errors but you’ll soon find a way they suits you. I can’t express the pride and happiness I felt when I saw that I managed to save £1000, it definitely beats any joy I would when shopping which shows how much I’ve changed.

Before this post truly does end, the last thing I’ll save is…budget! It will be your best friend and help you get through the month whether that be budgeting for the amount of clothes you buy or how much you have to spend on coffee or eating out. Budget the hell out of your life and suddenly your finances will be easier to manage.

Right that’s all for me. Happy saving and I wish you all luck in the world (or if you came here to be most, I hope your desires were met).

Until next time,

adoseofapril x

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