In 2008, as a result of the recession, we were £25,000 in debt.
Already on a tight budget, we had to implement dramatic changes to our finances. These money saving tips are based on those changes:
Disclosure: Based on personal opinion, not to be taken as advice. Seek a professional if required.
1: ACCEPT THAT YOU CAN’T KEEP UP WITH THE JONESES
When searching for savings in an already tight budget, you have to accept, you can’t keep up with the Joneses.
That means, you can’t afford to live like they’re living on TV, or how your friends may be living.
All of that extra stuff is purchased with disposable cash which, for now, you simply can’t afford to spend.
While it is said a lot, it’s true:
You have to understand what you need to l-i-v-e.
And then, l-i-v-e off that.
2: STOP PLEASING OTHERS
You may not feel aggrieved if somebody doesn’t have money to spend on, or with, you.
But some people may think you’re trying to avoid them, or simply won’t understand that you’re trying to save money (not without you saying!).
Let’s say a friend wants to go for dinner. A nice place in town.
You may feel a pressure to go.
A great alternative would be to cook a meal, or find something else you can do together.
Either way, something has to give – your budget, or the dinner.
It’s the same for family gifts, holidays, aesthetic changes to home / car / wardrobe, and any other peer-pressure related spending.
I write more about this here.
3: REDUCE UTILITY BILLS
Every week, month, or year, you pay reoccurring bills.
To save money on utilities, you have to ask 2 simple questions:
1) Can you get the service cheaper elsewhere?
2) What can you do to make it cheaper? Like, reducing your energy usage.
4: CREATE A FRUGAL DIY MINDSET
Washing your own car? Fixing a fence? Sorting the plumbing? Renovating a kitchen?
When did I go too far?
More-so, what could you comfortably manage yourself?
Creating a frugal mindset has saved us more money than I can count.
It starts with the small things and before you know it, you’ve become an up-cycling, DIY enthusiast.
I write more about a frugal mindset here.
5: BORING, BORING, BORING
The worst thing about living on an extremely tight budget is the BOREDOM.
Yes, you can occupy your time doing something else, but you can’t spend money!
I used to love going to the cinema. A simple bucket of popcorn, a space between me and the next patron, and I was happy.
Accept it. Accept that friends, family, people, everybody (even you) may label you as being boring.
Instead of being bored, work on the next tip.
6: MAKE MONEY TO SAVE MONEY
After implementing the money saving tips on this list, we managed to eke away at the debt.
But something else helped: One day I got a small pay-rise at work. All of a sudden I had extra money that wasn’t accounted for!
It went straight to the debt.
Well, it’s easy to say “make more money”, but it’s harder to do. I’m just saying, be more open to the idea of making more money.
Maybe a promotion, maybe a side-business.
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