As Spring approaches, for some of you a bit slower than perhaps wanted, it’s a time when everything awakens, including my urge to spend more.
“Please don’t say I’m the only one”, I thought to myself, whilst holding up an imaginary fingers crossed symbol.
My attention is drawn towards new plants, flowers, vases (Zara Home has some wonderful Spring news), decorations for the garden, new clothes, perhaps a new addition to the bag collection or a pastel yellow apron… because, well, why, not, right, it’s Spring!
As I find myself holding 6 terracotta pots of different sizes and trying to fit another hydrangea into the trolley filled with lemon trees, my brain suddenly pauses (thank God?) and I acknowledge the approximate amount that will show up on the cashier screen…
You may not have a garden or a passion for gardening, but I think you understand what I mean here. You may have had the same situation with clothes, tableware, presents for your loved ones, even food or books…
And in those moments I kind of wish I had an Etsy side business that would cover all of my “Wow, this is gorgeous! I don’t know where I’ll use it, but it’s just too stunning to be left at the store!”
Although it’s actually a great idea if you have a hobby that can be made into a small business on Etsy (knitting, ceramics, painting, antique collecting, flower arrangements, you name it!), all you have to do is to look at your current expenses.
I know some might dread this, but it’s truly valuable to look at where your money goes each month.
A more mindful spending can lead to a more joyful spending, even though it might not sound like that at first. Hear me out!
Task 1: Get familiar with your expenses!
Go on, get the bank account statement for February, print it out or ask someone to do it for you if you’re not too good with technology and have a look!
Two pounds for coffee, seven for baked goods, some on a cute ribbon you found for “some kind of celebration”, a twenty for flowers, some more on the gas, Spotify subscription, cable TV, new bedsheets and two more for a cup of takeaway tea.
If you are feeling the Spring Cleaning big time this year, create categories (e.g. Groceries, Eating out, Medicine & Appointments, Takeaway Coffee, Regular Bills, Animals, Mortgage, Transport, etc.) and calculate all the expenses that fill each of the categories.
X amount for groceries, X amount for Eating out, X amount for the cat and X amount for spontaneous purchases.
Task 2: Understand what is needed and what can go!
Only you will know if a Vogue magazine each month is needed or you can read the blogs online. If that croissant on the go to the park is essential or you can bake some yourself or perhaps one every two weeks is ok but 4 a week might be a little too much both for your gut health and the one of your bank account.
There are many ways you can cut down your expenses and save money without actually needing to save or limit yourself. Although, cutting down sugar and gluten (yes, I’m talking about those mouth-watering butter cookies and exceptional local cinnamon buns) might even work in your own favour as well.
Cancel subscriptions and memberships
Chances are, you’re paying for at least one of those or perhaps even a dozen. Cancel any of those that you do not actively use on a regular basis.
Maybe you have a yoga membership but you actually get to go only once or twice a month, so paying for an individual class would be much more wallet-friendly.
Have a good look at all of these! And perhaps you still want to keep your Netflix subscription or Amazon Prime and that’s totally fine!
With the ones you choose to keep paying for – consider sharing them with your friends or family!
Netflix and Hulu have the option to do that and you can even watch your favorite show on two or more screens. Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Literally, you’ll have more money to buy good quality meat.
Everything extra – Goes to Savings
You sold a pair of shoes you never wore? Put all the money away!
Same with inheritance or tax refunds, any bonuses or unexpected birthday presents, putting those away or to good use will ease your mind.
Yes, we have to talk about this as well
If you have debt, you’ll be better off using all the extra money or “saved” money to pay it off month by month.
Perhaps you thought there isn’t much you can add to the current amount you dedicate to that or even had forgotten about such a thing as owing, this is the moment you start working on paying everything off.
You’ll be surprised how much lighter and better you feel. Even if it’s not a lot or you’ll still have to do it for a couple of years – consistency leads to progress and that leads to feeling good.
If you’re debt-free, consider creating an emergency fund or one for all your Spring wishes and beautiful things. It’s ok to enjoy material things that bring you joy unless you don’t depend on them for making you happy.
Reduce energy costs & lower your cell phone bill
A few simple habits will let you save on your bills and you will be surprised how easy it is!
Stop running water while you brush your teeth, turn off the lights once you leave a room, don’t have any electrical appliances burning energy while you’re not using them etc., etc.. You can check out specific tips for this by looking it up in Google.
Call your cell phone service or visit them in person and have a look at your monthly plan – get rid of all the costly data plans you’re not using or even completely switch your provider if a cheaper one with matched quality is available. A little more persistence and time researching, but the money you’ll save will be worth it!
If you’re a tech guru – use Whatsapp or Messenger to call someone, that way you could also save a bit depending on your current cell phone plan.
So looking at how much you spend on eating out or grabbing something on the go might be quite shocking actually.
I remember doing it for the first time and was shocked to see that my everyday takeaway coffee that doesn’t cost too much, turned out to have the third largest amount of money spent from all the categories I had created.
It doesn’t mean you have to always avoid it, just make sure you’re aware of how much goes into it as it really tends to add up.
Cooking at home has been probably the most effective way for me to cut down monthly expenses. Also planning out the meals and buying products that you will actually use is another super helpful tip which I’m still working on implementing in my own life.
Ask about discounts!
Or research it online! There are so many places that offer discounts for seniors, students, people with disabilities, teachers, military members, mothers of 3+ and many more!
Next time you buy a museum, cinema or any other tickets – don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask the person providing you with the ticket, at times they offer it themselves. Nonetheless, you’ll never know if you never ask!
It’s wonderful being able to create something yourself. Before buying, think if it was possible to make it at home.
Be it a cake, book covers, your own manicure or a floral storage box. Be creative and spend some time working your brain & fingers. Not only will you have the finished product, but you will also have spent a wonderful time crafting. Invite your husband or a friend and make it even more fun. ☺
This is not professional financial advice!
Just a little disclaimer, but as you’re all well aware, we’re just a cosmetics company writing our blog, this is not something you must follow through or take as professional advice.
Once that’s clear, we hope you found our tips helpful! Almost all of us would benefit from a simple look through our expenses and who knows, maybe we can even save a bit by altering the expenses we have right now.
All in all, I hope you have a wonderful weekend! ☺