Spend less money … it can make you happier!
Spending less money on random crap has definitely made me happier. Can it make a difference to you too?
I have never been a big “shopper.” I would say that I HATE shopping. I am rubbish at it, don’t enjoy it, and could think of million things I would rather do. In the past, I still managed to spend money on stuff that I neither needed, nor really wanted.
I used to go into town each Friday morning to meet friends. Browsing the shops before meeting them, on EVERY SINGLE FRIDAY, I would buy something! Clothes, trainers, perfume, something for the kids, blah, blah, blah. I noticed that when I was in town, my brain would whir, thinking of things that I needed to buy. I could always come up with something. Most of the things were unnecessary, and didn’t add to our life in any way, but we had the money to pay for them, so what was the harm in buying them?
I was continually saying no to nights out, weekends away and foreign holidays because we “couldn’t afford” them. That made me feel poor, and was making me miserable! That was the problem. The problem was NOT that I didn’t have enough money, it was that I didn’t have the sense to spend it on the things that meant the most to me.
Once I started spending less money on stuff that I didn’t need, suddenly I could afford all the things that did make me happy. I created the problem of not being able to “afford it” by spending money on other random crap! The money I spent added nothing to our lives, and we were doing without other things that DID mean something to us!
I now spend differently, with more ploughed into our fun fund! Nights out, holidays, meals out and anything that we fancy doing. (well, within reason! I would have loved a family round the world trip. It’s not the right time now, but I know that if I had got my money mindset sorted out years ago, we could have done it!)
Katy, of Katykicker fame, says “I make the money that I earn work very hard for me. I keep control of outgoings so we can have nice holidays several times a year.” Enjoying life to the full, and helping her family to do the same, are among Katy’s main priorities. Spending less money plays a huge part in that. “We always prioritise saving money, over frivolous purchases, and have a great life because of making good money saving decisions.”
Fifty Five and Counting has some good suggestions for spending less, by reverting to the old-fashioned habits of yesteryear.
Fiona aka Savvy in Somerset likes to make the most her money. “We saved up a huge deposit when buying our first house, much more than we actually needed to get a mortgage. We also bought a house that was well under budget, at around 20k less than we could have borrowed.”
Fiona was spending less money and making sure that she didn’t waste money, so she could focus on her savings. “While saving up took a long time we feel it was worth it – our mortgage repayments are small, so we know we could survive on just one income if we needed to. It also meant we could spend money on our dream wedding and we’ve had two amazing holidays in the last year, before we settle down and start a family.” Fiona has made good choices, has prioritised her spending on the things that mean the most to her, and her life is enhanced by doing this.
Mums Savvy Savings is Emma’s blog and she knew that having long-term security was really important to her. She says “We bought our first house, when we could barely afford it, but knew it was a good long term move and that was our first great decision. We were only 22, and it has enabled us to now have a gorgeous home, and to know that we will be mortgage free before many.” For Emma, and her hubby, buying a house at such a early age was a massive money saving decision, saving them thousands over the years, because they have “never wasted any money on rent.”
These people have made smart decisions with money and spend it on things that make them happiest in life. But what of the others, whose spending decisions are making them miserable?
For some it’s a case of realising that spending habits have not been making you happy, and changing those habits.
However, for others, these habits may have got you into debt, which feels like an impossible burden to bear. I have worked with many people who felt that their debt was impossible to deal with. Therefore, they felt, it was pointless doing anything about it. It was easier to stick their head in the sand and continue as normal, despite knowing that it was making them miserable.
I can understand that, but I promise you doing nothing is a disaster waiting to happen. With support and encouragement, you truly can turn your life around.
Naomi and her husband Ricky, aka Skint Dad, are living proof of that. “Having been in crippling debt, we had teach ourselves how to manage a very tight budget. We are very careful now to save and control our spending, but we’re putting a lot of money towards investing in our children. We want to make sure they have good experiences, so that they can live a fulfilled debt free life when they’re older.”
Change is possible
Money should help us to create the life we want, NOT make us feel miserable.
Spending less money will give you the FREEDOM and CHOICE to live your very best life.
Let’s get started now.
Here are 5 simple steps that you can take.
- Grab 3 month’s worth of bank statements
- Go through all your direct debits/standing orders and compare prices on insurances, utilities etc. Cancel any that are unnecessary
- Add your spending in different categories – you might find my spending plan helpful to make it simple to identify the different categories.
- Work out what is really important to you – what do you want to spend your money on? Working out your values might help you to identify these.
- Start creating a spending plan for how you would LIKE to spend your money. Reduce spending in areas that don’t matter to you, and spend more money on the things you LOVE!
Top tips to save hundreds
These tips will also help you to spend less money, in a very simple way. If you can get used to using these for every purchase, you will save yourself hundreds of pounds a year.
Pouch is an awesome little gem, who saves you money at every turn! If you download Pouch onto your computer, then it automatically searches for discount codes and highlights the ones that are available when you reach the checkout. It’s then simply a case of clicking the Pouch recommendation and it adds the discount coupon to your basket. It also works through Facebook messenger!
If you would like to learn how to use money to create the life you REALLY want, then be sure to download my fabulous Finance for Freedom freebie.
I am Eileen Adamson, Your Money, Sorted coach, working online with UK based women. I can help you to develop a better relationship with money and feel calm, relaxed and positive about money. This will allow you to feel confident, in control and able to make good financial decisions. Through creating a good relationship with money you can then live the life that YOU want to lead.