This is top of mind right now, for a sort of ironic reason – I just made a major purchase and as a result, I’ve never felt more motivated to save. I think it’s a combination of guilt over spending so much, and a feeling that I want to get my bank account back to where it was asap. That being said, this was a purchase that made sense for me, and an investment in my blog/business and something that I’m passionate about – not an impulse purchase or something that I actually should really feel guilty about (and I’ll share more about it later). Nonetheless though, it was very expensive and I immediately realized I couldn’t make that purchase and continue for the time being to spend money the way I typically do.
Now, I’m certainly no financial expert and I don’t actually recommend doing what I did – making your big purchase and then saving, but for me personally, that’s what made sense. So here are two easy tips (which I’m currently using) to help you start saving money right now (or in my case, recouping money):
Write down your reasons for saving.
A friend brought this up this past weekend while we were talking about saving and at first I was like, whatever, I’ve heard that before. I asked her what she had written down and she said the first idea was about values – and the first thing she wrote down was “guys find excessive spending to be unattractive.” Initially I balked at that and thought, I’m not going to use a phantom guy as my motivator! Who is this non-existent guy to judge me, anyway? But then I got that it’s not about impressing some guy, but more about being the type of person that you want to be. It got me thinking about this post – don’t date anyone you wouldn’t want to be. That’s the real point – being the person you want to be, being the type of person you yourself would respect. The idea being, I wouldn’t want to date a person who was irresponsible and impulsive with money, so I shouldn’t be that way either. I don’t want to possess qualities that I find unattractive…and that’s a pretty good motivator for being sensible with money right there.
Add up all the money you don’t spend.
This past weekend, after making my big purchase, I made a conscious effort to not spend money. This is what I would have spent:
- $75 on a mani/pedi because I needed one (and I always get suckered into getting a massage too). I did my own nails instead, and they look terrible. Shrug.
- Dinner with my sister, which probably would’ve been at least $60.
- At least $30 on a book because I happened to wind up in 2 bookstores, as I always seem to on weekends.
- $12 on the new domino I wanted to buy.
- Probably at least $60 on chocolates that I sometimes (well, often) treat myself to and haven’t had in forever (and I have to mention that yes, it sounds psychotic to spend that much money on chocolate, but they’re just really expensive, which they should be because they’re literally made by hand and it takes like, three days to make just one tray and they are insanely delicious and fully worth it, but anyway, that’s why it would’ve been $60, not because I’m buying an insane amount of chocolate. K I got a little defensive there but had to clarify that).
- Definitely at least $16 on a cab home from the movie I went to on Sunday.
- Then I might also return a bag I got from Madewell which I like but maybe don’t need (sacrifices).
That’s 250 dollars that I definitely would have spent, and didn’t, just by kind of being more aware and thinking about my actual, real priorities. And the bag is another $160…my, how quickly things add up, huh?
These ideas are really more about mental shifts than anything else. Money spending is very psychological, and I think a big thing that can help is really clarifying what your priorities are, and keeping them top of mind. Do you have any tips for saving money? I’m all ears!
PS – everything I know about saving.
image via Unsplash with graphics added by me
Love this post! I know I need to start saving more (or at least tracking expenses) haha This is the motivation I needed 🙂
Tracking expenses is something I need to make more of a habit of as well!
Something we can all relate to, for sure! I love how you broke it down into those two parts though…I’m on a one month shopping hiatus (but am afraid to call it that in case I like cave and buy something..) and the feeling of passing up buying something since I’m “not allowed” is incredibly satisfying. I’m saving up for a big purchase later this fall, too, so am going to try your little tricks!
We might be making the same purchase :). I’m always afraid to declare a “shopping hiatus” too, or anything related to saving, because I know I will break it, haha. Just being more aware and making the effort is good enough I think!
Great post! It’s wonderful that you made conscious decisions to spend less. We all tolerate spending in our lives that doesn’t need to be there and could help us get where we really want to be!
Also another thing, often there is a substitute that is cheaper–for instance, instead of going out to eat with friends or relatives, invite them over for some light snacks. You still get time with them but it costs (or could cost, anyway!) WAY less.
This is definitely something I try to keep in mind in my own life, although I’ll have to try writing down reasons for saving. Thanks!!
Great point – I should’ve had my sister cook for me instead of going out, haha :). But such a good idea to brainstorm cheaper substitutions for things, I’m definitely going to keep that in mind! Thanks Megan!
You definitely should have =D
Have a good week and hope you have fun saving money!!
I’m also always reluctant to invest in my business/blog even though it makes a difference and I can cut back in other areas. Thanks for these tips. xoxo
I think it’s tough to invest in the business and blog because there’s a feeling of “will this even pay off?” But it usually does turn out to be worth it! I’ve found that with the redesign and so many other things.
Great post Jackie!
I’ve been trying to limit my impulse purchases and saving money for big more expensive priorities like travel.
I’m curious about the Madewell bag, would you mind sharing which one it was..
The list of possible purchases you mentioned would also be things I would spend on; when you add it up, it makes you re-evaluate.
Hi Maria! It’s the Transport Tote in a gray stone color…I’m not seeing it online anymore which actually makes me want to keep it more :). Still debating!
“Never date anyone you wouldn’t want to be.” — I’d never heard that before, but it is great advice!
I know, can’t remember where I came across it but I honestly can hardly think of a better piece of dating or marriage advice.
That’s an interesting way to look at money saving. I never really thought much into how much I didn’t spend. I’m going to start doing this more.
This is such a great post! I am on Week Three of consciously not spending. My strategy has been to not spend money during the week if at all possible (ie the cold brew habit on desperate mornings had to die) and to eat at least one meal per weekend day at home (this sounds pathetic, but it’s so easy to hop from coffee shop in the morning to a lunch with friends and so on…). I’ve given myself wiggle room when I had guests in town and went out to dinner on a Wednesday, but the idea that I won’t spend money on a weekday has given me some stronger guidelines. I did something similar where I’ve tallied how much I would’ve spent on a pastry here and a midweek pick me up there and it’s shocking how much I’ve saved.
Thank you Christina! Really good idea to separate spending on weekdays from weekends. I think I could manage to spend less on weekdays and leave some room for more weekend spending…that’s a good way of thinking about it.