We live in a world of consumerism, where we’re often told that we’ll feel better about ourselves if we buy a shiny new item off the shelf. Unfortunately, this means we get into the habit of overspending and buying lots of stuff on credit cards we don’t need or even really want.
If you’re getting fed up with constant spending and consuming, and having to pay off debt, then it could be time to re-evaluate how you’re spending you’re money.
We’ve got some budgeting tips to help you start being a careful consumer; buying fewer items of better quality and purchasing only what you need. You might be surprised at how much money you can save towards more meaningful things, such as travel and life experiences.
1. Identify your areas of weakness
We all have areas where we’re prone to impulse buys. It could be shoes, electronic equipment, makeup or clothes. Either way, these items will slowly but surely build up into clutter. Pinpoint three key areas where you feel you spend too much; being aware is the first step to being able to exert more control and be mindful.
2. Use the time rule
Impulse buys are just that, spontaneous, unplanned purchases that blow out your budget just because you happen to see something you…cannot…possibly…do without. But of course you can, your brain just needs time to get over wanting it. Don’t give into instant gratification, instead tell yourself you can have it in 20 minutes, tomorrow or next week. This gives you time to reflect, and more often than not you’ll have forgotten about it in a few hours or come to the conclusion that it isn’t something you particularly NEED.
3. Use a list
If you’re likely to overspend at the supermarket, go armed with a list. This not only makes shopping more efficient, but you’ll also be less tempted to buy random items. If it’s not on the list, don’t put it in your trolley! If you really have trouble sticking to a list, get your shopping delivered to your house to cut back on the chance of impulse buys. Alternatively, you could buy in bulk to limit trips to the shops, limiting the opportunities to buying excess items.
4. Reward yourself with experiences
If you feel like you need a treat, reward yourself with an experience rather than buying yet another item to clutter your home. Make a bucket list of new restaurants you want to try, places you want to visit, movies you want to see etc. Studies have also shown that spending money on someone else can actually make you happier than spending it on yourself.
5. Rent don’t buy
Renting things instead of buying them is another way to counteract consumerism. This can work well with clothes, and clothes renting is popular with teenage girls who have a ‘wear things once’ attitude. But renting can also work for big ticket items such as technology, exercise equipment and home appliances.
Rather than always purchasing the latest model outright, you can simply rent and update. Check out MacRae’s range of items to rent today and cut back on needless spending.