I knew this day would come. The day I would have to get serious about my finances and enforce a spending ban. It’s not that I’ve been spending up big on a new wardrobe or lavish nights out – I’ve just added the occasional breakfast or coffee here, the odd piece of home decor there and it has added up.
I was charged interest on my credit card this month. I haven’t had this happen in over 3 years. Sometimes you need to be kicked into action and that is what did it for me.
So here are a few things I’ve implemented to help me over the next few weeks:
- Learn to make all your favourite foods at home. That way you won’t feel the need to buy them elsewhere.
- Go through your wardrobe thoroughly. You may find garments that haven’t seen the light of day in months – BONUS: it almost feels like you’ve bought something new.
- Sell anything you haven’t don’t need, use or love (and I mean LOVE. Oh but I kind of like this doesn’t cut it).
- Put your gym membership/hobby classes on hold or ask to switch from weekly to fortnightly sessions. Remember, it’s only for a little while (make this one a maximum of a month otherwise you may go stir crazy).
- Unsubscribe or filter any emails you get from fashion labels, ticket sites or shops of any kind. You don’t need the temptation.
- Similarly, do not read any magazines. They have too much luxurious advertising for your fragile state right now. Remember books? They’re a great alternative.
- Spend in cash only. It has become so easy to swipe a card and distance ourselves from the pattern of earning before you spend. Doing this will make you more aware of how often you are making transactions. Question yourself before you hand over that note – is this a necessity? What will happen if I don’t get it?
- Put a time limit on your spending ban. A few weeks at a time is probably best so you can commit fully to the cause. At the end date, reward yourself with a little (cheap) gift.