Every one of us is in need of a little saving(s). So in this article, let’s breakdown 10 different ways you can avoid hoarding, splurging, and spending recklessy to kickstart your life savings!
There are probably two things that make this world go round – one is money and the other is the lack of it. Kidding aside, though, we’re all probably guilty of the same things. We feel terrible about the state of our finances, promise ourselves we’d avoid spending recklessly, then payday comes and we’re back to splurging yet again.
Rinse and repeat. Sadly, the cycle never ends.
If you really want to start spending less, having the will to do it is simply the beginning. Unless you have a game plan you can follow, there is no ditching the temptation of hoarding and splurging.
Below are 10 ways you can kickstart your savings!
Set your long-term and short-term goals
Before you start shaving down those weekly and monthly expenses, ask yourself: “What am I saving up for?”
What are you looking forward to? Perhaps you’re looking into backpacking to a foreign country. Or maybe you’re eyeing a new house for your family. Or perhaps you just want to sunbathe in a remote island while sipping a pina colada in the near future.
Think of what you want to achieve and write it down. Put it somewhere you can frequently see. Having goals that you’re really invested in will keep you motivated and help you avoid spending recklessly.
Check your inventory regularly
“I’ve got nothing to wear!” we often hear ourselves cry. Meanwhile, our closet is jam-packed with clothes we no longer wear or, worse, forgot they even existed.
Unfortunately, it is all too common for people to buy new stuff just because they can’t see what they have through the mountain of stuff they already have. This doesn’t just apply to clothes, mind you. People also buy unnecessary tools, accessories, and even little souvenirs.
The solution? Check your inventory regularly and pay attention to the things you have and don’t have. This way, you don’t end up buying more of the same stuff you already have.
As for the things you have but don’t want anymore? Why not organize a garage sale and make a quick money out of them? You can even do it online if you don’t have the time to organize a physical garage sale.
See – you get to save money and earn some too! Win-win!
Always, always go for quality
Here’s a myth that most people usually fall for: always go for the cheaper option when trying to save money.
Yes, it’s true. Buying a ₱300-pair of shoes seems like a better idea than splurging with a ₱3,000-pair. But think about it for a second. The former will probably last for the better part of three months, while the latter will probably last for more than a year (and still look good while we’re at it).
So when it comes to buying your necessities, always aim for quality. Quality items will serve you well for a long period of time.
Wait it out. Sleep it off.
Nowadays, the world is moving too fast that people have begun to resent and to fear the idea of missing out. So we rush, to events and decisions alike, without thinking things through thoroughly.
“Is this what I want?” “But do I really need that?” How will this help me in the future?” These are the questions we fail to ask ourselves in our effort to not miss out. So we become compulsive – shopping for things we don’t really want or need because it’s on sale or because everybody else has one.
Our advice? Avoid spending recklessly by playing the waiting game. Whenever you find yourself tempted to splurge or making big purchases, walk away from it and wait at least 30 minutes. For really big purchases, sleep it off and wait at least 24 hours.
While you’re at it, rethink whether you really need that purchase and why. If the idea of the purchase survives your initial impulse to shop, then you know you truly want/need that item.
Always try to buy for the right reasons.
Did you know that studies have shown that people often mistake the sensation of being thirsty for being hungry? The same thing is true when it comes to being bored – we think we’re hungry when in reality we are just bored out of our minds.
Pretty weird, huh?
Sadly, this extends even to our shopping habits. There are definitely days when we’re compelled to shop but not for the right reasons. Maybe you’re just bored. Maybe you’ve had a rough day and want to compensate.
One good way to avoid spending recklessly is to know what triggers your impulsive shopping habits and then working on ways to deal with these triggers. This way, you can begin to replace these wrong reasons with right ones.
Quit the hoarding: buy only what you need right now.
True, there is some virtue in buying in bulk. Aside from the sense of security (which may or may not be a placebo effect) that comes with having plenty of what you need/want, sometimes you get a significant discount on it as well.
Truth to be told, though, it is not uncommon for homes to be cluttered by merchandises hoarded under the guise of a sale or discount. If you’re trying to cut back your spending, it definitely pays to be realistic and practical.
Practice a cash-based budget plan.
Contrary to popular belief, credit cards and loans are not the devil’s spawns. They can, however, be quite a nuisance if you are trying to save money and/or trying to avoid spending recklessly. Using them requires discipline and a sense of responsibility – something that some of us lack, admittedly.
Having a cash-based budget plan can help instill that discipline and sense of responsibility. With this, you know exactly how much money you have and how much you are allowed to spend.
Knowing that you have a finite amount of resources will help curb any unhealthy impulses towards shopping.
Shop with a list and don’t deviate from it.
Now that you have checked your inventory and learned how to control your unhealthy shopping impulses, it’s time to go shopping. But wait, before you head out, make sure you have a list.
List down what you need, whether for the month or for the week. Be honest and be specific. Follow this list while shopping and stop yourself from deviating from it.
It also pays to know your budget beforehand. While shopping, keep a calculator close by so you can check how far or close you are to exceeding your budget.
Have the time? Go DIY.
Undeniably, one of your most notorious enemies when you’re trying to avoid spending recklessly, is laziness. Yes, you heard that right: laziness. It’s when you’re willing to pay extra for a product or a service just so you won’t have to do something yourself.
The result? Unnecessary expenses.
So rather than paying someone to clean up your apartment, roll up your sleeves and do it yourself. Dust off that washing machine and do your own laundry. Have a DIY mani-pedi session in the comforts of your own home rather than going to a salon for it.
You can save up in many ways once you learn (or re-learn) of doing things yourself.
Discover the joys of preparing your own food.
Another great way to save money is to prepare your own food. With this, not only are you saving money from not eating out, you also (ideally) get better and healthier food options.
This is not even limited to food. You can also brew your own coffee in the morning and bring it to the office instead of dropping by a coffee shop for a to-go. You can also bring your own water in a canister, saving yourself from buying bottled water all the time!
Now before you go complaining about how much of an effort this is, remember, laziness is your enemy!
Learning how you can avoid spending recklessly is hard and requires discipline, but the good news is it is doable. With these 10 simple tips, you can kickstart your way to becoming a better, more financially responsible you that you have always envisioned.