Most of us want to save money, but still have a bit of fun. We don’t want to stop going out with friends and having a good time, or spoiling ourselves with impulse buys.
There are ways you can save money while still living your life, and you don’t need to walk around with a bad case of FOMO. It requires a bit of discipline and smart spending habits, but once you do it, you’ll be amazed at how much you’ll be able to save, and still have some fun in your life.
Track Your Spending
We’ve all made some bad spending choices at one time or another. While a lot of people know when they spend a lot of money on a big-ticket item, it’s sometimes difficult to notice the little expenses that add up.
Spending £10 at the convenience store on cheap candy bars and soft drinks doesn’t feel like much, but if you do it every day, you’ll be wondering why your wallet feels a little lighter than normal.
“Where’d all my money go? I didn’t buy anything expensive!” you’ll often wonder to yourself, not realizing that you’re being wasteful in other areas of your budget. Track your spending, and then make the necessary cuts.
A good method is to keep a spreadsheet or notebook of every single purchase you make, down to the last penny. However, this will be easier to do if you have a financial tracker app on your phone, like SoFi. You can categorize your purchases, so you can see exactly how much you’re spending on a regular basis, and figure out where the money is going.
Separate Your Wants From Your Needs
A good trick to do before you buy anything is think to yourself, “Do I really need this?“. If an item isn’t going to improve your life in a tangible, long-term way, you probably don’t need it, even if it’s on sale.
Sit down with a notebook, and make a list of all the things you want to purchase. List everything you can think of – kitchen appliances, new clothes, a new phone – and then circle the things that you really do need.
You’ll probably find that the majority of things on your list are completely unnecessary, and won’t actually make your life any better. Then you can focus on saving for the things that really would improve your life.
Buy Quality That Lasts Longer
One mistake a lot of people make is buying cheap, disposable items that they need to quickly replace. For example, a £10 pair of shoes. While you might feel smart for being frugal, you’re just going to end up replacing them within a month or two.
In some cases, spending a little bit more on quality products will actually save you money in the long-run. While expensive doesn’t always mean high-quality, this does ring true for a number of product types, such as appliances and furniture.
Let me give you an anecdote – I couldn’t justify spending £200 on a computer monitor, so I kept buying off-brand £50 TVs. My mindset was, I can buy a 32″ TV screen for only £50, instead of a 24″ monitor for £200, and I get more screen size for a cheaper price, right?
But those cheap TV screens kept failing after a few months, which led to me buying 5 different cheap TVs in a span of two years. Finally, I bought a brand-name 27″ PC monitor for £200 that is still working perfectly after a year and a half.