Searching online for the last blog Smart Shopping, Save Money, Improve Finances got me thinking: there must be other tips and tricks to help the average someone, like me, who happens to be a shopaholic learn how to save more money.
I had already cut my spending money into roughly $125 a week. Which is huge, to have money in the bank is a miracle I never thought I’d see!
I went to the web once again to find some answers or suggestions on how to save money when I shop. I found some good advice here, a great financial advice site.
They offered a few tips that I think everyone could benefit from.
- Make a buyer’s list – make a list of everything you have purchased in a month’s time and categorize it. For example, make a column for food/groceries, home products, home décor, etc. Figuring out where the majority of your money is going will help you determine where you can cut back.
- Search around – Look at competitors and compare prices, especially at grocery stores and electronics, and compare them against web prices also.
- Be wary of special deals – Special offers, cashback deals, vouchers, etc. were created to get consumers to buy more, not less. Think about whether you need something before you purchase it. Don’t buy something just because of an offer.
- Avoid impulse buying – think before buying (Yeah, I know what you’re thinking!)- especially if the item is expensive. Sleep on it, and see how you feel about the item in the morning.
- Look up reviews – check online to see if there are any reviews by typing the product name in a search engine, followed by a review to see what the internet brings up. Even taking the time to read up on something can go some way to limiting that rush you get when you first feel the need to buy that new hairdryer with the latest curling add-ons is top of the list.
- Use your credit card or your debit card when making purchases by using these if something goes wrong in a purchase, buying on credit or debit card gives you a protection that cash can’t.
These were great ideas, and easy ones to follow as well.
The first one of making a buyer’s list was one that I should have been doing all along, but since I had kept my receipts for the past two months I could determine where I was spending the bulk of my money.
After two hours of sorting, I realized I spent the majority of my money in three main areas: clothes/shoes, paints and beading, and accessories for hair and makeup. Fourth and fifth were books and collectibles. Making this list painfully made me aware of where I could cut back.
I work from home, so I don’t need a couture closet like I once did, so I can easily cut back on the spending there, as well as on the accessories for hair and makeup.
It seems like I was still living in my past lifestyle.
I decided to start there.
My main financial man did it again, you can always count on Forbes to have some great ideas..
My next step was to look to the masters of money, Forbes, and see if they had words of wisdom, and they did.
They offered 16 ways to save money, so I thought to look if any were different from my already extensive list, and to no surprise, they offered several.
- Check your bank statements – Many times you are still making payments on things that you didn’t know you were still making, like a yoga class you quit three months ago. Did you overdraw at one point and not know it? Since I’m on a spending budget, this is a good piece of advice.
- Forbes also suggests going to the ATM to take out the weekly budget in cash. Once the money is gone the spending is done. Fairly good point. Especially for someone – or anyone for that matter – who is trying to keep within the budget.
- Use your Wifi always – using your WiFi at all times will decrease your phone bill significantly. Try using a budget tracking app – multiple apps are available that connect your bank accounts and track your spending. They can help you figure out where your money is going. Sort of like your own personal list maker.
- Drink your coffee at home. Coffee on the go can really add up. Each ‘Joe on the Go’ costs $3-$5 dollars which over a month equals $100, which over a year, is $1200. Think of all the other things you could buy with $1200!
This month I’m going to give it a whirl and try these new and easy ways to improve my finances and save while I shop. Let me hear how you are doing. Write me!